October 2, 2015

October is World MRSA Awareness Month

by Levin & Perconti

MRSA is a resistant bacterial infection that most often affects hospital patients. It is known as the “superbug” because it is very resistant to typical antibiotics, making it hard to treat. MRSA most often causes serious skin infections, but can also cause infections in the lungs, blood, and urinary tract as well. Unfortunately, those who are in hospitals may be more susceptible to the superbug because of a compromised immune system. Hospital patients are at a higher risk of several medical problems, including MRSA. If you or a loved one has suffered due to MRSA contracted at a hospital, it may be medical malpractice. Contact the experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti to learn what to do.

MRSA is Serious

MRSA, (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is the bacteria that can cause serious health consequences and may result in death. MRSA must be diagnosed early and aggressive treatment must be started quickly for the best possible outcome. It is a form of Staph infection. MRSA can be easily spread by contact and can get into wounds, feeding tubes, surgical areas, and catheters. It may be more easily contracted by those who are elderly, making it more common in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

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September 28, 2015

Medication Errors Could Result in Malpractice Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

Medical malpractice is an all too common occurrence. Recent statistics show that medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States. One of the most frequent errors made is with prescription medications. When a mistake is made with a medication it could result in a wide range of problems, which may be very serious.

Medical Negligence

Mistakes in prescriptions happen regularly and not every instance will result in a lawsuit. In fact, you must be able to prove that the doctor was negligent in prescribing the particular medication. This can be a complicated process which requires assistance from a knowledgeable attorney. You will need to show that the medical standard of care in your specific instance was violated. Additionally, you must show proof of how you were harmed as a result of the act. This may be established through the use of an expert medical witness.

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September 23, 2015

Antibiotic Overuse Leads to Medical Problems

by Levin & Perconti

As a medical patient, we put trust in our physicians to properly diagnose and treat our medical issues. The overuse of antibiotics is one way that doctors may cause us harm, rather than good. There are several reasons why doctors prescribe antibiotics more frequently than they should. Antibiotics are often an easy option. Because they can treat a large variety of symptoms they can be given easily, without a thorough diagnosis of the actual cause of the problem.

Harmful Effects of Antibiotic Overuse

Sometimes antibiotics are necessary in the treatment of a disease. However, when prescribed incorrectly, or too often, may suffer from some serious medical problems. Some of the problems that can be caused by the overuse of antibiotics include:

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September 16, 2015

Girl Dies after Misdiagnosis of Bacterial Infection

by Levin & Perconti

A 13 year old girl died after her doctors failed to properly diagnose and treat her for an infection. The teen and her parents were vacationing when the she become ill with symptoms that included vomiting. The doctor improperly diagnosed her with Norovirus, a bug that often causes an upset stomach. After her condition worsened her parents rushed her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with TSS, toxic shock syndrome. She died within a week.

TSS Can Be Misdiagnosed

TSS is a very serious bacterial infection that is linked to the use of tampons. The infection was brought into the public eye in the 1980’s and though rare, is still a threat. If left untreated, it can progress quickly into sepsis. The prognosis once the infection has progressed is often bleak. You can recover from TSS, however, the diagnosis and treatment must be made quickly. Most importantly, a swift and vigorous treatment is imperative to try to stop the infection from worsening. Misdiagnosis can be deadly. Unlike some illnesses, TSS can take over the body very fast and has serious consequences.

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September 8, 2015

Legionnaires’ Outbreak Kills 7 at Illinois Veterans Home

by Levin & Perconti

All of us rely on doctors and nurses when we are sick. But as we get older and develop chronic health problems, many of us find ourselves relying on the professionals at nursing homes to provide us with all of our medical and personal needs. In additional to medical attention this can include things like fresh bedding, health food, and clean water to drink. When nursing homes fail to provide senior citizens with these basic things a serious health crises can result. In some cases that crisis takes the form of a disease outbreak. There has recently been such an outbreak at a Quincy veterans home of a disease typically related to improperly sanitized water systems.

Death Toll in Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Climbs

According to a CNN report, seven residents of the veterans home in Quincy, Illinois have died as a result of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. An eighth person in Quincy has also died of the disease, but the eighth death did not occur at the facility and is not thought to be related to the outbreak. All of those killed in Quincy by the disease recently were elderly and suffering from underlying serious medical problems. Advanced age and illness increase the risk of contracting the disease and the risk of it being fatal. New cases have been diagnosed as recently as September 8. The most recent death occurred on September 1.

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September 1, 2015

Up to 12,000 Pediatric Patients Potentially Exposed to Pathogens

by Levin & Perconti

Medical malpractice is never acceptable, but it is particularly disturbing when the victims are children. While child patients are much more resilient than their adult counterparts in many ways, young children often have not fully developed their immune systems so they can be much more susceptible to serious hospital infections. These infections can be spread by failures to properly sterilize or clean equipment properly. When hospitals fail to follow proper procedures, large scale outbreaks become possible and deadly diseases can be spread to vulnerable patients.

