Know The Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

While the American Cancer Society does not recommend screening for persons of average risk of lung cancer, it does recommend screening for those who are at high risk of lung cancer due to cigarette smoking.

Lung cancer screening consists of a low-dose CT scan of the chest, and it is covered by Medicare and most health plans if you are at high risk.

How is risk determined?

Take the quick quiz at SavedByTheScan.org. If you are at risk for lung cancer, talk to your doctor or a health care provider about starting an annual screening.

As stated on the American Cancer Society website:
“Medicare covers lung cancer screening with a low dose CT scan once per year if you have Medicare, are 55-77 years old, have a tobacco smoking history of at least 30 pack years*, and you either continue to smoke or you have quit smoking within the last 15 years. You must get a written order from your doctor or other health care provider. Coverage also includes a visit with your doctor (or other health provider) for counseling and shared decision-making on the benefits and risks of lung cancer screening. The scan can only be done at imaging centers that meet certain criteria."
According to the American Lung Association, it is estimated that less the 5% of Americans at high risk have been screened.

Learn more facts about lung cancer in the video below:

For more information, go to: American Lung Association website at lung.org and the American Cancer Society website at cancer.org.

Questions about your lung cancer diagnosis?

If you have questions about your medical care or screening related to lung cancer symptoms and diagnosis, please feel free to contact our medical malpractice attorneys licensed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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Medical Errors Experienced by 41% of Americans

New Survey Reveals Patient Attitudes on Patient Safety

medical errors in hospitals
A new survey reveals that 41% of Americans have experienced a medical error while receiving healthcare.

According to the national survey, Americans’ Experiences with Medical Errors and Views on Patient Safety, by the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago:
  • 10% reported personally experiencing a medical error
  • 20% know someone whose care they were involved with experienced a medical error
  • 11% reported having experienced an error both personally and involved in someone else’s care.

Most Errors Attributed to Mistakes in Diagnosing Medical Conditions

The most commonly reported type of errors were those related to diagnoses. Among those who have experienced a medical error, 59% say that the patient had a medical condition that was:
  • not diagnosed
  • diagnosed incorrectly
  • diagnosis was delayed.

Infographic: Betsy Lehman Center Safety Snapshot

Respondents reported that 57% of medical errors occurred in outpatient settings including emergency departments. 34% reported medical errors occurring in inpatient settings.

Of those who experienced a medical error, 73% said the error had long-term or permanent impact on the patient’s physical health, emotional health, financial well-being, or their family relationships, and many say they experienced lasting impacts on multiple aspects of their lives.

Reporting Medical Errors

The survey found that people often don’t report medical errors because they don’t think it will make a difference.
  • 56% of those who did not report the error said they didn’t think it would do any good.
  • 40% said they didn’t know how to report the error.
  • 24% said the error was an honest mistake and no harm was intended so they didn’t report it. 

Contributing Factors in Medical Errors

Some of the most common factors that contributed to the incidence of a medical error include healthcare providers who:
  • don’t pay attention to details
  • aren't listening
  • are poorly trained
  • say there was nothing wrong when there was
  • don't spend enough time with the patient
  • are overworked, stressed, distracted or tired
  • lack of communication among providers
  • don't discuss goals or treatment choices.

Other factors identified include medical care being very complicated and having too many providers involved in care with no clear leader.

The nationwide survey of more than 2,500 adults was conducted by NORC from May 12–June 26, 2017.

For more information including survey fact sheets and to download the full report, visit the Institute for Healthcare Improvement at http://www.ihi.org.

View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Did you experience a medical error that caused you or a loved one a lasting injury or the need for additional medical care? Our medical malpractice lawyers and medical case reviewers are available to answer your questions regarding a possible medical malpractice claim. Contact us for a free case evaluation in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island


Sepsis: Raising Awareness of the Number 1 Killer of Patients in Hospitals



What is sepsis?

Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is life-threatening, and without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly cause tissue damage, organ failure, and death. According to information compiled by the Sepsis Alliance, sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals.

