Medical Malpractice News and Views

Latest from Medical Malpractice News and Views

Studies show that consumers search for and rely on reviews for nearly everything, including medical care.  We are all looking for that 5 star product or service.  Couple this with a thriving black market in fake reviews and you have a real problem.  Many sellers believe that it is a matter of life and death for them to have positive reviews and are willing to pay someone to provide them.  Doctors are not immune to these temptations.

The problem of fake reviews of doctors, hospitals and other medical care providers is not new but it is getting worse.  There is
Continue Reading Some Doctor Reviews Are Fake.

Sadly, I see a lot of death cases.  Prospective clients come to me with questions about the death of a loved one.  Why did she die?  What happened to her?  Most often they want to know if her death was the result of a medical mistake.  One of the first questions I must ask is whether there was an autopsy or not.  If the answer is that there was not, there is usually nothing I can do to help that person or to answer their questions.

Medicine is complicated.  Even in a young, previously healthy person who dies unexpectedly, there
Continue Reading The Private Autopsy.

If you have a mobile device or have been on line for almost any reason, you have surely been confronted with a lengthy statement outlining the terms of your use of the whatever-it-is.  In order to use the whatever-it-is, you have to agree to accept those terms.  If you are like countless other Americans, you don’t read the text.  You just scroll down to the “Accept” box, click it and move on.  I am not here today to debate the wisdom of those decisions.  What I want to talk about today is the trend in many doctor or hospital waiting
Continue Reading Read, Read, Read.

In 2003, Congress made a major change to Medicare.  In the hopes of reducing costs through privatization, it created what are called Medicare Advantage plans.  The idea was that private companies would be paid a fixed amount to provide Medicare beneficiaries with the health care for which Medicare would normally pay.  The amount the plan would be paid would depend upon a number of factors, including the cost of medical services in the area where the beneficiary lived and risk factors relating to the beneficiary himself or herself.  If the plan could deliver those services for less money that it
Continue Reading Some Medicare Advantage Plans Are Taking Us For A Ride

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer afflicting human beings.  85% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will live less than five years following their diagnosis.  Looking at it another way, although only 3% of all human cancers are pancreatic cancer, it accounts for 7% of all cancer deaths.  It is a bad cancer.  The lethality of pancreatic cancer is at least in part due to the fact that it is rarely discovered before it has grown and metastasized, that is, spread to other parts of the body.  Now, at last, there may be some good
Continue Reading New Hope For Pancreatic Cancer Patients

A few months ago I wrote about the Tennessee nurse who was criminally prosecuted for administering the wrong medication to a patient.  The medication resulted in the patient’s death and the nurse was convicted of negligent homicide.  One of the defenses offered by the nurse was that the mistake she made was in part the result of the hospital’s use of a computerized medication dispensing machine.  There had already been a number of problems with the device.  The nurse claimed that the hospital had not corrected the problems and that the dispensing machine contributed to the death.

The computerized
Continue Reading Medication Errors Are Easy To Make.

Women get the short end of the stick in a lot of areas of life.  Health care is one of them.  Heart disease, the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States today, does not present the same way in men and women.    The differences between heart disease and its treatment in men and women are quite pronounced and a real problem for women.

For many years the conventional wisdom was that women did not get heart disease like men did.  It was believed that they were somehow “protected” against heart disease by the female
Continue Reading Women With Heart Disease Just Can’t Catch A Break.

You have been referred to a surgeon and she has advised you that you need surgery.  What now?  There are certain steps you should always take when this happens.

What happens if I don’t get the surgery?
This is always an option.  Just don’t get the surgery.  Ask the surgeon what is likely to happen if you choose not to get the surgery.  Remember in all discussions with the surgeon who wants to do the operation that this is how the surgeon makes money.  There is an old saying, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem
Continue Reading What You Want To Know Before They Operate.

