Articles Tagged with medical malpractice

Hospital mergers are in the news again, the latest warning sign when it comes to the risk of patient injury or death in the U.S. healthcare system.

The nation’s largest hospital and health-care conglomerates often tout economies of scale and improved services when announcing acquisitions or otherwise swallowing up the competition. However, The New York Times became the latest media outlet to question those assertions when it published a report this month that found a decline in level of care associated with hospital mergers.Accident at Route 212 in Methuen

While such mergers may offer cost-savings and other economies for providers, they result in fewer choices for patients and physicians, higher prices, and reduced quality of care, including an increase in mortality and major health setbacks as competition falls.

Our medical malpractice lawyers in Boston continue to fight for patient rights as the profit-motive erodes what few safeguards exist when it comes to protecting the American healthcare consumer from bad doctors, dangerous hospitals, deadly pharmaceuticals and defective medical products.

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In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there are negligence-based torts and intentional torts. A negligence tort is the most common type of claim filed in a civil personal injury lawsuit. This is when a defendant is alleged to have owed a duty of care to plaintiff, breached this duty of care, and the breach actually and proximately caused damages to the plaintiff.

varioussyringesAn intentional tort can be something like assault and battery where the tortfeasor intentionally injures the plaintiff. However, there is a different kind of intentional tort in the concept of medical malpractice known as medical battery. Essentially, whenever you go into the hospital for a medical procedure, you must give your informed consent. If you do not give your consent, then the doctor has no right to treat you.   If he or she has not consented, the contact would be considered offensive or harmful, and this would constitute a medical battery. Continue reading

Davis v. S. Nassau Communities Hospital, a case from the New York Court of Appeals, involved a patient who went to defendant’s emergency room for treatment for a painful medical condition. Court records indicate that she drove herself to the hospital. When she arrived and was treated by doctors, she was given a narcotic opioid-based painkiller and Ativan. Ativan is a benzodiazepine like Valium or Xanax. She was given her medication at around 11 a.m.

921217_crashed_carThe common side effects for Ativan are dizziness, sedation, disorientation, and weakness. An expert testifying for plaintiff said the effect of Ativan was both hypnotic and sedative. The expert also testified about Dilaudid, which was the painkiller given to patient. This medication causes impairment of the ability to perform certain activities and makes it dangerous to drive a car.   The drug also contains an insert in the package, which says ambulatory patients (leaving the same day) should be cautioned about the dangers of driving. Continue reading

Brandner v. Pease, a case from the Supreme Court of Alaska, involved a plaintiff who suffered a heart attack in late 2009. He was admitted to a local hospital to undergo an emergency bypass operation. A doctor and an anesthesiologist took part in the surgery. The plaintiff also happened to be a board certified doctor in plastic surgery.

medical-equipment-1342025-mPlaintiff was in surgery for around six hours. It took two attempts for the anesthesiologist to intubate plaintiff, and the drug used to put patient under anesthesia was propofol. During the surgery, plaintiff’s blood pressure began to drop to a dangerously low level, but he did not suffer complete cardiac arrest, according to the surgeon. At this point, surgeon performed CPR, and nurses gave plaintiff medications to raise his blood pressure back to a normal level. After his blood pressure was normalized, the surgery resumed as scheduled. Continue reading

Ross v. Marion, a case heard by the Supreme Court of Alabama, involved a woman who filed a wrongful death case under a theory of medical practice and negligence in connection with the death or her husband.

photo_emerging_TBIIn 2009, victim went to defendant’s hospital to undergo a kidney removal procedure. While under general anesthesia, victim suffered a heart attack. Doctors were able to revive victim from his unconscious state, but the heart attacked caused victim to suffer a medical condition known as hypoxic encephalopathy. This is essentially meant to indicate a loss of oxygen to the brain. This results in severe brain damage, leaving victim in a nonresponsive state. Continue reading

Lassiter v. N.C. Baptist Hosps., Inc., a case from the Supreme Court of North Carolina, involved a plaintiff who alleged defendant hospital was negligent in failing to properly treat him for a very severe case of jaundice. Plaintiff alleged that, due to this failure to treat the jaundice condition, he was left permanently disabled.

stethascope1After plaintiff filed his complaint for negligence and medical malpractice with the assistance of a conservator, defendant hospital filed an answer denying that plaintiff’s injuries were a result of negligent acts committed by the hospital or its employees. After filing an answer denying the allegation, defendant also filed another motion requesting that the trial court schedule a discovery conference and enter a discovery scheduling order. This is standard practice in most civil cases, including those with medical malpractice allegations. Continue reading

McIlwain v. Natchez Community Hospital, Inc., an appeal from the Supreme Court of Mississippi, involved a father who took his two-year-old child to defendant’s hospital emergency room because his son was crying, vomiting, and saying he was in pain.   When they arrived at defendant’s hospital, they were seen by a doctor who knew the boy’s father, because doctor had worked with the child’s paternal grandmother, who was a former nurse.

brain copyThe doctor was aware the boy had suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage in the past as result of being in a serious car accident. The subarachnoid cavity is located just beneath the top of a person’s skull. At the emergency room that night, the boy’s father told his doctor about the vomiting and complaints of pain, but did not mention the subarachnoid hemorrhage, since he believed doctor was already aware of this previous car accident. Continue reading