Sepsis happens when an infection you already have, commonly
  • lungs (pneumonia)
  • kidney (urinary tract infection)
  • skin
  • gut
triggers a chain reaction throughout your body.

Sepsis is most frequently identified with infections such as:
  • Staphylococcus aureus (staph)
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli)
  • Some types of Streptococcus.  
Sepsis can be related to many diseases and conditions such as cancer, c.diff, urinary tract infections, and many more. Click here to read about conditions that can put a patient at risk for sepsis.


Who is at risk for sepsis?

Anyone can get an infection, and almost any infection can lead to sepsis. It is also sometimes called "blood poisoning". Those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease, are at higher risk of developing infections that can lead to sepsis. (See list of other diseases and conditions related to sepsis.)

At highest risk of developing sepsis are those:
  • Age 65 and older
  • Age 1 and younger
  • With Chronic medical conditions (stated above)
  • With weakened immune systems.

What are the symptoms?

There is no single symptom of sepsis. Symptoms of sepsis can include a combination of any of the following:
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Shortness of breath
  • High heart rate
  • Fever, or shivering, or feeling very cold
  • Extreme pain or discomfort
  • Clammy or sweaty skin.
Get medical help immediately if you suspect sepsis, or if your infection is not getting better or is getting worse.

What to do if you suspect sepsis?

Sepsis is a medical emergency. Time matters. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately if you suspect sepsis.
  • It’s important that you ask, “Could this be sepsis?”
  • If you are continuing to feel worse or not getting better in the days after surgery, ask your doctor about sepsis.
  • If you have an infection and don’t get better or start feeling worse, ask your doctor, “Could this infection be leading to sepsis?”

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC.gov/sepsis

For more information, go to https://www.cdc.gov/sepsis

See also: Sepsis Alliance - https://www.sepsis.org

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Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

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We are available to answer your questions regarding possible medical negligence related to sepsis. Contact us for a free case evaluation in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island


Women Dying in Childbirth in U.S. — A Preventable Tragedy

Lubin & Meyer Maternal Death Case Prompts State Probe at MetroWest Medical Center

The Boston Globe's Liz Kowalczyk exposes a worrisome trend — an increase in the maternal mortality rate — in her July 30 article in response to the deaths of two expectant women in labor and delivery at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Massachusetts.

The Boston Globe's front page feature article looks into the rising incidence of maternal mortality when two women recently died after arriving to give birth at MetroWest Medical Center

Lubin & Meyer represents the family at the center of the Globe’s exposé.

“In the year 2017, the high incidence of maternal death that exists is unacceptable and is often due to the carelessness and lack of attention from medical professionals. Higher standards and continued reporting of incidences will be the only solution to this ever growing tragic problem.”

 – Andrew C. Meyer, Jr.


Maternal Deaths Rising in U.S.

Regarding the prevalence of maternal deaths, the article states:
"The rate of women dying from pregnancy-related causes has climbed in the United States in recent years, even as it has fallen globally. The reasons are unclear, but it may be due to the growing number of American women with chronic health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease that put them at higher risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently put the national rate at about 17 women per 100,000 live births. The World Health Organization said the US rate is higher than that of countries including Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Spain."
Here in Massachusetts the rate is historically below the national average. As stated in article: "6.9 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the health department’s most recent data."
"[Massachusetts] is one of the few states where public health officials study the medical records and autopsy reports for every woman who dies, to pinpoint causes. If they find her death could have been prevented with better medical care, the department requires hospitals to improve their procedures. They believe at least one-quarter of deaths are preventable."
The family's lawsuit claims that based on her medical records, she was not given proper care. As stated in the article:
"Her blood was not tested at regular intervals to look for a worsening of her condition, and she was not given medication to manage her high blood pressure, they said. And physicians decided to perform a caesarean section only when the baby developed an abnormal heart rhythm."
Read the entire Boston Globe article here: Maternal deaths at MetroWest hospital prompt state probes.

