The 3 Most Common Preventable Medical Mistakes

by Staff Blogger | August 5th, 2014

Even with technology and safety advances in the medical industry, patients continue to suffer injuries from negligent care. In fact, estimates show that as many as 98,000 people die per year as a result of medical mistakes that are made in hospitals.

This leaves many citizens wondering what the most common types of medical errors are. The American Association for Justice has outlined the three mistakes that are most common:

  1. Surgical Errors– These mistakes often include doctors or surgeons performing procedures on the wrong parts of patients’ bodies. Equipment left in the body also qualify as serious surgical errors, as does the negligent use of medical products or tools.
  2. Drug Injury– Instances where patients receive the wrong drug are all too common, but they don’t happen as regularly as patients being assigned the wrong dosages of the right medications.
  3. Infection– Data indicates as many as 2 million patients develop diseases from exposure at medical facilities.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our team of drug injury lawyers has seen the devastating results medical errors can have on the lives of patients and their families. That’s why we encourage anyone who has suffered such harm to discuss their legal rights with a qualified legal representative.

Jury Awards Family $1.9 Million In Texas Medical Malpractice Case

by Staff Blogger | March 5th, 2013

March 5, 2013

A jury has awarded a $1.9 million to the family of a 63-year-old man who died as the result of a botched medical procedure. A story published in a recent issue of Outpatient Surgery Magazine explained the incident occurred in 2009 at the Longview Regional Medical Center.

Court documents show the victim had been admitted to the facility to have a Mallory-Weiss tear repaired. The condition is a laceration in the stomach that is caused by excessive vomiting. Medical staff failed to insert a breathing tube into the man’s throat and when he began to expel his stomach contents during the procedure, the bodily fluids traveled into the man’s lungs.

This condition left the victim unable to breathe on his own and he died two and a half days later due to complications.

The victim’s wife filed a Texas Medical Malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, the doctor, and members of his staff claiming their negligence in failing to intubate her husband was directly responsible for his death. A jury agreed and issued the award; however, the amount will likely be lowered due to medical malpractice award caps in place in the state.

The Dallas Personal Injury Lawyers are aware of the dangers a simple mistake during a medical procedure can present. That’s why the firm is hopeful the decision being reached in the case will bring a sense of closure to the family of the victim.

Parkland Hospital in Dallas Fined $1 Million for Safety Violations

by Staff Blogger | September 4th, 2012

 Sept. 4, 2012

Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, was recently fined $1 million by the Texas Department of State Health Services after an investigation confirmed numerous complaints of safety violations at the facility. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the fine was the largest of its kind in Texas history.

Hospital and government officials reached the agreement it was found the hospital and its staff were responsible for not practicing proper aftercare following surgical procedures, which resulted in the amputation of the individual’s leg and the death of a psychiatric patient after not being properly restrained. The hospital also was not properly enforcing health, safety, and record-keeping codes. Errors like these have led to several Medical Malpractice claims being filed.

The agreement will require the hospital to inform the state of any “reportable adverse events” that occur at the facility throughout the next year. This stipulation is on top of an already established agreement with the federal government requiring the hospital to submit monthly updates on progress towards reaching the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare’s requirements for compliance.

The Drug Injury Lawyers with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough would like to remind citizens that medical facilities and their staff have a responsibility to make a patient’s health and safety the top priority. We encourage anyone who has suffered because of a medical mistake to discuss your legal rights with a qualified attorney.

Dallas Hospital’s Organ Transplant Facility Closed Because Of Medical Error

by Staff Blogger | August 28th, 2012

August 28, 2012

Organ transplants at Methodist Medical Center in Dallas were recently halted due to a potentially deadly mistake. According to NBC 5 News, the hospital voluntarily suspended its transplant program after an organ was transplanted into the wrong patient last month.

A spokesperson for the hospital stated that the decision to halt all procedures temporarily was made after a patient at the facility received a kidney that was meant to be given to another patient. The mistake happened when a staff member incorrectly matched the donor’s ID with the patient’s name. The mistake was discovered shortly after the procedure was completed. Luckily, the patient didn’t develop complications afterwards; however, the mistake showed hospital officials that their system for matching patients and organs for the transplants could use adjustments to prevent any similar potentially fatal mistakes.

