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Detroit Medical Malpractice Law Blog

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.

Why Illinois is taking pharmaceutical companies to court

The opioid crisis has been making national headlines recently. Instances of addiction and death resulting from opioid use are at an all-time high. Last year Washington declared the crisis to be a public health emergency.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include legal, prescription pain relievers (such as morphine, codeine, Vicodin® and OxyContin®) as well as the illicit drug heroin. At the end of the 20th century, pharmaceutical companies—promising that opioids had a low risk of addiction—successfully convinced physicians to begin prescribing the drugs at higher rates. In the intervening 20 years, the addictive qualities of these drugs have been proven, and instances of overdose have skyrocketed.

Asbestos found in make-up targeted at your girls

Just before the holidays, a Rhode Island mother went out Christmas shopping for her young daughter. She bought some glittery cosmetics from Claire’s—an accessory store that sells jewelry and beauty products aimed at young and teenage girls. As a clerk for a law firm that focuses on asbestos litigation, the mother decided to have the product tested. What she discovered horrified her: asbestos was present in the make-up.

She took the story to local news outlet WPRI, who went on to perform tests on different versions of the same product procured from Claire’s stores in nine different states. All of the tests reportedly came back positive.

The Ambien defense

Last week, we examined the unexpected and potentially devastating side effects of Ambien--the world's number one sleep aid. We talked about cases of well-intentioned patients who took the medication as prescribed before bed into order to help them fall asleep. They then awoke to a horrid discovery: that they had committed atrocious crimes in their sleep--without any intention or knowledge of what they were doing.

This unusual chain of events has forced attorneys into uncharted waters. This week, we'll take a look at the legal implications of this effect known as "Ambien blackout." In the courtroom, Ambien blackout poses challenges to attorneys. The uniqueness of this case makes common defense and prosecution strategies inapplicable:

The dark underbelly of the world’s leading sleep aid

Since its release into the market over a decade ago, Ambien has become a ubiquitous name in the medical industry. It has been shown to induce sleep in about 20 minutes, and people all over the world have sworn by its efficacy. It has quickly become the number one prescription sleep aid as well as one of the top-selling prescription drugs in the United States—more widely consumed that Percocet or prescription-strength Ibuprofin. Its generic version—Zolpidem—sells for just $2 per pill, making it affordable to most consumers.

If you’re one of the millions of people worldwide who have found a restful night’s sleep with Ambien, the following may be unwelcome news.

Health facilities on notice about top 10 tech hazards for 2018

Technology is important – in everyday life and medical care. Unfortunately, improper or negligent use of it can mean disaster for patients.

All medical devices, whether they are as routine as a bed or complex as robotic-assisted surgery tools, carry with them risks unless health care facilities and those who work in them take the steps necessary to minimize the dangers. In pursuit of that goal, ECRI Institute has issued its latest list of the top 10 tech hazards for 2018. They are: