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Medical Malpractice Blog

27

Jun 2024

Women’s Healthcare in the Spotlight

In March (2024), President Biden signed an Executive Order with the goal of investing in and improving healthcare for women. In it, he declared that “for far too long, scientific and biomedical research excluded women and undervalued the study of women’s health.” The Order intends to identify areas where women’s health needs are not being met in terms of research; to support and prioritize research;…

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16

Jun 2024

A Terrible Trio: Silence, Complicity, and Cover-Up

Accountability is at the root of a lawsuit in Chicago that alleges a physician was allowed to practice medicine while being investigated for abusive behavior. At stake is not only the harm done by the doctor but also the hospital’s failure to safeguard its patients. Not unlike the high-profile case of Larry Nassar, the former sports physician who abused athletes at Michigan State University and…

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29

Mar 2024

CLEAN SPEECH CLEVELAND

As President of the Board of a local non-profit organization (ORT America – Ohio Region), I was asked to participate in the 2024 Clean Speech Cleveland Campaign. This year’s campaign is focused on the importance of “onas devarim.” This Hebrew phrase stands for the prohibition against saying anything that would hurt or embarrass another person. As a trial lawyer, I often find myself arguing with…

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05

Jan 2024

The Dark Side of AI in Medicine

Many researchers on the cutting edge of technology in medicine have gushed about the great promise of AI in healthcare. Highly-sophisticated algorithms have the potential to improve physicians’ decision-making by providing them real-time analytics on patient status. These algorithms will help medical researchers study deadly diseases and make diagnoses earlier and more accurately. They can save medical professionals time and resources, allowing them more time…

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28

Dec 2023

Hurry Up and Die… or Your Family Will Be Barred from Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that wrongful death lawsuits based on bad medical care must be filed within four years of the medical care, even if the patient has not (yet) died. The Ohio Supreme Court’s decision not only goes against more than 200 years of legal precedent regarding the differences between medical malpractice and wrongful death cases, it’s also absurd on its face….

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20

Oct 2023

Can the Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Claim Expire Before the Patient has Died?

I wrote about this issue a while back when the Tenth District Court of Appeals (Franklin County, Ohio) decided the case of Everhart v. Coshocton Cty. Mem. Hosp., 2022-Ohio-629. In that appeal, the court decided that Ohio’s four-year “statute of repose” for medical negligence claims does not apply to wrongful death claims. The statute of repose is an absolute ban on any medical claim that…

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29

Aug 2023

Diagnostic Errors: A Public Health Emergency

According to a release from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Newsroom, research conducted jointly by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence and the Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions found that approximately “795,000 Americans die or are permanently disabled by diagnostic error each year.” These errors occur across varied care settings, from hospitals to clinics. Prior to this report, which was…

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19

Jun 2023

Eisen Law Firm Recommendations

With so many stories about lawyers, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites to share. While they may not be true to life, they still offer some great entertainment, as well as a reminder of how justice and law are inextricably linked. Television Shows LA Law: The show that led us to stop whatever we were doing every Thursday at 10, this show takes us…

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17

Jun 2023

Why Are Some Legislators Trying to Make it Harder for Ohioans to Pass Constitutional Amendments?

The Ohio House of Representatives recently passed a resolution that would make it harder for voters to amend the Ohio Constitution. They want to schedule a special election in August for voters to decide whether this resolution should become the new law – and should apply to the November election. Why? Because they don’t want an amendment enshrining abortion rights into the Constitution to be…

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05

Jun 2023

Jury Duty -- Fake Real Jury Duty

Jury duty is an integral part of the legal system. It is a civic responsibility that allows ordinary citizens to participate in the administration of justice. And it is a very serious, solemn undertaking. Except – of course – when it isn’t. On April 7, 2023, the first episode of Jury Duty dropped on Amazon Freevee. It is mockumentary-style reality sitcom. Yes, it really is…

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15

May 2023

When Diagnostic Errors Cause Harm

Diagnosis is the process by which physicians determine the underlying cause of a patient’s physical signs and symptoms. Proper diagnosis leads to proper treatment. Without a formal diagnosis, patients generally cannot be prescribed appropriate medication, permitted to schedule a surgical intervention, or otherwise undergo treatments designed to help cure or manage their medical problems. When a physician arrives at a correct diagnosis promptly, patients can…

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15

Apr 2023

Efforts to Improve Patient Safety Are Stalling Out

Consistency may be one of the most under-rated super powers. Think about the tremendous effort it takes to maintain an exercise schedule, a sleep routine, or a healthy diet. We know how important each of these practices is to our health and wellbeing, and yet how often we skip the workout, stay up too late, or have one more piece of cake. Our rationale may…

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23

Mar 2023

Do You Really Need a Doctor?

Physicians commit years to learning and training, so that they have the knowledge and skills to diagnose, treat, and care for patients. Their education is continuous, as new medicines, new treatments, new information require constant attention. When patients and their families have appointments with a physician, they expect expertise that is the result of this rigorous preparation. Doctors know things that people don’t know. Just…

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27

Feb 2023

Scummy Lawyer Marketing 101

We at The Eisen Law Firm have worked hard to build our reputation as top-notch medical negligence attorneys. We are disgusted when other attorneys hijack our name and reputation to try to steal potential clients. But apparently, that is what some attorneys have to do. It is maddening. It is also scummy. And it is unethical. Type “The Eisen Law Firm” into Google. Or type…

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15

Feb 2023

Don’t Settle for These Patient Safety Statistics

In the Major League Baseball, the league-wide batting average teeters at around .250. That means that for every four times at bat, the average player gets one hit. Batting .300 or higher puts a player in a very different category. In fact, fewer than 200 players have a career batting average of .300 or above. Athletes devote practice time to improving their technique and honing…

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08

Feb 2023

Ohio Supreme Court Issues Terrible Decision, And Leaves Attorneys Guessing About Its Implications

In Clawson v. Heights Chiropractic Physicians, LLC, 2020-Ohio-1577, the Ohio Supreme Court MAY HAVE overturned 80 years of legal precedent to protect hospitals and insurance companies. But it’s not entirely clear. In fact, it’s maddening. The Ohio Supreme Court is supposed to interpret the law and provide clarity to attorneys and the public. In Clawson, however, the Court did the opposite: it essentially overruled long-standing…

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15

Jan 2023

Medical Discrimination a Way of Life for People with Disabilities

A patient makes an appointment with a new doctor. Prior to his visit, he calls the office to confirm his appointment and mentions to the office staff that he uses a wheelchair. Suddenly, he’s told that the doctor is on vacation and that he’d receive a call to reschedule. That call never came. This sort of ghosting is a regular event for patients with disabilities….

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15

Jan 2023

What’s In a Name?

After discovering that the guy who swept her off her feet at a ball is her family’s sworn enemy, Juliet boldly tells Romeo, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” She adores Romeo for who he is, not what he’s called. Learning his last name doesn’t change her feelings for Romeo, just as changing…

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12

Dec 2022

Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyers Explain How To Prove A Medical Malpractice Claim

Each year, there are hundreds of medical malpractice cases filed in Ohio. Healthcare professionals can be liable for medical malpractice when their performance falls below the standard of care, harming a patient. If a healthcare professional harmed you, you might be able to bring a medical malpractice claim against the professional. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you build your medical…

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20

Nov 2022

Ohio Birth Injury Lawyer: Vacuum Extraction Complications

In some cases, obstetricians use vacuum extractors to guide an infant through the birth canal. When they make mistakes, complications from vacuum extraction deliveries can result in brain bleeding, shoulder damage, paralysis, and skull fractures in newborn babies. You trust your healthcare provider to protect your baby from harm as a parent. Sadly, a mistake during your child’s birth can have devastating impacts on your…

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18

Nov 2022

Attorney Todd Gurney Honored as a Difference Maker in Cleveland

For the past eight years, Cleveland Jewish News (CJN) has selected individuals to honor as “Difference Makers” in the community. Todd Gurney, a partner at The Eisen Law Firm, is proud to be part of the 2022 Difference Maker class. CJN seeks out people who work to better the community, standing up for others and trying to make the world a better place to live…

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17

Nov 2022

Will The New Ohio Supreme Court Force Victims of Medical Negligence to Sue More Doctors Personally?

There is a new ideological majority on the Ohio Supreme Court. This Court soon will decide a key medical negligence case, which may cause more doctors to be sued personally. Republican candidates won all three races for the Ohio Supreme Court, including the race for chief justice. Justice Pat DeWine (R) and Justice Pat Fischer (R) won reelection, while Justice Sharon Kennedy (R) defeated Justice…

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20

Sep 2022

Justice, Justice, Justice You Shall Pursue

Katherine Garcia, left, and her sister, Johanna Garcia, at their home in Norwalk. They are the daughters of Enrique Garcia, who died in December 2017 after a medical procedure at South Coast Global Medical Center. Source: Los Angeles Times Enrique Garcia Sanchez went to the hospital in severe pain and was admitted after being diagnosed with pancreatitis. A month later, he could not swallow, and…

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15

Sep 2022

How to Use Information to Improve Health Outcomes

There is no doubt that access to information is at an all-time high. Instead of having to open an encyclopedia or go to a library, we can ask Siri what the weather is like in another country, crowdsource a good restaurant on social media, or google the latest news and politics. In addition to the speed with which we can get information, the amount of…

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10

Aug 2022

Can the Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Claim Expire Before the Patient has Expired?

Some courts have said yes, the time limit to file a wrongful death claim based on medical negligence can expire even before the patient has died. If this doesn’t make sense to you, you are not alone. In a recent decision, however, the Tenth District Court of Appeals (Franklin County, Ohio) reached the opposite conclusion. In the Everhart case, the court carefully analyzed the interplay…

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15

Jul 2022

Mistakes Were Made: Just How Strong Is the COVID Liability Shield?

A lawsuit in Knoxville, Tennessee has pitted a patient’s family against a hospital. The question at hand: is the nurse, who committed a medical error, protected by a federal COVID-19 emergency order? An article in the Tennessee Lookout by Jamie Satterfield lays out what happened. A patient with a variety of health problems, including COVID-19, was admitted to the Turkey Creek Medical Center for treatment….

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02

May 2022

If You See Something, Say Something: Patient Safety Edition

“If you see something, say something,” a slogan embraced after 9/11, has encouraged people to be vigilant and identify potential threats to preserve safety. Michael Cohen, founder of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (IMSP), has taken this mantra to heart and made it the basis of this organization’s work. In an interview published in Patient Safety, Cohen shared that ISMP’s goal is to “collect…

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18

Apr 2022

Getting it Right: A Diligent Approach to Decrease Medication Errors and Improve Patient Safety

Pharmacists play an integral role in healthcare. Their work requires them to collaborate with other healthcare professionals as well as patients. In fact, according to an article published in Patient Safety, they are uniquely suited to “lead medication safety efforts through formal medication safety leadership roles, medication error reporting and monitoring, and continuous quality improvement efforts.” Creating a Culture of Patient Safety Abigail Adams (mother…

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15

Apr 2022

Anesthesia Errors In Birth And Delivery

You don’t need to tell any mother: childbirth is an incredibly painful process. Medical professionals use anesthesia to assist mothers with stress on their bodies during the labor and delivery process. When administered correctly, anesthesia can allow a mother to comfortably deliver her baby. However, when anesthesia errors occur during labor and delivery, severe harm may come to the mother and child. The two main…

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15

Mar 2022

Devices To Help Those With Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in children. CP is caused by abnormal brain development that affects a child’s ability to control their muscles for mobility, vision, and speech. While there is no cure for the condition, there are medical devices specifically made for those suffering from CP that can be life-changing for them, and for those who love them. Types of…

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04

Mar 2022

The Open Notes Test: Increased Transparency Allows Patients to Monitor their Medical Records

For medical professionals, keeping patient records accurate and up-to-date can be challenging, especially with packed schedules and the countless aspects of patient health that need to be monitored. So, it’s no wonder that such records are rife with errors, whether it be drugs on the active medication list that haven’t been taken for years, a problem listed that never occurred in the first place, or…

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18

Feb 2022

Do All Medical Malpractice Cases Require a Lawyer?

If a doctor made a mistake and you or your child suffered serious injuries as a result, you likely want justice and financial compensation. However, you might not be very trusting of professionals in this situation, as a medical professional you were supposed to trust recently caused you harm. You might be wary about contacting a lawyer for assistance. While you might have a good…

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11

Feb 2022

Not Your Typical Face-Lift

Recently, a Florida patient went into surgery looking for a typical face-lift. What they got was severe brain damage, a heart attack, and kidney failure. The surgical complications – as avoidable as they were devastating – were caused by the anesthesiologist’s medical negligence. Dr. Roger Gorman, an anesthesiologist operating at the Delray and West Boca Medical Centers, was responsible for the patient’s anesthesia care. However,…

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04

Feb 2022

Sweeping Allegations Under The Rug

We all have secrets, but most people’s secrets don’t put lives at risk. When doctors are allowed to cover up their bad behavior, however, all patients suffer. And now, with a recent ruling that prohibits the Board of Medicine from publicizing information about allegations made against a doctor, the Iowa Supreme Court is making the cover-up even easier. Before October 2021, when patients or coworkers…

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31

Jan 2022

Court Deals Another Blow to Victims of Medical Malpractice

In a recent decision, the Ohio Supreme Court severely limited the use of Ohio’s “savings statute.” The savings statute allows a plaintiff who has voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit to refile it within one year of the dismissal. However, in Wilson v. Durrani, the Court held that the savings statute does not apply to any medical malpractice case that is refiled beyond the “statute of repose.”…

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24

Jan 2022

How To Prepare For Your First Meeting With A Medical Malpractice Attorney

There are many factors to consider when preparing for your first meeting with a medical malpractice attorney. Come prepared with what you will discuss with the attorney. You may believe you have a medical malpractice case. If so, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney and make an appointment to meet with them. This article will assist you in preparing for that meeting. The more…

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05

Jan 2022

Does Your Hospital Make the Grade?

