Many people are injured due to medical malpractice every year, but, sadly, far too few ever seek a lawyer's help. In fact, it has been estimated that 85% of people injured due to medical malpractice never filed a claim. According to an article recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 180,000 people die each year due to medical mistakes. This has become one of the leading causes of death in United States after deaths from heart disease and cancer. If you have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, we are ready to help you.

- Attorney Moseley Collins

February 28, 2014

California Cardiac Surgeon Faces Medical Malpractice Charges

A well-known cardiac surgeon has allegedly failed to remain in the operating room until the patient’s chest was properly closed during a 2012 cardiac surgery, he did not designate a physician to take over care when he left, and did not respond to the patients decline in health as a result of the surgery, according to a medical malpractice claim filed in the Superior Court of California for Fresno County in December of 2013.

The actual reasons behind the patient’s death went unknown for several months. It wasn’t until mid-October 2013, when the patient’s wife received an anonymous phone call from medical staff saying the surgeon was at fault. It was a shock to find out her husband had been treated to negligently and died in such a careless and avoidable manner.

The unknown caller severely condemned the surgeons care as the reason for death and claimed he left a surgical tech to close the gaping hole left from cardiac surgery. The patient suffered severe blood loss, cardiac arrest and was placed on life support.

The patient’s wife seeks damages for past and future medical bills, around the clock medical and personal care via nursing home, pain, suffering, mental anguish, limitations on future life activities, and damage to the marriage.

California Health and Human Services also received an anonymous tip about this case. They reviewed the case and found the surgeon did indeed leave the operating room without a competent surgeon in place to finish it.

Because of his negligence the patient is forever changed. The lives of his wife and family are forever changed. He was robbed of his life and marriage. The surgeon claims he was allowing the tech to practice and admits he should not have done so.

A small omission or mistake during cardiac surgery can leave huge, life-altering repercussions. If you or someone you love have experienced this type of medical malpractice call our offices immediately to find out how we can help.

Medical malpractice cases are expensive both financially and emotionally and all damages are equally important. The goal of taking these doctors and medical professionals to court for their mistakes is to leave the victim in the same shape as they were before the malpractice. While this can’t always be accomplished it can place the victim or his family somewhat closer than they were.

Going into a medical malpractice case without a lawyer you can trust is not advisable. Only an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can successfully navigate these types of cases. Ask questions of any lawyer you consider to make sure this isn’t the first time they have covered a medical malpractice case like yours. It’s important.

January 27, 2014

New Concerns of Medical Malpractice

With the current focus on ObamaCare and what it means to the American public, it brings up new worries of medical malpractice and substandard medical care. Medical malpractice is defined as professional negligence by an act or omission by a health care provider. This implies that the treatment provided falls below normal accepted standards of care in the medical environment causing injury or even death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. Some cases are so outrageous that they make the news headlines, like the recent case of the doctor carving on the wrong side of a patient’s brain. Another patient awoke after surgery to find doctors had removed the wrong leg! Even more shocking, a top surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England carved his initials into a patient’s liver, which was discovered by another surgeon during a different procedure. And a few years ago, a doctor performing a hysterectomy carved the patient’s name onto her uterus, claiming it was a ‘friendly gesture”. Another surgeon branded his initials into a woman’s abdomen after performing a C-section. Why would someone do that? Who’s going to even see that bit of handiwork anyway? Doctors claim the branding leaves only minor superficial burning and doesn't cause harm to the patient. Some small comfort when you’re walking around with some crazy doctor’s brand on your guts! Now the question is how many other people are out there with organs bearing their doctor’s mark? This type of behavior is puzzling, shocking and extremely disturbing!

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, approximately 225,000 people die each year from medical malpractice. These incidents may be split into several categories: 12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgery, 7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals, 20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals, 80,000 deaths from infections and 106,000 deaths from non-error, adverse effects of medication. The average annual number of suits filed each year is about 85,000, with the actual number of medical injuries estimated to be about one million per year.

