Monthly Archives: April 2012

Surgical Errors, Wrong Site Surgery and Preventable Harm

Surgical Errors & Medical Malpractice

Surgery is stressful enough without having to worry whether the surgeon is going to operate on the correct body part. A wrong-site surgery occurs when the doctor mistakenly performs a medical procedure on the incorrect organ or wrong side of the body.

Although some of these sorts of medical malpractice cases may be corrected after the fact, they are often irreversible, such as with an amputation or removal of an internal organ.

Recent New England Example

The Rhode Island Department of Health on November 2 publicly reprimanded Providence’s Rhode Island Hospital, affiliated with Brown University, for an October surgery on a patient’s wrong finger. The Health Department found that the hospital did not follow its own safety procedures governing proper surgical-site marking and planned timeout from the surgical process to check that nothing was amiss.

For only the second time ever, the Rhode Island Department of Health imposed a fine on a hospital ($150,000). The first was on the same institution in 2007 for another wrong-site surgery. In addition to the current incident, this hospital has had four other wrong-site surgeries since 2006: three brain surgeries and one for cleft palate.

In addition to the fine, regulators required the hospital to install video and audio equipment in operating rooms and mandated observation for a year of each surgical procedure by a medical professional with special training in safe surgery and implementation of a statewide surgical safety protocol that was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy Babineau, M.D., acknowledges the most recent incident on the hospital’s Web site, pledging ongoing safety improvement. He estimates that “wrong site surgical errors continue to occur at hospitals all over this country at a rate of nearly 40 per week.”

Root Causes and Prevention

Researchers have found wrong-site surgeries to be symptomatic of both poor communication among involved medical professionals, the patient and family and of inadequate teamwork among the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals on the surgical team. Other contributing factors include fatigue, stress, complexity of our healthcare system, inadequate institutional information management systems, hurriedness and inexperience.

WHO developed an international pilot program that introduced a Surgical Patient Safety Checklist and found that when followed, use of the protocol resulted in nearly one third significantly fewer deaths and complications among a diverse adult patient population undergoing non-cardiac surgery. The pilot program researchers, who are part of the WHO Safe Surgery Saves Lives Study Group, published their findings in the January 14, 2009 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Essentially, the WHO protocol has evolved into a 19-item checklist that contains a series of points during all surgical procedures that a surgical team goes through and when doing so, the team must confirm they had completed each step in the protocol. For example, the study identified three critical points during a surgical procedure: before anesthesia, just before incision, and before the patient leaves the operating room.� A significant requirement of this protocol is that a member of the team must verbally confirm that each step of infection control, anesthesia safety and other important considerations�are met, such as confirming the correct surgical site is marked at the start and at the time the surgery begins, or the right number of sponges and instruments are on the table and of course, at the end of the procedure.

In addition to WHO, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO or Joint Commission), the biggest and oldest U.S. professional organization setting healthcare safety standards and accrediting medical facilities, has developed, with input from major medical associations, professionals and the public, the Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure and Wrong Person Surgery (Universal Protocol). Widely endorsed, the protocol has three main parts:

  • Presurgury verification of documents
  • Clear and unambiguous surgical-site marking
  • Timeout immediately before surgery

The timeout is used to confirm the right surgical procedure, surgical site and patient identity. All members of the surgical team are urged to verbalize during the timeout questions or confusion about the surgery the team is about to perform.

The jury is still out as to the long-term effectiveness of the Universal Protocol in preventing surgical-site errors. Its use is required in JCAHO-accredited facilities and its basic elements have been adopted and enhanced by many state governments, professional organizations and medical institutions in developing their own protocols.

New York Surgical Errors

The problem of wrong-site surgery is also alive and well in New York. For example, from 2003 to 2005, 347 wrong-site, wrong-patient or wrong-procedure events were reported through the New York Patient Occurrence and Tracking System (NYPORTS), the mandatory state medical-error reporting system.

After reviewing the Universal Protocol and other resources, New York developed its own New York State Surgical and Invasive Procedure Protocol (NYSSIPP). NYSSIPP is the official and required standard of care for most surgical procedures in New York. It includes and enhances the three basic elements of the Universal Protocol — verification, marking and timeout — plus standards for scheduling, consent, disagreement resolution and compliance oversight. NYSSIPP especially encourages active communication among all members of the surgical team, particularly during the scheduled preoperative timeout.