The Leapfrog Group shared its Hospital Safety Grade. This resource evaluates U.S. hospitals, focusing on how safe they are. More specifically, these grades are “based on how well [hospitals] prevent medical errors, accidents, injuries, and infections that kill or harm patients.” The most recent grades factor in post-operative sepsis, a condition that “kills over 270,000 people a year.” What’s more, Black patients are twice as…

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16

Dec 2021

Personal Injury Cases Are Different Than Medical Malpractice Cases

Just as the driver of a vehicle can be held responsible for not using reasonable care on the road, a hospital or doctor can be held responsible for not using reasonable care while treating a patient. This is known as Medical Malpractice. You may know that you have the right to sue a doctor or hospital if they commit what is known as medical malpractice….

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13

Dec 2021

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Caused By Communication Errors

One more thing to add to your list before entering a hospital: find out how the medical staff communicates. Your life might depend on it. As if worries about sepsis, staph infections, COVID, and other possible diseases you may encounter in a hospital setting are not enough, medical staff communication errors now goes on that list. A study from 2016 shows that over a five…

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01

Dec 2021

What Is A Catastrophic Injury?

It’s been one of the toughest periods of our lives. The pandemic, the economy, the rapidly changing world brought difficult challenges we’ve never had to face before. None of that matters much to you, however, because you’ve been seriously injured. And the injury was caused, you think, by medical malpractice. Your focus naturally is on what to do about it. Here is some information to…

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22

Nov 2021

Medical Malpractice In Ohio Caused By A Missed Or Late Cancer Diagnosis

Medical doctors are controlled by a set of standards they must follow when it comes to diagnosing and treating medical issues, injuries, and disease. When it comes to cancer, a timely diagnosis goes a long way to creating a favorable prognosis. If a mistake is made and cancer is diagnosed too late, then the prognosis can be much worse. A medical doctor in Ohio can…

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04

Nov 2021

Do I Hire An Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyer Or A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Being seriously injured due to someone’s negligence is undoubtedly a horrible experience. But when that injury is caused by the negligence of a doctor that you trusted, it can add insult to injury. Medical errors occur much more than people realize and cause a significant number of serious injuries and deaths every year. Unfortunately, medical malpractice cases can be extremely complex, technical, and difficult to…

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26

Oct 2021

Can I Sue for Not being Told the Risks of a Procedure?

Imagine that you agree to a surgery and afterward, you suffer serious complications that you never even realized were a risk. If you had known about the possibility of such complications, you likely would not have agreed to undergo the procedure. What are your rights in this situation? It is best to discuss this matter with an experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney as soon as…

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15

Oct 2021

Do I Sue the Nurse or the Doctor for an Incorrect Drug Dose?

Incorrect dosages of prescription medications can cause many problems for patients. If a patient receives one or more doses that are too low, they might not get the benefits they need from the medication, and their condition may worsen or even become life-threatening. If a patient receives too high a dose, it could have serious side effects or even result in an overdose, which requires…

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28

Sep 2021

Why Is Speaking Up When You Experience a Medical Error So Complicated?

You would think that encouraging patients to speak up when something goes wrong is a step in the right direction when it comes to reducing medical errors. If only it were that simple. As Joyce Frieden points out in her article titled “How to Get Patients to Speak Up When They Experience a Medical Error,” patients are not always willing to do so. Why Patients…

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13

Sep 2021

Six Facts About Surgical “Never Events” In Ohio Hospitals

The phrase “never event” entered the healthcare discussion in 2001, when it was used by the National Quality Forum to describe medical errors that are so stunningly simple to avoid that they should, quite literally, never happen. The stark truth, though, is that the name remains a misnomer. Extremely preventable medical errors happen shockingly often, as you’ll see below. 6. More Than 11 Never Events…

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31

Aug 2021

Do I Need a Lawyer to Sue a Hospital?

We go to the hospital to have medical conditions diagnosed and treated. The last thing you expect is to suffer additional injuries. However, statistics indicate that about 250,000 patients suffer injuries due to hospital-related errors each year in the United States, and if you are admitted to the hospital, there is the risk you will suffer serious, preventable injuries. If a hospital makes a negligent…

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17

Aug 2021

Communication Matters

An article in The National Law Review titled “Bad Bedside Manner or Medical Malpractice?” investigates the connection between poor communication from the medical provider and medical malpractice. Perhaps not surprisingly, the doctors who get sued the most are the ones who “don’t communicate well with their patients. They don’t listen, they don’t explain, and they don’t inspire confidence.” These behaviors contrast with the traits that…

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23

Jul 2021

Lawyer who does the “right-est thing”

A recent episode of the popular series Ted Lasso was titled “Do the Right-est Thing.” When the star of AFC Richmond learns that one of their sponsors has done some dubious things, he wants to quit the ad campaign that he agreed to. Of course, the sponsor wants the owner of the team to fire the athlete. Ultimately, the owner supports her player’s decision (and…

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14

Jun 2021

Do Surgeons Make More Errors on Their Birthdays?

Surgical mistakes can be harmful to patients, often resulting in preventable complications, the need for future surgeries, or even death. There are many reasons why such errors happen in the operating room, including a lack of communication between surgical teams, fatigue, carelessness, and more. Distraction is also a common cause of surgical mistakes, and this includes distractions due to personal events in the surgeon’s life….

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27

May 2021

Words Matter

In a 1996 episode of the hit show Seinfeld titled “The Package,” Elaine, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, gets a rash and seeks medical care. She peeks in her medical record (then a written document) to find that she has been labeled “difficult.” That one word stigmatizes her, ultimately preventing her from getting the care and treatment she needs. It’s just a sitcom, but the fact…

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27

May 2021

Hiring An Ohio Birth Injury Attorney

Birth injuries can happen in a few different ways, some of which are unavoidable and unfortunate natural events. Other injuries that happen to a newborn baby or a mother during the childbirth process are avoidable events of human error. When the birth injury is the result of a negligent (careless) action by a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional, the law calls it “medical malpractice”….

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11

May 2021

Patient Safety and Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures

Minimally invasive surgical procedures (laparoscopic, thoracoscopic, and arthroscopic) come with many benefits. Ideally, patients spend less time in the hospital, have less scarring, and recover more quickly. The majority of these surgeries occur without incident. In “Events in Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures: Risks for Organ and Vascular Complications,” Lee Anne Gardner, PhD, RN, explains, however, that injuries do sometimes occur. Understanding when and why they…

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11

May 2021

Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Negligence

Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that causes severe complications with a person’s muscle control. The word “cerebral” in medicine relates to the head or brain, and “palsy” is a weakness or interference with the normal functioning of muscles and nerves. People with CP have challenges with posture and movement. Related conditions may include seizures, troubles with speech, hearing, or sight, and intellectual disabilities. Different…

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28

Apr 2021

Compensation for Nerve Damage Under Medical Malpractice

When doctors are negligent, patients can suffer a wide range of injuries, including nerve damage. Your nerves process information from your brain and the external world, allowing both involuntary and voluntary functioning, sensation, and movement. When important nerves sustain damage, it can have catastrophic results for patients. If you suffered nerve damage and believe it might have been the result of a serious medical error,…

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09

Apr 2021

MyChart ≠ Your Medical Record

Many people who call my office looking for assistance figuring out if they have a medical malpractice claim tell me they have their medical records. But usually, they do not; they have access only to their “MyChart.” MyChart, MyUHCare, My whatever-you-want-to-name-it are really good for some things and are a huge improvement over not having this service, but, they are not your medical record. One…

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25

Mar 2021

Wrong Site Surgery Errors Still Happen

When you awaken from a surgery, that very last thing you expect is to learn that the surgeon performed surgery on the wrong side of your body or performed the wrong surgical procedure altogether. Not only did you not receive the procedure you needed (and still need), but there might be irreversible effects of the wrong surgery you did received. Despite the fact that wrong…

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16

Mar 2021

Closing the Loop is Essential for Patient Safety

Scenario: You don’t feel well, and you visit your primary care provider, who recommends further labs tests in order to diagnose your problem. You diligently get the lab work done. And then you wait. A week passes, then another, and now it’s been months. You don’t feel much better, but you’ve learned to live with your discomfort, and in fact, you are relieved you didn’t…

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23

Feb 2021

Can Artificial Intelligence Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in various ways in many different industries, and the medical field is no different. AI can help with diagnostic testing and analysis, among other things, which can make the healthcare process more efficient for doctors. However, all technology has the potential to fail, and AI errors can be serious or even life-threatening when it involves someone’s health. If malfunctioning…

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15

Feb 2021

Wrong-Patient Errors Persist

Have you ever wondered, and even gotten slightly annoyed, when you go to the doctor’s office and get asked several times for your name and date of birth? Turns out, there’s a reason for that: This verification process is one way to ensure that you do not get mistaken for another patient. You’d think that electronic records systems and other forms of health information technology…

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29

Jan 2021

Numbers Don’t Lie

A recent article in Across Ohio Patch written by Chris Mosby titled, “Black Infants 3 Times More Likely to Die,” shared some disturbing news. At a time when we are reexamining so many of our systems to identify systemic racism, this discrepancy is certainly cause for concern. Ohio Infant Mortality Statistics According to Governor Mike DeWine, reducing infant mortality and its disparate racial impact has…

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21

Dec 2020

Knowing and Doing are Not Always the Same Thing

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement has developed a National Action Plan to address concerns that current efforts to reduce preventable harm have not been successful. Even though there is ample information available about best practices for patient safety, this knowledge often has not translated into action. According to the IHI, “reducing preventable harm requires a concerted, persistent, coordinated effort by all stakeholders, and a total…

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08

Dec 2020

Are Organ Transplant Errors Common?

There are few medical procedures as extensive and complicated as organ transplants. To raise the stakes even higher, patients needing transplants often require them as a life-saving measure. When a patient undergoes an organ transplant, there are always risks, and patients should be fully informed of these risks. However, when someone involved in the transplant process makes a mistake, the results can be devastating or…

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10

Nov 2020

What Does the Covid-19 Immunity Bill have to do with My Medical Malpractice Case?

Everything. Nothing. Not sure yet. You name a response, and it might be correct. Ohio residents wanted to get back to “normal” after shutting down the economy in late summer 2020. Businesses were fearful of reopening and getting blamed for spreading the COVID-19 virus. They demanded legal protection around the uncertainty faced by essential workers and businesses in reopening. And they got this coverage in…

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23

Sep 2020

The Current Health Care System Does Not Serve Women Well

Transforming Primary Health Care for Women is the title of two recent reports published by The Commonwealth Fund. Both authored by Laurie Zephyrin, Lisa Suennen, Pavitra Viswanathan, Jared Augenstein, and Deborah Bachrach, the first examines the gaps in primary health care for women, revealing that despite the importance of primary care for women, the current system “underperforms” and that women have “unique challenges” when it…

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04

Sep 2020

When trying isn’t good enough: Errors persist in medical records, putting patients at risk

A recent study found that “serious safety vulnerabilities persist” in the use of electronic health records. The study reviewed safety performance over the span of ten years, from 2009-2018. Since medication problems are the most frequent cause of injury to patients, the study used a measurement tool from The Leapfrog Group to gauge whether patient safety has improved. Specifically, experts wanted to see if the…

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31

Aug 2020

My One-Star Google Review

Recently, I got a gold star. Back in the day, a single gold star was an accomplishment. My third-grade teacher would affix one on some art project or spelling assignment, and I was happy as a dog with two tails. Things are different now. The bar has been raised. Now, it’s five stars. Receiving a one-star review now is like getting only kale for dinner…

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28

Aug 2020

Avoidable Pressure Injuries

According to Janette Bisbee, education/project manager for pressure injury prevention at The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, more than 2.5 million Americans a year suffer from pressure injuries and 60,000 die from them. Yep, you read that correctly – 60,000 people a year die from pressure injuries. Perhaps the most famous person to die from a pressure injury is Christopher…

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20

Jul 2020

The Effects of the Pandemic on Non-COVID Patients

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has put a strain on medical resources and facilities across the United States. With potentially highly contagious patients showing symptoms of the Coronavirus heading into emergency departments and filling hospital beds, many medical facilities want to minimize the exposure to non-COVID patients. However, does this mean that patients with other health concerns are experiencing harmful…

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17

Jul 2020

“Mistakes are a Fact of Life” – This Includes Medical Errors

Poet Nikki Giovanni said “Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts.” Eleanor Roosevelt advised people to “learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” Both of these women make clear that mistakes are a part of life. What’s important is whether we turn mistakes into opportunities to learn and grow….

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26

Jun 2020

Brian Eisen Becomes First Attorney in Ohio to be a Board-Certified Patient Advocate

The Eisen Law Firm is proud to announce that Brian N. Eisen has become the first attorney in Ohio to be a board-certified patient advocate (BCPA). This certification is awarded by the Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB), which upholds standards for patient advocacy in our healthcare system. To obtain certification, Brian completed the Board’s rigorous certification process, which included the following: Demonstration of an active…

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03

Jun 2020

Technology Employed to Reduce Instances of Retained Items

Retained items are a serious issue — in large part because such events are utterly unnecessary, and yet so common. In the medical world, sponges account for 70 percent of retained surgical items. In fact, sponges are so often miscounted or forgotten, that new technologies are being developed in an attempt to decrease the frequency of such events. Leaving a sponge (or anything that is…

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27

Apr 2020

Choosing a lawyer – Michelangelo style

The pope once asked Michelangelo how he sculpted his masterpiece, David, from a nondescript block of marble. Michelangelo reportedly said, “It’s easy. I just remove everything that isn’t David.”

