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Understaffing Reports at University of Louisville Hospital Look Grim

Published on Jul 14, 2016 at 5:23 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Just a few days ago, we reported about a dangerous situation that has been slowly unfolding at University of Louisville Hospital since 2013. Severe nursing layoffs and other employee cuts caused the hospital to become understaffed to high levels which forced overnight E.R. patients, for example, to not be seen until 9 AM the following day. Entire sections of the hospital were even forced to be closed off due to the lack of nurses.

Federal Medical Malpractice Reform Bill Put to Rest for 2016

Published on Jun 9, 2016 at 7:37 pm in Medical Malpractice.

On March 17th, congressional GOP leaders attempted to pass a medical malpractice reform bill which has been a top priority of the Federal Physicians Association for quite some time. If allowed to pass, the bill would have placed a severe nationwide cap on any claimable economic damages and attorney fees involved in medical malpractice cases. This cap would have two goals—to discourage malpractice lawsuits from being filed and to change the rules of evidence in civil cases in order to make it harder for medical malpractice plaintiffs to succeed in court.

Similar reforms have been enacted in a number of states already. Supporters claim that such reforms can lower the costs of healthcare while increasing physician supply, but there isn’t much in the way of actual academic evidence which supports that claim. The argument for enacting a similar reform on a nationwide level seems to focus on forcing physicians to not base a decision as to where they practice on any statewide reforms, but as Dean Clancy, U.S. Congress vet and advocate of the healthcare industry argues, the choice of where a physician wishes to practice shouldn’t be decided on by Congress. Physicians are free to practice wherever they wish. They shouldn’t be compared to imported cargo.

Medical Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the United States

Published on Jun 7, 2016 at 6:52 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Researchers have found that “medical errors” are now the third leading cause of death in the United States, killing more people last year than respiratory disease, accidents, and diabetes and stroke and Alzheimer’s combined.  Mistakes made during “life-saving” surgeries, prescription medication errors, and communication breakdown among hospital and other health-care facility departments accounted for almost 251,000 deaths last year, nearly 10% of the total deaths in the United States.  Martin Makary, a professor of surgery at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, led the research.  Makary said in an interview, “It boils down to people dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeking care.”

Dangerous Hospital for Babies

Published on Jul 5, 2015 at 4:09 pm in Child Injury, Medical Malpractice.

St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida is being evaluated after 9 babies died in the last four years after having heart surgery there. CNN calculated the raw mortality rate from 2011-2013 to be 12.5 percent, which is more than three times the national averages for such surgeries. Doctors affiliated with Children’s Medical Services have recommended the hospital stop operating on infants under six months old.

In 2011, St. Mary’s began its cardiovascular program. In that time the nine deaths, plus one infant who was left with paralyzed legs, has led doctors and state officials to question the viability of the program. The primary complaint from doctors in regard to this issue is that the hospital doesn’t perform enough of these procedures on an annual basis to become proficient. Most programs have more than 100 cases per year, whereas St. Mary’s has much fewer. But the Department of Health does not have the authority to make any changes to the program that could improve the mortality rate.