See (Listen) to related story on NPR: Focus On Infants During Childbirth Leaves U.S. Moms In Danger.

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When Gallbladder Surgery Goes Wrong

gallbladder surgery photo

Less invasive laparoscopic gallbladder surgery has record of serious medical mistakes

Removal of the gallbladder is a common surgery (also known as cholecystectomy) and is either performed as an “open” surgery where a surgeon removes the gallbladder through a large incision, or as a less invasive “laparoscopic” procedure. During laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, a tiny video camera and specialized surgical tools are inserted through four small incisions in the abdomen. The procedure is very common, but serious errors are possible when proper care is not taken by the surgeon when operating in this very tight space.

Adam Satin photo

“Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is a less invasive outpatient surgery with a faster recovery than open gallbladder surgery, however it still carries grave risks when the standard of care is not followed by the surgeon to properly identify nearby anatomy.”

Adam Satin, Medical Malpractice Attorney

Possible surgical errors during gallbladder surgery

While the risks are low, it is extremely important that the surgeon properly identifies the gallbladder and closely situated anatomy such as bile duct and blood vessels to avoid possibility of cutting, perforating or nicking any other areas with the surgical tools while removing the gallbladder. Doing so can result in symptoms of pain and stomach problems, subsequent infection and the need for a second surgery to correct the problems. If the botched surgery is not diagnosed in time it can lead to severe complications and even death.

Injuries to adjacent anatomy during gallbladder removal can include the:
  • bile duct
  • hepatic duct
  • intestines
  • bowel
  • blood vessels.
Results of such injuries can results in:
  • bile leakage into abdomen
  • infection
  • additional invasive surgery
  • blood loss and organ damage
  • unseen complications.

What to do if you had gallbladder surgery complications

If you believe you may have complications resulting from laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, you should seek immediate medical attention.

If indeed you suffered injuries related to gallbladder surgery, and required additional medical care, there may have been negligence in the performance of your surgery and you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Recent verdicts and settlements

Below are a few of Lubin & Meyer's gallbladder medical malpractice lawsuits that serve as illustrative examples the types of possible injuries.

Questions about a possible medical malpractice case?

If you have any questions about the quality of care you received, please do not hesitate to call us for a free case evaluation. We represent patients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. There is no fee to review your case, and you do not pay us unless we recovery money for you.

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How Safe Is Your Hospital?

Check Your Hospital's Latest Safety Report Card

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade was launched in 2012 to help increase awareness of hospital errors, injuries, accidents and infections. Since 2012, the Leapfrog Group has been assigning A, B, C, D and F letter grades to more than 2,600 acute-care hospitals nationwide, twice a year.
The score is based on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey along with national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement.

The Need to Focus on Injuries, Accidents and Infections

Often-cited industry statistics reported on the Leapfrog website drive home the need to focus on patient safety.
  • Approximately 1,000 people die each day due to a preventable hospital error
  • 1 in 25 patients develops an avoidable infection while in the hospital
  • 1 in 4 Medicare patients will experience injury, harm or death when admitted to a hospital
Some of the most important measures according to the Leapfrog Group are listed here.
  • Does your hospital have a hand washing policy?
  • What is the rate of infection in the blood for ICU patients?
  • Does hospital have patient safety training programs?
  • Number of patient falls?

According to Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog:
“Our goal was to alert consumers to the hazards involved in a hospital stay and help them choose the safest option. We also hoped to galvanize hospitals to make safety the first priority day in and day out. So far, we’ve been pleased with the increase in public awareness and hospitals’ commitment to solving this terrible problem. But we need to accelerate the pace of change, because too many people are still getting harmed or killed.”


How Did Massachusetts Hospitals Score?

A recent Boston Business Journal article digs into the safety grades of Massachusetts' 60 acute-care hospitals.
"While half of all Massachusetts hospitals received an "A" for safety from a national nonprofit healthcare ratings agency, nine hospitals in the state received barely passing grades.”
You can read that article here: Nine Massachusetts hospitals receive 'C' grades for safety

How Did Your Hospital Score?