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14

Apr 2020

COVID-19 and Medical Malpractice

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is a concerning time. It is especially frightening for patients testing positive for the novel coronavirus, as well as the healthcare providers and companies working to treat patients and combat this outbreak. While we trust that providers are doing their best, thousands of patients continue to succumb to COVID-19 and related respiratory conditions. When patients do not…

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01

Apr 2020

Is an Apology Enough? When A, B, C, D is really CYA

A report written by Miranda Hester and published in Contemporary Pediatrics in October 2019 discussed an interactive forum for physicians where the main subject was what physicians should do and not do when they make a preventable error that causes injury to a patient. The report referred to such mistakes as potentially “career-defining” and as one of the “scariest moments” a healthcare provider may encounter…

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30

Mar 2020

Patient Safety Initiatives

Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States. In the last few years, some progress has been made in reducing the number of preventable deaths by increasing patient safety measures.  Perhaps the most important shift has been the effort to be proactive rather than reactive. In other words, instead of waiting until there is an error, institutions are trying to…

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22

Feb 2020

Complex Care: A step towards putting patients first

An interview with Kathleen Noonan, the chief executive officer of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, in the December issue of Patient Safety offers a promising look at the potential for Complex Care to support patients and help reduce emergency room visits. The Problem In 2002, a breakfast meeting among doctors in Camden, New Jersey, led to a realization that they all shared a concern…

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15

Jan 2020

It Just Shouldn’t Be That Hard: Accessing Medical Records

Federal law is clear: when a patient requests their medical records, their health care provider is required to provide copies within 30 days of the request. In some states, state law requires providers to produce copies of records even more quickly. Harder than it Seems It sounds so straightforward, but health care providers have proven time and time again to violate both federal and state…

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09

Dec 2019

Improve Medication Management for Patient Safety

In a world where we can monitor how many steps we take or calories we consume, as well as the location of our children and even the speed at which they drive, it would seem that a carefully monitored and safe system for administering anesthesia would exist. Not so. In anarticle in the October edition of Outpatient Surgery, Joyce Wahr, MD describes a recent observational…

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02

Dec 2019

Brian N. Eisen featured in Cleveland Jewish News article, "Medical malpractice victims need professional advice."

Medical malpractice victims need professional advice. Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider doesn’t provide standard care for its profession, resulting in injury

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15

Nov 2019

Time for a Change in the Medical Care of Patients with Obesity

The CDC has determined that obesity represents a public health crisis. According to CDC data complied from 2015-2016, approximately 93.3 million adults are obese. This represents almost 40% of the adult population in the United States during that time frame. Individuals who struggle with obesity comprise a significant patient population. These patients seek treatment and medical procedures in the attempt to reduce their weight and…

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16

Oct 2019

Surgical Care for Geriatric Patients

After being piloted at eight hospitals throughout the country, The American College of Surgeons has finalized plans for the Geriatric Surgery Verification Program. The program (GSV) will go into effect in October 2019, at participating hospitals. Similar to programs that already are in place for trauma, cancer, and pediatric surgery, the goal is to “continuously optimize surgical care for older adults.” The 30 standards outlined…

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19

Sep 2019

Attorney Brian N. Eisen Invited to Serve on Advisory Board of the Hospital Watchdog Group

Leading Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney Brings Legal Expertise to Watchdog Group CLEVELAND, OH – The Eisen Law Firm Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Managing Partner Brian Eisen has been invited to serve on the advisory board of Hospital Watchdog, a group of hospital safety advocates who are dedicated to improving care and saving patients’ lives. This invitation reflects Mr. Eisen’s commitment to helping…

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09

Sep 2019

What Happens When Surgery Centers are Negligent?

When patients need an outpatient surgical procedure, many are choosing to go to surgery centers instead of hospitals. Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are also known as same-day surgery centers, surgicenters, or outpatient surgery centers. These facilities allow patients to save money by not being hospitalized. ASCs can handle many types of surgeries and procedures, such as cataract surgery, endoscopy and colonoscopy, biopsy, cosmetic surgery, and…

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02

Aug 2019

Can I Sue if My Surgery Had Complications?

When you go into surgery, you should understand the risks of the particular procedure, including not only the complications that commonly arise, but also complications that are uncommon, if those complications may be serious. Recovery from surgery is difficult enough when everything goes according to plan. When it doesn’t, your recovery can be prolonged, or additional medical care may be needed. When you experience a…

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01

Jul 2019

Make a List and Check it Twice

Such a simple idea – a surgery checklist – has proven to save lives. The Surgical Safety Checklist, a 19-item tool created by the World Health Organization (WHO), identifies what should happen before anesthesia, before an incision is made in the skin, and before a patient leaves the operating room. A byproduct of the WHO’s Second Global Safety Challenge entitled Safe Surgery Saves Lives, this…

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25

Jun 2019

Silence is Not Golden

Imagine that a deadly microorganism has made its way to a hospital. This microorganism is resistant to most antibiotics and puts hospitals at risk of an outbreak and patients at risk of infection. Should the patients in this hospital be privy to this information? A recent New York Times article entitled “Culture of Secrecy Shields Hospitals With Outbreaks of Drug-Resistant Infections” focuses on this question,…

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15

Apr 2019

Patients Have the Right to Know: Communication is Essential

Picture the following scenario: you’ve had stomach pain for months and all remedies have failed. Finally, your physician orders an MRI to review detailed images of your organs in order to diagnose what ails you. You get the scan, and then you wait. And then you wait some more. Weeks pass, and you still haven’t received any information about the findings. You’re still uncomfortable, and…

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13

Apr 2019

If You Want to Sue for Wrongful Death, You Must Hurry Up and Die - Ohio Appeals Court Ruling

At The Eisen Law Firm, we have read many appellate court opinions relating to medical negligence over the years that seem to have come out the “wrong” way. Some seem to have gotten the facts wrong. Some seem to have gotten the law wrong. And some are just mind-boggling all the way around. Not too long ago, a court of appeals decision was rendered by…

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15

Mar 2019

Healthcare’s Role in Our Nation’s Opioid Overdose

From “Pain as the 5th Vital Sign” to Opioid Overdose You go the Emergency Department complaining of the worst headache you have ever experienced. The physician asks only a few questions, performs a cursory exam, and prescribes an injection of Dilaudid (opiate medication) 2 mg IV (intravenous). You are “observed” in the emergency room for 45 minutes. At the time of discharge, you are too…

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17

Jan 2019

NEVER EVENTS AND THE UNTHINKABLE RESULTS OF CARELESSNESS

Imagine going to the hospital for surgery to remove a diseased organ, only to wake up with the wrong organ missing! That’s precisely what happened to Dena Knapp in October of 2016. She went in to have her adrenal gland removed, but the surgeon removed her kidney instead. As a result of this event, Ms. Knapp developed stage three kidney disease – a life-altering and…

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17

Dec 2018

Think You DON’T Have High Blood Pressure? Think Again How to manage your blood pressure High blood pressure is known as the “Silent Killer”

New Blood Pressure Guidelines from ACC/AHA We all know the drill when you go to a doctor. A nurse or medical assistant meets you at the door, weighs you as you go back to your room, and once in the room, takes your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. But have you ever thought about why these steps are always taken? Blood pressure, pulse, and temperature…

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17

Oct 2018

Joint Commission Offers New Guidelines to Prevent Newborn Drops and Falls

New guidelines from the Joint Commission hope to prevent newborn drops and falls One of the most exciting and wonderful times in a parent’s life should be the birth of a newborn. Unfortunately, sometimes medical professionals act negligently while caring for mothers and their newborns, causing substantial harm and trauma. In the United States, between 600 and 1600 newborns are dropped in hospitals every year….

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03

Oct 2018

Attorney Todd E. Gurney Receives 1st Annual Robert Sill Leadership Award

Notable Cleveland Medical Malpractice Attorney Honored by ORT America CLEVELAND, OHIO – Attorney Todd E. Gurney of The Eisen Law Firm is the recipient of the first Robert Sill Leadership Award given by the Ohio Region of ORT America in recognition of his outstanding efforts on behalf of the ORT Jurisprudence Awards. The ORT America Jurisprudence Award is ORT’s highest regional award presented to members…

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24

Sep 2018

Defining Communication Errors

Understanding communication errors is a pretty straight forward endeavor. Errors or lapses in communication between medical staff can cause mix-ups in treatment, miscalculations when trying to determine how best to help a patient, or the loss of critical patient information. These medical errors can range in seriousness, and in many cases can lead to wrongful death . In fact, a study of malpractice cases from…

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22

Aug 2018

Popular Pregnancy Folklore

Even though medicine has made incredible advancements in recent decades, folklore and “old wives’ tales” are still discussed among pregnant women in the United States. Parents who are eager to learn their baby’s sex, for example, often conduct “tests” they hope will reveal the answer. Or, they may look at the pregnant woman’s symptoms and attempt to guess if she is carrying a boy or…

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22

Aug 2018

Eisen Law Firm Announces Launch of New Birth Injury Practice Website

The Eisen Law Firm announced the launch of a new website solely dedicated to birth injury law. The new website allows clients to quickly obtain information about birth injury claims and the birth injury claims process in the state of Ohio. The new website is www.birthinjuryohio.com The Eisen Law Firm focuses exclusively on medical malpractice cases, including birth injury and negligence cases. In birth negligence…

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08

Aug 2018

Childbirth: More Dangerous in the US than other Developing Countries

Why are mothers in the United States experiencing traumatic pregnancy and post-partum problems in startlingly higher rates than other developed countries? This shocking statistic has recently come to light, and over the past year, NPR and ProPublica have been investigating this disturbing trend. According to the NPR/ProPublica investigation, for every American woman who dies during childbirth, there are seventy women that nearly die due to…

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30

Jul 2018

Required Public Reporting Of Serious Hospital-Acquired Infections At Risk

When one seeks medical help for a chronic illness or an emergency, being an informed consumer is important. Wisely choosing one’s doctor and hospital can be the key to successful treatment. That’s why we are so troubled by the latest plan by the federal government. The proposed plan would put an end to public reporting of many hospital-acquired infections. The potential impact of this plan…

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22

Jul 2018

More Disabled Characters Appearing on Television Shows

In a recent report published by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, the number of disabled characters in popular television shows is on the rise. In fact, more disabled characters appear on television today than ever before. Of course, the percentage of disabled characters on television does not mirror the percentage of disabled individuals in real life, but many are pleased with…

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07

Jul 2018

Widower Awarded Nearly $5 Million After Malpractice Trial

In December of 2017, an Illinois jury awarded a widower $4.78 million in a malpractice suit he filed on behalf of his wife. Nathan Cain’s wife, Candice, died in 2012. Just four months earlier, she had undergone an endoscopic procedure, performed by Dr. Thomas Deweert and the Digestive Disease Consultants of Normal, Illinois. The jury deliberated for approximately 6 hours over a two-day period before…

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25

Jun 2018

United Kingdom Implements New Program to Reduce Infant Stillbirths and Brain Injuries

At the end of 2017, the United Kingdom announced a new program it will be implementing in hopes of reducing the numbers of stillbirths and newborn brain injuries that are suffered every year. Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, shared that the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch will begin investigating mother and baby deaths, as well as other unexplained serious injuries, that occur annually in the United…

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12

Jun 2018

Georgia Hospital Ordered to Pay $26 Million in Medical Malpractice Case

Sandra Williams needed neck surgery after she ran a 5k race in October 2012. However, rather than successfully repairing the issues in her neck, the surgery left her severely disabled. Ms. Williams filed suit against the surgeons who performed the surgery and the hospital in Georgia where it occurred. The case went to trial, where a judge and jury listened to testimony and examined evidence…

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26

May 2018

Should Doctors Say “I’m Sorry” When Things Go Wrong?

Human illnesses and other conditions can be unpredictable. Doctors and other medical professionals do the best they can, but sometimes things go wrong, and patients are injured or even die. When it becomes clear that a patient may not recover, many doctors put up a wall and distance themselves from the case. After all, if the family of the patient ends up suing for medical…

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12

May 2018

Teaching Hospitals Perpetuating Bad HabitsMedical Errors – Bad Habits Bad ResultsSpeaking Up When Medical Errors Are ExposedMedical Negligence Should Not Be Learned

We rely on our doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals to provide the best care possible when we are faced with an illness, medical crisis or surgery. There are rules and regulations in place to ensure that medical professionals and facilities are in tip-top shape. From providing clean, germ-free environments that reduce the chance of infection to ensuring that surgeries are performed on the correct limb,…

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07

May 2018

Why I got a second opinion even though the first was good news

Relief. We could finally breath, sleep, and eat. After about 1 month of tests, doctor visits, blood draws, x-rays, surgery, and a lot of waiting, we received the call that we had been waiting for. “It is negative. Go about your life. You have a healthy 19-year-old,” said the pediatric ear nose and throat surgeon. Anyone who has had to wait for pathology lab results…

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29

Mar 2018

How can I prevent medical errors?

