Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Program could help expectant mothers in Pennsylvania

While the thought of infant mortality is something that may be considered a third-world problem by some, it has become an increasing problem in the United States. A lack of standardized protocols in delivery rooms combined with a lack of prenatal care has created a situation where both the mother and the child could be in danger before, during or just after a pregnancy.

The Moms for Merck program is a $500 million program that has been established in an attempt to get expectant mothers the care that they need before delivering a baby as well as to push for standard rules inside a delivery room. During delivery, the anesthesiologist, the doctor delivering the baby and others in the room may not be on the same page during the delivery. Therefore, there can be problems when an issue such as excessive bleeding occurs after a baby has been born.

Activist's widow sues hospital for misdiagnosis

Pennsylvania residents who are familiar with the American Indian Movement might be interested to know that the widow of Russell Means, a former leader of the group, is suing a hospital in New Mexico for medical malpractice and wrongful death. She claims that the hospital failed to diagnose the esophageal cancer that took her husband's life in 2012.

Means became an activist in the 1960s, but he advanced to more than a leader for AIM. In 1987, he tried his hand at politics but was unable to win the presidential nomination for the Libertarian Party. He was also an actor in 'Natural Born Killers," 'The Last of the Mohicans" and a popular animated children's movie.

Lawsuit pending against hospital after sponge left inside woman

Pennsylvania residents may have heard about a California woman's experience following a hysterectomy surgery in 2007. She recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Simi Valley Hospital in Ventura County after a sponge left behind in the 2007 surgery required the removal of nearly half of her intestines.

According to the suit, the woman began experiencing pain just three days following the hysterectomy. X-rays were taken, and hospital staff told her that her problem was due to constipation. She returned to the hospital sometime during the following year after she fainted only to be told by medical staff that she had gastrointestinal problems.

Hospital attempts to cut down on deadly ER medication errors

Pennsylvania residents may be interested in the steps that one hospital is taking to prevent injury to patients due to medication errors. These methods, however, may not be able to be replicated by many hospitals due to budget concerns.

Reports indicate that over 7,000 people are killed due to medication errors every year. This can include a dosage mistake, a dangerous combination of prescriptions or any number of other errors. These mistakes happen for many different reasons, such as a failure to read a doctor's handwriting properly, drugs that sound alike and confusing package designs on the drugs. Medication errors in children are three times as deadly as they are for adults, due to the physiological differences between the two.

Government study links worker fatigue and medical errors

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority released an article on June 5 highlighting a connection between worker fatigue and health care mistakes. According to the article, health care worker fatigue was cited as a factor in 1,601 reported incidents between June 2004 and August 2013.

Medication errors were more common than any other type of error, with 62.1 percent of incidents involving medication. The most common medication errors were related to dosage, withpatients being dispensed either too much or too little of the prescribed drug. Relatively few of the cases studied resulted in harm to a patient, but 37 incidents were categorized as harmful and four cases resulted in death. Errors related to tests, procedures and treatments were second to medication errors, cited in 26 percent of incidents.

Undiagnosed diabetes linked to heart attacks

Data from a study released at a 2014 American Heart Association convention showed that heart attacks occur in about 10 percent of people in Pennsylvania and across the nation who actually have diabetes but who have not yet been diagnosed. The information was based on 2,854 patients who suffered heart attacks in 24 hospitals who were not aware they had the disease. The potentially dangerous increase in blood sugar levels increases the risk for a heart attack. Medical professionals later diagnosed the patients through tests of their A1C levels.

About 25.8 million Americans suffer from diabetes while 7 million remain undiagnosed. The American Heart Association reports that two out of three people with diabetes eventually succumb to heart-related disease. Failure to diagnose plays a serious and negative role in hospital admissions for heart attacks. Doctors can dramatically lower the risk by checking A1C levels when someone is admitted with coronary problems. Another concerning number showed that 7 percent of heart attack patients were diagnosed with diabetes six months later. Based on current data, the Heart Foundation indicated that heart disease could be the top cause of death globally by 2020.

Rosen Louik & Perry teams up with Meyer Wilson to Recover Investments from Alleged Ponzi Scheme

As a law firm dedicated to protecting the interests of injured individuals we were very disturbed to learn of the financial devastation many suffered as the result of a masterminded alleged Ponzi scheme. We certainly wanted to help the victims but honestly did not possess the knowledge or experience to provide the excellent representation we promise to deliver to our clients.

Delay in care may have caused wrongful death at VA facilities

The Department of Veterans Affairs operates the nation’s largest integrated health care system, serving roughly 9 million veterans from around the country, including many from Pennsylvania. But the system seems to be struggling under its own weight. A former employee of the organization recently came forward to expose massive problems caused by delays in care at one of its hospitals. The retired doctor alleged that delays in treatment may have caused the wrongful death of up to 40 veterans. He also accused the hospital administration of deliberately hiding the problem, alleging that, in order to disguise delays, hospital employees were ordered to keep a secret list of patients on a waiting list for appointments.

Attempting to bring attention to the problem, the doctor first wrote numerous letters to officials at the VA. When that failed to work the doctor enlisted the help of the press and Representative Jeff Miller who heads the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Now issues at that specific hospital and others in the system have attracted national attention. President Obama has vowed to get to the bottom of the problem. He appointed his deputy chief of staff to supervise reforms at the organization.  

Why do medical professionals fail to admit medication errors?

Human error is present in every aspect of daily life and no person is immune from experiencing its effects, neither the person accidently making the mistake nor the victim of it. The seriousness of human error is especially prominent when it concerns our health.

When a patient seeks the care of a medical professional, they are in a vulnerable position. The patient must place a great deal of trust in their doctor, nurse or pharmacist and when the patient is harmed by medication errors, a betrayal of that trust accompanies any harmful effect from the mistake itself.

Family of Marine Corps veteran sues for wrongful death

An elderly Pennsylvania Marine Corps veteran was at a hospital in 2011 undergoing treatment for small cell lung cancer. However, the former soldier died of Legionnaire’s disease while at the hospital. His family is now seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs and other damages.

The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Health Care System recently. Doctors’ negligence can often have fatal consequences for their patients. The law allows you the possibility to take action in court if the negligence of a physician results in the death of a loved one.

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