Surgical complications – not always a result of human error

No such thing as a simple surgery.  Seriously. And no surgery is totally without risk.  We have had patients die during hip repairs, and suffer life changing injury after routine colonoscopies and or gallbladder surgeries. We have seen patients die during child delivery, cancer surgeries, and other ‘routine procedures.’ Sometimes, the health care providers do…[Read More]

ERCPs, the CDC, the FDA, & You

Before doing medical malpractice work, I took for granted that doctors and hospitals would only use clean instruments and tools on patients.  That naivete is long since gone, and FDA Safety Communications like this reaffirm why.   A bit of medical background: Gastroenterologists and their staff who help with procedures called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)…[Read More]

5 Ways to Make Hospitals Safer

I read with interest an op-ed letter in this week’s Wall Street Journal (May 18, 2016). The letter was written by James Lieber, a lawyer in Pittsburgh.  He noted the recently released studies revealing an astonishingly high number of Americans lose their lives each year due to preventable medical negligence.  His suggestions to improve patient care include:…[Read More]

Medical Errors are now the third leading cause of death in America

Johns Hopkins researchers estimate that medical error is now the third leading cause of death in America.  The numbers are shocking: 1.  Heart Disease kills 614,348 each year 2.  Cancer kills 591,699 each year 3.  Medical Errors kill 251,454 each year Do the math.  That translates to 689 people die every day (365 days a year)…[Read More]

Dangerous Drug Combinations

I read with interest today an article written by Joe and Teresa Graedon (The People’s Pharmacy) about dangerous drug combinations. The article described a patient who was taking an ACE inhibitor for high blood pressure who soon thereafter was prescribed Bactrim (an antibiotic).   Within days the patient reported almost passing out due to very low…[Read More]