Pediatric Patients Potentially Exposed to Pathogens at Seattle Children’s Hospital

Outpatient Surgery Magazine reports that up to 12,000 pediatric patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital may have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens since 2010. The hospital reports that it has learned that its surgical center has been reprocessing equipment incorrectly. The problem came to light when someone at the surgical center discovered debris on some instruments that should have been clean. While the instruments had been properly sterilized, they had not been washed correctly. As a result all of the surgical center’s patients are being warned to be tested for hepatitis B and C as well as being tested for HIV.

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August 27, 2015

New Canadian Technology Could Reduce Anesthesia Errors and Deaths

by Levin & Perconti

The prospect of undergoing surgery is terrifying for many patients. While some fear the prospect of never waking up afterwards, some also harbor a very real fear of waking up too soon, while the surgery is still ongoing. While this sort of anesthesia error is not one of the most common types of medical malpractice, when it does happen it is truly horrifying. Fortunately, a new technology developed in Canada may one day almost eliminate these errors and make anesthesia much more personalized to the patient, and thus, more effective.

Do Patients Actually Wake up During Surgeries?

Patients do currently actually wake up during surgeries. Sometimes this is because of a patient’s unique body and there is nothing that an anesthesiologist could have done differently to prevent it from happening. But other times it is due to an anesthesiologist’s having done something wrong, having made an improper calculation, or having just not paid close enough attention to the patient. When this happens it is called “accidental awareness during general anesthesia” and it can lead to severe psychological trauma and even cause post-traumatic stress disorder.

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August 25, 2015

Family of Woman Killed by Missed Diagnosis Faces a Tough Fight for a Recovery Because of Texas Tort Reform

by Levin & Perconti

In our healthcare system the only method a patient has to hold a doctor or hospital responsible for botched medical care is through the medical malpractice system. Because the medical field in the United States is a profit-based system, only substantial financial judgments that make malpractice more costly than proper care can reduce the number of avoidable healthcare provider errors. Unfortunately, due to the efforts of powerful lobbies for the insurance and medical fields, many states have enacted so-called “tort reform” laws that severely limit the rights of patients who have been injured by their medical providers. One such law is making it difficult for a Texas man and his two children to recover for the death of his wife that was allegedly caused by a missed emergency room diagnosis.

Texas Woman Allegedly Died Because ER Did Not Properly Diagnose Her

News Channel WFAA reports that two young boys are growing up without a mother because an emergency room failed to properly diagnose her. The two boys were only two and seven years old when their mother went to the emergency room at Arlington Memorial Hospital in 2013. According to her husband she had suffered a seizure and was incoherent. She underwent a CT scan which shows clearly defined dark spots on her brain. According to the family’s attorney it should have been obvious to anyone that there was blood on her brain. But the emergency room doctors sent the woman home after diagnosing her with a possible sinus infection. Her husband claims to have argued with hospital personnel, and that he pointed out that he watched her have a seizure. Five hours after the woman was discharged she had another seizure. According to her attorney her brain aneurism could have been treated if the ER had properly diagnosed it, but instead the mother of two lost her life. According to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, her family is now suing, but they have a tough road ahead of them. Because unlike most medical malpractice cases in most states, they do not just have to show that the ER doctors were negligent in their treatment of the woman. Instead they have to prove that the doctors were “grossly negligent” thanks to a Texas tort reform law.

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August 20, 2015

University Sued for Medical Malpractice Over Football Head Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

Medical malpractice lawsuits usually involve suing doctors or nurses or businesses like hospitals or clinics. Sometimes, however, medical care can be provided by other sources, which can broaden malpractice liability. Universities are one example of an institution that can find itself facing medical malpractice accusations, particularly when student athletes are injured. A suit in California provides an example.

An Ex-Football Player is Suing a California University for Medical Malpractice

The Los Angeles Times reports that a former player for the University of California football team has filed a lawsuit against the university. The suit is for medical malpractice, and it is related to the concussions that he suffered while he was on the team. He suffered the concussions both during practices and during games, and as a result of the head trauma he claims to suffer from “permanent and debilitating” neurological injuries. His alleged symptoms include depression (including suicidal ideation), dizziness, memory issues, and vision problems.

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August 18, 2015

Despite Increasing Heroin Problems, FDA Approves Use of Strong Opiates by Children

by Levin & Perconti

Medical malpractice involving prescription drugs can come in many forms. For example, the large number of pharmacy errors happening each day have received a lot of attention in the media lately. These errors, along with dosage and other administration errors in hospitals are what patients often think of when they think of pharmaceutical errors. But there are other types of drug-related malpractice. For example, issues may arise when a doctor fails to properly advise a patient regarding the risks and rewards of a medication. Doctors can also at times prescribe unnecessary medications that can have life altering effects. A new drug-use approval has made this type of error more possible when it comes to certain strong opiate drugs and children.

FDA Approves Use of Strong Opiate in Children

USA Today reports that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved OxyContin for use by kids as young as 11 years old. There are some children, particularly those suffering from certain types of severe cancer, who may benefit greatly from this approval. However, the approval also comes with extraordinary risks for some patients due to the addictive nature of the drug.

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