To search the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade database by hospital name, city or state, go to: http://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/

Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law. View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com 

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6 Ways To Be A Safe Patient

In recognition of Patient Safety Awareness Week, we would like to share this infographic from the CDC on what patients can do to help prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the hospital setting. We've reported on HAIs before, see our post: Tracking Infection Control in U.S. Hospitals.

According to the CDC,
On any given day, approximately one in 25 U.S. patients contract at least one infection during the course of their hospital care.
Be an informed and empowered patient and play an active role in your care including questioning your healthcare team about infection control.

You can download this infographic from the CDC.

6 Ways To Be A Safe Patient  

1. Speak Up. Talk to your doctor about infection and what they are doing to protect you.

  • If you have a catheter, ask each day if it is necessary. 
  • Ask your doctor how he/she prevents surgical site infections
2. Wash Hands. Make sure everyone cleans their hands before touching you.

3. Monitor Antibiotics. Ask if a test will be done to make sure the right antibiotic is prescribed.

4. Watch for Infection. Some skin infections, such as MRSA, appear as redness, pain, or drainage at an IV catheter site or surgery site. Sometimes these symptoms come with a fever. Tell your doctor if you have these symptoms.

5. Monitor Diarrhea. Tell your doctor if you have 3 or more diarrhea episodes in 24 hours.

6. Vaccinate. Get vaccinated against flu and other infections to avoid complications.

Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law
Attorneys practicing in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island

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Did You Know? You Have The Right To Access Your Health Information

How to get a copy of your medical records

Many people are not aware that they have a right to access their health information for such purposes as:
  •     Viewing their medical information
  •     Getting a copy of their medical records / billing records
  •     Correcting inaccuracies in their medical file
  •     Sending a copy of their medical records to a third-party
According to one government source, at least 27% of Americans do not know that they have a right to electronic copies of their medical records (as well as paper copies).

It is important to know what is in your medical record and to correct any errors or omissions. (See: The Problem with Problem Lists.) 

Know Your Patient Rights

These rights are part of The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). In most cases, your health provider must give you your records within 30 days. If your information is not maintained or accessible on-site, it may take up to 60 days. There are some exceptions that may require an extension, and in a few special cases, you may not be able to receive all of your information. For the finer points please see: Your Health Information Rights.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has a video series explaining your rights and how to receive a copy of your medical records at https://www.healthit.gov/access.

View all videos in the series

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Attorneys practicing in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island

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Drew Meyer Profiled in The Huffington Post

Firm founder Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. was recently profiled in a Huffington Post article: Drew Meyer, Esquire — Truth, Justice and Medicine. The piece highlights Meyer's career as a highly recognized and passionate patient advocate representing innocent persons harmed by medical mistakes.

Described as the "go to guy" for families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, who have experienced devastating injuries due to medical negligence," he has built a career by giving a voice to those who have been harmed by the medical community."

In the article, Meyer discusses the important role that he and his medical malpractice law firm play as a watchdog to a medical system that sets its own standards and regulates itself.

Drew Meyer photo
"There is nowhere that a family harmed by the medical community can go, other than to an attorney. The medical industry establishes their own rules and standards of care. The boards and societies that oversee the medical community are funded by and run by people within the medical profession. Small changes have been instituted these past years, but it’s simply not enough."
Drew Meyer

The author, Stacey Alcorn, describes him as "a champion for the innocent, lending a hand to those in need by giving them a voice against a community that will do anything to stamp it out."

Meyer provides some important parting advice — that each individual must be his or her own best advocate.
"When it comes to your own medical care or that of a loved one, speak up, be an aggressive consumer, and understand that you know your own body better than any medical professional."
Read the entire article here: Drew Meyer profile

View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com

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New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law
Attorneys practicing in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island

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Senate Releases Report and Recommendations on the Practice of Concurrent Surgeries at Teaching Hospitals

Boston Globe Spotlight Team and Lubin & Meyer lawsuits have been at the center of widening awareness of this patient safety issue 

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued a committee staff report detailing the practices of concurrent and overlapping surgeries where lead doctors at teaching hospitals perform multiple surgeries at the same time.