New York Medical Malpractice

A New York patient who is the unfortunate victim of wrong-site surgery should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss possible legal remedies. In order to be successful on a claim for medical malpractice in New York, a plaintiff must prove that the doctor or other medical professional departed from an accepted standard of practice, and that the deviation proximately caused the complained-of injury. Other possible legal claims could be general negligence, gross negligence, wrongful death, lack of consent or reckless indifference. In a New York wrong-site surgery case, a likely issue will be whether the surgeon and his or her team complied with the requirements of the Universal Protocol and the NYSSIPP, and whether deviation from the standards in those protocols caused injury.

A personal injury lawyer should be contacted as early as possible so as not to miss any deadlines for giving notice or bringing a lawsuit.

Article Source : New York Wrong-Site Surgery: Preventable Harm : ArticleBase

Medical Negligence Lawsuit Funding

If you have been severely injured as a result of medical negligence, have retained a contingent fee attorney, are currently in the process of waiting for your lawsuit to settle and are in dire need of immediate financial assistance, give TriMark Legal Funding LLC a call. TLF is a leading provider of lawsuit funding and non-recourse medical negligence lawsuit loans throughout the United States.

Yaz and Yasmin Lawsuit Loans

Do You Have A Yaz Lawsuit?

Women who are experiencing side-effects and health problems due to their intake of Yaz and Yasmin are advised to talk to their lawyers with regards to filing a Yaz class action lawsuit against the makers of the said drugs. The dangerous side-effects have given the patients the urge to file 100 lawsuits against Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the company that manufacture these medications within the United States. According the medical professionals, people who have taken Yaz or Yasmin are prone to a number of side-effects because of the harmful chemicals that make up Yaz.

Yaz and Yasmin were both used to treat acne among women, but lawyers believe that the general public was misled and that these drugs were supposedly oral contraceptives. They claim that the manufacturer of the said drug did not just misinform the public; they also downplayed the dangerous side-effects associated with the drugs. This means that the public have no idea how dangerous Yaz and Yasmin are.

Because it was designed to be an oral contraceptive for women, most patients were young females, within the age of 19 to 35. The active ingredient in Yaz and Yasmin is Drospirenone, an anti-androgenic material used for birth control. Bayer Pharmaceutical believes that the said drug is safe and that the side-effects only occur to those who were found incompatible with drospirenone. However, lawyers claim within their yaz lawsuits that Bayer have failed to properly conduct a research for the medication. The FDA have also proclaimed that Bayer have been sending low quality products as to which the defending company said that they were checking the average quality of all the shipped products.

Yaz Class Action Lawsuit

Furthermore, Bayer Pharmaceuticals was accused of not properly researching the medication and have also failed to issue a recall of the said two medications even after the post-marketing reports show life-threatening health hazards to people taking in Yaz or Yasmin. Plaintiffs also pointed the fact that Bayer did not make any attempts to show off the side effects and the risks that were involved in using the contraceptive in order to convince the public that these medications were safe.

Women who have taken Yaz or Yasmin have told their lawyers that the side-effects developed within a few minutes or hours, depending on their intake of the said medication. The following side-effects may appear to those who have taken Yaz:

  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Gallbladder disease

Yaz Lawsuit Loans

In addition, patients can also use the following symptoms as basis for compensation in Yaz lawsuits once yaz settlement has been enacted after successfully winning the case against Bayer.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration also reported that continuous use of Yaz or Yasmin will result in fatal side effects that include electrolyte imbalance, hyponatremis, hyperkalemia, stroke, gallbladder problems, embolism and sudden death. For those who are taking Yaz or Yasmin and are suffering from the side effects mentioned above, do not hesitate to consult your legal counsel right away. You have the right to be compensated for the health problems you are enduring because of an untested and unsafe drug and if you are currently involved in a Yaz lawsuit and are having moderate to severe financial difficulties, a lawsuit loan from TriMark Legal Funding LLC is a leading provider of Yaz settlement loans throughout the United States, may help you pay bills and basic necessities until your settlement is finalized.

Fosamax Lawsuit Funding

Have A Fosamax Lawsuit?

If you happen to be using Fosamax, then now might be the right time to reconsider buying the said drug as Fosamax lawsuits are already pending in court; and if you’re reading this, you may already be involved in a Fosamax lawsuit.

