M is an adult male who had been under a urologist’s care for ten years. After a series of tests revealed M’s PSA level steadily rising over a period of four months, his urologist recommended a transrectal prostate biopsy.
Accidents happen every minute of every day due to reckless drivers, unsafe gun care, medical malpractice, and many other acts of irresponsibility. When a loved one has been lost in a tragedy, the effects can have a devastating impact on the family members surviving the departed. In addition to grief, families can be forced to deal with economic problems, insurance companies and numerous problems and obstacles that were not foreseen. Unfortunately, the law of Pennsylvania relating to a death caused by the carelessness of another is equally confusing. As a result, many families turn to legal counsel for advice and assistance. At Rosen Louik & Perry, a Pittsburgh Law Firm, we have been helping families understand the legal and financial options available, and obtain compensation from those accountable.
When a person visits the doctor’s office or the emergency room of a hospital, they are entitled to receive a certain standard of medical care. Unfortunately, the standard of this “medical care” varies widely from hospital to hospital. In the most extreme incidences, the very hands that are suppose to be helping a patient can ultimately become the cause of their death. Below are examples of why medical malpractice litigation is necessary and ultimately the most effective insurance against insufficient or negligent medical care.
In diagnosing disease, physicians increasingly rely upon pathologists, medical doctors who specialize in the study of changes in cells, tissue and organs. A specimen taken from a patient, generally by biopsy, will be submitted to a laboratory for microscopic examination by a pathologist, who is asked to offer an opinion whether a disease, often cancer, may or may not be present. Treatment decisions are often made exclusively on the opinion of a pathologist. Pathology errors can constitute medical malpractice that lead to devastating patient injuries.
Dr. Lisa Marcucci, a trauma surgeon formerly associated with Geisinger Medical Center, has written a book entitled “Avoiding Common Surgical Errors.” In it, she identified 186 medical mistakes, some of which could involve serious consequences to patients. Dr. Marcucci’s stated goal-to help prevent such errors in the future.
While the concept of medical malpractice normally connotes mistakes made by highly-trained medical professionals, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recently made clear that the failure to properly perform a normal, every day activity such as bathing a patient can be medical malpractice. In Strine v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a four-member majority of the court has ruled that the act of bathing a totally-dependent-elderly patient is a medical service under Pennsylvania law, thus triggering insurance coverage from Pennsylvania’s former Medical Professional Catastrophe Loss Fund (CAT Fund).