Monday, 28 of May of 2018

Tag » error

Death Blamed on Liposuction, Anesthesia Complications Results in $20M Judgment

Even the most routine plastic surgeries carry risks for death. This gives every surgeon, nurse, technician and other member of a plastic surgery team the highest responsibilities to protect patients.

By James Lewis, Medical and Surgical Malpractice Attorney

A Pennsylvania (PA) appeals court on November 14, 2010, upheld a $20 million jury award to the parents of a teenager who died when, according to trial evidence, neither the plastic surgeon performing the procedure nor the assisting anesthesia nurse took appropriate actions when the patient experienced complications.

Amy Fledderman, 18, who lived near Philadelphia, died in the offices of plastic surgeon Richard Glunk and while under the care of nurse Edward DeStefano. The fatal operation took place in 2001. It was not scheduled for a hospital because, according to Fledderman’s parents, Glunk was unlicensed at the time and had lost hospital privileges.

During the liposuction, Fledderman suffered a punctured artery and an adverse reaction to anesthetics. The surgeon and nurse did not send the patient for advanced hospital treatment for several hours. This delay led to Fledderman’s death, a trail jury found in 2008. The verdict upheld last month included $15 million in punitive damages.

This sad case reminds me very much of a recent one involving a young Virginia Beach mother whose family received $1.95 judgment against a plastic surgery practice whose staff was found negligent in treating surgical complications.

Both the local tragedy and the one in Pennsylvania highlight two important lessons. First, plastic surgeries as routine as liposuction, breast augmentation and vein ablation (varicose vein treatment) are all surgeries. They carry serious risks and sometimes result in death.

That lesson highlights and reinforces the second: Surgeons, nurses, technicians and all members of the surgical team have every responsibility to protect patients from injuries before, during and after procedures are performed. When they fail to meet this duty of care, they must be held accountable.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA); we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office. Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now. While we do not accept every case, we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations. So call us toll free at (800) 752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, Eastern Shore Virginia Injury Attorneys Blog and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Doctor Admits Making Medical Mistake During Hand Surgery

Records indicate that there were 137 preventable "wrong-site" surgical mistakes made in 2009, which is a jump from 93 reported "wrong-site" surgical errors in 2007. What is a "wrong-site" surgical error? It's when the doctor performs a procedure on the wrong body part.

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

A doctor made the mistake of performing a carpal-tunnel-release operation on a woman’s hand when she was admitted for a trigger-finger-release operation. This was a blatant medical mistake and it happens far too often in many hospitals across the country.

In fact, records indicate that there were 137 preventable “wrong-site” surgical mistakes made in 2009, which is a jump from 93 reported ”wrong-site” surgical errors in 2007. What is a “wrong-site” surgical error? It’s when the doctor performs a procedure on the wrong body part.

What makes this medical mistake case somewhat unique is that the doctor was contrite and readily admitted his error. He apologized to the patient and went so far as to detail the mistake in the New England Journal of Medicine, according to MSNBC. 

His story was illustrative of the conditions that routinely lead to a preventable medical error. For example, there was a sudden turnover of staff, the communication between hospital staff and the doctor was not clear, and a pre-surgery check was not conducted.

Unfortunately, in these types of medical negligence cases, the doctor tries to avoid admitting liability or even attempts to blame the mistake on someone else or just call the mistake a random accident that was out of the doctor’s control. It’s refreshing for a doctor to simply call the incident what is was – a preventable medical mistake. 

If a doctor apologizes for their medical mistake, should you consider not filing a medical malpractice claim? Of course not. I applaud any doctor who immediately admits their error, but that does not change the fact that you may have been seriously injured because of the mistake. A doctor’s apology does not equate to compensating a woman who had the wrong procedure done on her hand and may face a myriad of issues with her hand down the road.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. PA


Cut/Perforated Ureter, Colon, or Bowel – A Preventable Surgical Mistake

My colleague Jim Lewis just published a new article about the serious risks associated with a cut/perforated ureter, colon, or bowel. This type of medical error can be life threatening. In fact, Jim is handling a case where a woman lost her life after having her bowel perforated by a surgeon. To learn more, read this article…

Routine Women’s Medical Procedures Carry Major Risks of Death and Life Threatening Sepsis From Cut/Perforated Ureters, Bowels, Colons


Surgeon Performs Brain Procedure on Wrong Side of Patient’s Head

The patient’s parents realized this type of medical negligence was unacceptable and filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. At trial, the hospital’s insurance company tried to pin the blame solely on the at-fault doctor while neglecting the fact that hospital nurses and administrators failed to inform the patient’s parents about the full extent of the damage until months after the horrific surgical error.

