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Bergen County Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Compensation is just one goal of medical malpractice lawsuits

Have you ever been ripped off by an auto mechanic? Have you ever paid for a non-refundable product or service that truly didn’t live up to your expectations? Have you ever hired someone for help only to have the problem get worse rather than better?

If you answered “yes” to any of the previous questions, you know what it’s like to feel powerless as a consumer. Thankfully, the internet gives most of us a voice to air our grievances. Many companies are desperate to avoid scathing “Yelp” reviews and other bad publicity, which gives average Americans some leverage to have their concerns addressed. Unfortunately, we don’t really have this power when it comes to health care.

Distracted doctoring reaches new low: Sexting during surgery

In recent years there has been a growing concern in healthcare about distracted doctors. Like distracted drivers, physicians who are preoccupied with the electronic devices in their hands may pose a danger to others around them. Inattention leads to preventable medical errors.

This is the case even if physicians are preoccupied with electronic devices meant to improve recordkeeping and other aspects of their jobs. Then again, there are also physicians distracted by technology in ways that are unrelated to work and inappropriate in nearly all work settings.

Are U.S. maternity wards performing C-sections too often?

In our last post we wrote about some of the medical problems that can arise as a result of pregnancy. Prenatal and perinatal care have certainly come a long way over the last century and it seems as though complicated deliveries are less likely to result in severe birth injuries than they once were.

Modern medicine has also found a way to take some of the chaos out of maternity wards. But is our quest for order and predictability actually creating a problem when it comes to standard birthing practices? Vaginal birth remains the most common method of delivery in the United States, but use of the Cesarean section method has increased dramatically since the middle of the 20th century. Now, rates of C-sections have surpassed levels deemed appropriate by the World Health Organization.

The dangerous post-partum risk that many women don't know about

The ability to create life and give birth is one of the more miraculous biological feats of the human body. It is a gift that most women would not trade for anything else in the world. But as wonderful as pregnancy and childbirth can be, they can also take a huge toll on the body; putting both baby and mother in danger.

Complications during delivery could result in serious birth injuries including cerebral palsy. But what many women do not know is that health risks and complications do not go away immediately upon giving birth. One New Jersey woman recently told ABC News that she nearly died several days after giving birth to her second child. She had been suffering from a rare form of preeclampsia that begins after the baby is born.

Failure to diagnose early signs of stroke a common problem

For serious medical problems, timely treatment has perhaps the greatest effect on patient outcomes. If detected and treated as early as possible, several of the most common killers – heart attack, stroke and cancer – are survivable. But misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose are common medical errors that result in too many preventable deaths.

According to a recently published study, a significant number stroke victims come to hospital emergency rooms in the 30 days prior to their stroke but are discharged because physicians do not correctly attribute their symptoms to an impending stroke. The study’s authors concluded that this happens approximately 12.7 percent of the time.

The deadly problem of hospital-acquired infections

When we think of hospitals, the image that comes to mind is often a place of healing. Save for those suffering from a chronic and progressive disease, no one expects to leave a hospital sicker than when they arrived. Sadly, this happens far more often than most of us realize.

Hospital-acquired infections are a serious and widespread problem. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that an estimated 75,000 patients die each year in the United States from infections they were exposed to in health care facilities. Because germs, bacteria and viruses evolve and become resistant to normal treatment methods, hospitals cannot fully prevent the spread of disease. In many cases, however, hospital negligence is to blame for disease outbreaks that result in numerous fatalities.

Lawsuit: Misdiagnosis of death causes woman to die alone in morgue

There are some nightmare scenarios so scary that they have endured as the premises of horror stories and urban legends. One of these scenarios involves being buried alive. For some, there would be few scarier ways to die than by waking up in a closed casket under several feet of earth.

Of course, such a scenario is nearly unheard of these days. But in one recent lawsuit alleging hospital negligence, the family of an 80-year-old woman claims that she died under circumstances that may have been just as horrifying. After suffering a heart attack and being mistakenly pronounced dead, the woman allegedly woke up in a body-preserving freezer and died while trying to “escape her frozen tomb.”

Medical malpractice cap fight: gloves off in one state

Tort reform is always a subject of core concern in the medical industry, and that is well illustrated by events currently unfolding in California. Proponents and critics in that state have squared off in a hot debate that promises to remain impassioned throughout the year and leading up to a ballot initiative this upcoming November.

Because the arguments being advanced on both sides of that debate are certainly relevant across the country, including in New Jersey, we summarize what’s going on in California and what it fundamentally means in the realm of medical malpractice.

Research focuses on easier-to-use electronic health records

A major development in New Jersey hospitals and other medical facilities across the country in recent years has been the steady -- and rapid -- implementation of electronic health record (EHR) systems to supplant paper records and handwritten patient notes.

The transformation has been often commented on within the medical community and by industry watchers, many who have pointed out both the great promise and the ample growing pains of EHR processes as they seek to gain firm traction in American hospitals.

There is considerable evidence on both sides of that coin. When designed well and interacted with by well-trained and motivated medical professionals, EHR systems can streamline communication, simplify exchanges and increase charting neatness and legibility.

Ambulatory surgery: the risks of post-procedure infections

Medical malpractice acts and omissions cover a broad gamut of possibilities in New Jersey hospitals and other medical facilities across the country.

The usual list of suspects centrally includes things like misdiagnosis (failure to properly or timely diagnose), medication errors, mistakes made in electronic health records and birth injuries caused by medical negligence.

Another common culprit: surgical errors that lead to hospital-acquired infections.

$7.4 Billion Medicaid Recovery

Breslin and Breslin, PA, Donald A. Caminiti, Esq., was one of six law firms selected by the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey to act as special counsel to represent it in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry to recover Medicaid and other health related costs incurred by the state resulting from tobacco related illnesses.