How can I prevent medical errors? It may be difficult to imagine your trusted medical professionals making a mistake, but unfortunately it happens all too often. In fact, medical negligence is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Errors can happen anywhere in the medical system – hospitals, clinics, offices, nursing homes, pharmacies, etc. – and can happen during the most…

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08

Mar 2018

Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Malpractice in Ohio

If you feel that you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may be wondering what steps you should take next. The guide below answers some of the most common questions our new medical malpractice clients have. How do I select a medical malpractice attorney? There is no shortage of medical malpractice attorneys in the state…

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23

Feb 2018

Frequently Asked Questions about Birth Injuries in Ohio

At The Eisen Law Firm, our Ohio birth injury attorneys represent children who were injured at birth due to the negligence of medical professionals. We also represent the parents of such injured children. We hope that you never need our assistance, as we typically handle only birth injury cases that result in catastrophic injury, the kind where you or your child need constant care or…

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10

Feb 2018

Why Can’t We Stop Life-threatening Childbirth Complications?

When new parents expect children, they prepare for every situation imaginable – from babyproofing the house to planning the best route to the hospital. But, how can they prepare for the unimaginable? Not only are many childbirth complications more dangerous and life-threatening than you may think, they are more common as well. What’s worse, they are on the rise. Severe Maternal Morbidity, Mortality, and Birth…

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07

Feb 2018

Cleveland Medical Malpractice Attorney Todd E. Gurney of The Eisen Law Firm, Named Ohio Rising Star

The prestigious Super Lawyers award identifies leaders in the legal field CLEVELAND, OHIO — Todd E. Gurney, partner at The Eisen Law Firm, has been named a 2018 Ohio Rising Star from the Super Lawyers. This prestigious recognition, awarded to less than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state of Ohio. The award comes as the result of an annual selection process which includes a…

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30

Jan 2018

What is a Risk Manager? Whose Side Are They On?In short, a risk manager is not on your side

Risk managers work in hospitals and other medical facilities. The goal of risk management is to do exactly what the title suggests—to manage the risk faced by the medical facility and its staff. Specifically, risk managers are responsible for handling issues such as unexpected public relations matters, personnel problems, operations issues, and also financial matters. Everything from daily, minor events through unexpected, catastrophic events may…

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18

Jan 2018

Maternal Weight and the Risk of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a type of neurological disorder that results from a brain injury. Cerebral palsy often results from birth injuries, stemming from harm that occurs while the baby is developing or during labor and delivery. Cerebral palsy largely affects muscle coordination and body movement. For example, muscle tone, reflex, balance, and posture may all be impaired by cerebral palsy. In addition, motor skills and…

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05

Jan 2018

Medical Negligence, My Doctor’s Initials, and an unwanted Tattoo

While two patients in the U.K. may have thought about getting a tattoo, they certainly didn’t expect to walk out of transplant surgery permanently branded with the initials of a once-trusted doctor. Simon Bramhall, a formerly well-regarded British surgeon, recently admitted to using a laser to carve his initials “SB” onto the livers of not one, but two patients. Not quite what the patients ordered….

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28

Dec 2017

The Myth that Personal Injury Attorneys are at the Bottom of the Barrel

Attorneys in my field are often portrayed as the bottom of the barrel – “ambulance chasers” willing to bend the laws and our morals to extort money from health care professionals. Don’t believe me? Look no further than one of this decade’s most popular television series, Breaking Bad, where Saul Goodman fills the image of an unethical and immoral personal injury attorney, ready to follow…

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14

Dec 2017

Maximizing Recovery: Eye-Voice Technology

Every year, it seems as though the relationship between medical care and technology is strengthened through the introduction of new products and techniques. The use of technology in medical facilities allows us to detect the precise location of tumors, the presence of plaque in arteries, and other conditions that may lead to serious complications or death. Technology has also improved methods of communication in medical…

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08

Dec 2017

Premature Babies Find Comfort in the Arms of Crocheted Octopus Toys

Babies born prematurely are at risk for a number of health complications, such as delays in development or cerebral palsy. Additionally, premature birth is the number one killer of newborns. Therefore, any step that can be taken to improve the health of these tiny babies is essential. One hospital in Brazil has discovered that premature babies benefit from a treatment that does not require additional…

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14

Nov 2017

November is Prematurity Awareness Month

Chances are, you know of someone who was either born prematurely or had a child that was born prematurely. Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely around the world. Tragically, 1 million of these babies are unable to thrive and pass away from complications caused by prematurity. The United States reports one of the highest rates of premature births of all industrialized nations, with…

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06

Nov 2017

My Doctor Won’t Shake My Hand—Good!

Imagine the following scenario. You walk into your doctor’s office for an appointment. You check in at the front desk and are then called back to an examination room. You hear a knock after a few minutes, and in walks the doctor. You are prepared to greet your doctor with a handshake, but to your surprise, the doctor keeps his hands at his side, greets…

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11

Oct 2017

Why Doctors Must Obtain Informed Consent

Although it is scary to think about having to undergo a surgical procedure, most people will “go under the knife” at some point in their lives. Whether it is as simple as the removal of wisdom teeth, or as complicated as a quadruple bypass, sooner or later almost everyone needs some type of operation. Doctors are required to obtain “informed consent” prior to beginning a…

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14

Sep 2017

Sorry. Not Sorry.

“Sorry. It’s my fault. Totally. My mistake, I wasn’t paying attention” confessed the middle-aged man after he ran a red light and hit my car. I was relieved that he accepted responsibility because the damage was in the thousands of dollars. But then he got a lawyer paid for by his insurance company, and he changed his story. His new story was that it was…

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05

Sep 2017

Know Your Surgeon: The Story of a Fake Plastic Surgeon

A disturbing story out of Denver, Colorado serves as a cautionary tale to anyone undergoing the knife: do your research. Carlos Hernandez Fernandez is a surgical assistant from Mexico. However, Fernandez posed as a doctor and performed surgical procedures on dozens of women. The women were largely comprised of immigrants who sought Fernandez’s services at his facility in downtown Denver. Many of Fernandez’s victims were…

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23

Aug 2017

New Scoring System for MRIs Can Help with Therapies for Children with Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, occurs when a lack of oxygen causes a brain injury. The brain of a fetus or a newborn can tolerate short periods of oxygen deprivation, but if the brain is without oxygen for too long, severe and permanent damage may result. HIE is responsible for many deaths or severe disabilities in newborns. HIE has been linked to developmental delays, motor impairments,…

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22

Aug 2017

Do No Harm: The Origin and Evolution Of Medical Malpractice Laws

The history of medicine goes back thousands and thousands of years. The intersection of law and medicine goes back quite some time, too. In fact, some of the earliest written laws govern the practice of medicine. In the 19th and 20th centuries, law books put a heavy emphasis on doctors and their profession. One of the oldest writings ever discovered is Hammurabi’s Code. It dates…

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09

Aug 2017

Autopsies May Be Used to Pinpoint Medical Malpractice

Medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in the United States—in fact, it comes in at number 3, outranked only by heart disease and cancer. When a loved one dies, how can the remaining family members determine if a medical professional’s negligence caused that individual’s death? Studying medical records and consulting with experts is helpful, of course, but the best source of…

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21

Jul 2017

When Do You Need a Birth Injury Attorney?

Although birth is a natural process, there are dozens of things that can go wrong from early in a mother’s pregnancy to after the baby is born. Typically, with proper medical care, the mother and baby will be fine throughout pregnancy and childbirth. However, there are cases nearly every day where babies are injured due to the negligence of medical professionals. What are some of…

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20

Jun 2017

Medical Malpractice Killed Woman, Family Finds Out Two Years Later

Losing a loved one is never easy. However, finding out that a loved one’s death was entirely preventable—and was covered up by medical professionals—is a nightmare no family should endure. Nearly two years after an 87-year-old woman passed away in a Texas hospital, a family member received a mysterious package that revealed the truth about the woman’s death. The woman was admitted to the hospital…

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18

May 2017

Medical Malpractice Reform Likely on the Horizon

The Republican Party’s proposed healthcare bill famously died recently. Now, it has been resurrected and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Many health policy experts have stated that there are other types of reform the Trump administration may try to set in motion. Michelle Mello and David Studdert, professors at Stanford’s law school and medical school, have noted that medical malpractice reform is still…

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12

May 2017

Medical Malpractice Claims Decrease While Injuries & Compensation Increase

Medical malpractice lawsuits are filed when a patient alleges that a medical professional caused some type of injury or even death during or after a medical procedure. Doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals may all be named as defendants in medical malpractice cases. If the injured patient is able to prove how the medical professional’s negligence directly contributed to the injury,…

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16

Apr 2017

A Promising Future for Premature Babies

Premature babies are at risk of developing a number of scary complications. When a baby is born too early, its organs are not fully developed and the baby is not ready for life outside of the safety of the womb. Therefore, it may be difficult for the baby to thrive. In some cases, it is hard to predict whether a baby will be born premature….

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03

Apr 2017

Simple but Scary: These Medical Malpractice Statistics Will Make you Sick

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer. According to a large study that examined 251,000 deaths from 2000 to 2008, medical errors may account for 700 deaths every day. Medical errors may make up close to 10 percent of all annual deaths in the United States. With such concerning numbers, most individuals would…

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09

Mar 2017

House Bill 1215,Bad for People, Bad for States’ Rights, Deadly for Patient Safety

“If you break it, it’s yours.” We have all either seen or heard this statement. We know it means that you if break something, you are responsible to fix it or make it whole again. If you break a bowl in a china shop, you need to pay for it. If you break your neighbor’s window with a baseball, you need to fix the window….

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17

Feb 2017

“Dead in Bed” Claims on the Rise

Amanda Abbiehl was a happy, energetic teenager. She had just graduated from high school and was excited to start college. One day, she came down with a sore throat. Her symptoms were so severe that she was having trouble breathing. She was admitted to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. Two days later, she was dead. According to autopsy reports, the official cause of death was…

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31

Jan 2017

Forcing Parties to Arbitrate Claims May Weaken Legitimate Claims

Over the last several months, many companies in the San Francisco area received a letter seeking to get them to waive their rights to sue Sutter Health, a network of doctors and hospitals that dominates the market in Northern California. Jennifer Chaloemtiarana, general counsel for Castlight Health, a tech company, was one of the many recipients of such a letter. The letter asked Castlight to…

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17

Jan 2017

January is Birth Defects Month—and Here’s Why

Birth defects are the leading cause of newborn death in the United States   One in 33 babies born in the United States has a birth defect. Birth defects are responsible for one in five infant deaths in the U.S. As we kick off a new year, the Center for Disease Control estimates that 120,000 babies will be born with a birth defect by the…

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10

Jan 2017

Why Your Baby’s First Test is So Important: The Apgar Test

The Apgar test was first introduced by Dr. Virginia Apgar in 1952. Since that time, it has been used in hospitals throughout the United States to assess a newborn baby’s physical condition at one minute and five minutes after birth. A high Apgar score indicates that the baby is in good health; whereas a lower score means that medical intervention is likely necessary.   What…

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09

Jan 2017

Shedding Light on Preterm Births

Cleveland Cavaliers player J.R. Smith III and his wife, Jewel Harris, recently revealed their baby, Dakota, was born prematurely. She was five months “early” and weighed only about one pound. “We know we’re not the only family going through this, who has been through this or who will ever go through it.  That’s why we decided to share what we’re going through with you guys,”…

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23

Dec 2016

The Hippocratic Oath: Past, Present, and Future

The Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest of its kind. Named for Hippocrates, the Greek philosopher who penned the oath, the Hippocratic Oath has been used in medical schools for centuries. New doctors have traditionally taken the oath upon completing their studies and have promised to follow certain ethical standards in their practices. The oath has changed over time, as medical science has evolved….

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02

Dec 2016

Medication ErrorsA patient safety innovation

A lot of critical information is found on medication labels.  But the bottles the medicine comes in are only so big. So what would you do if you are required to keep adding medical information to your packaging, but you only have a limited amount of space?  Well, you could change the size of the bottle thus changing the size of the space, but that…

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18

Nov 2016

Doing Research with “Dr. Google”

You have probably seen the coffee mug floating around the Internet that reads: “Please Do Not Confuse Your Google Search with my Medical Degree.” Although many individuals may chuckle and not give the mug another thought, others find it quite bothersome. Many doctors, unfortunately, carry this attitude with them to medical facilities every day. The second a patient says, “Well, I read online that…,” the…

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01

Nov 2016

Leading Cleveland Medical Malpractice Law Firm Inspires a New Generation of Patient Safety Advocates

The Eisen Law Firm is offering a $1000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior who creates the most exceptional patient safety advocacy video CLEVELAND, Ohio—The Eisen Law Firm, a prominent medical malpractice law firm, will reward a graduating senior of an accredited Ohio high school a $1,000 scholarship. By engaging students in a creative media production project for the second year in a row,…

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18

Oct 2016

Steps Towards Delivering a Healthy Baby

Pregnancy is an exciting, but often nerve-wracking, time for women, especially if they are first time mothers. The instant a woman announces her pregnancy, friends, family members, and even complete strangers begin bombarding her with advice on what to eat, what to avoid, how much to exercise, and whether or not she can enjoy her morning cup of coffee. What can a soon-to-be mother do…

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13

Oct 2016

They Lie!

They Lie! Dr. Lars Aanning lied. He lied under oath at a medical malpractice trial over two decades ago.    He says this lie has haunted him. I bet it has haunted the loved ones of the patient who died even more.  But no mention of that by this now retired doctor in a recent article, Doctor Confesses: I lied to Protect Colleague in Malpractice Suit….