Several lawyers from distinguished law firms are now investigating several injuries that have been associated with drugs within the biphosphonate class. Fosamax side effects include such injuries as Osteonecrosis of the jaw, femur fractures, and severe muscular and skeletal pain have been recorded from people who have been using Fosamax, Actonel, Aredia, Boniva and other type of biphosphonate drugs. In case you are not familiar with the terms, biphosphonate drugs are usually given to women who are seeking treatment due to osteoporosis.

What is Fosamax?

Fosamax is given to women who are already on the postmenopausal stage and have osteoporosis. Medical experts have reason to believe that Fosamax and the rest of the drugs mentioned may cause femur injuries but they are still acceptable treatment methods for a variety of bone diseases, including Paget’s disease.

The active ingredient contained within Fosamax is alendronic acid. Created by Merck, Fosamax was approved by the FDA on 1995 as treatment for female and male osteoporosis. Now, the medicine was considered a success; post-menopausal women who used Fosamax have experienced improvement with regards to osteoporisis. Researchers have indicated that Fosamax have normalized the rate of bone turnover, made vital increase within the bone mineral deposit of the spine, wrist, hip and the overall body system. Also, continuous usage of the drug have made significant reductions with spinal fractures, hip fractures, wrist fractures, and other problems normally associated with osteoporosis.

But just like any other experimental drug, there were always a few problems along the way. Fosamax side effects include:

  • Ulcers within the esophagus – This requires intensive treatment which may result in hospitalization. In fact, the U.S Food and Drug Administration have indicated that in the 23 cases of esophageal cancer, there is a major possibility that Fosamax was responsible for the cancer.
  • Skin rashes, eye problems, generalized muscle and bone pains.
  • Neurological disorders after repeated dosage of Fosamax.

It is now quite clear that fosamax dangers are quite clear and that the drug needs to be examined once more or be banned by the FDA completely.

Fosamax Lawsuit – Should Fosamax Be Banned?

The dangers of using Fosamax is quite clear, but according to some experts who believe that Fosamax should not be banned, it is the only drug that is effective against Paget’s disease. However, those who suffered femur injuries and other aspects of the Fosamax side effect believe that the drug should be banned.

While there are other drugs listed as potentially hazardous, since Fosamax is the considered the most popular, lawyers are considering placing a lawsuit due to Fosamax side effects. By the year 2000, the FDA have already received and reported 139 reports of osteonecrosis of the jaw within cancer patients. Aside from that, Fosamax and the drugs mentioned above were believed responsible for two rare types of thigh fractures, namely the subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femur fractures. Both are debilitating and any person who experiences either these two fractures have a good chance of being disabled permanently.

It is because of these reasons that the lawyers are confident that they can win in a Forsamax lawsuit, petitioning that this is a direct violation against the standards of safe medicines, as mandated by the FDA.

Fosamax Recall – Is it Possible?

Without a doubt, a recall might be announced by the FDA soon if the Fosamax side effects are not taken cared of properly. Diaphyseal and subtrochanteric femur fractures are very uncommon and should only account to less than 1% out of all femur and hip fractures. While Fosamax have not been scientifically proven to be the cause of the femur problems, it is evident that these femur fractures only appear to people who take in Fosamax and other bisphosphonate drugs.

For the moment, FDA have mandated that all drug manufacturers should place a warning on the label of Fosamax, within the Warnings and Precautions section of the label.

Lawyers are seemingly pushing to have Forsamax be banned from the drug market, in accordance with their clients wishes. They have cited information that Forsamax not only causes femur problems, but esophageal cancer as well. In September of 2010, the British Medical Journal have published a report, indicating that for old people within the range of 60 to 70 years old who have had 10 or more oral osteoporosis drugs, their chances of getting esophageal cancer have increased to 2 in 1000. Normally, it was only 1 in 1000 for patients ageing 60 to 79.

In any case, Fosamax problems have become widespread that people are now considering not to buy the product. Time can only tell whether a Fosamax recall will indeed be initiated and result in a Fosamax class action lawsuit.

TriMark Legal Funding LLC, The Settlement Funding Company, a leading provider of lawsuit funding throughout the United States, has been a pioneer in providing lawsuit loans to plaintiffs with pending Fosamax cases.