Concurrent and Overlapping Surgeries: Additional Measures Warranted,” outlines a number of shortfalls at the federal level in monitoring and auditing teaching hospitals to ensure they are in compliance with Medicare billing restrictions, while also making a number of recommendations for hospitals and regulators to ensure patient safety and improve transparency.

“This report provides a crucial look at the little-known practices of concurrent and overlapping surgeries and lays the groundwork for improving the system moving forward,” Hatch and Wyden said, “While we are encouraged by the steps taken by the American College of Surgeons and a number of hospitals to address the concerns with concurrent surgeries, we remain concerned that the nearly 5,000 hospitals in America may lack thorough and complete policies covering these procedures and patient consent. By working with hospitals and surgeons in a collaborative manner, it is our hope we can continue to increase transparency and patient safety.
Largely unknown, the practice of double-booking surgeries was made public through an investigative report by the Boston Globe's Spotlight Team involving the concurrent surgeries at Massachusetts General Hospital and two patients represented by Lubin & Meyer who filed lawsuits claiming injuries due to the practice of one surgeon with overlapping surgeries.

See our previous Patient Safety Blog reporting on this issue:

Concurrent Surgeries at MGH Spur Federal Investigations

Concurrent Surgeries in the Spotlight: Is it Safe To Run Two Operations at Once?

Please feel free to contact us regarding information or questions related to double-booking or overlapping surgery.

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New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law
Attorneys practicing in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island

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29 Mistakes That Should Never Happen In A Hospital, But Do

Massachusetts is well known as home to some of the world's most prestigious hospitals, such as Mass. General Hospital and Children's Hospital both recently named among the "Top Hospital in the Nation" by U.S. News & World Report and Best Hospitals.® However, even here in Massachusetts, serious medical mistakes continue to happen to far too many patients while in the hospital.

As a follow up to last year's post on Massachusetts Hospital Errors, we have updated our reporting to include new data (from 2015) that hospitals and surgery centers are required to report to the Department of Public Health documenting Serious Reportable Events or SREs. There are 29 such events, also known in hospitals as "Never Events," and we list them here with the total instances reported by the state's acute care hospitals in 2015. For similar information on non-acute care hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers please see the The Massachusetts Health and Human Services website for that publicly available information.

While the total number of SREs in acute care hospitals increased in 2015 (up from 89 in 2013; 82 in 2014; and 1,254 in 2015), most of the increase in 2015 was due to a spike in cases of contaminated drugs, devices or biologics, with most of those accountable to one hospital — Baysate Medical Center in Springfield, MA, where patients were exposed to infection due to unsanitary conditions in the inpatient dialysis unit. Patient safety efforts at hospitals aim at reducing errors, but still too many errors are happening.

In addition to the contamination events, topping the list of hospital errors in Massachusetts are:
  • Falls
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Medication error
  • Foreign object left behind (surgery)
  • Burns
Review the full list of Never Events below.

Massachusetts Serious Reportable Events

Surgery Events
1. Wrong body part, side or site surgery of procedure = 26
2. Wrong patient surgery or procedure = 2
3. Wrong surgery or procedure performed = 12
4. Foreign object left in patient after procedure unknowingly = 36
5. Death of ASA Class I patient during surgery or within 24 hours = 0

Product Events
6. Contaminated drugs, device or biologics = 448
7. Device misuse or malfunction = 12
8. Intravascular air embolism = 2

Patient Protection
9. Patient discharged to unauthorized person = 0
10. Serious injury or death during patient disappearance = 2
11. Suicide or self-harm = 31