The person who was responsible for the mix-up is no longer employed at the hospital and officials say that the program is back up and running after reworking the verification process and having it approved by the United Network for Organ Sharing.

Botched surgeries such as this have been the basis for hundreds of medical malpractice lawsuits. That is why the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough are hopeful that the new and improved system will better protect the estimated 208 patients, who are currently on the hospital’s transplant waiting list, from costly and potentially life threatening medical mistakes.

Dallas’s Parkland Memorial Receives Another Negative Safety Compliance Report

by Staff Blogger | August 21st, 2012

August 21, 2012

Federal officials who are monitoring efforts at Dallas’s Parkland Memorial Hospital to turn the facilities less than stellar safety record around gave a poor review of the facility recently. According to The Dallas Morning News, the most recent write-up included reports of several serious medical errors that included a botched surgery, medication mistakes, and failed emergency care.

Officials stated that the hospital’s management failed to disclose the errors in a recent compliance report that was made public two weeks ago. The hospital rebutted that it did not list the mistakes out of fear of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Safety inspectors went on to say that they felt upper management’s inability to properly lead the turnaround was partially to blame for the continuing mistakes. In response, the chief medical officer of the hospital, Dr. John Jay Shannon, was removed from his position and two interim turnaround specialists were added to the hospital’s Board of Directors. Safety monitors also criticized the work of interim CEO, Dr. Thomas Royer, saying, “Additional interim changes may be necessary” for the position.

The drug injury lawyers with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough know how frustrating being hurt by the negligence of medical staff overseeing you or loved one’s care can be. This is why the firm would urge anyone who has been negatively affected by the care of a medical professional to discuss your case with a qualified attorney.

Dallas Doctor Accused Of Several Counts Of Medical Malpractice

by Staff Blogger | August 14th, 2012

August 14, 2012

A Dallas, Texas, doctor faces allegations of malpractice after performing illegal injections and botched medical procedures on patients.

The Dallas Observer reports the doctor’s record of illegal practices dates back to 2004, when he was caught illegally selling prescription medications over the internet. He was fined $25,000 and was not allowed to prescribe illicit medications like morphine, codeine, Vicodin and anabolic steroids.

Yet, the doctor was just recently accused of injecting a mixed martial artist with an illegal dose of testosterone before an upcoming important fight. The injections only came to light after the fighter failed tests for banned substances, such as performance-enhancing testosterone.

Other complaints of medical malpractice against the doctor claim that he performed a botched liposuction procedure on a patient. He had received training only by reading manuals that came with the liposuction equipment used for the procedure, taking an online class with an examination, and performing a single previous procedure.

The doctor was ordered to stop performing plastic surgery after the botched procedure, but is still allowed to practice medicine in the state of Texas until a hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings and Texas Medical Board.

The drug injury lawyers with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough say this is why it is so important to ask your doctor plenty of questions regarding their background and experience before accepting their care and diagnosis of your condition.

New Study Shows Hospital Translators Reduce Medical Errors

by fpw | May 8th, 2012

May 8, 2012

A new study shows that many medical mistakes may occur because of poor communication between patients and attending hospital staff. According to The Chicago-Tribune, medical mistakes that resulted in patient health complications were more than twice as likely to happen in hospitals that didn’t have translators for non-English speaking patients than those that did.

Researchers examined records from 57 families that visited two pediatric hospitals that participated in the study. All of the families spoke primarily Spanish, but only 20 families received the help of a professional translator. Ten other families had no assistance communicating with hospital staff, while the remainder used a family member or bilingual member of the hospital’s staff. Results showed that 12 percent of communication mistakes when a professional translator was used could have resulted in health risks, versus the 22 percent of risky communication errors that were made when a non-professional translated.