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12

Sep 2016

Doctors Play a Vital Role in Prescription Opiate Overdoses

Doctors continue to prescribe even after overdose One would think surviving an unintentional prescription opioid overdose would be a wake-up call prompting you to make changes in your life. You certainly wouldn’t think a doctor would continue to prescribe opioids — e.g., hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (Percocet and OxyContin) — to someone who had nearly died from the drugs. Yet, a recent survey found that…

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12

Aug 2016

Ordinary People Acting as Heroes for Disabled Children

Newly designed shoes, special clothing, and 3D printing are just a few of the ways that people are helping disabled children work past their physical limitations Mindy Scheier, creator of the nonprofit organization Runway Of Dreams, was inspired by her son, Oliver. Oliver was diagnosed with a rare type of muscular dystrophy that can make daily tasks, such as getting dressed, difficult or even impossible….

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04

Aug 2016

Can I Get the Zika Virus in Ohio? 

Transmission in Ohio doubtful but care still required Cleveland recently came in number 18 in the Orkin pest control company’s latest rankings of the 50 worst U.S. cities for mosquitoes, ranking higher than many cities in Florida, North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia. While normally this just means more annoying, itchy bites in the summer months, this ranking is more alarming given the…

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19

Jul 2016

July is Medical Malpractice Awareness Month

Medical malpractice is a huge problem in the United States. Every July, The National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association (NMMAA) organizes and promotes National Medical Malpractice Awareness Month.  The goal of this month is to raise awareness of medical malpractice and to help end negligent acts of harm caused by medical negligence.  At the Eisen Law Firm, we focus on one thing only: medical negligence.  We…

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05

Jul 2016

Beware of “Observation Status”

For Medicare patients, “observation status” may have significant consequences Consider the following scenario: a 70-year-old man enters the hospital to undergo treatment for some symptoms he has been experiencing. He stays in the hospital for several days and nights. Later, he finds out that he was never actually an “inpatient” at the hospital, as he was instead deemed to be under “observation status.” What does…

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22

Jun 2016

Is Your C-Section Medically Necessary?

The popular procedure is not always medically necessary, which may lead to unnecessary complications Roughly one-third of all babies born in the United States every year are delivered via a Cesarean section, or C-section. Approximately 1.3 million babies are brought into the world annually by this procedure in the U.S., which involves delivering the baby through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. Of…

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10

Jun 2016

Myth that there are certain types of people who file medical malpractice lawsuits

I get several phone calls a day from potential clients calling to see if they have a medical malpractice case. And until the medical establishment really focuses its efforts on patient safety, I will keep getting calls. That’s because medical negligence is at an epidemic level. In fact, medical error is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart…

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19

May 2016

Concurrent Surgery: When a Surgeon Bails During a Procedure

(This article reflects a story told to The Eisen Law Firm by a former client) The truth about surgeons’ presence in the operating room When I decided to undergo knee replacement surgery, I was pretty nervous. Being put under has always seemed a little strange to me. After all, you are relying on the expertise of an anesthesiologist to give you the proper dosage of…

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05

May 2016

Tort Reform Has Not Led to an Increase in Patient Safety

Many medical professionals and facilities are shielded from full liability for their mistakes Tort reform refers to a group of laws that makes it more difficult for people to hold accountable those whose carelessness cause injury. Various laws make it harder to file lawsuits or to get a jury trial. Others put limits on the damages an injured victim can recover, even where the victim…

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29

Apr 2016

Prince, Another Victim of Opiates?

Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard the news that Prince recently passed away. Suspicions about Prince’s health were raised when he recently cancelled a concert in Atlanta, and his plane had to make an emergency landing in western Illinois on April 15. What is coming to light now is that drugs – specifically, prescription drugs – may have played a role…

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20

Apr 2016

The Myth of the Frivolous Lawsuit

Do people really sue just to make a buck? Most of us have heard the term “frivolous lawsuit” tossed around. We’ve all heard the one about the judge who sued his dry cleaner for millions of dollars because the cleaner lost the judge’s pants. Ridiculous. But these ridiculous suits happen all the time, especially to doctors, nurses, and hospitals, who are blamed and sued every…

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05

Apr 2016

The Myth of Defensive Medicine

What’s the point of all those diagnostic tests? Patients are well aware that doctors are nervous about medical malpractice lawsuits. Doctors who order test after test after test often claim that they do so to avoid being sued, but that isn’t necessarily true. The truth is, doctors sometimes order extensive testing because it increases their revenue stream. Of course, they want to ensure patients are…

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22

Mar 2016

Prominent Cleveland Law Firm Awards College Scholarship to High School Senior Kaleigh Dixon

The Eisen Law Firm’s medical malpractice lawyers foster advocacy in younger generations through a media production scholarship Cleveland, OH. — Attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm greatly value honest debate about medical malpractice and patient safety. They also greatly value today’s students, as among those students are tomorrow’s leaders, including those who will help eliminate costly, preventable medical errors. The firm encourages students to hone…

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21

Mar 2016

Premier Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorneys See To It That Children Suffering Birth Injuries Get The Treatment and Therapies They Need

Fighting so families obtain the financial support needed to care for children with birth injuries Welcoming a baby into your home is a life altering event. No matter how much you prepare during the nine months preceding the birth, taking care of a healthy newborn can be overwhelming. Parents of a infant with birth injuries face an even more daunting task, caring for their child,…

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14

Mar 2016

Medical Malpractice victims in Ohio encouraged to vote on their issue

It is important to know the views of the candidates in Presidential elections as well as elections at the state and local levels.  Medical malpractice laws have an impact on the amount of compensation a victim receives. I spend a lot of time talking with prospective clients about why they do not have a medical malpractice case.  Sometimes, the prospective client was injured, and the…

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27

Jan 2016

What Your Primary Care Provider Doesn’t Know CAN Hurt You

Is your PCP reluctant or unwilling to refer you to a specialist? When you need a physical, or you’re feeling under the weather and suspect something just isn’t right, you probably contact your primary care provider (PCP) to be evaluated. Hopefully, you don’t have any health issues that your PCP can’t readily manage. But what if you do? More importantly, what if you do, but…

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15

Jan 2016

Leading Cleveland Medical Malpractice Law Firm to Reward Students for Medical Malpractice Videos

The Eisen Law Firm is offering two $500 scholarships to students who create exceptional medical malpractice advocacy videos CLEVELAND, Ohio—By engaging students in a creative media production project, prominent Cleveland medical malpractice law firm, The Eisen Law Firm, aims to inspire young adults to use their talents to increase public awareness of medical malpractice, and to advocate for its victims. One winner will be selected…

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14

Jan 2016

What to Consider When Choosing a Hospital to Give Birth

Start your selection process early to ensure the best chances of a safe delivery There were more than 3.9 million births in the U.S. in 2013 alone. That means there’s a baby born about every seven seconds! More than 98 percent of these babies are delivered in a hospital. Deciding where to deliver your baby is a big part of choosing your obstetrician or midwife…

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05

Jan 2016

Are Rude Doctors Killing Patients?

“I could have just died from embarrassment” takes on a whole new meaning The startling results of a recent medical study reveal that a surgeon’s rude remarks to his surgical team can lead to decreased performance and sometimes death. The Rudeness Impact Randomized Trial Most of us were taught at a young age that it’s not nice to be rude, and life has shown us…

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17

Dec 2015

Ridiculous AIDS drug price increase just one of many examples of pharmaceutical greed

Have you heard of Martin Shkreli? By now, many of us have. He’s the Turing Pharmaceuticals Founder and CEO who made headlines with a 5,000% overnight price increase on the AIDS drug Daraprim, raising the cost from $13.50 a pill to $750.00 for each life-altering tablet. About Daraprim This medication, approved in 1953 by the FDA, is used predominantly in the treatment of a parasitic…

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02

Dec 2015

600+ Doctors Bully a Toddler with Cerebral Palsy

Little Henry Hale and his family have been victimized twice now Brace yourself, because this is not pretty. Young Henry Hale of Oklahoma was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was just one year old. He is now an energetic and cheerful three-year old, according to his mom, Keri Hale.  However, his condition requires constant therapy and ongoing medical care to maintain his health as…

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13

Nov 2015

The right malpractice attorney will restore your faith and help you get justice for what you have suffered

As a victim of medical malpractice, you have already experienced betrayal at the hands of a professional. You trusted medical providers to help you, to take care of your medical condition, and to provide you with quality healthcare. Instead, you have been injured, suffered damages, and are likely facing long-term consequences as the result of a professional’s negligence. Now you are being asked to trust…

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28

Oct 2015

Diagnostic Errors

Reducing diagnostic errors is critical to patient care A September 2015 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), commissioned by the U.S. government, reveals the importance of accurate and timely diagnosis. IOM’s “Improving Diagnosis in Health Care” report spotlighted an issue that medical malpractice attorneys and many victims of malpractice have been painfully aware of for several years – diagnostic errors are responsible for an…

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15

Sep 2015

It’s Not Just About the Money

In Medical Malpractice, we’re not fighting for the money, we’re fighting for what it represents for you and your family, and for every potential victim of negligent healthcare At The Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys have focused exclusively on medical malpractice law since 1976. That’s a really long time, and we’ve learned a lot. We often feel a bit like we’ve gone…

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02

Sep 2015

Another Look at the Pending Joan Rivers Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Suit

Medical malpractice may be one of the great equalizers despite wealth and privilege Many people believe that wealthy people get better medical care than the poor. There is good reason to believe that is true. Many studies show that poor people receive substandard care at a rate that is significantly greater than that received by more well-to-do patients. Still, money doesn’t guarantee quality care, and…

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17

Aug 2015

The Importance of Effective, Respectful Communication with Your Doctor

It is easy to overlook your doctor’s poor bedside manner. After all, his or her medical knowledge and expertise is what you are ultimately relying on, not demeanor or conversational skills. However, it is important not to discount the role of effective communication with your physician. Effective communication promotes good medical care and treatment, and it reduces the risk of preventable injury. Sir William Osler,…

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04

Aug 2015

The Pervasive Problem of Securing Expert Medical Testimony for Injured Malpractice Plaintiffs

Medical malpractice cases are complex, often hinging on complicated medical evidence. These cases require extensive expert opinion and testimony that can only be given by qualified, practicing physicians. However, obtaining this expert testimony is more difficult than one might imagine. To the detriment of innocent medical negligence victims, a ‘conspiracy of silence’ frequently threatens to interfere with a plaintiff’s ability to secure invaluable expert testimony….

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01

Jun 2015

The Eisen Law Firm just settled my case, now what?

Step-by-step guidance throughout each stage of the legal process even after your case is won Navigating the complex legal system is often a daunting prospect, but you don’t have to face the uncertainty alone. At The Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland medical negligence attorneys have been helping clients successfully tackle even the most challenging injury cases for more than 40 years. Our work doesn’t end…

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29

May 2015

Breakthrough in Bionic Hand Technology Gives Unprecedented Control

New developments allow the brain to send instructions directly to prosthesis Three men in Austria made medical history in early 2015 by replacing their injured hands with robotic prostheses. While artificial hands aren’t new in the world of synthetic limbs, what makes these hands special is how they are controlled. Unlike traditional manually-controlled prosthetics, which are manipulated through joint and muscle movement, these hands can…

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14

May 2015

Nurses Point to Medical Device Interactions to Reduce Mistakes

Caregivers assert time spent managing technology could be better spent attending to patients Hospitals and medical offices are constantly adopting and upgrading technology like electronic health records and diagnostic equipment. Unfortunately, these devices do not always communicate efficiently with one another, if at all, and this deficiency could be leading to increased medical errors. A survey conducted by the West Health Institute revealed that one…

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14

Apr 2015

Prominent Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney, Brian N. Eisen, of The Eisen Law Firm Presenting at Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys 2015 Litigation Institute

Cleveland, Ohio — Eisen Law Firm Managing Partner Brian N. Eisen, will be speaking at the Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorney’s 2015 Litigation Institute on Friday, April 24, 2015. Eisen will present on the topic, “Shhhh… Confidentiality Clauses in Settlement Agreements”. Attorney Eisen’s presentation will explore questions raised by confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements, including: Can a defense attorney ethically stop you from talking about…

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24

Mar 2015

When Policy Prevents Life-Saving Protocols

Two years ago, an 87-year-old woman named Lorraine Bayless passed away in Bakersfield, California. She was living in a senior living facility at the time. This seems like a common enough occurrence, except for one thing: when Bayless stopped breathing, a nurse stood there watching, rather than giving CPR. The story made national news, including a recording of a heated discussion between the nurse and…

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24

Feb 2015

Hospitals Fail to Meet Federal Infection Goals

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its annual National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report. The report summarizes and analyzes data from the CDC’s National Healthcare Network, tracking infection prevention efforts from 2008 to 2013. While some of the results were promising, others fell far short of government targets for hospital safety. Hospitals are required to report six types of…

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10

Feb 2015

Do You Need Your Medical Records Before Contacting an Attorney?

