medical malpractice facts
According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, medical malpractice is now the third-leading cause of death in the United States, and on average, 250,000 people die from medical malpractice, surgical errors and mistakes each year and the numbers continue to rise.

Data from 2009 to 2018 collected by the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), an exhaustive government database of all medical malpractice reports and payments in the United States, concludes these alarming facts.

  1. The average payout for a medical malpractice lawsuit in the past ten years was $309,908

levin perconti newborn illness

Ongoing Bacterial Infection Kills 3 Pennsylvania Preemies

At Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania, three infants have died, and five others have become ill in the neonatal intensive care (NICU) unit since July 2019. A waterborne bacterial infection, which is preventable, is to blame. The children were born prematurely with weakened immune systems. They all became ill once infected by the pseudomonas bacteria, a common strain found in hospital settings when the hands of healthcare workers or contaminated equipment are not adequately cleaned. Patients, such as those infants in the NICU who require breathing machines, are potentially at risk for serious, life-threatening infections related to the bacteria.

A hospital official said that Geisinger has taken “extensive measures” to stop the infection from spreading, including “achieving optimal chlorination in water lines, improving and maintaining vigilance in donor breast milk processing, routine tap water cultures, increased deep cleaning of our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and many others.”

L&P - Breast Cancer Month

What If A Doctor Failed to Diagnose Your Breast Cancer?

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers estimate that medical error, including failure to diagnose, is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. And in many cases, medical conditions such as breast cancer are treatable when caught early but failing to diagnose or treat can often lead to further injury or death. With today’s greater awareness of one of the biggest killers to American women, as well as technological and diagnostic advancements, doctors should be able to detect breast cancer based on symptoms, standard age-based tests, or readily available screening methods. In many types of breast cancers, an early and correct diagnosis can make a significant difference in prognosis.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, some of the more common breast cancer diagnoses include:

med mal attorney

URGENT/11: Medical Products Are Vulnerable to Cybersecurity Threats

Healthcare organizations, IT professionals, device manufacturers and patients are being warned of cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety communication alert on October 1 explaining the serious safety and security risks due to URGENT/11 and a third-party software system called IPnet.

“Security researchers, manufacturers and the FDA are aware that the following operating systems are affected, but the vulnerability may not be included in all versions of these operating systems,” said FDA officials in a released statement which included a warning involving six different operating systems.

illinois med mal lawyer

3 Things to Know Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Illinois

Medical negligence or malpractice is often the result of a professional or an institution breaching the standard of care. Illinois health systems, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, dentists, chiropractors, and clinicians of all kinds can be responsible for a negligent act that provides the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Examples of malpractice may stem from:

  • A hospital choosing to reduce staffing or hours of monitoring at medical facilities

nursing education reform

A New Generation of Nurses Will Require Clinical Teachings to Lessen Medical Error Rates 

We carry no doubt that America’s nurses have devoted years to their education in the classroom by experienced instructors lecturing on how to identify illnesses, symptoms and diseases. And they are learning about how different treatments and medications can be used in case studies and textbooks authored by advanced clinical researchers. But unfortunately, most of these nurses will never acquire much situational teaching in clinical settings or practice the application of their learnings before starting their career. This is resulting in poor judgement calls on behalf of patients, and ultimately more malpractice lawsuits.

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN):

breathing tubes

Breathing Tube Removal Mistakes Can Be Deadly for Hospital Patients 

During sedation or illness, many hospital patients may require breathing assistance through intubation. The device used in this procedure is called an endotracheal tube (ET) which is placed through a patient’s mouth and then into the airway so that a breath can be delivered when used with a ventilator. The sensitive intervention can be especially necessary for patients with respiratory failure in both hospital intensive care units (ICU) and pediatric intensive care units (PICU).

Unplanned extubation (UE) is the uncontrolled and dangerous removal of this life-sustaining breathing tube. Sometimes the removal is self-induced by a patient, but healthcare providers also make deadly mistakes during the repair of a tube, suctioning, weighing, or replacing a ventilator circuit. Sadly, UE is a complication that occurs in more than 121,000 adult patients every year in the U.S. and kills 33,000 American adults, as noted in a recent article published in MedPage Today, authored by Art Kanowitz, MD, FACEP.

medication injuries

FDA Issues Boxed Warning for Popular Insomnia Drugs 

Insomnia is a common complaint in hospitalized patients and elderly residents of nursing homes. The sleep condition is characterized by an imbalance of a person being able to fall asleep, stay asleep, or a general decline in sleep quality. Insomnia is a common condition that The Better Sleep Council’s studies say nearly 50 percent of patients report having. In the same survey, elderly patients, such as those that live in nursing homes, experience unique sleep disturbances, including:

  • 21 percent reported new-onset insomnia

medical malpractice

 Neil Armstrong’s Secret “Hush” Money Settlement as Reported by The New York Times

Five years ago, at Mercy Health – Fairfield, a community hospital located in Cincinnati, retired American astronaut Neil Armstrong underwent a heart surgery with a fatal outcome. On July 23, 2019, around the same time media outlets celebrated the American astronaut’s 50th-anniversary moon walk, The New York Times published a story stating that after Mr. Armstrong died, his family threatened legal action against the hospital believing medical negligence was the cause. Armstrong’s two sons pointed blame at incompetent post-surgical care for taking their father’s life. The medical dispute was followed by a 2014 secret settlement – worth millions.

Legal documents (some now publicly available), along with a pleading personal note from the anonymous sender, was sent anonymously to The New York Times in 2019. The paperwork showed the hospital privately paid the Armstrong family $6 million to settle the family’s dispute over his cause of death and avoid the public shaming of the hospital’s wrongdoing. Several medical reports and analysis of when and how any medical mistakes impacted Mr. Armstrong’s death were also discovered, in which hospital officials used the pseudonym “Ned Anderson” for Mr. Armstrong after being fearful of any publicity surrounding his wrongful death.

medical malpractice attorneys

Miscommunication Among Hospital Staff Can Lead to Serious Patient Infections 

Researchers from the University of Michigan investigated infections caused by catheters (urethral or suprapubic) showing that the devices may cause unnecessary infections to patients due to poor communication of health care professionals. The findings were first published in the July 2019 volume of the American Journal of Critical Care, mimicking what previous studies have said and agreeing that when catheters remain in too long, infection is more likely to follow.

Indwelling catheters are a type of catheter commonly used in both hospital and long-term care settings as a urinary assistance device that collects urine from the bladder and disposes of it through a drainage bag. A nurse, or another trained healthcare provider, is the person responsible for performing a safe catheter insertion or removal through the urethra or sometimes through a tiny hole in the abdomen.

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