Training also played a part in how many mistakes were made during translation. Researchers found that interpreters with more than 100 hours of training were far less likely to make mistakes than those with less training.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys see all too often the devastating results of mistakes that poor communication between hospital staff led to. That is why the Personal Injury Lawyers with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough suggest always asking questions of your doctor and medical staff before receiving treatment or beginning a new regimen of medications.

East Texas Nurse Faces The Death Penalty For Injecting Patients With Bleach

by fpw | March 6th, 2012

March 6, 2012

A 38-year-old nurse from Lufkin, Texas, could face the death penalty if convicted of the charges against her in connection with the deaths and injuries of nearly a dozen of her patients. According to reports from WFAA News, the woman is facing murder and attempted murder charges after five of her patients died and another five were injured when she injected them with bleach.

Law enforcement and the state health inspector’s office became suspicious of the nurse after paramedics reported excessive calls to the DaVita Dialysis Clinic for patients suffering from cardiac and breathing complications. Investigators say two patients later came forward saying they saw the nurse inject two other patients with a bleach concoction.

The nurse claims that she is a scapegoat for larger problems in the facility.

Harvard researchers conducted a study years ago that found 1% of patients treated in hospitals in 1984 were injured, and one quarter of those died, because of medical negligence. Nationwide, that translates into 234,000 injuries and 80,000 deaths in 1988 from negligence in American hospitals. The Institute of Medicine claims that between 44,000 and 98,000 patients die each year because of preventable medical errors.

The Dallas Medical Malpractice Attorneys with Ferrer, Poirot and Wansbrough would like to remind patients to never hesitate to question or seek a second opinion if you feel the care you are receiving from a medical professional is not up to par.

Alarmingly High Number Of Surgeons Report Having Alcohol Problems

by fpw | February 21st, 2012

February 21, 2012

A new study, conducted by the University of Washington in Seattle and published in this month’s issue of the Archives of Surgery, has found that a disproportionate number of surgeons suffer from drinking problems. An article released by MSN-Health states that the survey reported 15% of surgeons said they suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence.

This means that 14% of male and 26% of female surgeons suffer from some level of alcoholism.

The study examined 7,197 results from an anonymous online poll. Of these, 1,112 subjects’ answers were consistent with those of someone with alcohol abuse problems.

Results also showed that a surgeon who is burned out, depressed, or who had made a medical mistake in the past three months was more likely to have an alcohol related problem.

The figures are three to seven percent higher than the public average for alcohol abuse or dependence.

Doctors who reviewed the results of the study cited that a lower than average response rate of 29%, versus the accepted rate of 60%, could be at fault for skewing the numbers; however, experts also say that the low response rate could mean the problem is larger than imagined.

The Dallas Medical Malpractice Attorneys with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough know that surgeons are not required to undergo any kind of drug testing prior to employment and that requiring them to do so could reduce the risk of medical mistakes happening in Texas.

Parkland Memorial Executives Refuse To Release Safety Report

by fpw | February 7th, 2012

February 7, 2012

A Dallas hospital under heavy scrutiny over patient safety is refusing to release a report on changes that will be made to improve patient care at the facility. According to reports from the Dallas Morning News, Parkland Memorial Hospital executives said this morning that they will not release the report because of concerns over litigation and other legal ramifications.

Last month, the hospital was forced to undergo an overhaul in their patient safety policies and procedures after the US Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services threatened to cut funding due to dozens of cases being discovered where patients were being put in “immediate jeopardy” by hospital staff and doctors.

Parkland Hospital’s chairwoman, Dr. Lauren McDonald, said that she fears the policy changes could be used against them in several pending medical malpractice cases against the hospital.

The one particular lawsuit silently being singled out involved a psychiatric patient who died in the facility last year after being pinned down and injected with a cocktail of sedatives and anti-psychotics. Federal reports found that the man’s rights and hospital standards and policies of care were repeatedly violated.

The Dallas medical malpractice lawyers with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough say it is best to seek legal help if you feel you have been the victim a hospital’s negligence. The firm’s experienced team of attorneys is available 24/7 to answer your questions about your case.