A medical malpractice lawsuit involves a lot of paperwork, and one of the first items an attorney will likely seek out are your medical records. Assuming it was properly kept, your medical record details all of the decisions doctors and other healthcare providers made during your treatment, and can help pinpoint what went wrong in a malpractice case. If your records weren’t properly maintained, that…

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02

Feb 2015

Medical Malpractice Damage Caps are Undermining Juries

Across the country, states including Ohio have passed laws instituting damage caps on non-economic loss following an incident of negligent care from a medical provider. While the laws supposedly were passed to deter frivolous lawsuits, the reality is that these laws take away the power juries have to provide fair compensation to victims of careless physicians and hospitals. Malpractice cases usually are heard by a…

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15

Jan 2015

Five Tips for Protecting Yourself in the Hospital

A malpractice lawsuit is a complicated ordeal, involving numerous documents, medical records, expert testimony and other considerations. In total, it typically takes more than two years from filing a claim to reaching a resolution. Anything you can do to assist your attorney in gathering information and proving your case allows you to secure the maximum compensation you deserve. Here are a few tips the Ohio…

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15

Dec 2014

Physicians Find No Correlation Between Tort Reform and Improved Patient Care

A significant motivating-factor for tort reform across the U.S. has been the assertion that physicians will practice better, more efficient medicine without the threat of so-called “frivolous” lawsuits or major monetary verdicts. In other words, they would not practice “defensive medicine,” ordering tests that aren’t really needed just to protect themselves from being sued. But has this assertion proven true? As it pertains to Emergency…

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15

Dec 2014

New Study Shows Caps on Noneconomic Damages Hurt Patients

“The McDonald’s coffee scalding case! The absurd multi-million dollar personal injury verdicts from around the country! The flight of physicians from areas where they were needed! The horror!” So went the narrative at the turn of the millennium from those clamoring for tort reform – with a particular emphasis on medical malpractice issues. Perhaps major corporations like McDonald’s, asbestos insulation giant Owens-Corning, or the various…

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03

Nov 2014

Detecting Fetal Distress

Detecting Fetal Distress is a Controversial and Imperfect Practice For expecting parents, the health of their unborn child is an omnipresent concern. Many thoughts, prayers, and fears of a family focus on the possibility that something terrible will happen before their new addition arrives. Only parents can fathom the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when a medical professional tells you that…

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22

Oct 2014

The Eisen Law Firm, a Leading Cleveland Medical Malpractice Firm, Launches New Website Providing a Wealth of Useful Information

Users will find engaging content and easy-to-navigate design Cleveland, Ohio — The Eisen Law Firm, a prominent law practice focused exclusively on representing victims in medical malpractice cases, has announced the launch of its new website, www.MalpracticeOhio.com, which connects medical malpractice victims to the valuable information they need to understand the nature of their claims. According to attorney Brian N. Eisen, Managing Partner for The…

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22

Oct 2014

Medical Miscommunication May Have Been a Factor in the Death of Dallas Ebola Patient

In a technology-driven world, where text messages and emails are often the preferred methods of communication, we sometimes forget the importance of effective face-to-face communication. But face-to-face communication and mutual, comprehensive understanding is often essential in providing adequate medical treatment to patients. As the nation reels at the events unfolding at and around Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, the most stunning aspect of this…

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17

Oct 2014

Did Medical Malpractice During a Routine Procedure Cause Joan Rivers’ Death?

America lost a national treasure in September when Joan Rivers tragically passed away. Although she was in her 80s at the time of her passing, she led an extremely active lifestyle for a person of any age. She did not die due to her age—she died during a routine medical procedure. In the aftermath, there are many questions that remain unanswered, and many people that…

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09

Sep 2014

Birth Injuries Often Require a Lifetime of Care

The financial ramifications of raising a child with a birth injury can be very difficult to understand. There’s no question that the medical bills are going to be exorbitant. But what about the other costs of living with a birth injury? These costs may not become apparent right away, but over time they add up. A child who has suffered a serious birth injury (such…

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28

Jul 2014

When Hospitals Stress Patient Safety, Obstetric Malpractice Claims Decline

A Connecticut hospital saw a 50% drop in obstetric malpractice liability claims and payments when it made  patient safety  initiatives a priority, according to a study by Yale School of Medicine researchers published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. By training doctors and nurses to improve teamwork and communication, and standardizing practices, the hospital found a 50% reduction in liability claims. In addition, the hospital…

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30

Jun 2014

Without Accountability, Bad Care is Inevitable

An article in Sunday’s New York Times (http://goo.gl/qCCmKB) discusses the poor quality of care in our nation’s military hospitals.  It also demonstrates that along with “persistent lapses in protecting patients,” there is an appalling lack of effort being made to identify and eliminate patterns of poor care.  This finding echoes recent reports of systematic shortcomings in the quality of care provided to our nation’s veterans…

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06

Jun 2014

Hospital Delays Are Killing America’s War Veterans

Military veterans are dying needlessly because of long waits and delayed care at U.S. veterans hospitals, according to a recent CNN investigation. The problem has been especially dire at the Veterans Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina, where veterans waiting months for simple gastrointestinal procedures — such as a colonoscopy or endoscopy — have been dying because their cancers aren’t caught in time. To date,…

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23

Apr 2014

Patient admonition: Duly weigh that outpatient diagnosis

Although that is indeed alarming, the findings of an even more recent study present even more troublesome findings regarding misdiagnosis. Here’s the crux of what the research team states, following its examination of several prior studies and the culling of data from about 3,000 patient records: As problematic as misdiagnosis might be in an inpatient setting, it could be a far bigger problem for patients being…

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16

Apr 2014

Medical researchers: More accuracy needed in stroke detection

According to a recent study, far too many patients who show up at emergency rooms in Ohio and across the country with symptoms of a headache or dizziness are not being sufficiently checked for signs of stroke. And that can be fatal. Indeed, the lead author in a recent Johns Hopkins research effort says that failure to diagnose stroke when a patient presents with stroke-like symptoms could…

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10

Apr 2014

Health concern: diabetes diagnosis, treatment in pregnant women

The final stages of pregnancy – i.e., labor and delivery – are a dangerous time for the mother and baby. When things go wrong, it may cause severe injuries to the baby or mom (or both). For instance, failure to recognize and treat signs of fetal distress, and failure to timely determine that a C-section is necessary, may cause oxygen deprivation, which in turn may…

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05

Apr 2014

How to Choose a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Choosing an attorney to handle a medical malpractice case can be very difficult.  And if it is a case involving permanent, catastrophic injuries or death, the stakes can be very high.  One of the first steps in choosing the right attorney is to avoid the mistake of choosing the wrong attorney.  Why is this the first step?  Because too often the most visible attorneys are the ones to avoid! Some attorneys…

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02

Apr 2014

Vetting a doctor: How can a consumer find reliable information?

Imagine that you were informed by a trusted doctor that you required a surgical procedure. Perhaps your doctor recommended a particular surgeon for the job, or perhaps that same surgeon came highly recommended from other sources. And now imagine that, following surgery performed by that recommended doctor, you developed serious complications caused by the negligence of the surgeon. To your dismay — even shock —…

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31

Mar 2014

Treat Doctors Like Children: Make Them Wash Their Hands

On any given day, approximately one in 25 U.S. hospital patients has at least one infection picked up during the course of their care, adding up to about 722,000 infections, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recently released two reports detailing healthcare-associated infection estimates. The reports show that progress has been made in reducing hospital-acquired infections, but…

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25

Mar 2014

Cautionary tale: with physician ratings, caveat emptor

A recent article in Physician’s Weekly casts serious doubt on the reliability of websites that provide physician ratings. The article focuses on one particular physician, a cosmetic surgeon from California who had a “4/5” overall rating on several websites. According to the article, however, the doctor “apparently had no formal training” in cosmetic surgery. That doctor was a concern of other surgeons, who brought his…

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20

Mar 2014

The nursing home industry is not going to like this study

The nursing home industry in Ohio and nationally has likely felt a bit besieged the past few years by recurrent media stories focusing on substandard and sometimes even abusive care. Industry principals, home owners and legions of professional staff members across the country probably feel even more defensive these days, in the immediate wake of a government report that serves up hearty criticisms of the…

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15

Mar 2014

Superbugs: a growing health menace grounded in overprescribing

Question: When you’re truly ailing, where do you go to get better? Answer: Not necessarily the hospital. In addition to all of the evidence that has emerged in recent years showing that hospitals are not particularly safe environments for patients, new study findings are driving that point home with emphasis. It has long been known that hospitalized patients across the country, including in Ohio, suffer…

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07

Mar 2014

Researchers search for answers in string of fatal birth defects

Although rare, a fatal birth condition called anencephaly has drawn the attention of researchers. The reason: 23 cases of the condition were diagnosed in the same geographic region within a three-year period. That translates into an incidence rate that is four times greater than the national average of just 2.1 cases for every 10,000 live births. The condition is believed to result when the neural…

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28

Feb 2014

Surgical site infections and potential liability issues

Readers might assume that outpatient procedures are less likely to result in surgical infections than procedures that require hospitalization. Yet a recent study involving 284,098 patients in eight different American states reveals that surgical site infections continue to be a risk, even for outpatient procedures. According to the study results, infections were most often detected within 14 days of a procedure. Fortunately, that early detection…

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22

Feb 2014

Surgery patients infected due to sterilization oversight

As if there weren’t enough risks accompanying neurosurgery, 18 patients at a North Carolina hospital may have been exposed to a fatal disease from improperly sterilized surgical instruments. According to a preliminary investigation, the disease may be Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is a type of brain disease that is rare and fatal. The source of the infection may have been a patient who reportedly was displaying…

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15

Feb 2014

Bullying culture in hospitals hurts employees and patients

“Bullying” has been a hot topic over the past few years; and though you may associate bullying with playgrounds and schoolyards, the truth is that bullying happens in all walks of life and in all kinds of cultures and industries around the globe. The medical field, according to one report, is no different and the bullying involved likely impacts the care that patients receive. The report…

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31

Jan 2014

Preventing infection might start with healthcare dress codes

When readers think of hospitals, images of tile floors, scrubs and antiseptic may come to mind. Those images suggest that many individuals associate medical facilities with sanitary conditions. However, a recent article suggests that nursing homes and health centers may need to overhaul their dress code to maintain sanitary conditions. In contrast to operating rooms – where there are strict guidelines – the dress code…

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24

Jan 2014

Screening test may reduce the risk of birth injuries

A medical malpractice attorney knows that establishing a doctor’s professional duty of care can be tricky when it comes to preventative tests. In the case of pregnancy, for example, a majority of obstetricians routinely screen for gestational diabetes. This preventative screening can alert doctors to a condition that might otherwise lead to complications or birth injuries. It’s also relatively simple: a glucose tolerance test can screen…

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17

Jan 2014

Do electronic records endanger the patient intake process?

In a recent post, we discussed some of the patient injuries that might result from negligent medical record keeping. The advent of electronic health records was widely perceived as a potential remedy to that problem. Federal officials apparently also shared that view, as tens of billions of dollars in federal funding has been provided to hospitals and medical centers for the purpose of subsidizing the…

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10

Jan 2014

Does cost discourage patients against medical malpractice suits?

One patient’s recent account of a postoperative infection serves as a dual reminder of:  (1) the very real possibility of being injured by a medical mistake; and (2) the difficulties that an injured patient may face in attempting to hold health care professionals accountable for their negligence. The patient had volunteered to donate a kidney to his brother, and he was not worried about the…

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03

Jan 2014

Bad medical recordkeeping might cause medication, other errors

Readers of this blog know the potential mistakes that can arise if a doctor or hospital fails to perform a thorough intake of a patient and/or maintain accurate medical records. Drug errors, which are a leading cause of medical malpractice lawsuits, are one example of what might go wrong when hospital personnel are negligent about a patient’s records and history. To get the conversation started,…

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20

Dec 2013

Plaintiff receives $6.5 million award for birth injury

Readers of this medical malpractice blog who are parents may remember their anxious feelings during childbirth. Even for pregnancies that are progressing without incident, the possibly of a birth injury remains a valid fear. For many parents, words cannot describe their feelings of relief upon hearing their baby’s first cry and having the attending obstetrician announce that they have a healthy baby. Unfortunately, one mother’s…

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27

Nov 2013

Internist scrutinized for prescribing alternative cancer drug

Early diagnosis of cancer can greatly impact a patient’s chances of recovery. Although other variables must be factored into the equation, such as the type of cancer, the risk of metastasis generally increases over time. For that reason, doctors are expected to detect early symptoms or warning signs of cancer in their patients. Any breach of that care, such as in the delayed diagnosis of cancer,…

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22

Nov 2013

Malpractice claims not linked to rising health care costs

Although medical malpractice suits may be blamed for the rising costs of healthcare, recent data suggests otherwise. In fact, the data reflects that malpractice insurance for doctors has actually been declining in the past decade. Specifically, between 2003 and 2011 there was a 40 percent drop in the number of paid malpractice claims, representing a drop from 17,000 to below 10,000 claims. As a percentage…

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13

Nov 2013

Communication may be to blame for some medical errors

Although a doctor’s duty of care to a patient may begin with a diagnosis, it certainly doesn’t end there. At every point in treatment, a patient should understand the potential benefits and risks associated with each procedure or medication. A patient also deserves to be informed of his or her status in follow-up meetings after treatments. Under many current health care models, a team of…

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08

Nov 2013

Issues surrounding negligent postoperative care

A recent article explores the issue of medical record keeping in the context of doctor errors. Specifically, a doctor noticed a discrepancy between a patient’s medical records and his recollection of a cataract surgery that he had witnessed. The doctor remembered that the hospital’s ventilator had malfunctioned during the procedure, pumping too much air and causing one of the patient’s lungs to collapse. That complication,…

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31

Oct 2013

Study estimates higher incidence of preventable medical deaths

Diagnostic errors, omissions, miscommunication, untreated infection, surgical mistakes, or even medication interactions might result in preventable medical error deaths. A 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine estimated that preventable errors might take the lives of around 98,000 patients each year. However, a recent study’s estimate is much more alarming. John T. James, a NASA toxicologist who also runs a patient advocacy organization called Patient…

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25

Oct 2013

Study indicates that medical errors are a leading cause of death

A recent tally of statistics about medical injuries might surprise readers. For starters, the number of injured patients is surprisingly high: As many as 400,000 patients are the victims of fatal medical errors each year. Put in another context, medical errors might constitute the third leading cause of death among Americans. To make matters worse, at least one source characterizes most of those injuries as…

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18

Oct 2013

Robotic procedures may not reduce surgical errors

Advances in medical technology have resulted in an increasing presence of automated procedures, from diagnostic imaging to laser surgeries. In fact, some surgeries are even robotically assisted, with doctors overseeing the procedure from a console, similar to a video-game format. The use of robotic surgery may raise interesting questions about the culpability of hospital staff or doctors in the event of a medical mistake or…

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09

Oct 2013

‘Premature closure’ of medical cases results in misdiagnosis

The human body operates using an extremely complex combination of systems. That’s why we depend on highly-trained physicians to determine what is wrong when we are suffering from concerning symptoms. The problem is that these professionals don’t always get the diagnosis right. In fact, a report released by Johns Hopkins earlier this year revealed that medical misdiagnosis is the No. 1 cause of medical malpractice payouts in…

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02

Oct 2013

What medicine can learn from aviation about error reporting

A physician anesthesiologist and medical contributor for Fox News Channel recently wrote an article on how the health-care field can reduce instances of preventable errors by learning from the aviation industry. First, the anesthesiologist served up some grave statistics on medical errors in the United States — such as about seven wrong-site surgeries occur each day in the country and about 1.3 million Americans are…

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27

Sep 2013

Study: Hospital negligence causes more deaths than thought

We can’t be exactly sure how many Americans die as a result of hospital negligence each year, but new research suggests that it could be a lot more than was once thought. A new study in the most recent issue of the Journal of Patient Safety suggests that between  210,000 and 440,000  patients die each year after falling victim to preventable medical errors. These numbers…

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18

Sep 2013

Why tort reform isn’t doing health care any favors

Tort reform is often pushed with good intentions. The goal is to keep frivolous lawsuits out of court, and that’s an objective most Americans can get behind, including personal injury lawyers. However, the problem with tort reform — and the reason it has been unsuccessful over the past several decades — is that it doesn’t just affect frivilous lawsuits, but also meritorious ones.  The unfortunate…

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11

Sep 2013

One doctor’s errors demonstrate danger of med mal reform

In 2003, the Texas legislature implemented scary reforms to medical malpractice law. For instance, damages for pain and suffering are capped at $250,000, and hospitals cannot be sued for malpractice unless they acted with “malice” when credentialing the doctor at issue. Additionally, the laws were changed to allow hospitals to keep doctors’ credentialing records confidential in most cases, making this “malice” requirement even more difficult…

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05

Sep 2013

Ohio hospital sued after kidney is mistakenly tossed

It has been more than a year since a young man attempted to save his sister’s life by donating his kidney to her, only to have a nurse at the University of Toledo Medical Center mistakenly throw out the organ. However, the family involved still feels a tremendous amount of pain and frustration over the surgical error. The sister, who was 24 at the time,…

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21

Aug 2013

Canadian province enforces safety measures after surgical error

Health officials in Canada are calling for tighter safety regulations after a major surgical error resulted in a patient mistakenly receiving a mastectomy. The health minister of Nova Scotia said the entire province will now be taking part in a new medical-error registry to help monitor medical mistakes. Currently, hospitals and medical centers throughout the province track their own medical errors, but the new registry…

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14

Aug 2013

Famous pilot drawing attention to medical errors in the U.S.

While he may be known for famously landing a passenger jet on the Hudson River in 2009, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is now taking heroic measures in an effort to reduce medical errors in the United States. According to Sully, if even half as many people were killed in airplane crashes as are killed because of medical errors, the aviation industry would come to a…

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07

Aug 2013

Study examines patient outcomes following surgery in Ohio

Recently, Consumer Reports graded more than 2,000 hospitals in Ohio and the rest of the country on surgical outcomes and medical mistakes. Twenty hospitals in the Greater Cleveland area were part of the study, which was released last week. The grading took into account 27 categories and individual ratings on scheduled operations involving back surgeries, hip replacements, knee replacements, angioplasty surgeries and carotid artery surgeries….

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31

Jul 2013

Most successful medical malpractice claims come from misdiagnosis

As we have reported in the past, misdiagnosis is the most common medical mistake that occurs in hospitals throughout Ohio and the rest of the United States. In fact, researchers recently confirmed that misdiagnosis was the reason for close to three out of every ten successful medical malpractice claims over a 25-year span. What’s perhaps most scary, though, is that about half the patients involved…

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24

Jul 2013

Ohio State settles birth injury lawsuit for $5.25M

Since 1996, Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center has settled a total of 11 medical malpractice cases for $1 million or more, according to data provided by the university. Recently, the second-largest ever malpractice lawsuit was settled for $5.25 million after a child suffered birth injuries that left him with major brain damage. The birth injuries took place in April 2006 after the child’s mother was admitted…

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18

Jul 2013

Patient opens eyes seconds before organs are harvested

Every so often, a shocking tale of medical malpractice will remind us just how egregious hospital errors can be. A 2009 example of this is just now getting media attention. The case involves a patient who was on an operating table ready to have her organs harvested because doctors believed she was dead. Needless to say, the doctors were shocked when the woman opened her eyes moments…

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10

Jul 2013

Report: Advanced CT imaging may lead to unnecessary treatment

Hospitals have a tendency to use the most expensive equipment for tests, both because these medical devices tend to work well and also to justify the cost of obtaining the machine. But is it possible that equipment to diagnose illnesses and injuries can be too good? One example is a CT angiography scan that looks for pulmonary embolism. It has been said that pulmonary embolism…

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10

Jul 2013

A few steps that could prevent a life-threatening medical error

Medical mistakes cause somewhere between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to a study by the Institute of Medicine. Some experts believe the true number actually may be much higher. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a medical mistake, you know how frustrating and heartbreaking it can be. Of the thousands of medical mistakes that…

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26

Jun 2013

Get a second opinion… before it’s too late

If you think you have been misdiagnosed by a doctor or another health care provider, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of Americans believe they have been a victim of medical misdiagnosis at one point or another. And considering the fact that the Institute of Medicine reports that more people die each year as a result…

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12

Jun 2013

Do your part to avoid diagnostic errors

As much as we would like to think otherwise, diagnostic errors are common in Ohio and the rest of the United States. When these errors involve the failure to diagnose a heart attack, cancer, or other life-threatening conditions, the results can be catastrophic. As Dr. Mehmet Oz recently wrote in an article, doctors and their staff work hard to give patients the correct diagnosis and treatment…

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05

Jun 2013

Study: Medical malpractice claims help to promote patient safety

As a recent article from The New York Times pointed out, it has long been believed that medical malpractice lawsuits work against the patient safety movement’s call for more transparency in the medical field. However, new research suggests the opposite. The author of the Times article wrote that he recently surveyed more than 400 employees in risk management, claims management, and quality improvement at healthcare…

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30

May 2013

Family hopes son’s birth injury leads to changes in the law

Parents who recently lost a son due to complications resulting from birth injuries are hoping that their tragic story can help prevent the same thing from happening to other families. Many expectant parents throughout the country are choosing home births as an alternative to hospital births, and while there are thousands of safe home births performed each year, the process can also be a recipe…

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23

May 2013

Neurosurgeon mistakenly operates on wrong side of patient’s brain

Brain surgery is one of the most complex and serious operations a person can go through. Because the stakes are so high, the expectation is that surgeons will use the utmost caution and care. That’s why the family of a woman from the Midwest was so shocked to learn that a devastating and entirely preventable surgical error was made during the woman’s brain operation. The…

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15

May 2013

Pediatricians offer new policy on home birth standards

When it comes to planned home deliveries, the American Academy of Pediatrics has decided that mothers and infants should receive the same standard of care as hospital births. The AAP announced its new policy this month, which it said is “intended to help pediatricians provide supportive, informed counsel to women considering home birth.” The academy – along with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists…

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08

May 2013

Pre-operation tips for avoiding surgical errors

Losing a loved one during surgery is one of the most traumatic things a family can go through. But finding out later that a surgical mistake was the reason for the death can deal the family an even greater blow. The family often initially is in shock or disbelief and can end up feeling betrayed by the hospital or surgeon(s). One woman whose adult daughter…

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01

May 2013

Do hospitals cash in after surgical errors are made?

A study released earlier this month reveals an alarming phenomenon: Hospitals stand to make more money after surgical errors are made. That’s because hospitals end up getting to charge more for corrective procedures that would not have been necessary but for the surgical errors. The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that hospitals stand to make a 330…

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24

Apr 2013

Complaints against doctor expose darker side of robo-surgeries

Although the concept sounds like something out of the future, high-precision robots are now used during surgeries at many hospitals in Ohio and the rest of the country. While the expensive robotic devices have been praised for being a sophisticated and perhaps even a safer means of performing surgery, growing concerns are beginning to surface. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently said that it…

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17

Apr 2013

Safety initiatives reduce, but do not eliminate birth injuries

Biommon than we would like to believe. Of the 4 million deliveries that occur each year at hospitals throughout the country, roughly 9 percent involve some type of adverse event. What’s more is that about 30 percent of these adverse events are believed to be avoidable. That’s why the Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative (PDF) was developed as a way to tackle preventable birth injuries. Not only…

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10

Apr 2013

Study: Rural hospitals struggling despite government program

Research has shown that there are many factors that affect rates of medical malpractice in hospitals. For instance, lack of sleep causes doctors to be more accident prone, and that lapses in communication also lead to instances of medical malpractice. A new study published earlier this month suggests that geography could also play a role. The study found that death rates increased at many rural hospitals over the past…

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27

Mar 2013

Report: Women suffer from false-positive mammograms

As we often discuss, a medical misdiagnosis can be a life-threatening mistake. Not only can a misdiagnosis put a person at risk physically, it can also cause emotional damage to a patient. According to an article published recently online in Annals of Family Medicine, psychological damage following false-positive mammogram tests can affect women for at least three years. A false-positive result from a mammogram means that the…

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20

Mar 2013

Thousands of patients each year leave OR with dangerous souvenirs

Each day in the United States, more than a dozen patients leave operating rooms with sponges, needles and other surgical items left in their bodies after surgery. Known technically as a “retained surgical item,” this type of surgical error is considered so negligent that it is referred to as a “never event” in the medical world. But it happens far more often than the classification…

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13

Mar 2013

Study: Time restraints cause missed diagnoses in primary care

The failure to diagnose a serious condition can threaten a patient’s chances of succesful treatment. Research shows that mistakes occurring at primary care clinics are some of the most common causes of misdiagnoses in patients. A new study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine looked into how and why these diagnostic mistakes occur. One of the primary conclusions made by the study is that most diagnostic errors…

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06

Mar 2013

Ohio hospital settles stroke misdiagnosis lawsuit

Doctors and other hospital staff members are trained to take stroke symptoms extremely seriously because time is of the essence when a stroke has occurred. There is a narrow margin of error, and if mistakes are made, a patient’s vital brain functions or life can be threatened. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen and patients or their families are left to suffer the consequences. When negligent failure to diagnose stroke…

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27

Feb 2013

Military couple heartbroken after losing fetus to medical error

A military couple was delighted to learn in 2011 that they were pregnant with their second child after months of trying. Unfortunately, their dream soon turned into a living nightmare because of medical malpractice. Here is their story: The wife visited a military hospital on April 18, 2011 for a routine prenatal visit. She was believed to be about 11 weeks along. The trouble began…

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13

Feb 2013

Most radiologists sued for failing to diagnose breast cancer

When a person is diagnosed with cancer, it’s extremely important that the person is treated right away to increase his/her chances of survival. Unfortunately, it is common in Ohio (and the rest of the country) for a cancer diagnosis to be missed or delayed, resulting in a diminished chance of successful treatment. One of the most common cancers that is misdiagnosed – or diagnosed late – is…

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06

Feb 2013

Expert: Tracking medical errors nationally could reduce rate

As we have reported in the past, so-called “never events” occur at a shockingly high rate at hospitals in Ohio and the rest of the United States. In fact, at least 4,000 times per year, doctors commit grave medical errors like leaving surgical instruments in patients, performing surgery on the wrong body part, or even performing surgery on the wrong person altogether. A study by…

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30

Jan 2013

Morality at issue in wrongful death case against Catholic hospital

A wrongful death lawsuit involving a pregnant mother and her unborn twins has prompted a battle between the law and ethics. The wrongful death lawsuit, which was filed by the father, claims that a Catholic hospital was negligent when it failed to deliver the twins via emergency cesarean section. However, the hospital denied responsibility, saying that it is not liable for the deaths of the fetuses because…

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25

Jan 2013

Patients often left in the dark after medication errors

We live in a world with countless prescription drugs that help us to live longer, healthier lives. But, as most people in Ohio and the rest of the nation know, prescription medications can be just as dangerous as they are helpful when used incorrectly. All too often, the wrong medication is administered to patients in hospitals, setting back their recovery times or causing even worse…

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17

Jan 2013

Study: Electronic health records causing patient safety issues

Most medical facilities throughout Ohio and the rest of the country have either made their health records electronic or are in the process of doing so. The common belief is that electronic health records are not only more organized and complete, but that they also promote better patient care. However, a new study recently revealed that hospitals are actually reporting more patient safety issues stemming…

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10

Jan 2013

County sued after girl born with birth injury

Far too often, parents throughout Ohio and the rest of the nation are left heartbroken when they find out that a mistake during childbirth resulted in serious or permanent injury to their newborn baby. Sometimes birth injuries result from errors made by hospital staff members during delivery, but other times, birth injuries result from what isn’t done. In a tragic example of this, a Midwestern pregnant woman…

