January 23, 2013

New Service To Check on Doctor’s Malpractice History

by Levin & Perconti

Medical malpractice lawsuits serve a preventative function on future errors in two ways. First, the risk of facing a lawsuit (or the expense of paying compensation after an error) works to spur change that prioritizes patient safety. Individual doctors and hospital administrators often enact new rules, training, and staffing in order to ensure quality standards are met one hundred percent of the time. The expense of these changes are justified if costs must be paid for errors. Alternatively, these lawsuits may serve to warn patients about which professionals or facilities offer a higher risk of harm. The idea is that, in the marketplace of options, medical patients will chose the safer facilities. Those facilities will ultimately be more successful. The lower quality facilities will either change or be driven out of business.

The second option--driven by consumer decisions--only works, however, when those consumer have easy access to understandable and reliable information about doctor quality. It is in that vein that more and more groups are trying to share information about doctors and hospitals. We have frequently written posts on some of those new rankings, including hospital data compiled by Consumer Reports and a group known as Leapfrog.

Checking on Your Doctor
According to a new story from Seattle PI there is yet another entrant into this category--a new service that allows consumers to learn about possible problems with individual doctors. Known as “Docnosis,” the new service is being touted by its makers as a way to check up on medical professionals before undergoing procedures which can lead to serious harm when not done correctly. Obviously this sort of search isn’t much help in emergency situations--you must simply get to the closest medical facility as quickly as possible. However, it may prove quite useful for planned events, like a surgery or childbirth.

The creators of the site point out that medical licensing rules vary from state to state. In addition, there are many cases of doctors moving to different states to practice after running into trouble for malpractice-events in a different location. All of this means that some professionals have dozens of malpractice cases against them while still practicing. This information may be important for consumers to consider when deciding what professional to handle their medical care. After all, nothing is more important than your health. If you do a bit of research before visiting an auto mechanic, beauty salon, or restaurant, the same diligence (and then some) should be applied to health care providers.

“Docnosis”
The new service can be found at this link. The press release announcing the new database discusses the mission by noting that it was “founded to empower patients to make fully-informed decisions before they undergo a procedure with an obstetrician, cardiologist, plastic surgeon, or any health-care provider.”

Essentially, those using the service can search for a potential doctor and learn about their past malpractice history. At the same time, “recommendations” will be provided by the program which identifies other doctors in the same practice area and geographic area who have not had malpractice claims against them. The service claims to not to solicit any advertisements from hospitals or healthcare providers. That is important, because consumers would obviously not want this system to be skewed by the company’s profit-motive. The company’s CFO noted, “We really wanted to keep industry money out of this equation so we could offer facts instead of anonymous opinions.”


See Other Blog Posts:

Doctor Says Malpractice Lawsuits Used to Drive Him Out of Practice

Jury Finds for Defendant-Hospital in Med Mal Case

August 1, 2010

Twist In Fraudulent Cosmetic Surgery Case

by Levin & Perconti

CBS2 News is reporting on the latest developments in a medical malpractice situation out of California. Last month we reported on this blog about the charges filed against two sisters, Guadalupe and Alejandro Viveros for operating an unlicensed cosmetic clinic.

Many of their clients ultimately informed authorities of problems that they had encountered following the cosmetic surgery performed by the sisters. For many clients the substances injected into them during surgery had hardened into a solid plastic. The hardened material often became infected, leading to serious health consequences for the former patients.

The case took another turn this week as one of the former patients died, purportedly as a result of the complications from the unknown substance injected into her by the sisters at the clinic.

Following the death, the sisters failed to show up to a scheduled court arraignment. It is believed that they may have fled to Mexico. The elder sister, Guadalupe, claimed to be a medical doctor in Mexico, though she was not licensed to practice medicine in the United States.

These and similar stories recount the shocking and all too prevalent forms that medical malpractice may take. While most patients will fortunately be spared the complications caused by medical professionals who are not legally allowed to practice medicine, too many will still become the victims of more nuanced forms of medical error. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti are committed to fighting for the rights of all victims of medical error. If you or anyone you know may have been injured due to mistreatment or negligence by a medical professional be sure to contact a medical malpractice attorney today.

June 28, 2010

Sisters Accused of Committing Medical Malpractice

by Levin & Perconti

KTLA News reports of another example of medical malpractice as two sisters are suspected of running an illegal cosmetic filler practice. The sisters, Guadalupe and Alejandra Viveros allegedly catered to a large group of clients, usually women, who sought out the pair to perform popular forms of cosmetic surgery. The most common surgery involved injections into the patients face and buttocks.

The two women reportedly had an extensive clientele list. However, many of those clients ultimately informed authorities of problems that they had encountered following the surgery. For many clients the substances injected into the patients during surgery had hardened into a solid plastic. The hardened material often became infected, leading to serious health consequences for the former patients.

Detectives investigating the claims soon discovered that the Viveros sisters were not even licensed to practice medicine. The elder sister, Guadalupe, claims to be a Mexican medical physician, but that of course does not automatically qualify her to practice medicine in the United States. The pair was arrested last week when the medical malpractice was discovered, and they are currently being held on $20,000 bail.

