News Clips From the Attorneys of Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A.
Medical Malpractice Still Killing Hundreds of Thousands
Avoidable medical errors affected 1.5 million people and cost the Medicare system $324 million in 2008. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 100,000 people die in hospitals due to hospital-acquired infections, and most are preventable! Safety must be improved and harm to patients prevented. Read this fascinating article from the Washington Monthly from March/April 2011 for more of the truth about this serious problem:
Pulmonary Embolism Treatment Often Lags
A recently released study found that only 6 of 20 patients whose death was due to pulmonary embolism (PE) received anticoagulant or fibrinolytic therapy in the emergency department.
The low rate of early treatment found by the study "suggested that empiric anticoagulation in patients with suspected PE should be instituted more often in the ED and that timely, therapeutic anticoagulation should be administered after the diagnosis is confirmed," the researchers wrote. "Future treatment studies of PE conducted in U.S. EDs should focus on accelerating the time frame of administration of systemic anticoagulation and fibrinolysis to patients with evidence of severe PE."
For more about the study, read the full report.
High Risk of Death Lasts for Years After Head Injury
The risk of mortality after head injury remained significantly increased for as long as 13 years, irrespective of the severity of the injury, results of a case control study showed.
If you or a loved one has sustained a head injury as a result of the negligence of others, it is critical that you consult with an attorney with experience in handling traumatic brain injury cases so as not to minimize the severity of your injury claim. Let the attorneys at Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. help you understand the nature of your traumatic brain injury claim and don't settle your claim unless and until the future significance of your injury has been fully evaluated by appropriate experts in the area of neurology and neuro-psychology. We can help you.
See the full MedPage News story at: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/HeadTrauma/24654
Ohio Nursing Home Patient's Bill of Rights
Ohio law requires that every nursing home post, and abide by, a patient bill of rights. Unfortunately, these rights do not extend to all health care settings, though other rules exist that afford substantially similar protections to all patients.
If you have any questions about your rights or the rights of a loved one who is a patient in a skilled nursing facility, view the Ohio Nursing Home Bill of Rights.
Major Area Hospitals Fail to Make the Grade
Healthgrades recently identified hospitals that have proven clinical excellence based on mortality rates. The following area hospitals ranked in the top 5% nationally:
- Summa Akron City and St. Thomas Hospitals, Akron OH
- Akron General Medical Center, Akron OH
- Mercy Medical Center, Canton OH
- Aultman Hospital, Canton OH
- Fairview Hospital, Cleveland OH
- EMH Regional Medical Center, Elyria OH
- Marymount Hospital, Garfield Heights OH
- Community Health Partners, West Lorain OH
- Hillcrest Hospital, Mayfield Heights OH
- South Pointe Hospital, Warrensville Heights OH
Notably absent from the list were the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals of Cleveland. The list can be read here.
The Department of Health and Human Services just published a study on adverse events in Medicare beneficiaries. 134,000 adverse events per month and 15,000 events contributing to their deaths - per month.
ADVERSE EVENTS IN HOSPITALS: NATIONAL INCIDENCE AMONG MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES
Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Inspector General – November, 2010
An estimated 13.5 percent of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries experienced adverse events during their hospital stays. Of the nearly 1 million Medicare beneficiaries discharged from hospitals in October 2008, about 1 in 7 experienced an adverse event that met at least 1 of our criteria (13.5 percent). This rate projects to an estimated 134,000 Medicare beneficiaries experiencing at least 1 adverse event in hospitals during the 1-month study period. We calculated incidence rates for adverse events that met our three criteria: 0.6 percent of beneficiaries had an NQF Serious Reportable Event, 1.0 percent had a Medicare HAC event, and 13.1 percent experienced an adverse event resulting in the four most serious categories of patient harm. An estimated 1.5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries experienced an event that contributed to their deaths, which projects to 15,000 patients in a single month.