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02

Jan 2013

Ohio hospital says transplants will resume after surgical mistake

Back in October, we wrote about the shocking surgical negligence that occurred at an Ohio hospital when a nurse inadvertently threw away an organ that had been removed from a live-donor. The incident occurred in August 2012 at the University of Toledo Medical Center during a kidney transplant operation. Following the mistake, live kidney transplants at the hospital were temporarily suspended, but it was reported…

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31

Dec 2012

Medical offices reusing syringes, spreading disease

With the advent of disposable syringes more than 50 years ago, the medical world became immensely safer. However, recent breakouts of drug-resistant superbugs and viruses throughout the country have led health officials to uncover a dirty secret: There are many medical offices that still re-use syringes. In fact, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 150,000 patients in…

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22

Dec 2012

Rate of ‘never events’ in U.S. hospitals may shock you

When hospital patients in Ohio go in for surgery, they trust that the surgical staff will do everything in their power to keep them safe and sound. Unfortunately, a recent study by Johns Hopkins reveals that surgical errors are much more common than we would like to think. After intensely surveying national medical malpractice claims, researchers found that surgeons in the United States leave a…

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12

Dec 2012

Study: Bed alarms not enough to prevent hospital falls

Falls are the leading cause of injury and death for adults over the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls are also one of the biggest threats to people who are hospitalized, and they are especially common when patients try to get out of their hospital beds on their own. That’s why many hospitals have installed bed alarms that…

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05

Dec 2012

Study: Distraction drives errors in operating rooms

We have all heard about the dangers of distracted driving. But distraction isn’t only a threat on our nation’s roads. According to a recent study, distraction is also a major cause of surgical errors made by young or less-experienced surgeons in operating rooms. The study used a “simulated” gall bladder removal operation to find that less-experienced surgeons make major surgical mistakes almost half of the…

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30

Nov 2012

Woman awarded $5M after stroke misdiagnosis

When a person suffers a stroke, there is only a short window of time that medical personnel have to act before the results can be catastrophic.  Luckily, imaging technology like CT scans make it much easier for doctors to determine when a stroke has taken place so treatment can be administered promptly.  Of course, the doctor is responsible for interpreting CT scans correctly. When a…

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07

Nov 2012

3 tips that could help thwart medical mistakes

Surgical errors, medication mix-ups and other medical mistakes claim the lives of more than 250,000 people and injure millions more every year in the United States. According to an anesthesiologist and critical care physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, this likely amounts to the third leading cause of death in the country. While many of the medical risks we face cannot be prevented as we lay…

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31

Oct 2012

Study: Mammograms over-diagnose more than they save

Few things in life are more devastating than a medical misdiagnosis. Oftentimes, victims of misdiagnosis go through painful and expensive treatments for illnesses they never had. In recent years, studies in the United States have suggested that mammograms could cause many American women to be misdiagnosed with a life-threatening breast cancer. A recent study out of Britain reached the same conclusion. The review by an independent…

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24

Oct 2012

The legal aftermath of the deadly meningitis outbreak

In a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak that has plagued the nation, 23 people have died and almost 300 have been infected. What’s worse is that health officials warn the outbreak is far from over as many as 14,000 people may have been exposed to the contaminated steroid injections that have been blamed for the outbreak. The steroid injections, which were used as pain medications, were…

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17

Oct 2012

Nurse blamed after kidney thrown out at Ohio hospital

In August, an Ohio man decided to give his sister the ultimate gift — a kidney — but something went horribly wrong. After the kidney was removed from the donor, it was inadvertently thrown away by a nurse, along with the brother’s hope of helping his sick sister. A lengthy report by the Ohio Department of Health revealed that communication errors and failure to abide…

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10

Oct 2012

Jury: Negligence by cardiologist ‘substantial’ in woman’s death

When people go to their doctors, they trust the physician to give them good care and to do what’s best for them. Far too often, however, that trust is violated by a doctor, and the patient suffers and sometimes pays the ultimate price. That appears to be the case with a cardiologist far from us in Cleveland. The San Francisco doctor was treating a 59-year-old…

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05

Oct 2012

Are consumers the answer to preventing future medical errors?

People in Cleveland go to their doctors expecting that they will receive proper care and treatment. When they go to the hospital, they expect to walk out healthier than when they went in. Sadly, medical errors can leave people with serious complications. For instance, a surgical error may require an individual to undergo additional procedures. In order to prevent future mistakes from happening, the federal…

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27

Sep 2012

Could NHL players follow NFL players in brain injury lawsuits?

During the spring and summer of 2011, three professional hockey players were found dead unexpectedly. All three of the men were “enforcers,” or players whose primary duty was to fight. As anyone who has seen a professional hockey game knows, fights in the NHL mean gloves come off and blood spills. In the wake of these tragedies, the NHL-endorsed fighting has come under scrutiny. Two…

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20

Sep 2012

Study: Chronically-ill children face higher rate of medical errors

You might remember a post we wrote earlier this month about a study that determined the most vulnerable patients in a hospital — those in the ICU — are more at risk of life-threatening medical misdiagnoses than patients in other areas of the hospital. The lead author of the study explained that symptoms of a heart attack or other severe threats were often missed as hospital staff focused on…

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13

Sep 2012

Medical panel: Ovarian cancer screenings do more harm than good

Each year, hundreds of women in Ohio receive the devastating news that they have ovarian cancer. What’s perhaps even worse is that many of these women don’t actually have the disease and go through unnecessary operations with high complication rates. That’s why a panel of medical experts has recommended that these tests not be performed on otherwise healthy women. The doctors concluded that there is…

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05

Sep 2012

Study: ICU patients face a greater risk of misdiagnosis

Unfortunately, many people in Ohio and the rest of the United States die each year when physicians fail to correctly diagnose the symptoms of heart attack or another life-threatening condition. What’s even scarier is that a new study suggests that the most vulnerable patients — those in the ICU — may be especially at risk of misdiagnosis. The study, out of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,…

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29

Aug 2012

J&J settles first three defective hip implant lawsuits

In 2010, Johnson & Johnson recalled a hip implant device after it was deemed a defective product. Unfortunately, the damage was already done for thousands of Americans who underwent hip replacement surgery. Many of these victims ended up filing suit against J&J, charging that the company knew or should have known that the metal hip replacements could cause patients harm. Last week, it was reported…

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23

Aug 2012

Study: 2 in 10 prescriptions to seniors are inappropriate

Each year, countless people in Ohio are harmed by medication errors, and according to a new study published online this week, senior citizens may be particularly at risk. The study revealed that about 20 percent of the prescriptions primary care providers write for people over the age of 65 are inappropriate and could pose a health risk. The study involved surveying data from 10 previous studies….

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15

Aug 2012

Are operations involving trainee surgeons riskier?

Surgical mistakes are far more common than they should be in Ohio and the rest of the nation. One might think that having a surgeon-in-training or a resident as part of the operation staff would increase the chances of surgical errors, but a recently-published study suggests otherwise. The study surveyed data from more than 60,000 surgeries in the United States between 2005 and 2007. Researchers…

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08

Aug 2012

State Supreme Court strikes down damages cap

In late March, we wrote about a state Supreme Court case that we thought Ohio readers may be interested in. The case dealt with a Missouri state law that placed a cap on the amount of money victims can receive for non-monetary damages resulting from medical malpractice. Recently, the state’s highest court decided to strike down the law, finding that it violated “the right to trial…

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02

Aug 2012

How too much “doctoring” can lead to medical malpractice

In an article that was originally published on the New York Times Op-Ed page, the associate chief of neurosurgery at a well-known hospital wrote about medical mistakes. He cited a 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine finding that as many as 98,000 Americans are killed each year because of medical mistakes. The doctor said that there are many causes of medical malpractice, ranging from…

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25

Jul 2012

Family awarded $55M after child suffers birth injuries

When a mother was told that her son would someday be able to express himself by smiling, she said her initial reaction was: “That’s it?” Two years later, the mother understands how precious that smile really is considering the traumatic birth injury her son suffered. Everything seemed to be going just fine when the woman went into labor at her home with the assistance of a midwife….

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16

Jul 2012

The causes behind medical billing errors (2 of 2)

Welcome back. As we began discussing in the last post, hundreds of people may come into contact with your medical bill before, during and after your hospital stay. Because hospital bills are usually complicated and filled with medical terms, it can be hard to determine if mistakes have been made. In order to prevent being over-charged for your medical care, it’s important to understand how mistakes can…

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11

Jul 2012

The causes behind medical billing errors (1 of 2)

If you have ever received a bill for a complicated medical procedure it likely seemed like it was written in another language with all of the codes and medical terms. The problem is that when you can’t understand your bill, you have a hard time spotting errors, which are a lot more common than you may think. A recent article from Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer…

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03

Jul 2012

Pitocin-related birth injury case settles for $3.75M

All too often, a medical mistake made before, during or after birth leaves devastating effects on a infant or the infant’s mother. Sometimes, a hospital or staff member is liable for the birth injury and can be sued for damages. Recently, a Midwestern family was awarded $3.75 million after their infant son suffered brain injuries five years ago. According to the family, the mother was at the end…

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28

Jun 2012

Surgical negligence that puts kidney donors at risk

Every year, thousands of people in Ohio and the rest of the nation make the selfless decision to donate a kidney to a friend or relative who is in need. Typically, these kidney donors get through the process with little more than a scar. However, if surgical negligence is involved, kidney donors are at serious risk. Last year, a 41-year-old woman was overjoyed to learn…

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20

Jun 2012

How to avoid being victimized by a costly medical mistake

Every day, people in Cleveland put their lives in the hands of doctors and nurses. We trust that these trained professionals will take good care of us, but the truth is that serious medical mistakes are more common than we’d like to think. According to a recent CNN report, medical errors are responsible for killing more than 250,000 people per year in the United States….

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14

Jun 2012

FDA says operating room fires are a persistent problem

Before surgery, you might worry about a lot things going wrong, but catching on fire is likely not one of them. Shockingly, operating room fires are something that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has called a persistent problem, occurring about 550 to 650 times per year throughout the country. In effort to reduce these accidents, which can lead to a severe burn injury, face…

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08

Jun 2012

Certain doctor behavior that could spell trouble

There are a number of troubling realities about the practice of medicine today in Ohio and the rest of the United States. Many doctors are overworked and take extra-long shifts that lead to sleep deprivation. Other doctors are too quick to reach for their prescription pads and fail to adequately listen to their patients. Additionally, some doctors lack professionalism and are even willing to lie…

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30

May 2012

How medical apology programs can end up hurting patients

Whether it’s a medication error, surgical mistake or birth injury, medical negligence can change a person’s life forever. Medical malpractice lawsuits exist to compensate the victims of medical mistakes as well as improve the quality of health care in Ohio and the rest of the country. Recently, some states have decided to implement programs that attempt to limit the number of medical malpractice lawsuits by forcing…

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22

May 2012

Wrongful death suit filed against NFL by ex-player’s family

Cleveland residents have no doubt heard about the numerous lawsuits filed against the National Football League regarding severe brain injuries as a result of concussions received by players. As of this report, more than 2,000 players have filed suit and the numbers increase almost daily. One of the latest lawsuits includes a wrongful death suit filed by family members of former NFL player Dave Duerson. A wrongful…

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16

May 2012

Hospital’s failure results in multi-million dollar settlement

Ohio residents might be interested in a story from across the pond that discusses one family’s struggles after their daughter suffered injuries while being delivered in 2001. After being admitted into the hospital in labor, the hospital’s staff began to monitor the baby’s heart rate. It was that monitoring that the family’s personal injury attorneys claimed was “totally inadequate” and is what caused the child’s…

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07

May 2012

Lawsuit alleges hospitals overcharged uninsured patients – Part 2

As discussed in last week’s post, there is a case scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court of a neighboring state that could potentially affect some hospital patients in the state of Ohio. The basis for this breach-of-contract lawsuit is two plaintiffs who were overcharged by a hospital group for treatments received. They are claiming they were billed more as uninsured patients than were insured patients…

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02

May 2012

Lawsuit alleges hospitals overcharged uninsured patients – Part 1

Ohio residents may be interested in a lawsuit being heard by the State Supreme Court of our neighbors to the west. The case involves one of the state’s largest hospital groups, which is being sued by two uninsured patients claiming the hospital charged them much more than it charged insured patients for the same care. The case addresses 120 years of common law that states…

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24

Apr 2012

NFL veteran players seek medical care and a safer game for all

It is no secret that professional football is a tough contact sport; however, a slew of lawsuits against the NFL regarding player concussions are gaining more steam since the recent bounty scandal came to light. With the purpose of informing football players about the latest in brain injury research, disability claims and the basis for these lawsuits, the second Independent Football Veterans Conference is scheduled…

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22

Apr 2012

Missed breast cancer diagnosis found in 109 Canadian women

Ohio residents may be interested in a Canadian investigation which found more than a hundred cases of breast cancer that had been missed in thousands of mammograms in the Quebec Province. Apparently the failure to diagnose breast cancer in the vast majority of cases was due to one radiologist’s errors in reading the mammogram results. That radiologist retired in 2010 – one month prior to the College…

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19

Apr 2012

Medical device implants receive little to no advance safety tests

According to a recent article published in Consumer Reports magazine, the U.S. government allows some medical device implants to be sold with little advanced safety testing or, in some cases, no testing at all. The report raised concerns about the lack of regulatory oversight of medical devices that are sold and implanted in patients throughout the United States. It specifically criticized the safety testing involved…

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29

Mar 2012

Medical malpractice cap challenged in state Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Missouri will soon decide whether a state law that places a cap on the amount of money victims can receive for damages from medical malpractice violates the constitution.  Similar laws have been enacted in other states – including Ohio.  The Court’s decision will have a far reaching impact, which could lead to challenges to similar state laws around the country –…

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