Malpractice can be a result of poor communication or simply bad practice, and it is not just limited to the surgery field. Surgery is an easy field to pick on as there are plenty of cases of things like surgical instruments (forceps, gauze squares, clamps, sponges and more) being left in a body after surgery. There was even a comedy war movie back in 1964 called “Ensign Pulver”, where Pulver and his Captain are swept overboard during a storm, end up stranded on an island with a group of nurses, dancing natives, and one big case of appendicitis. The wise-cracking practical joke playing ensign gets his revenge on his tyrannical captain by placing several boiled and sterilized marbles in his abdomen during emergency surgery to remove the captain’s diseased appendix. It’s a funny movie worth a watch. Malpractice itself is not funny and it affects every one of us in some way, and must be addressed.

January 22, 2014

Exploring Complexities of Birth Asphyxia, Hypoxia and Intrauterine Hypoxia

Becoming a parent can be termed as one of the most wonderful events in a couple’s life. However, pregnancies may sometimes be subjected to complications and uncalled for predicaments. Some of the most critical problems include Birth Asphyxia, Birth Hypoxia and Intrauterine Hypoxia, which are discussed in this article.

The word Asphyxia means lack of oxygen. During pregnancy or right after birth the baby might at some point face a lack of sufficient oxygen that can profoundly affect the newborn’s proper growth, development and functioning. Due to this lack of oxygen, the cells’ functioning is impaired and the buildup of wastes can cause temporary or permanent damage to the babies’ key organs. Asphyxia can be caused by numerous reasons some of which include: early and abrupt separation of placenta from the uterine wall, presence of anemic cells in the baby, infections of any sort prevailing within the mother, complications that may arouse during delivery, lack of oxygen in the mothers blood, improper or incomplete development of the baby’s airways and/or an obstruction is present in the airways. Asphyxia can cause severe damage to the baby but it is dependent upon the severity of the condition and how quickly the treatment is given. Babies with mild cases of asphyxia may recover fully within a given time period. However, babies whose cells could not receive enough oxygen for a prolonged time may experience permanent injury to their brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, bowels or other organs.

Insufficient provision of oxygen to brain when occurs gives birth to Hypoxia and Cerebral Palsy, which initially affects the cerebral hemisphere and later the entire brain. Furthermore, developmental disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or impaired sight are subsequent health risks associated with Hypoxia. In some severe cases when the treatment is delayed the disease can cause organ failure and can be fatal. In case of organ failure, technologies such as Continuous Dialysis for kidney failure, ECMO for heart and/or lung failure and whole body cooling with Bedside Brain Monitoring are among the treatment options.

A similar condition that emerges during pregnancy or childbirth related complexities is Intrauterine Hypoxia, which is the deprivation of oxygen to the unborn baby during fetal stage. Often it is caused by prolapse or occlusion of the umbilical cord, placental infarction and maternal smoking. It causes cellular damage within the nervous system, increasing chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This condition can cause many problems later on such as epilepsy, ADHD and eating disorders because oxygen deprivation is the leading contributor to these neurological disorders. Cigarette smoking by expectant mothers has a wide variety of deterioratory effects on the developing fetus. Among the negative effects are carbon monoxide induced tissue hypoxia and placental insufficiency which causes a reduction in blood flow from the uterus to the placenta thus decreasing the availability of oxygenated blood to the fetus. Treatment of infants suffering birth asphyxia by lowering the core body temperature is now known to be an effective therapy to reduce mortality and improve neurological outcome in survivors. Intrauterine hypoxia and birth asphyxia were listed together as the tenth leading causes of neonatal death.

January 15, 2014

Understanding Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes is a very spreading and problem-causing disease that affects millions of people worldwide, people who already have a lot of problems, either since birth, or since they have begun to eat a very bad diet which makes them even more vulnerable and susceptible to the diabetes risk.

Normal diabetes can be the choice of a continuous malnutrition that can skyrocket those glucose levels to the highest point. What happens when this disease relates to pregnancy, and especially the gestational period, a period that is supposed to bring only smiles and happiness to the potential parental couple?

Well the road seems to be out of roses for the 4% to 10% of women who can suffer from gestational diabetes. However knowledge and special knowledge pointed to the risks and dangers of gestational diabetes is always a power.

It is globally known that health in risk for the mother-to-be means danger for that small little creature that tries to grow within her. Was it the woman’s fault that she wanted to receive the gift of motherhood? Or was it the child’s fault that he wants to grow at a safe environment only to come out healthy in this cruel world? None’s fault of course.

