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common medical malpractice errors

7 Ways Medical Malpractice Can Occur That You May Not Be Aware Of

According to the National Institutes of Health, about one in 5 Americans will experience a medical error in their lifetime. And at the same time, less than 10% of all medical errors are reported. Because health care has many moving complexities, unfortunately, it leaves a lot of room for error, especially when systems are overworked and understaffed, leaving room for technology mistakes and miscommunication. While three of the most frequent incidences of medical negligence are related to medication, surgeries, and misdiagnosis, this is a broader look at seven ways medical malpractice can also occur.

  1. Medical Devices

mistakes in elective surgery and outpatient services

As Elective Surgeries and Outpatient Procedures Resume, Medical Mistakes Will Return

Most elective surgeries and non-emergent outpatient visits have been put on hold since mid-March, when the Illinois Department of Public Health recommended canceling these procedures in response to preventing the potential exposure to coronavirus. As of May, many Illinois hospitals have returned to scheduling and performing elective surgeries and procedures as officials say the COVID-19 curve is bending.

Most hospitals are starting with outpatient procedures before in-patient procedures are considered and are required to follow federal and state recommendations to determine the necessity of the surgery before it’s approved. A patient will then have a choice whether to proceed with the surgery. If a hospital system decides to reopen for these procedures and expand care, they should have a plan in place that will exceed expectations of infectious disease safety and minimize any risk of medical error.

covid-19 changes to medicare

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken over the American healthcare system as a response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic by creating new rules and waivers of pre-coronavirus operations related to Medicare. CMS says the swift changes will help “local hospitals and health systems have the capacity to absorb and effectively manage potential surges of COVID-19 patients. … flexibilities to permit hospitals and healthcare systems to act as coordinators of healthcare delivery in their areas.”

For many hospitals, Medicare and Medicaid are the single largest payers for healthcare, leaving facilities heavily reliant on receiving reimbursement from the programs to stay afloat financially, with patients waiting in the wings. The team at Levin & Perconti hopes these waivers may help solve this long-standing problem and provide broader access to care in such a troubling time.

This is a brief overview of the new directives from CMS related to COVID-19 care.

Medical Groups Race to Identify COVID-19 Risks to Mom and Baby

Many expectant parents are now facing a new reality and uncertainty about the health care risks related to coronavirus exposure. So far, According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, current data on COVID-19 does not suggest pregnant women are at greater risk of getting the virus but similar to other respiratory infections, they are at higher risk of harm due to a slightly compromised immune system caused by pregnancy. A respiratory infection that is left undiagnosed or untreated can lead to more injury and damage to a mother and her baby.

Doctors Are Changing Prenatal Care

In a feature article titled, Pregnant in a time of coronavirus—the changing risks and what you need to know and published by The Conversation, the author suggests prenatal care in a time of coronavirus will continue to look much different in the months ahead.

epipen injury lawsuit

While the purpose of medical devices is to prevent injury and save lives, mistakes continue to be made, and patients become hurt. On Tuesday, March 24, the Food and Drug Administration let out a swift warning that the EpiPen 0.03mg (epinephrine auto-injector) and EpiPen Jr 0.15mg are malfunctioning and causing serious problems that could cause death and injuries to users. EpiPens are emergency devices used to stop or delay severe allergic reactions from things like foods and insect bites in both children and adults. It’s a popular brand used by families especially because the device has become widely accepted and standard throughout U.S. schools. When in use, EpiPens are forced against the thigh of the user and meant to automatically inject the hormone epinephrine to stop a dangerous allergic reaction.

The FDA issued the warning after global biopharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Mylan spoke with medical providers reporting malfunction issues with the device could cause death or serious injuries to their patients. Pfizer is the manufacturer of the EpiPens in question, and Mylan is the company selling them. It’s estimated that EpiPens impact the lives of 15 million U.S. patients (6 million kids and 9 million adults) each year.

What is Malfunctioning?

younger stroke victims

Doctors May Miss Stroke Signs in Young People

According to the American Stroke Association, strokes are on the rise among young people and in the past decade there has been a 44% increase in the number of young Americans hospitalized due to stroke. While that is an issue in itself, doctors and medical agencies are proving they may not be prepared. Some providers still have the perception that the disease only happens in older people. This means younger people who suffer strokes are being swiftly dismissed or not provided the correct, quick treatments needed in a critical timeframe. For each minute that blood flow is interrupted, two million brain cells will be lost, leaving many younger stroke victims with significant cognitive or physical disabilities.

Medical Malpractice Cases Related to Stroke

Researchers Identify Connection Between Treating Depression and Onset of Diabetes

Researchers Identify Connection Between Treating Depression and Onset of Diabetes

Long-term use of antidepressants isn’t breaking news, but now the overuse of the prescription drugs has been linked to diabetes. According to a National Institute of Mental Health study published in Diabetes Care in February 2020, long-term antidepressant use increases the risk for type 2 diabetes onset in a “time- and dose-dependent” manner.

The researchers evaluated 90,530 participants for associations between the risk for new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus and the duration of antidepressant use and the antidepressant dose. The group also reviewed general antidepressant use and clinical outcomes after diabetes onset, revealing that:

how does coronavirus spread

Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2020

Each year, the nonprofit ECRI Institute puts out a “Top 10 Patient Safety Concern Executive Brief” aimed to bring a heightened awareness for a better continuum of care and stronger accountability for U.S. health care systems. The annual top 10 report ranks patient safety concerns in all health care settings and designed to help organizations identify dangerous patient safety challenges and offers suggestions and resources for addressing them.

The list for 2020 includes:

What Is The Worst Medical Malpractice Case
In 2017, a jury sent ex-neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, aka Dr. D and Dr. Death, to life in prison for botched surgeries that resulted in two deaths and multiple cases of paralysis. Prosecutors said Duntsch’s surgical outcomes were so poor, so beyond the accepted standard of care, that a grand jury indicted him on five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as a one count of harming an elderly patient. Using information gathered in a yearlong investigation to prove his gross malpractice, attorneys identified more than 30 patients at the four hospitals who were harmed due to his carelessness in just over 18 months.:

  • Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano: A patient bled to death after Duntsch punctured a major artery during surgery. Another was left quadriplegic.
  • Dallas Medical Center: A woman died of a stroke after a routine operation.

pharmacy error in news

Reports Reveal That Walgreens Execs New of Prescription Error Risks

Although completely preventable, prescription drug mistakes are some of the most persistent and damaging medical errors that can happen and cause nearly 9,000 people to die as a result each year. And according to The New York Times in a report published on February 21, 2020, executives from a major U.S. drug store chain know all too well how those mistakes can happen but still did nothing to help. Walgreens executives knew of the complaints by pharmacy employees that “unreasonable” stress levels were leading to errors in filling prescriptions. Executives later removed the damaging remarks and “high level findings” from presentations created by a consulting service hired to examine the company’s computer system for filling prescriptions, the Times said.

  • Amy Bixler, the director of pharmacy and retail operations at Walgreens, told consultants to delete a bullet point that mentioned how employees “sometimes skirted or completely ignored” proper procedures to meet corporate metrics.
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