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Study finds superbug risk is alive and well in hospital ICUs

Published on Nov 2, 2016 at 8:27 pm in Medical Malpractice.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as one out of every 25 patients are affected by a hospital-acquired infection — or HAI — on any given day here in the U.S. with nearly half of these infection cases originating in the intensive care unit.

In light of these unnerving numbers and the annual toll taken by HAIs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the CDC funded a study designed to uncover more about the so-called “triangle of transmission” in hospital settings, meaning how HAIs are spread among patients, nurses and the environment. The results of this study, which were equal parts illuminating and disturbing, were presented at a national conference held just last week. 

Three ways vaccines could trigger a malpractice lawsuit

Published on Oct 10, 2016 at 6:15 pm in Medical Malpractice.

For many, vaccinations are a rite of autumn that can help prevent serious illness or lost days of work all through the winter. Getting a yearly flu shot is particularly important for the elderly or for people with compromised immune systems, as those groups are more susceptible to infectious diseases than others. While these routine vaccinations are important, negligence on the part of those administering the vaccine can cause larger problems than the flu. Here are three ways that vaccines can trigger a malpractice lawsuit: 

CDC declares sepsis to be a medical emergency

Published on Sep 2, 2016 at 6:07 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an eye-opening report in which it declared sepsis, a condition that the agency said is responsible for over 258,000 fatalities per year, a medical emergency.

What makes sepsis so especially problematic, say experts, is that many Americans are otherwise unaware of its extreme danger. Indeed, the Sepsis Alliance has determined that fewer than 50 percent of Americans know what the condition actually is despite the fact that it was the cause of death of such high-profile figures as Jim Henson, Patty Duke and, most recently, Muhammad Ali.

In recognition of this reality and the role played by failures to diagnose, today’s post will take a closer look at the condition.

Report: Medical errors cause hundreds of thousands of deaths every year

Published on Aug 4, 2016 at 6:01 pm in Medical Malpractice.

According to a recent report published in The BMJ – an online international peer-reviewed medical publication formerly known as the British Medical Journal – medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer.

In fact, this report, which was authored by two researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, determined that more than 250,000 people die each year because of medical mistakes – a conclusion based on extrapolated data and the review of various studies published since 1999.

Maryland’s “Good Samaritan Act” Does Not Shield Commercial Ambulance Companies from Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Published on Jun 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Commercial ambulances are not immune from liability for negligence under Maryland’s “Good Samaritan Act,” the state’s top court has ruled.

The Good Samaritan Act provides immunity from lawsuits for ordinary negligence for volunteer fire departments, ambulance and rescue squads.

Maryland’s “Fire and Rescue Act” provides immunity from lawsuits for fire and rescue companies for ordinary negligence for “any act or omission in the course of performing their duties.”

TransCare Maryland, Inc. and others v. Bryson Murray and othersdealt with the question whether one or both of the statutes relieved a commercial ambulance company of liability for ordinary negligence that allegedly occurred during the transfer of a patient between medical facilities. “We hold that they do not,” the Court of Appeals concluded.

BW&H Clients Receive $5.6 Million Verdict in Montgomery County Jury Trial

Published on Jun 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm in Medical Malpractice.

A Montgomery County jury Thursday afternoon reached a $5.6 million verdict after a nine day medical malpractice case against an osteopath for causing nerve and spinal injuries during a high velocity cervical manipulation performed upon his patient. The claims were brought by Nancy and James Marquez against Hadi M. Rassael, D.O. and Advanced Medical and Cosmetic Group, Inc. The jury deliberated 7 hours before reaching its verdict. Approximately $2.7 million of the award was for past and future lost earnings of Ms. Marquez who was a physical therapist at the time of the improper manipulation, and who was never able to return to her profession due to her nerve and back injuries. Ms. Marquez continues to suffer intractable pain and has undergone two surgeries to repair her damaged brachial plexus and to replace a disrupted disc at level C5-6 in her neck. Approximately $276,000 of the award was for past medical expenses. The remaining $2.5 million was awarded for noneconomic loss to Ms. Marquez and her husband. That award is subject to Maryland’s cap on noneconomic loss. Marquez, et ux, v. Rassael, et al, Case No. 298673-V (Circuit Court for Montgomery Co.).

In February 2005, Ms. Marquez presented to Dr. Rassael’s office for purposes of receiving a very light, non-twisting osteopathic manipulation to her hip joint know as “muscle energy technique.” Since her days as a Division One swimmer on the Michigan State swim team, and her participation in numerous triathalons, many of which she had won, she suffered from periodic hip pain which was resolved through use of the muscle energy technique. She presented to Defendant Rassael’s office after specifically asking whether he was familiar with that technique and was told he was. After arriving at the office, however, the doctor laid Ms. Marquez on an exam table and proceeded to examine her back. When his hands got to the back of her head, he suddenly and without warning twisted her neck in both directions in a forceful manner, causing injury to the nerves in her neck and a rupture of one of her vertebral disks at C5-6. Ms. Marquez, now age 33, has never recovered from her injuries which plague her with pain and muscle atrophy that prevents her from participating in competitive sports of any type. She underwent a brachial plexus decompression surgery and a disk replacement surgery in Germany.

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