On the heals of the Institute of Medicine's 1999 study showing that medical errors injure 1.5 million Americans each year and create extra medical costs of $3.5 billion, a new study shows that hospitals and doctors failed to take any measures in the past 11 years to reduce the rate of errors. In fact, the new study shows that 1 in 4 hospital admissions results in needless harm. Read more about the Medical Negligence Crisis here: Temporal Trends in Rates of Patient Harm Resulting from Medical Care
Report: Hospital errors cause 15,000 deaths per month
California WatchBlog - November 17, 2010 | Christina Jewett
A major federal study released yesterday suggests that state regulators aren't getting the full story from California hospitals when it comes to reporting serious lapses in care. And if the results of the nationwide probe apply here, hospitals could be withholding reports of as many as 20,000 incidents.
The federal study [PDF] found that one in seven Medicare patients are harmed while in a U.S. hospital, and 15,000 die each month as a result of lapses by hospitals and their employees.
Read the entire article on California WatchBlog
Consumer News and Warnings - Remington Model 700 Rifle
CNBC recently televised a special called "Remington Under Fire". It was horrifying. It tells a tale of woe about the Remington Model 700 Bolt Action Rifle which was one of the most widely advertised and sold rifles in America. The fact is, the rifle can go off without touching the trigger if a live round is in the chamber. Just clicking the safety forward to the fire position can cause the gun to go off. When the safety is in the fire position with a round in the chamber just touching the bolt or the receiver can cause the gun to fire. At the initial time of manufacture, Remington was aware of this defect as the original designer, a man named Walker, pointed out the hazard. Because of the cost involved Remington opted to leave the gun on the market as is and did not initiate a recall. The recall program would have cost five and a half cents per gun to fix the hazard. The gun with this original design defect is sold to this day. And they are for sale everywhere at gun shows across the US. To read more on this story, visit CNBC - The Remington 700
When Doctors Put Profits Before Patients
We have known for some time that doctors and hospitals are heavily influenced by big pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. These industry players distort doctors' decision making by falsifying research results to make their drugs and devices more marketable, through relentless marketing efforts, through expensive "freebies" at seminars and by making direct cash payments to doctors for speaking and consulting. Doctors and hospitals often succumb to these conflicts of interest. Instead of asking "What's best for the patient?" they are asking "What's in it for me?" Doctors and hospitals now use their own cash and influence to keep their conflicts-of-interest, their research practices and their mistakes hidden from public view with legal protections like the peer review privilege and the secretive National Practitioner Data Bank. This interesting website allows you to research which doctors participate in the $257 Million Dollar cash grab that industry spends each year to manipulate them: http://www.propublica.org/
The Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. is committed to fighting for accountability in the medical profession. When doctors make decisions based on how much they can make, rather than based on what's best for the patient, the system has failed. Our mission is improving healthcare.
The Whole Truth About Medical Malpractice and Insurance
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
In 2005, Illinois enacted an arbitrary $500,000 cap on the total amount of noneconomic damages recoverable by patients in medical malpractice cases against doctors and an arbitrary $1 million cap in cases against hospitals. Proponents of the cap argued that malpractice claims and verdicts were skyrocketing, driving doctors out of Illinois, and raising health care costs. These arguments were a complete fiction, and the insurance companies' own data proves the medical malpractice "lawsuit crisis" is a myth. Read More>>
I'm a doctor. So sue me. No, really
By Rahul K. Parikh, M.D.
The doctors' lobby says capping malpractice suits will make healthcare cheaper. I'm an M.D. and I don't believe it.
