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Detroit Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Increased recourse for victims of sex trafficking

On Wednesday, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act--dubbed "FOSTA" for short--was signed into law. The law is intended to bolster accountability among websites that--directly or indirectly--facilitate sex trafficking.

The impetus

Surgery centers: For profit or for patients?

Back in 1970, the first surgery center that wasn't in a hospital opened in Phoenix, Arizona. The pioneers who opened the center had a good thought, or so it seemed at the time. Medicare seemed to appreciate the fact that minor surgeries were much less expensive at these freestanding clinics, but there may not have been thought given to patient safety at the time.

It wasn't until 1982 that Medicare began covering procedures that were performed in these centers. This helped to push the surgery center boom. The 1993 exemption from the second Stark Law that Congress gave doctors related to surgery centers further pushed the boom along. Since then, there has been a slippery slope that seems to pit patients against profit for some doctors.

How willful blindness enables child abuse

Imagine you're a 12-year-old competitive gymnast. Six days a week, you wake up at 6:00 a.m. and head to the gym for practice. Your coach trains you hard for five hours--pushing you to your limits and shouting at you whenever you make a mistake. If you get injured, it's as though you're in trouble. You face extreme pressure to get better as quickly as possible.

Your training is regimented; what you eat is strictly controlled; your sleeping hours follow a firm routine. Everything about your life revolves around the sport you've committed yourself to. For every decision you make, the first question is, "how would this impact my performance?" That's a lot of pressure for the average junior high schooler.

Could a routine urine test leave you bankrupt?

It may sound like an absurd idea. You go to the doctor for a routine exam, and he orders a urine lab. You pee into a cup and are on your merry way. A couple weeks later, you get a bill in the mail that is so exorbitant, it could run you into the ground.

This is exactly what happened to Elizabeth Moreno, a 30-year-old expectant mother of twins who was studying education at Texas State University. Moreno had undergone back surgery in 2015. Following the operation, her doctor prescribed her opioid painkillers—which she weaned herself off of over the course of her recovery.

Whom should we blame for the opioid crisis?

Imagine your mother suffered from chronic migraines. She tried everything to treat them—over-the-counter medication, acupuncture, physical therapy—but nothing seemed to work. Nearly every day of her life was filled with incapacitating pain. Finally she went to a doctor who prescribed OxyContin® to treat her condition. It was like a miracle drug. After years of suffering, she was finally able to resume life as normal.

But then things took a turn. In order to remain pain-free, she began requiring increasingly frequent dosages of the drug. One day, she inadvertently overdosed, which proved to be fatal.

Parents need to advocate for their newborns in intensive care

Many different conditions can lead to a baby having to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit. These specialized units can take care of the tiniest newborns, some of whom have serious health concerns. As a parent of a baby in the NICU, you have to be your baby's advocate.

There are many points that a NICU parent might have to stand firm on when they have a baby in the unit. Without a parent as an advocate, there is a chance that these tiny babies will get substandard care. Here are some important points for parents of NICU patients to remember:

How the Larry Nassar case could spark institutional change

The catalyst of the #metoo movement, Larry Nassar’s trial has been one of the most followed cases of criminal sexual conduct in recent history. A renowned sports medicine doctor for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, Nassar was accused of sexually abusing upwards of 200 young female athletes during his tenure. Nassar’s criminal trial recently concluded, in which he was convicted and sentenced to what will likely be the rest of his life in prison.

If your child had been the victim of such abuse, what form of justice would you want to see? According to attorney Brian J. McKeen, life behind bars is not enough. He wants to see “full and complete compensation to all of Nassar's victims.”

Lung cancer diagnosis proves to be toy inhaled decades earlier

When a 47-year-old man suffering from respiratory problems—excessive mucous and unmanageable coughing—sought medical treatment recently, doctors performed an X-ray revealing a black mass in his lung. They drew the most obvious conclusion from the results: a tumor.

However, further examination led to an unexpected discovery: it was actually a miniature traffic cone—part of a Playmobil set—which the man had inhaled as a young boy in 1977. Interestingly, the patient wasn’t particularly surprised by this discovery. He recalled regularly swallowing small toy objects as a child, and suspected he probably also stuck them up his nose. Doctors removed the cone, and the man’s symptoms dissipated soon after.

Tobramycin: Powerful drug with serious side effects

Tobramycin is a powerful antibiotic useful in many medical cases. Often used in patients with cystic fibrosis, this antibiotic is only appropriate in specific circumstances. Physicians must carefully consider all options when a patient needs antibiotics because there are benefits and risks to each.

In the case of tobramycin, the risks of the drug often mean that it isn't appropriate for many patients. When the drug is prescribed, doctors must take proper steps to monitor the patient because potential adverse effects are so serious.

Recently, a victim of tobramycin malpractice was awarded $9 million for her injuries and suffering.

Premature rupture of the membranes is a scary event

Even though many pregnant women are ready to meet that little bundle of joy from the second the pregnancy is discovered, these women still want to have a full term baby. A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, but a woman is considered full term when she is 37 weeks pregnant.

There is a chance that something will happen and the woman will have complications before she is full term. In those cases, the baby will be born prematurely. This can lead to a host of issues for the baby. Preterm premature rupture of the membranes, PPROM, is one of the issues that can lead to a premature birth.