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The Facts and Fiction of Medical Malpractice

THE FACTS AND FICTION OF M MEDICAL MALPRACTICE 66 Medical malpractice occurs when a health-care provider deviates from the recognized 'standard of care' in the treatment of a patient. 99 Dr. Bruce G. Fagel, Fagel Law and Associates Terms to Know: Plaintiff – A person who brings a legal case against another in the court of law. Defendant - The person accused of negligence that caused the injury. Anesthesia Awareness (Wide-Awake Surgery) - Occurs when a surgical patient is not given enough general anesthetic or analgesics to be rendered unconscious, often after being medically paralyzed and unable to express themselves. Facts and Statistics: The Journal of Patient Safety estimates that between 210,000 and 400,000 deaths occur in hospitals due to preventable harm. 0.8% to 1% of hospital patients become malpractice victims. Only 2.9% of victims file claims. (The broad range is due to search restrictions and incomplete medical records) %24 3.7 billion dollars in medical malpractice damages were paid out in 2013. According to a 2010 study by the Office of Inspector General, 1 in 7 Medicare patients suffer a serious medical error in hospitals. Medscape surveyed 3,500 physicians; about 40% had been sued for medical malpractice. New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Florida, and California account for over 50% of all U.S. medical malpractice payouts. About 75% of doctors from that survey were surprised when they were sued for medical malpractice. Only 1% completely expected it. 25% of surveyed physicians stated that the experience was terrible and emotionally unsettling. Failure to diagnose is the #1 most common reason for medical malpractice lawsuits. ? According to a 2006 New England Journal of Medicine study of 1,452 recent resolved medical malpractice cases: 60% 19% 17% 34% 16% Surgery errors made up about 34% of medical 60% of individuals The average age of plaintiff patients was 38. About 20% were Breakdown of defendant who sued for specializations: Obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNS) 19%, General Surgeons (17%), Primary Care Physicians (16%). medical malpractice were female. newborns and 12% malpractice claims. were over 65. The 5 Most Common Surgical Mistakes 100 Wrong Site Surgery:The surgery is performed on the wrong organ or body part – for example, the wrong limb is amputated. 20 Wrong Patient Surgery: A patient receives a surgery that was intended for another patient. Unsanitary Surgical Instruments: Tools are cross-contaminated between surgeries or are left within the patient after surgery. Most hospitals count instruments before and after, but not all. Damage to Organs and Tissue: During surgery, a nearby organ may be accidentally damaged or punctured with an instrument. This is a severe issue because organ tissue is very delicate. Nerve Damage: A physical error that damages nearby nerves or a mistake in the administration of anesthesia can cause nerve damage. 5 Terrifying Medical Malpractice Cases While these cases are horrific and extreme, it drives home the importance of patient advocacy and why it is crucial to pursue justice to both provide a sense of comfort and prevent future mistakes from happening. DETAILS RESULT A 36 year old man in Arizona was on life support from a traumatic brain injury. Miraculously, he recovered consciousness and was able to speak. After a few weeks in an assisted living facility, he began vomiting and died in his wife's arms. An autopsy had revealed he had been ingesting ketchup packets and other plastic objects. Lawsuit against the assisted living facility yielded $11 million KETCHUP Hawaii-based doctor Robert Ricketson attempted to fix a patient's spine with he realized the two titanium rods needed were missing mid-surgery. The patient died due to complications several days later. a stainless ste I screwdriver, after $5.6 million awarded victim's family the Jesica Santillan needed a heart and lung transplant during treatment for a life-threatening condition, but the surgeons failed to ensure the compatibility of the donor's blood type with the patient's. She died due to organ rejection. Settlement is confidential DO NOT ENTER Esmin Green waited in the emergency waiting room at Kings County Hospital Center for nearly 24 hours before she collapsed and died from pulmonary thromboemboli. Reports state that both fellow patients and nurses ignored her worsening symptoms. Six employees were fired, NYC paid $2 million to victim's family 73-year-old Sherman Sizemore was conscious but paralyzed during the first 16 minutes of his laparotomy • (large incision through the abdominal wall to diagnose the cause of chest pain). After surgeons realized their mistake, they administered amnesic drugs and neglected to inform him of what happened. Sizemore later committed suicide due to the psychological trauma. Settlement is confidential Malpractice Amongst the Stars Causes: Propofol: hypnotic anesthetic with a thin margin between sedation and cardiac arrest. Negligence of Vital Signs Oxygen Deprivation. Details: 1.) The doctor proceeded to inspect her windpipe with a small instrument, despite the anesthesiologist's warning that the swollen vocal cords could seize up and block breathing. Joan Rivers Jun 8th, 1933 – Sep 4th, 2014 2.) Ms. Rivers' weight was never recorded, as it required for proper administration of anesthesia. 