Urgent care centers first opened in the 1970s. Now, more than 10,000 urgent care centers provide a variety of medical services to consumers in every part of the United States.
As the number of urgent care centers has increased in the U.S., so has the number of medical malpractice lawsuits brought against these facilities. A majority of these claims allege an urgent care center made an incorrect diagnosis or failed to diagnose a serious medical condition.
Unfortunately, errors made in outpatient settings are considered to be as common, if not more prevalent, than errors made in hospital settings. Yet it’s hard to find data on the numbers of these errors.
As a point of reference, it’s important to note that in 2016, medical errors in hospital settings were the 3rd leading cause of death in the US.
The typical long wait and high costs associated with visiting a hospital emergency room have enticed many people to visit urgent care centers for emergency treatment. Unfortunately, urgent care centers do not have access to the same diagnostic or critical care equipment found in hospital emergency rooms, which can lead to serious consequences for the patient. (more…)
Understaffing is the most common issue in nursing homes that can lead to abuse and neglect. Overworked and under supervised staff pose a greater risk to patients. Inadequate attention and frustration lead to mistakes and neglect.
This is a serious issue that plagues over 90% of nursing homes. Studies have proven that residents who live in understaffed nursing homes are at a greater risk of malnutrition, weight loss, bedsores, dehydration, infections, and pneumonia. Families of elderly patients are increasingly noticing this problem and are starting to hold nursing homes responsible for the abuses that occur as a result. (more…)
To resolve this issue there is a need for higher minimum nurse staffing standards for U.S. nursing homes based on multiple research studies showing a positive relationship between nursing home quality and staffing and the benefits of implementing higher minimum staffing standards. Studies have identified the minimum staffing levels necessary to provide care consistent with the federal regulations, but many U.S. facilities have dangerously low staffing. Secondly, the barriers to staffing reform are economic concerns about costs and a focus on financial incentives. The enforcement of existing staffing standards has been weak, and strong nursing home industry political opposition has limited efforts to establish higher standards. Researchers should study the ways to improve staffing standards and new payment, regulatory, and political strategies to improve nursing home staffing and quality. (more…)
Thirty days after release from the hospital can pose a risky time for many people. A study found that nearly 20% of patients experience adverse events within 3 weeks of discharge, nearly three-quarters of which could have been prevented.
Early discharge dangers include:
Adverse drug events are the most common post-discharge complication
hazards arising from the fact that nearly 40% of patients are discharged with test results pending
discharged with a plan to complete the diagnostic workup as an outpatient
In addition, there is increasing concern that the stressful hospital environment may lead to post-hospitalization syndrome— a patho-physiologic syndrome of weakness and increased stress that may leave patients vulnerable to clinical adverse events such as falls and infections. Nearly 20% of Medicare patients are re-hospitalized within 30 days of discharge. (more…)
A breast implant is an implanted device used to augment existing breast tissue for cosmetic purposes or to reconstruct the breast after surgery such as mastectomy. Litigation from alleged harm due to breast implants is not new, but recently a new form of lymphoma thought to be associated with implants added to concerns over the safety of these devices, which have also included implant rupture and contracture.
In 2018, silicone implant breast augmentation was the #1 performed plastic surgery for women in the United States, with 928,914 procedures performed. Implants range from round to oval to teardrop shape to best approximate the patient’s natural shape and may contain silicone or saline. Both silicone and saline implants have an outer shell made from silicone. Some implants have a smooth surface, others have a textured surface thought to stabilize the implant and decrease scar tissue formation.
Fig 1 Breast implants (image courtesy FDA; https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/breast-implants, accessed 6/1/19)
Credibility is critical to the success of an expert witness. You should be able to rely on your expert for honesty, and a case that is articulately and assertively presented. There are many factors to consider when engaging an expert and to make sure that the opinion you receive is objective and will stand up to cross-examination.
Juries are required to sift through vast amounts of information. The reliance on an expert witness to assist in understanding the facts is crucial and appearance of bias can negate an expert’s testimony with the jury. Saponaro, Inc., employs several safeguards against unreliable and unethical expert witness testimony with the following guidelines:
It can happen even if you are treated by the most skilled physician at best hospital the state has to offer. Leaving lasting scars, disabilities, a lifetime of pain or even death, medical malpractice can destroy a patient’s life. It is little wonder why tragic mistakes lead to serious lawsuits.
Here are recent medical malpractice cases that have resulted in large settlements: (more…)
The Choice of Experts for Certificate or Affidavit of Merit
The expert that will review your case for merit will be matched to the specific board-certification of the defendant, or will match the certification of the licensed healthcare professional in question. The expert will be actively practicing or actively working in an academic capacity, and will meet your State requirements in qualifying as an expert witness. The expert will be checked for any potential conflicts, since they have agreed to support their opinion through deposition and/or trial, if warranted.
Medical errors happen every day. They occur in alarming numbers and are extremely costly. Some areas of inpatient and outpatient healthcare are particularly unsafe, such as pediatrics, surgery centers, emergency rooms, hospice care, intensive care units (ICUs), lower-volume hospitals, nursing homes/rehabilitation facilities, and more.
The average person may think because medical errors happen so frequently, that medical malpractice lawsuits are abundant and that these cases are clogging up the courts. But these are just two in a long list of medical malpractice myths that need to be cleared up.
Product recalls happen as a result of consumer safety concerns not originally detected when the product was released, or because of an undetected malfunction that requires repair. But injuries or even death can occur when a product is recalled off the market too late.
Even if a product is for sale and being purchased by thousands or millions of consumers, it’s not necessarily safe. It could be a best-seller for a manufacturer, resulting in millions of dollars in profits, but it may not be safe.
Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper Deaths & Injuries
As an attorney, your expertise is in pursuing and winning legal cases, whether it’s medical malpractice, personal injury, or others. That’s why when cases involve a medical component, you need medical experts to assist you with building a winning case.
Nurse consultants guide attorneys through all the medical aspects of their case. This service, also known as concierge nursing, utilizes practicing nurses and/or nurse practitioners as expert witnesses in legal cases.
How do you know if your case could benefit from the help of a nurse consultant? Or should you turn to another type of expert? Let’s examine the ways a nurse consultant can help.
A nurse consultant can organize and interpret medical records and charts.