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

A 19-year-old patient suffering from a seizure disorder went in for surgery to have faulty brain tissue removed. Unfortunately, this procedure was just the beginning of his nightmare.

The surgeon who operated on the patient removed brain tissue from the wrong side of his head. Yes, you read that correctly – he cut open the patient’s head and removed tissue from the exact wrong side.

The surgeon realized his medical mistake and proceeded to operate on the other side, but the damage had been done.

After the surgery, the patient’s condition only got worse. Not only did he continue to suffer from seizures, but he started suffering from psychotic delusions and deteriorating intelligence, according to the Commercial Appeal.

The patient’s parents realized this type of medical negligence was unacceptable and filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. At trial, the hospital’s insurance company tried to pin the blame solely on the at-fault doctor while neglecting the fact that hospital nurses and administrators failed to inform the patient’s parents about the full extent of the damage until months after the horrific surgical error.

Fortunately, a jury realized the pain this poor patient had been put through through and awarded him $20 million for damages.

I’m glad the jury sided with the patient. Blatant medical mistakes like the one in this case are simply unacceptable.  

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. PA


Let’s Put the Seniors in Jail, and the Criminals in a Nursing Home.

Our elderly are being neglected to the point of death, abused, and humiliated in many nursing homes by the hands of those who are paid to protect them. Do convicted criminals have more rights and protection than our seniors? Find out more.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations so give us a call at 1-800-752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, please leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.


Misdiagnosed Kidney Infection Results in Leg, Foot Amputation for Maryland (MD) Woman

Unable to stop the spread of the patient's sepsis, doctors decided to partially amputate her leg and foot. The woman later sued her two principal physicians and, on August 9,2010, won a jury verdict for $2.35 million. Jurors determined that the doctors failed to provide the proper standard of care.

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Attorney

Imagine going to the emergency room with a severe stomachache and coming out of a coma almost two weeks later missing part of one leg and most of another foot. This is exactly what happened to a Silver Springs, Maryland (MD), mother of two young children when doctors at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital misdiagnosed her kidney infection as kidney stones.

According to the Washington Post, 24-year-old Yesenia Rivera had been treated and released at Adventist two days before returning with what she perceived as only severe stomach pains. Doctors compounded their first misdiagnosis by ruling that Rivera had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy or a gallbladder problem. Rivera actually had a form of sepsis — a blood infection that spreads from a patient’s skin, bowels, lungs or kidneys and can prove fatal even if treated aggressively.

Unable to stop the spread of Rivera’s sepsis, doctors decided to partially amputate her leg and foot. Rivera later sued her two principal physicians and, on August 9,2010, won a jury verdict for $2.35 million. Jurors determined that the doctors, who were practicing at Adventist under contract, failed to provide the proper standard of care.

Medical mistakes take many forms, and missed diagnoses are among the most common and most serious. While perfection is too high a standard to which to hold doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care providers, patients and families need to be able to receive compensation for injuries — and, sometimes, deaths — that result from errors made by medical professionals. I am glad the Maryland jury recognized that.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office. Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now. While we do not accept every case, we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations. So call us toll free at (800) 752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard Eastern Shore Virginia Injury Attorneys Blog and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Botched Hysterectomy Suit Results in $3M Verdict for Winchester, VA, Woman

Hysterectomies -- the removal of the uterus to protect a woman's health -- are fairly routine. When the surgeries go wrong, though, the pain and suffering women experience can be severe and life-threatening.

By Richard Shapiro, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

Hysterectomies — the removal of the uterus to protect a woman’s health — are fairly routine. When the surgeries go wrong, though, the pain and suffering women experience can be severe and life-threatening.

This is what happened to a woman in Winchester, Virginia (VA), whose surgeon cut through the structure separating her bowels and reproductive organs while performing a hysterectomy in the spring of 2007. The surgeon, according to a report on NV.com, misidentified the patient’s tissues; cut, nicked and sutured the wrong areas; and misapplied surgical techniques. As a result, the patient suffered “physical trauma … severe nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, bloody bowel movements, severe cramping [and] persistent fevers.”

The woman underwent emergency surgery four days after the botched hysterectomy and subsequently sued the surgeon for negligence and breach of care. In late May 2010, a jury handed down a verdict in favor of the patient, awarding her a total of $3 million .

Because of Virginia’s misguided cap on medical malpractice awards and a likely appeal by the surgeon who made the error, the jury verdict will come down. That written, I am pleased to see that the surgeon who harmed the woman during what should have been a safe procedure was held to account.

