Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

The South Florida medical malpractice law firm of David J. Halberg P.A. handles cases involving injuries from PICC lines (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter). These devices along with IV catheters and ports can be helpful if properly handled and inserted.

Unfortunately, if these devices are improperly inserted or handled there can be catastrophic damage to the patient, including infection, loss of limb or even loss of life.

Not only is it important how these devices are handled and inserted, it is also critical how the condition of the patient is followed on an ongoing basis. If warning signs of injury are ignored, the results can be tragic.
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According to the American Cancer Society in order to receive immediate and proper medical treatment, timing is vital in a patient who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The earlier the cancer is detected the sooner the appropriate treatment can be started which betters the survival rate and opportunity for a cure.

The survival statistics of many types of cancer are optimistic if the cancer is diagnosed early and timely medical treatment is provided. That’s why the window of opportunity is crucial and time is of the essence when dealing with this disease. Early detection is key.
Failing to diagnose and treat cancer in a patient who presents with signs and symptoms of the disease may be grounds for medical malpractice against the physician and/or healthcare providers.
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a serious warning regarding the use of a medical device during laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgeries. On November 24, 2014 the FDA updated a pervious warning that it had issued on April 2014.

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The device is called a power morcellator which is used in laparoscopic surgeries to divide tissues into small pieces so they can be removed via small incision sites that are made by the surgeon.
Unfortunately, when used to remove uterine fibroids or a uterus during a hysterectomy, it poses a risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue, notably sarcomas.
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If a doctor misdiagnoses a patient it’s a slippery slope of subsequent errors. Based on a doctor’s misdiagnosis the patient will not receive the proper care and treatment needed for their current condition. In many cases, a misdiagnosis can lead to prescriptions of medications that the patient does not actually need. In other cases, because of a doctor’s misdiagnosis a patient may not obtain the necessary subsequent care needed such as radiological studies or lab work to properly diagnose their actual condition.

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We often go to the pharmacy, hand over the medication prescription given to us by our physician and assume that we will be given the proper medication. Not once do we take into consideration that the pharmacist will make a medication error.
There are a several types of medication errors that can occur that we should dedicate more time reviewing before assuming that the vial of medication you were handed is the proper medication you should take.
pills-tablets-1-1184376.jpgPerhaps a simple yet safe way of cross-checking is by taking a picture of your medication prescription before handing it over to the pharmacist. That way, when you pick up your medication you can compare the information on the vial with that of the written prescription that was provided by your doctor. If there are any concerns or questions, you can ask the pharmacist right then and there prior to leaving home with that medication.
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Recently, an investigative report from the national media blew the whistle on a West Palm Beach, Florida hospital that allowed underqualified and understaffed medical providers to perform heart surgeries on children and babies. The overall mortality rates of these children and babies was three times the national average which placed a spotlight on the deficiencies at the hospital. The revelations surrounding the St. Mary’s pediatric heart surgery department are both horrifying and disturbing. How is it possible that a hospital, presumed to be dedicated to the well-being and safety of its patients, be so ill-equipped for such a complex area of medicine? To make matters worse, those harmed by the failure of St. Mary’s to adhere to necessary standards are the most innocent and needy in our society.
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Because cosmetic surgery procedures are almost always elective surgery on the part of the patient, these types of cases are more difficult to litigate in front of a jury panel. Why? Because many jurors opine that in many cases, cosmetic surgery procedures are elective procedures to improve one’s appearance and not medically necessary or life- saving procedures. As such, when something goes wrong during these types of procedures, jurors scrutinize the case a little more, because many feel the patient put themselves into the situation by electing to have the procedure done when it may not have been medically necessary.

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Nonetheless, cosmetic surgery whether elective or not, shall still be taken seriously and when medical care during these procedures go wrong there can be serious life threatening results.
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On July 1, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeals issued a major decision affecting medical malpractice injury cases.

In the case of North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan, the court held that the arbitrary caps on damages in Florida Statute 766.118 to be unconstitutional in medical malpractice injury cases.

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This decision was based in part on the Florida Supreme Court decision in McCall, et al v. United States of America which held that the caps were unconstitutional as applied to medical malpractice wrongful death cases.

The court further held that its decision was not limited to future cases but was also applicable to existing cases.
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According to the New York Times article, “Doctors at Hospital Chain Giant Performed Unnecessary Cardiac Work, Increasing Profits”, from 2002 – 2010 cardiologists at several HCA-owned hospitals in Florida were unable to justify many of the procedures they were performing. Many of the allegations related to unnecessary cardiac catheterization procedures. The subject hospitals include, but are not limited to, Cedar Medical Center in Miami, Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute, and Regional Medical Center in Bayonet Point.

Specifically, at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute, half of the cardiac catheterization procedures were determined to have been done on patients without significant heart disease. Currently the United States Attorney’s Office in Miami has requested information concerning the medical necessity of interventional cardiology services at 10 of HCA-owned hospitals.

It has been alleged that the aforementioned procedures were motivated by financial considerations. However, HCA denies said allegations and remains steadfast on its focus of quality patient care. Currently, it is not known how many procedures were performed, how many patients have died, or been injured as a result of the aforesaid unnecessary medical treatment. Nonetheless, it is apparent that the problems are widespread and reach beyond just one physician.

Ultimately, patients may suffer irreversible damage as a result of unnecessary cardiac catheterization procedures, and the longer patients wait to seek legal or medical aid, the more permanent and damaging the effects can become. If you have been the recipient of a cardiac catheterization procedure at a HCA-owned hospital in Florida during the last 10 years, and are suffering and/or experiencing any adverse health conditions, please feel free to call our Florida Cardiac Catheterization lawyers at David J. Halberg, P.A. for a free consultation.
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A 28-year-old woman who says a male nurse sexually assaulted her is suing Bethesda Memorial Hospital for Boynton Beach personal injury. In her Palm Beach County sexual abuse lawsuit, she identifies herself as ‘Jane Doe.’

The woman says the assault happened last September. She had been admitted to the Boynton Beach hospital for treatment of a digestive order and she says that she woke up to find Kenneth Shing-Cheung Lee inappropriately touching her. She says that she immediately ran to the nurse’s situation to report what happened. The woman contends that hospital officials didn’t take her claims seriously, which is why she contacted police.

The accused nurse has denied the sex abuse allegations. However, the plaintiff said that she doesn’t think this is the first time that he has sexually abused a patient.