Care Management Events
12. Serious injury or death from medication error = 54
13. Unsafe blood transfusion = 0
14. Maternal serious injury or death associated with labor or delivery = 10
15. Newborn serious injury or death associated with delivery = 15
16. Serious injury or death after a fall = 309
17. Stage 3, Stage 4 or unstageable pressure ulcer = 228
18. Artificial insemination with wrong egg or sperm = 0
19. Serious injury or death from loss of irreplaceable biological specimen = 1
20. Serious injury or death from lack of follow up or communication of lab result = 3

Environmental Events
21. Serious injury or death from electric shock = 0
22. Oxygen or gas delivery error = 0
23. Serious injury or death from burn = 30
24. Serious injury or death from physical restraints = 1

25. Serious injury or death from metallic object in MRI  = 2

Potential Criminal Events
26. Impersonation of a health care provider = 0
27. Abduction of patient = 0
28. Sexual abuse or assault of patient or staff member = 9
29. Serious injury or death after physicial assault of patient or staff = 21

How Did Your Hospital Do?
For a hospital-by-hospital tabulation of the most recent “never event” medical errors, please visit the mass.gov website’s Serious Reportable Events page.

Hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers are required by law to report SREs to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The law also prohibits hospitals from charging for these events or seeking reimbursement for SRE-related services. 

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Sepsis: Know the Signs and Symptoms

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sometimes called blood poisoning, it can be caused by a seemingly minor infection due to a scrape or cut. It is often the cause of death of people suffering from other diseases (see Sepsis and Other Diseases). For instance, people with cancer can die as the result of the actual tumor or from an associated condition such as sepsis. Anyone can get sepsis but children and older adults tend to be more vulnerable.

Know the signs and symptoms of Sepsis

There is no single sign or symptom of sepsis. It is a combination of symptoms. And because sepsis is the result of an infection, symptoms can include signs of infection such as diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, etc.) in addition to ANY of these symptoms:

    • Shivering, fever, or very cold
    • Extreme pain or discomfort
    • Clammy or sweaty skin
    • Confusion or disorientation
    • Short of breath
    •  High heart rate.

What to do if you suspect Sepsis

Sepsis should be treated as a medical emergency (as quickly as possible) with antibiotics and fluids. If you think you or a loved one has sepsis you should be clear and firm that you suspect sepsis and demand urgent attention.
  • Call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately if you have any signs or symptoms of an infection or sepsis. This is a medical emergency.
  • It’s important that you say, “I AM CONCERNED ABOUT SEPSIS.”
  • If you are continuing to feel worse or not getting better in the days after surgery, ask your doctor about sepsis. Sepsis is a common complication of people hospitalized for other reasons. 
Sources and for more information on sepsis, see the CDC website and the Sepsis Alliance website.

Failure to diagnose sepsis or an infection leading to sepsis can sometimes lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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Attorneys licensed and practicing in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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Have Prostate Screening Guidelines Put African-American Men At Risk?

A recent prostate cancer study which found a 72% increase in advanced (metastatic) cancers in a decade has drawn renewed attention to prostate screening guidelines.

The PSA test, the best tool in diagnosing prostate cancer, also can create false-positives or detect cancers that are not life-threatening and for which treatment may cause undesired outcomes.
According to an op-ed in the New York Times, most medical guidelines recommend men weigh the benefits and limitations of PSA screening. However, in 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening for prostate cancer.

The op-ed reported:
"The government guidelines stunned doctors who recognize the greater dangers of prostate cancer in African-American men. Many believe that the disadvantages of routine PSA screening are outweighed when it comes to high-risk populations, and they worry that the guidelines will lead to less screening for men who might benefit the most from it. Their concerns have been borne out: Recent studies note a decrease in PSA screening for all populations, including African-American men."
The American Cancer Society recommends men discuss the risks and benefits of PSA tests with their doctors — starting at age 45 for black men or younger for men with family history of prostate cancer.