3.) Physicians in charge failed to recognize rapidly declining vital signs and provide intervention quickly. 4.) E.N.T. Specialist who inspected Ms. River's voice box was not authorized to practice medicine at Yorkville Endoscopy. Overview: Died from brain damage due to oxygen deprivation following a routine throat 5.) Possible misdosing of Propofol. 6.) Doctors took unauthorized photos with Ms. Rivers' unconscious body. procedure conducted at Yorkville Endoscopy. 7.) Daughter, Melissa Rivers, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the clinic. Causes: Propofol: hypnotic anesthetic with a thin margin between sedation and cardiac arrest, combined with benzodiazepines including Valium, Lorazepam, and Midazolam. Cardiac Arrest Inducted by Combination of Drugs. Details: 1.) Jackson's personal physician was responsible for acquiring vast amounts of Propofol for his patient. 2.) Jackson kept insisting that he needed sleep in order to perform, but was unable to, despite Murray's administering of various benzodiazepines. 3.) Murray began administering “milk" (Propofol) under pressure from Jackson. He did not have the proper medical equipment to dispense it safely. Michael Jackson Aug 29th, 1958 – Jun 25th, 2009 4.) After Jackson fell asleep, Murray went to the bathroom and returned to find Jackson not breathing. 5.) Murray tried to revive Jackson, but performed CPR poorly and did not follow proper emergency procedure. 6) Murray did not call 911 until 20 minutes after Jackson stopped breathing. Overview: Died after a lethal overdose of benzodiazepines and Propofol. 7.) Murray failed to maintain proper medical records. 8.) After a 23-day trial, Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter with a 2-year prison sentence. Overview: Carvey's surgeon conducted a double heart bypass surgery on the wrong artery due to the complicated musculature overlaying the correct artery. Causes: Usual Heart Anatomy:The right artery was not visible to the surgeon, but with more time he could have located it. Details: 1.) The surgeon attached a healthy arterial segment to a healthy vessel instead of the damaged section. 2.) This mistake made him severely at risk for a heart attack, and he had to undergo a fourth emergency angioplasty in one year. 3.) His fourth angioplasty was successful. Dana Carvey Jun 2, 1955 4.) $7.5 million settlement that Carvey donated to various heart health charities. The Most Grievous Malpractice Crimes in Television While Dr. Gregory House, M.D. was a brilliant physician, his reckless disregard for standard of care and safety protocol jeopardized the health of his patients and the reputation of his hospital. Furthermore, his treatment of patients under the influence of self-prescribed Vicodin violates the ethics of practicing medicine. House M.D. House M.D. Season 2, Episode 2: Humpty Dumpty Season 2, Episode 8: The Mistake Cuddy's handyman falls through the roof and begins to experience discoloration in one hand and other infectious symptoms. House insists that the necrotizing hand be amputated. After the procedure is done, House realizes that it is a heart infection called Psittacosis. Robert Chase failed to ask a patient the proper questions to diagnose her bleeding ulcer because he was hung over at the time. The patient later died due to severe complications. The patient sues. Malpractice Type: Medical Negligence Malpractice Type: Failure to Diagnose Grey's Anatomy Nip/Tuck Season 6, Episode 6: I Saw What I Saw Season 4, Episode 13: Reefer Plastic surgeon Sean McNamara gets intoxicated on Christmas, but still manages to perform a clitoris enhancement on a patient. Later, he meets a homeless man on the beach and invites him back A burn victim dies unexpectedly after the physician failed to check the condition of her throat. The physician had been distracted by the chaos in the ER and forgot to inspect the soot-filled airway. to the clinic to clean him up and have a warm place to stay. An organ trafficker proceeds to steal the homeless man's organs. Malpractice Type: Medical Negligence Malpractice Type: Medical Negligence and Practicing Under the Influence SOURCES: The Law Offices of | | | | | Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates

The Facts and Fiction of Medical Malpractice

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Terrifying cases of medical malpractice from reality and TV.


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