My colleagues and I have spent decades representing patients who have suffered injuries during surgeries that left them in worse health than when they went into the hospital. Each case has been unique, but each has shown how much pain and suffering a surgeon’s mistakes or negligence can cause a patient and the patient’s family members. While no amount of money can fully compensate a person who has suffered a surgical mistake, justice is served by ensuring victims receive funds to cover the costs of recovery.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office. Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now–we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard Eastern Shore Virginia Injury Attorneys Blog and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.

EJL


Attorney Examines the Risks of Needles Left Inside a Patient After Surgery

A needle left inside a patient can lead to very serious injuries or even death since it is a sharp object that could puncture and/or tear a vital organ or tissue. A study conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health found that 1,500 patients are the victims of this type of surgical error every year. To put that number into perspective, 1,500 patients breaks down to about four victims every day. To learn more, check out this article:

How Dangerous is a Surgical Needle When Left in the Human Body?


Victim’s Jury Award Reduced to Comply with Medical Malpractice Damage Cap

Unfortunately, VA law does not fully appreciate our trial by jury system and has an arbitrary “damage cap” to restrict the amount of compensation a victim can receive. The goal of this cap is to try and cut down on “frivolous lawsuits” and keep health insurance premiums under control. Well, health insurance premiums continue to escalate and you have to ask yourself - Does this case and the pain inflicted upon the victim sound frivolous? This is a woman who went in to have a hysterectomy and awoke to find her vagina stitched to her rectum.

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

A woman who had her vagina stitched to her rectum received a $3 million award from a jury in Winchester, Virginia (VA). A jury realized how egregious this surgical error was and considered the multiple surgeries the victim had to endure (along with being forced to wear a colostomy bag for two months) while arriving at the $3 million award.

Unfortunately, VA law does not fully appreciate our trial by jury system and has an arbitrary “damage cap” to restrict the amount of compensation a victim can receive. The goal of this cap is to try and cut down on “frivolous lawsuits” and keep health insurance premiums under control. Well, health insurance premiums continue to escalate and you have to ask yourself – Does this case and the pain inflicted upon the victim sound frivolous? This is a woman who went in to have a hysterectomy and awoke to find her vagina stitched to her rectum.

The doctor’s best defense was that this type of surgical error was an “acceptable risk.” I don’t think any reasonable person would actually anticipate enduring such a serious injury when they schedule a hysterectomy.

The victim’s $3 million jury award was reduced to $1.925 million, which was the precise amount allowed under the cap at the time of the lawsuit, according to the Winchester Star. The victim’s lawyer argued that the cap was unconstitutional, but the Judge did not did not agree.

These types of cases perfectly illustrate the serious defects of having a medical malpractice damages cap. The victim in this case had her life changed forever through no fault of her own. She will continue to suffer pain and mental anguish for years, perhaps for the rest of her life. How does VA’s legal system respond to this pain? It essentially punishes the victim by cutting the award she received by a jury of her peers. 

Let’s hope our legislators eventually realize that having a damage cap does nothing but penalize a victim and undermines a key component to the bedrock our democracy – the trial by jury and the awards provided by these juries. 

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.


Disarray at the VA: Medical Mistakes Causing Major Problems for Veterans Hospitals

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Attorney

Hundreds of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals have had their “surgical complexity” ratings changed in response to numerous medical errors and doctor mistakes. Five hospitals had their ratings downgraded, which basically means the types of surgeries allowed at those facilities will be reduced because the doctors simply can’t handle the procedures.

“What types of mistakes have taken place at these VA hospitals?” you might ask. Well, a cancer unit at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center mishandled close to 100 cases involving radiation treatment and it is alleged that staff members altered records to cover mistakes, according to aboutlawsuits.com. The VA is also dealing with colonoscopy problems at VA centers in Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), and Tennessee (TN) where contaminated equipment exposed thousands of veterans to hepatitis, HIV and other blood borne diseases.

Here’s another example of medical negligence at a VA Hospital:

 It’s good to see VA officials taking action on this important safety issue, but more reforms need to be enacted. The doctors and surgeons at the five VA hospitals that received complexity downgrades should have their past performance records reviewed and potentially be required to go through a re-training course or some type of program on medical error prevention. Another common sense reform is requiring the use of “safe-surgery” checklists and even basic medical procedure checklists to help ensure all steps are taken and no blatant errors are made due to rushing through a procedure.

It is important we correct these errors. Why? Because every VA hospital should exemplify the highest standards of medical care. The brave men and women who serve in uniform, and their loved ones, deserve that kind of treatment.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.

PA