Danger begins from the fact that insulin cannot pass the placenta. But guess what? Glucose can. So we ought to smack our heads on the wall for being humans, just because our nature made us imperfect right from the beginning of life. Nature does its task. But what happens when the unwanted circumstance where the blood glucose levels get higher inside the baby’s placenta is not actually the mother’s intention?

Studies have shown that whatever the history of a new mother is, gestational diabetes has always got potential. The baby will try to fight all this unintentional intrusion of glucose with its own pancreas. However since the mother’s organism could not produce the necessary amounts of insulin to protect the baby too, the baby has to do all the job even before it is born.

You can of course imagine how difficult is for a fetus, that used to be a small egg before it got shape to fight high glucose with not even a properly formed immune system. The result can be tragic: Glucose is stored as fat into the baby, determining its high risk exit into the real world.

So what would be the dangers for the small one as well as for its mother? The most common dangerous result from the fight of the fetus is called macrosomia. It is the condition where the baby weights excessively more than expected. Its breathing can be very defective and it can also run the danger of dying from seizures and eclampsia , conditions that have been caused by the high blood pressure of the mother and baby. Luckily gestational diabetes can be prevented if properly monitored in the 28th week of pregnancy, and cured with bringing back the insulin levels to a non-threatening level. So future mothers be informed, even if you think you are not concerned!

January 10, 2014

Summary of Sacramento Medical Malpractice Issues

The statute of limitations is a big issue in medical malpractice cases. In Sacramento, a victim must begin the legal process within one year from the date the injury was discovered. In some cases up to three years grace period is granted. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 340.5 (West 1992)

In cases of a retained foreign body, such as a sponge left inside the body during surgery, the claim can reach for as long as it takes the claimant to discover the entity. Ashworth v. Memorial Hosp. of Long Beach, 206 Cal. App. 3d 1046, 254 Cal. Rptr. 104 (1988), rehearing denied, March 23, 1989. - See more at: http://www.mcandl.com/california.html#sthash.7ENOwq5L.dpuf

Another reason it could take longer than one year is if the complaint is on behalf of a minor child. However, if the child is under the age of six years the action must have commenced within three years prior to the eighth birthday of the child.

An important note here is the statutory period starts for adults at the moment of discovery but for minors it begins at the conception of the negligent act. Some California courts have begun to read a provision into the law here. It adds a provision for children based on the theory that not doing so will deny minor children equal protection under the law. Photias v. Doerfler, 45 Cal. App. 4th 1014, 53 Cal. Rptr. 2d 202 (1996); Katz v. Children’s Hospital of Orange County, 28 F.3d 1520 (9th Cir. 1994). - See more at: http://www.mcandl.com/california.html#sthash.7ENOwq5L.dpuf

Comparative or contributory negligence is a big factor in medical malpractice cases. Comparative negligence says that the plaintiff’s actions were negligent and directly caused the victims injuries. Failure to act responsibly can be considered a negligent act.

Vicarious liability also comes into play in medical malpractice cases. Vicarious liability says that a hospital can be held liable for any and all negligent acts by a doctor. The physician can be an actual or ostensible agent in the negligence. Ostensible agencies develop when the physician knowingly or by some other action causes a third party to believe another is an agent.

Expert testimony is an important part of medical malpractice cases. Medical malpractice cases must be established as prima facie, or with sufficient evidence, when presented in court. In order to accomplish this, a medical expert must present testimony.

Damage caps are a big issue in Sacramento medical malpractice cases. In instances of noneconomic claims, California places a cap on the amount that can be rewarded as compensation. Noneconomic factors are things like pain and suffering. Inconvenience, disfigurement, types of physical impairment and other non-pecuniary injury, are limited to $250,000.

Cases of medical malpractice can be difficult in Sacramento. Moseley Collins is an attorney with years of experience in area medical malpractices cases. The laws are intricate and insurance companies are out only to save as much money as possible. Moseley Collins has the case experience to predict the best course of action for your individual case.

January 7, 2014

California Hospital Cover-up Scandal

A California medical malpractice case citing wrongful death is scheduled for trial later this year in which a California hospital, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, is charged with covering up the cause of a patient’s death. In the lawsuit the hospital and the surgeon are accused of hiring an outside service to perform an autopsy and file a false report as the circumstances of the patient’s death.

The victims survivors, a wife and child, seek punitive damages based on the fraud, conspiracy and cover-up – all denied by the hospital and surgeon.