These and similar stories recount the shocking and all too prevalent forms that medical malpractice may take. While most patients will fortunately be spared the complications caused by medical professionals who are not legally allowed to practice medicine, too many will still become the victims of more nuanced forms of medical error. As a growing list of victims can attest, injuries caused by doctors performing procedures in which they are not qualified occurs more often than anyone would imagine. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti are committed to fighting for the rights of all victims of medical error. If you or anyone you know may have been injured due to mistreatment or negligence by a medical professional be sure to contact a medical malpractice attorney today.

March 31, 2009

Woman Claims Unwanted Facelift and Liposuction

by Levin & Perconti

A state medical board filed accusations of gross negligence and incompetence against two surgeons for surgical error. A patient claims one of the surgeons performed unwanted medical procedures of a facelift and liposuction on her when she only agreed to a tummy tuck. The doctor is also accused of medical unprofessionalism by borrowing a large sum of money from the woman and forcibly kissing her. A second patient claimed this same doctor negligently failed to remove her breast implant during surgery which resulted in hospital admittance.

Read more about the alleged medical negligence here.

December 26, 2008

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit claims Doctor's operation surgical error

by Levin & Perconti

A woman has sued a physician due to a surgical error that occurred when the woman underwent a breast reduction surgery. The doctor’s mistake was alleged to have resulted in the woman undergoing a surgery where the wrong breast was reduced in size. This can be described as an uncommon cosmetic surgery error. The doctor’s surgical error resulted in emotional damage to the woman and the need for her to have to undergo another surgery to correct the bad operation done to her. The medical malpractice lawsuit claims that despite consulting with the physician before the surgery, the surgery resulted in a breast reduction error. The woman underwent the surgery to reduce chronic pain that caused her back pain and shoulder pain, however after the surgery mistake the woman continues to suffer physically and emotionally. To read the full story click here.

August 25, 2008

Popular Pharmaceutical Botox Results in Personal Injuries and Product Liability Lawsuits

by Levin & Perconti

Personal injury lawsuits have resulted after many consumers claim they have been injured due to the use of a medical product known as botox. The company that produces the medical product, Allergan, claims that the medical product is safe and that the product liability and medical liability lawsuits are unfounded. The FDA and the U.S. Department of Justice have been continuously monitoring the makers of the product which some consumers claim to be a product that is negligently manufactured. As of now product liability and pharmaceutical liability lawsuits continue. It is possible that some doctors may also come under scrutiny for prescribing the pharmaceutical product. To read more about this popular wrinkle-free quick fix that has caused many lawsuits to be filed click here.

April 14, 2008

Family members of teen who died after breast surgery speak out

by Levin & Perconti

No one knew that the 18 year-old had a rare, genetic condition that cause a fatal reaction to the anesthesia when she decided to have plastic surgery and chose a surgeon to correct a congenital defect that left her with asymmetrical breasts and inverted nipples. Everything seemed very routine and nobody thought there would be risk involved. The condition that the family believes killed the 18 year-old is an extremely rare genetic disorder that causes a reaction to common types of anesthesia. The reaction is called malignant hyperthermia – it causes the patient’s temperature to spike to 110 degrees or higher. Salts precipitate out of the blood and organs collapse, leading to death.

More adequate care could have prevented this reaction because there is an antidote called Dantrolene that can reverse the effects of malignant hyperthermia. If administered in proper dosages in a timely fashion, the effects can be successfully reversed. However, according to the medical malpractice lawsuit attorney, the anesthesiologist administered only one dose when at least eight were required.

For the full article.

November 25, 2007

Donda West’s doctor had troubled history

by Levin & Perconti

Kanye West’s mother, Donda West, died after two cosmetic surgery procedures performed by a California doctor. While Kanye West and his family mourn the death of his mother, Donda West, a lot of attention is focusing on the reputation of Donda West’s doctor who performed the operation. The Medical Board of California is investigating whether the doctor’s license should be revoked or suspended. The doctor had been arrested twice in the last four years for alcohol-related offenses. Additionally, the doctor paid two former patients a total of $467,337 in two medical malpractice lawsuit settlements in 2001.

For the full article.

May 30, 2007

Amputee awarded $30,000,000

by Levin & Perconti

A woman whose feet and fingers were amputated as the result of complications with her tummy-tuck surgery was awarded $30,000,000 by a jury in the personal injury lawsuit. The woman had the tummy-tuck to correct muscle damage due to three caesarean sections, and 20 days later blood and fluid began collecting in her wound, causing her extremities to turn blue. The emergency room “spent too little time treating [the woman] and left the hospital at one point to change his pants.” The hospital staff also failed to administer and analyze tests in a timely fashion. The woman’s feet and fingers were ultimately amputated as a result of medical malpractice and gross negligence.

Click here for the full article

Hospital anesthesiologists negligent in multiple cosmetic surgeries, causing three deaths

by Levin & Perconti

A hospital and attending anesthesiologists have recently settled a malpractice lawsuit regarding gross negligence during a face-lift procedure for $3.1 million dollars. A 56 year-old-woman died of cardiac failure caused by an overdose of local anesthetic. Alarms that monitored the woman’s blood oxygen “were turned down so that they were inaudible”. That same year, author Olivia Goldsmith died during cosmetic surgery at that hospital as a result of medical malpractice. Another woman suffered brain damage after a face-lift and settled for $7 million.

Click here for the full article