Flu season has come early and I'm writing far too many prescriptions for Tamiflu. I'm trying my best to adhere to the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control for who should get the drug (kids under 5 years of age, or kids who have a chronic illness like asthma or diabetes). But in more than a few instances, I've ignored the guidelines and given Tamiflu to perfectly healthy kids with no risk factors for influenza-related complications. Read More>>
Fewer Lawsuits And More Doctors: The Myths of Washington State’s Medical Malpractice “Crisis”
Public Citizen Congress Watch – September 2005
Medical mistakes kill and injure people – lots of them. After years of studies, there is no doubt that many thousands of Americans die or suffer major injuries each year at the hands of medical negligence or error. A landmark study by the Institute of Medicine in 1999, for example, estimated that 44,000 to 98,000 patients die each year following preventable medical errors in hospitals alone.1 Based on population, Washington state’s share of this national death toll ranges from 930 to 2,070.2 Moreover, other research indicates these findings are conservative. Read More>>
Frivolous Litigation Unlikely In Medical Malpractice Cases
By Peggy Peck, Managing Editor, MedPage Today
Published: May 11, 2006
Frivolous lawsuits are not a major contributor to rising malpractice insurance costs nor does frivolous litigation clog the court system, according to investigators here.
An analysis of 1,452 closed malpractice claims indicated that 72% of claims that didn't involve medical error and 84% that didn't involve injuries did not receive compensation, they reported in the May 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Read More>>
Video - Ohio Supreme Court Speeding
Video - Visual Speeding
Video - Video - A World Without Lawyers
ICU death rates higher on weekends: study
A recent study shows what malpractice lawyers have long known: hospitals are more dangerous on weekends and evenings when staffing is down and staff are distracted.
A prominent nursing organization has been pushing for strict staffing guidelines to insure adequate hospital staffing at all times. Hospital administrators and their associations have fought these measures. It seems that advertising and building budgets take precedence over patient safety. Ironically even so-called "non-profit" hospitals are profit-oriented.
27 Never Events: They're Not Supposed to Happen, but They Often Do
"The old adage "never say never" takes on an eerie truthfulness when applied to the 27 'inexcusable hospital errors' that are never supposed to happen, but, in reality, often do." Read the full article and review the list of 27 "never events."
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The 2010 AHA Guidelines
Medical Standards and Guidelines
Medical errors and prescription errors lead to tragic outcomes throughout the U.S. at an alarming frequency. The number of lives that are lost each year due to preventable medical errors in hospitals is staggering. Insurance companies and medical associations try to blame "trial lawyers" as being the cause of an epidemic in litigation. There is no epidemic in litigation. There are thousands of deaths and life-altering mistakes being made at hospitals in Cleveland and throughout Ohio and the country that should not take place. Rather than study the cause of these preventable mistakes and to accept responsibility for the tragic outcomes, more energy is invested in shifting the blame to the litigation process rather than to the hospitals and doctors involved. Lawyers do not cause medical errors. We are here to help when errors that would otherwise go answered occur and so that the medical institutions can be held accountable and so that errors that are preventable can be eliminated. We would all be better off if errors were eliminated and we all received quality medical care. Until that happens, justice can only be served by recognizing the problem and truthfully acknowledging that the legal system is not the problem, but is the best solution to place fault at the doorsteps of the responsible entities. See this heart-wrenching story by Dennis Quaid concerning his journey through medical errors and you will appreciate what is truth and what is fiction.
Discovery Channel Videos: Chasing Zero: Part 1
July 7, 2009
Medical Malpractice Payments Hit Record Lows:
Injured patients receiving less compensation, report claims
Medical malpractice payments were at or near record lows in 2008, but a study released by Public Citizen suggests the decline almost certainly indicates that a lower percentage of injured patients received compensation, not that health safety has improved.
Medical malpractice is so common, and litigation over it so rare, that between three and seven Americans die from medical errors for every one who receives a payment for any malpractice claim, according to Public Citizen's analysis of medical malpractice payment data and the best available patient safety estimates.
For the third straight year, 2008 saw the lowest number of medical malpractice payments since the federal government's National Practitioner Data Bank began tracking such data in 1990. The 11,037 payments in 2008 were 30.7 percent lower than the average number of payments recorded by the NPDB in all previous years.