The patient was male, 42 years old and scheduled for surgery to remove a cervical disc in January of 2010. Post-operative hematoma is a known side effect of this surgery. If it occurs, it can expand to the point of trachea obstruction. Patients can suffocate to death if the condition is not promptly diagnosed and treated.

Twelve hours after surgery there is a nurse documented change in his voice and he complained that breathing felt strange to him. Approximately 2 a.m. the following morning the nurse contacted the doctor via telephone to inform him of the change in voice, trouble breathing and swallowing and swelling. The surgeon prescribed an icepack and numbing gel.

Ten minutes after the phone call, the nurse called for an evaluation from the hospitals rapid response team. They medicated him and provided oxygen. By 2:30 he was reported blue in color and no attempts to resuscitate him were successful.

The pathologist from the outside, hired by the hospital to file a false report listed a fatty liver as the cause of death. The legal claim against the hospital is that they arranged for this autopsy to fool the wife.

It was only after she became suspicious and ordered a third autopsy did she find that her husband had indeed died from an airway obstruction caused by an expanding post-operative hematoma. The medical malpractice suit brought against the hospital and the surgeon allows that the surgeon colluded by lying to the wife. It also presents that timely and accurate diagnosis would have precluded a small slit in his throat that would have saved his life.

The hospital and surgeon deny all allegation of wrongdoing. They deny any negligence, conspiracy or cover-ups. The surgeon denies he received the nurse’s phone call stating trouble breathing and swallowing and changes in voice.

An attorney for the hospital says all claims are false, preposterous, beyond the bounds of reason and unsupported by any evidence.

This sounds like something out of a movie but it’s true and things like this happen all the time. If you or a loved one has been affected by medical malpractice consult an attorney immediately.

Moseley Collins is a knowledgeable, experience medical malpractice attorney you can trust. His Christian values and strong morals have garnered him many happy client testimonials. As so many others have, turn to him when you need help in your medical malpractice case. Call our office for a free consultation to learn how we can help you.

January 2, 2014

Medication Errors

Medicine is arguably the greatest invention of modern medicine. Pain relief, disease prevention and cure, and treatment of chronic disease symptoms are all products of modern medications. Unfortunately, due to many reasons, innocent people’s lives are put in jeopardy each day because of errors in medication. If medication is not prescribed and dispensed correctly, the patient can be seriously injured or even die.

Medication errors can happen at home, in the hospital or in the doctor’s office. More than one million people a year experience a medication error of some type and Sacramento experiences many of those, many of which are preventable. The California Medical Board listed 110 occurrences of serious disciplinary action against a medical professional in 2000. In 2009, 132 preventable accidents in medication were listed and the number is rising each year.

These deaths and injuries happen when medication errors occur which leads to medication being used improperly. These errors could be prescribing the wrong medicine, or the wrong dose. Other causes include illegal prescriptions, poor communication, typos and similar sounding medication names and abbreviations.

In order to prove negligence in a medical malpractice case some form of deviance from the acceptable standard of care has to have taken place. Examples of this type of negligence include:
When prescribing a new drug, the physician should screen for existing medications that could counteract as well as any allergies that could cause dangerous interactions.

A healthcare professional who abuses patient’s medications is negligent.

Doctors or nurses who are not attentive or who do not perform their duties are negligent.

Pharmacists who do not have practiced safety protocols in place for drug distribution are negligent.
The best way to prevent medication errors is to be educated and knowledgeable on your injury and treatment and to keep communication with your doctor open and direct.

Below are some basic tips to keep in mind to help prevent medication errors.

Make sure to tell all doctors and health care providers all the medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, supplements and any special diets you may be using. Without this knowledge, a doctor could possible prescribe a medication that would counteract with something your already taking and cause adverse reactions.

Ask your prescribing doctor for a summary of your medications. Have him pronounce the names of the medications, explain their dosage and use. Be sure you understand completely. Ask if there are any particular storage instructions or special instructions.

Be assertive. This is your health we are talking about. Ask questions when you aren’t clear about something. If your medicines look different or if the instructions on the bottle differ from what you were told, you should ask your doctor to clarify.

Moseley Collins is experience in medicinal error cases. He has fought for his clients to receive fair remuneration for the pain, suffering and devastating effects of medicinal errors. Contact our offices today for a free consultation. Find out if negligence has occurred in your case and how we an prove it in court.