The op-ed authors recommend:
"The discussion should acknowledge that African-American men are at a higher risk of developing and dying from prostate cancer, that they have an increased risk for aggressive disease at diagnosis, that there are significant advancements in the detection and staging of prostate cancer, that the PSA test is just one of many available to help make an educated decision, and that the importance of seeking high-quality cancer care with supportive services and clinical trial opportunities are paramount."
Read the full article: Prostate Cancer Isn’t Colorblind
Authors: Lannis Hall, Arnold D. Bullock, Angela L. Brown, Graham Colditz

We encourage all men to discuss prostate screening with their doctors.

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As Prostate Cancer Screenings Have Decreased; Advanced Cancers Have Skyrocketed

Study shows 72% increase in metastatic prostate cancer cases in the past decade

A dramatic rise in advanced prostate cancer has been reported by a Northwestern Medical study published in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, July 19, 2016, a Nature journal.

The study shows a 72% increase in new cases of metastatic prostate cancer in the past decade from 2004 to 2013. The study discusses two possible causes for the increase — a recent trend of fewer men being screened and that the disease has become more aggressive.

Prostate Cancer Video image

“One hypothesis is the disease has become more aggressive, regardless of the change in screening,” said senior study author Dr. Edward Schaeffer, chair of urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Medicine. “The other idea is since screening guidelines have become more lax, when men do get diagnosed, it’s at a more advanced stage of disease. Probably both are true. We don’t know for sure but this is the focus of our current work.“

“The results indicate that screening guidelines and treatment need to be refined based on individual patient risk factors and genetics,” said lead author Dr. Adam Weiner, a Feinberg urology resident. “This may help prevent the growing occurrence of metastatic prostate cancer and potential deaths associated with the disease. This also can help minimize overdiagnosing and overtreating men with low-risk prostate cancer who do not need treatment.”

“Prostate cancer is 100 percent treatable if detected early, but some men are more likely to develop aggressive disease that will recur, progress and metastasize,” said Dr. Jonathan W. Simons, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

“Not all men with prostate cancer need immediate surgery or radiation. But every case needs precision prostate cancer care. We urgently need smarter and more targeted cancer screening, so we don't leave men at highest cancer risk unprotected from early, curable disease being missed and turning into incurable disease,” said Simons.

Link to the study:  Increasing incidence of metastatic prostate cancer in the United States (2004–2013)

Northwestern News Service: Metastatic Prostate Cancer Cases Skyrocket

Failure to Screen for Prostate Cancer

doctor ordering prostate screening photo
Did your doctor fail to screen or fail to offer you screening or delay in the diagnosis of your prostate cancer?

Our attorneys are licensed and practicing in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Lubin & Meyer has successfully represented many clients whose prostate cancer has gone undiagnosed, most recently obtaining a $2.84M verdict for Failure to Screen for Prostate Cancer.

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Cardiology Malpractice Claims Study: Why Patients Sue

Missed Diagnosis Is Leading Cause of Cardiology Malpractice Lawsuits

What leads cardiac patients to file medical malpractice lawsuits? According to a review of 429 cardiology claims that closed between 2007 and 2013 by The Doctors Company — a physician-owned medical malpractice insurer — the most common reason is diagnosis related. That is, either a failure to diagnose, a delay in diagnosis, or a wrong diagnosis.

A brief summary of the top 5 reasons for the lawsuits (as reviewed by the insurer) are:
  • Diagnosis related = 25%
  • Improper management of treatment = 14%
  • Improper performance of treatment/procedure = 12%
  • Improper performance of surgery = 11%
  • Improper medication management = 6%
Click to view enlarged version of the infographic below.

cardiology medical malpractice infographic

Getting the Right Diagnosis

For information to help you receive a proper diagnosis of heart disease symptoms, please visit this web page at rightdiagnosis.com.

Cardiology and Heart Attack Lawsuits in MA, NH, RI

Attorneys at Lubin & Meyer PC have successfully represented cardiac patients in many types of malpractice claims including:
To read the trial reports of other heart attack related lawsuits, click on: Cardiac Malpractice Verdicts and Settlements.

View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

Attorneys licensed and practicing in MA, NH and RI.

Do you have questions about a possible cardiac care malpractice lawsuit?

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