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Detroit Medical Malpractice Blog

Lack of transparency in medical care problematic for patients

  • 29
  • July
    2014

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety, every year over 400,000 people die from preventable medical error and scores more are harmed. In light of this, it can be said with certainty that Medical error is a serious issue in health care, and all of us deserve to be better informed about when medical error has occurred and about our providers’ performance records.

Unfortunately, only a handful of states have laws which require hospitals to report medical errors to the public at present. Consumers are able to find information about medical errors at the federal level on Hospital Compare, a website run by Medicare, but that information is limited. Recent efforts under the Affordable Care Act have tried to increase transparency, but time will tell whether this is successful. 

Drug abuse not uncommon in nursing homes

  • 25
  • July
    2014

Medication errors are a rather common mistake in the field of health care, particularly in institutions where elderly people live, such as nursing homes and assisted living centers. It is the responsibility of these institutions, of course, to ensure that residents receive the medication they have been prescribed in a timely way.

Something that may surprise some of our readers is that abuse of certain powerful medications is not at all uncommon in nursing homes and assisted living centers. In particular, antipsychotic medications are well known to be overused at nursing homes. According to some, up to one in five patients in nursing homes are unnecessarily medicated with antipsychotic drugs.

Mother agues for higher cap on noneconomic damages in stillbirth case

  • 14
  • July
    2014

A judge for the Lenawee Circuit Court held a hearing last month on the issue of what the cap should be for birth injuries in a medical malpractice case involving a botched delivery that resulted in the stillbirth of a baby at ProMedica Bixby Hospital in 2008. According to the claim brought by the baby’s mother, the death was the result of the negligence of a nurse and a physician on staff at the hospital. The child was reportedly delivered well after it should have been due to the oversight of the providers.

Under Michigan law, non-economic damages are capped at $280,000 in most cases. It is possible for a higher cap of $500,000 to be applied in certain cases involving serious injuries, including severe brain injury. These amounts are adjusted yearly for inflation. Given the circumstances of this case, the lower limit is $440,300 and the cap is $774,000. 

Michigan family sues hospital over failed intubation

  • 09
  • July
    2014

A West Michigan family who lost one of its members in 2010 in during a botched emergency room visit is reportedly suing the hospital that administered the improper care for medical malpractice. The boy, according to sources, had been brought into the hospital after he asphyxiated in a bathtub and was revived by a family member.

By the time the boy arrived at the hospital, his oxygen levels were dropping. The issue in the case is that hospital staff caring for the boy were unsuccessful in providing him oxygen through a tube for over 20 minutes after his arrival. The day after the failed attempts at intubation, the boy was pronounced dead. 

Link Between Talcum Powder and Cancer Ignored For Years

  • 02
  • July
    2014

A growing number of Johnson's Baby Powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits are now being pursued nationwide by women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, citing a history of studies and other reports that suggest concerns about the link between talcum powder and cancer have gone largely unaddressed for decades.

The use of talc as a body powder began in the late 1800s, and use of the products has grown in recent decades among women following a shower for feminine hygiene purposes.

Preventing infections a big goal for Detroit hospitals

  • 01
  • July
    2014

Infection is always somewhat of a risk in medical care. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in 20 patients get an infection from medical care. In addition, 100,000 die every year from such infections, though that number could potentially be a lot higher. Health care facilities worth their salt understand this risk and do everything they can to minimize the risk.

Fortunately, efforts at many hospitals in the Detroit area have proved successful in reducing the occurrence of healthcare-associated infections. To take one example, the Henry Ford Health System has reportedly reduced the occurrence of infections by almost 40 percent since increasing generally error prevention efforts in 2007. That is impressive, though more needs to be done. Other hospitals have taken a more targeted approach to preventing healthcare-associated infections.

Family wins $7.9M in connection with botched surgery

  • 17
  • June
    2014

William Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe, along with a physician and an anesthesiologist, was recently ordered to pay $7.9 million to the family of a woman who died after receiving treatment for a stomach condition. The woman died back in 2009 after undergoing gall bladder surgery.

According to her family, the procedure was botched because the physician failed to place a breathing tube in her throat. The woman reportedly woke up during the surgery before going unconscious, after which she was transferred to another hospital where she went into cardiac arrest. She died during a second cardiac arrest.

Medication errors may improve with pharmacists' help

  • 12
  • June
    2014

Errors can occur in any area of medical practice. One quite common area for errors to occur is with the prescription and administration of medications. Not surprisingly, emergency room departments are places where medication errors are not uncommon. Because mistakes in this area can sometimes have serious ramifications, it is in the interest of hospitals to address the issue.

One way hospitals can do this, according to a recent report by NPR, is to have pharmacists available in emergency room departments. The report pointed out that the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas has had success in preventing medication errors by having pharmacists review all medication requests prior to dispensing and administering the medication. The challenge for hospitals is finding the funds to ensure such oversight. 

Couple "wins" malpractice case against birth center

  • 05
  • June
    2014

Some of our readers have either worked with a nurse midwife in the birth of a child or know of couples who have done so. The reasons for working with a nurse midwife over a physician in a hospital setting vary among couples, but one thing couples should always be cautious about in working with midwives is their history of performance and whether or not they are covered by medical malpractice insurance. A recent malpractice lawsuit is a good reminder of both points.  

A couple from DeWitt was recently granted $5 million in damages in a medical malpractice case against a midwife who caused the death of their son back in 2011. The child reportedly died when the midwife attempted to deliver the baby boy in breech. Apparently the facility where the midwife worked did not have the means to delivery by c-section. 

Doctors: be on alert for symptoms of toy magnet ingestion

  • 29
  • May
    2014

According to a recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, the number of injuries attributed to ingestion of small toy magnets has increased 300 percent over the last ten years among children under the age of 18. The research was conducted at a Canadian hospital, where it was found that six children had to receive surgery for sepsis—bodily inflammation cause by severe infection—or potential imminent bowel perforation between 2010 and 2012.

The issue has become serious enough that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has spoken out against toy magnet sets, urging companies to take them off the market. Because so many toy magnet sets have been sold in the United States and the issue has become more common, it is important for doctors and hospital staff to recognize the symptoms of magnet ingestion and treat the problem quickly. 

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