December 24, 2013

Gastric Bypass Issues

Some people, try as they might, are unable to lose the amount of weight they would like to lose. So many Americans have a perfect body image they strife for but are not always able to obtain, be it genetic, hereditary or just plain product of age. Elective weight loss surgery has become an alternative to just excepting what you cannot change.

Elective weight loss surgeries like gastric bypass, LAP Band, Sleeve gastrectomies, and gastric banding can give patients the body they have always wanted, or at least one closer to it than they had before. The trouble is they carry a high risk of serious injury and even death if an error occurs. Not all patients appreciate the seriousness of these major abdominal procedures.

Of all the forms of elective weight loss surgery, gastric bypass is the most common. It is performed as both a minimal invasive surgery and an open surgery. During the surgery a loop of bowel is used to bypass the major section of the stomach. The smaller portion of the stomach retains only an ounce or two.

This separation of the stomach into two parts permits the upper portion to be directly connected to the lower section of the small intestine. Food bypasses part of the stomach and small intestines therefore reducing the caloric intake.

There are many cases of medical malpractice each year in Sacramento related to gastric bypass and elective weight loss surgeries. One of the biggest risk factors occurs when the procedure is performed in a clinic, doctors office or surgery center. Medical emergencies are more common outside of a hospital. Other health care facilities do not always have the equipment and resources to save someone’s life.

Patients in emergency distress may be kept too long waiting for an ambulance. Nurses and emergency room surgeons are scarce in nonhospital environments. Problems associated with elective weight loss surgeries, such as anesthesia, need immediate attention. Waiting to long can result in brain injuries that last a lifetime and even death.

According to research by the University of Iowa, there are three main reasons for death during an elective weight loss surgery; leaks, small bowel obstruction and pulmonary embolism.

Leaks occur when digestive matters seep through the staple lines into the abdomen causing absessses and infection. Symptoms include fever, a high heart rate, and extreme pain. Repairs can be made if the condition is caught soon enough.

Small bowel obstructions are the least common complication to elective weight loss surgery that can result in death. This malady occurs when the intestines twist and do not allow food and digestive fluids to flow through causing pain and vomiting.

Pulmonary embolisms are the most common form of fatality associated with gastric bypass surgery. This occurs when a foreign object such as an air bubble is introduced into the blood stream at a pulmonary artery that causes an obstruction.

Death, permanent brain damage, injury and more are all possible side effects of gastric bypass gone horribly wrong. If you have experienced this by a Sacramento doctor and need help, we are here.

December 17, 2013

Errors in the Emergency Room

Sacramento emergency room physicians may have the most stressful, difficult job in the world. It becomes even more challenging when you factor in the long hours, ever-changing schedules, and unpredictable work environment. It is impossible to properly diagnosis multiple patients with 100% accuracy in these conditions. Mistakes will occur.

While these conditions and the improbability of perfect diagnosis every time are understandable, doctors and other health care professionals are still held to a certain standard in healthcare. If gross negligence occurs under their care or as a result of their care, they will be held responsible.

Most Common Emergency Room Errors

People go to the emergency room to be treated. They have a sickness or injury and need help. When people are let down by the professionals they go to for help it sometimes leaves a deep emotional scar. It becomes hard to trust others and myriad social problems develop. It is a travesty when you leave the emergency room in worse shape than you came in.

Some of the more common emergency room errors are listed below:
Improper discharging of patient from medical facility
Unfitting diagnosis
Anesthesia errors
Failure to treat an injury
Improper test result analysis
Prescribing the incorrect medication
IV miscalculations
Incorrect medication dose
Surgical errors

Causes of Emergency Room Errors

The job and the environment themselves are enough to explain why errors occur in the emergency room. The number one factor repeatedly attributed to these errors is lack of sleep. Doctors, especially those in the emergency room, are notoriously prone to sleep deprivation.

Some of the more common causes of emergency room errors are listed below:
-Overloaded emergency rooms
-Poorly trained staff
-Understaffing
-Inadequately prepared emergency rooms
-Shortage of equipment and beds
-Staff suffering from fatigue and stress
-Lack of financial resources

What You Need to Prove Emergency Room Error

In order to prove a malpractice claim there must be proof of negligence. All doctors owe a duty of responsible care to their patients. When this duty is not met, negligence occurs. Doctors, nurses and health care professionals are under the care and responsibility of the facility they are using, therefore, hospitals, clinics and treatment facilities are also held responsible in cases of negligence in an emergency room. In some cases even more people can be partially responsible. Equipment manufacturers and drug makers can also hold some of the blame.