Something is going on and I am not sure what it is or why.  The incidence of objects being left behind in the body of the patient is increasing.  What is being left behind, you ask?  Mostly it is the usual things:  sponges, towels, laparotomy pads, surgical instruments, and fragments of broken objects.  Recently, I have had three patients come to me with guide wires left behind.  I have no idea how anyone can leave a nearly three foot long guide wire behind.  Needless to say, none of these objects should be left in patients after medical procedures.

The problem
Continue Reading The Retained Foreign Object.

At least the Arizona Medical Board lets the public know what it has been doing.  It publishes a running list of all of the disciplinary action it has taken over the past year.  It makes for very interesting reading.  Here is a link.

As the Board states, it has “legal authority to revoke, suspend, restrict, fine, reprimand or censure, require monitoring or additional education, or impose other remedial measures on the license of” physicians or physician assistants (P.A.) if the physician or physician assistant “has committed unprofessional conduct or is mentally or physically unable to safely engage in the
Continue Reading Your Tax Dollars At Work – The Arizona Medical Board

They are all around us.  The bacteria that cause infections are all around us.  They live on our skin, in our guts, on the food we eat, on the surfaces we touch, and in our mouths.  They float on the currents of air that surround us.  They are in the exhaled breath of the people who pass us on the street or who stand next to us in the elevator.  They are literally everywhere.  Of course, we evolved with bacteria and have developed barriers to keep them at bay.  If they manage to penetrate our barriers, however, they may get
Continue Reading Bacterial Infection: A Relentless Killer.

As I have written on many occasions, if you are the victim of medical malpractice, don’t count on anyone informing you of that fact.  Despite the obligation of doctors and hospitals to be honest with their patients, the curtain of silence and secrecy descends when there has been malpractice.  In fact, the worse the injury to the patient, the more likely it is that the doctors, nurses and hospital administrators will do all they can to keep the patient in the dark about what happened.

Medical malpractice is frighteningly common.  In my experience, you cannot be in a modern hospital
Continue Reading Have I Been The Victim of Medical Malpractice?

Over the many years I have been representing victims of medical malpractice, I have found that almost never will anyone inform the patient that he or she has been the victim of malpractice.  The sole exception is when a foreign object is left behind.  It is pretty difficult to pretend that the presence of a foreign object left behind in the body is just one of those things that happen from time to time through the fault of no one.  There aren’t very many foreign objects left behind so, in the vast majority of malpractice cases, the patient is on
Continue Reading Medical Ethics and Secrecy. You Cannot Have Both.

My mother lived until just before what would have been her 96th birthday.  She had a great attitude about life.  She kept busy gardening and volunteering as long as she could.  When old friends passed on, she made new, younger friends.  She talked to her friends on a daily basis.  She read the paper every day and kept up on world and local affairs.  She remained mentally sharp and engaged right up to the end.  I certainly hope that some of that will pass down to me but science tells us that we have more control over our later years
Continue Reading Want To Live Longer and Healthier? Think Positive.

The Covid pandemic has made the nursing shortage worse.  One of the results of the nationwide nursing shortage has been an increase in the number of traveling nurses, nurses who work for a staffing service and who are sent from hospital to hospital on a temporary basis.  The near constant movement of these nurses makes it even more difficult than usual for state nursing boards to keep track of nurses and to exercise supervision and discipline.  Sometimes, these traveling nurses are on the move one step ahead of the sheriff.

Today’s story is about a traveling nurse from the Southeast,
Continue Reading Traveling Nurse Allegedly Feeds Her Drug Habit at Hospital Medicine Cabinet

There is an old adage, often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, that beer is proof God loves us and want us to be happy.  To the extent that old Ben offered an opinion on this issue, he was probably talking about wine and not beer.  No matter.  That saying always resonated with me.  I love beer and wine and have taken comfort over the years in the reports of studies that say moderate drinking is good for you.   Sadly, not all studies of the effects of alcohol agree on its merits.  Not only do some studies disagree that moderate alcohol intake
Continue Reading Another Volley In The Alcohol Is Good/Bad For You War.