Ending up with an injury from an emergency room accident is a definite possibility. To lessen the damage and help out the case in court, document every part of your emergency room visit. Make note of the doctors and nurses you come in contact with. Write down the days and times of procedures and treatments. Any and all documentation can be useful in a court case for negligence.

Moseley Collins is an experienced lawyer with many emergency room error cases under his belt. He knows his way around a court room and how to help you win a case like this. Call today for a free consultation on your emergency room error in Sacramento.

December 10, 2013

Anesthesia Malpractice Issues

Mistakes with anesthesia are a fairly common occurrence during surgery. The far majority is noticed before they cause damage or even occur. Patients rarely, if ever, even know the mistake occurred. Only in cases of death or bodily harm do most patients learn of an error in anesthesia.

Aestheticians are a very important part of the surgery. Unfortunately, however, they are one of the least known persons involved. The surgeons and the nurses are usually introduced and available to the patient for some time prior to the surgery. Not so, the aestheticians, who are often only introduced moments before the procedure. This gives the patient less time to check background experience and credentials.

Patients are also able to select their surgeons from a variety of opinions they have been given by each. The aestheticians are a different story. Most patients do not consider this important role in their surgery.

Mistakes in anesthesia can lead to discomfort, pain, trauma, emotional distress and/or serious physical impairment. Brain damage, post-traumatic stress and even death can occur.

Anesthesia Awareness is a serious issue and grounds for malpractice. This term is used to describe a case with a patient who is awake, aware, seeing, hearing and feeling everything but unable to move or speak. This condition occurs because of the paralyzing drugs used to keep patients safely still during surgery. Often, these drugs counteract with the anesthesia and the patient is unable to tell anyone.

Estimations of between 20 and 30 thousand patients per year suffer this affliction. The effects range from completely awake and aware during surgery to vaguely hazy recollections. This nightmarish experience more often than not causes myriad psychological problems. Nightmares, social problems, insomnia, paranoia, flashbacks and a whole host of issues occur after an incident of anesthesia awareness.

Anesthesia awareness and other anesthesia related issues can be greatly reduced if not avoided completely when the healthcare professionals administer a proper standard of healthcare. There are several issues that can lead to improper standards. Things that will affect the standard include:

Poor monitoring
Inadequate training
Insufficient drug dosage
Unaccustomedness with procedures
Mechanism misuse or malfunction

United States medical malpractice statistics from 2002 show 467 medical malpractice payments were made and $338,190 was the mean medical malpractice payments made due to anesthesia related malpractice.

In 2011, a California jury awarded $2.25 million in an anesthesia malpractice lawsuit filed against an anesthesiologist who allegedly let the plaintiff go too deep under, resulting in a brain injury due to lack of oxygen. The medical center the surgery took place in was also held accountable.

The botched eye surgery at Mazzocco Ambulatory Surgical Center left a California man with an anoxic brain injury, according to the complaint. He charged both the anesthesiologist and the medical center with negligence and won.

Anesthesia issues are serious and even deadly at times. If you have experience an issue with anesthesia during surgery it is your civic duty to call attention to the negligent party and stop it from happening to someone else.

Moseley Collins is an experienced medical malpractice attorney with many anesthesia related cases under his belt. Call today for a consultation on your case and see how our firm can help you.

September 25, 2013

Medication Mistakes Cost Millions

When folks in Sacramento get sick they visit a doctor. The doctor will recommend a plan of health which usually includes a prescription of pharmaceutical medications. For those with chronic issues, the doctor’s visits are frequent and repetitive. However, medical negligence can turn this common occurrence into a nightmare.

A patient getting the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage can experience severe complications and even death. Unfortunately, this occurrence happens all too often. News reports show medication errors cause upwards of 200,000 deaths a year and up to 1.5 million health issues and complications. American Health and Drug Benefits, a peer reviewed medical journal, reported in 2012 that preventable adverse drug events (ADEs) or medication errors associated with injectable meds harm over one million people a year and cost hospitals over $600,000 in damages each year.

Injectable medicines and errors that are associated with them are quickly becoming more frequent. These types of mistakes are a prominent cost of the entire healthcare industry and growing rapidly. They are called preventable adverse drug events (ADEs) because due diligence would have most often prevented the mistake from occurring.

Medication errors can also happen at home. Not being entirely sure of the dosage, missing doses and self-adjusting the dosage can all cause serious maladies and even death. Doctors and nurses can also be at fault. The dosage may be wrong on the prescription or the medicines can be the wrong kind.

Reuters Health reported a study of 92 pediatric cancer patients who were being treated at home. There were 72 medication mistakes made among the 92 patients. Most of the errors were small mistakes but this points to the magnitude of the issue and its potential to cause harm or death.
Some research points to a possible solution. Genetic testing may be able to rule out many cases of medical error in medications. Pharmacogenomics uses DNA to determine if a patient will react adversely to a particular medication before it is administered. It can also help determine the best dosage amount.

The state of California has recently fined 10 different hospitals $625,000 for a variety of medical errors. Five patients were discovered to have surgical items left inside their bodies. Clamps, sponges, retractors and a whole slew of medical equipment have been left in human bodies after surgery. Two patients died after falling in the hospital and three patients received bodily harm from medication errors.

Medical errors of any kind, but especially medication errors, can be dangerous and even deadly. Contacting a medical error attorney immediately is essential. Medical error cases take extreme investigation to prove. An experienced attorney is able to conduct penetrating investigations that are able to disclose the information needed to prove negligence.

Medical negligence cases are extremely stressful. People go to doctors to be healed and treated and when they emerge from a trusted doctors care in worse shape than they went in, more damage is done. Physical pain and mental duress are magnified in these types of cases.
The costs of medical negligence cases are astronomical to the victim. In many cases there is a loss of work and income as well as the quality of life. A settlement award is sometimes the only thing between the patient and destitution.

Moseley Collins is an experienced medical error attorney with Christian values. His experience and deep seated morals allow him to represent his clients to the fullest of his abilities. He cares about your case as much as you do. Call today for a consultation on your medical error case and the statute of limitations in California. Call before your time runs out.

September 20, 2013

How Expert Witness Rules Affect Medical Malpractice Trials

Thirty states now employ a very specific set of rules to testimony by expert medical witnesses in medical malpractices cases. In the vast majority of these states, the expert medical witness must be of the same or comparable medical background and the defendant in the case.

Here’s where it gets tricky. Not only are the criteria for “similar” defined differently from state to state but also court to court. Many of these definitions are not favorable to the defendants. These loose definitions from court to court have allowed for some weak cases to progress. Maryland recently progressed in courts that ruled a vascular surgeon was able to testify on the standard of care of an orthopedic surgeon, a pharmacist was ruled able to testify against a doctor in an informed consent case, and a nephrologist was deemed as qualified to testify for the plaintiff against a urologist.

The legal world and the medical world are far apart. It is not common knowledge that all doctors are not knowledgeable on every subject. It is completely plausible that one type of doctor can have no working knowledge of another’s area of expertise, including treatments, protocol and aftercare.

California has not escaped this trend. In 2012, a nurse was permitted to counter the testimony of a licensed physician on the cause of an injury in a California appeals court. These instances have a great effect on the outcome of the trials.

The expert witness can cost cases in other ways as well. Their testimony is essential to win any trial. There are websites dedicated solely to experts who are qualified, able and more than willing to testify in your trial if the money is right.

The problem arises when that cost comes into play. The cost of flying in, boarding, feeding and paying an expert witness is quite costly. Factoring that into the cost of the attorney and there suddenly is a prerequisite amount a case can be worth before it’s even worth an attorney’s time.
Many professionals feel that a jury is only confused by the conflicting testimonies of experts in medicine. The average jury person cannot discern the medical differences in technical speak. Is the cost of an expert witness worth it? This question has begun to be asked in legal circles more and more often in recent years.

Whether or not the use of expert witnesses is changing how attorneys take on their cases, or if they are economical at all, is a question that will have to wait, however. For the time being they are used and are an important part of medical malpractice trials. Knowing which witnesses to choose and how to question the other guy’s experts is just as important.

Moseley Collins is a Christian attorney with years of experience in medical malpractice cases. His Christian values and valuable experience make him a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom. Call his offices to day to ensure you have the best expert witnesses possible in your medical malpractice case.