7.08.2019

Andrew Meyer Holds Massachusetts Medical Board Responsible for Failing to Protect Patients from Dangerous Doctors

Boston's Top Medical Malpractice Attorney Featured Prominently in Boston Magazine Exposé 


Andrew Meyer Boston Attorney
Boston med-mal attorney and patient safety advocate Andrew C. Meyer, Jr.
Boston Magazine features an exposé by writer Michael Damiano who reports on the secretive world of Boston doctors. A world where physicians who have had multiple claims of medical malpractice brought against them, continue to practice medicine and avoid accountability or punishment. In The Secret Truth About Boston Doctors, Damiano turns to Andrew Meyer to provide perspective on the situation.

Writes Damiano:
“Meyer is not only Boston's most prolific medical malpractice attorney, but he also has one of the best views of how the system that is supposed to protect patients from bad doctors consistently fails. Every month, his firm, Lubin & Meyer, fields hundreds of calls from people who believe they have been harmed by negligent care.”
Damiano cites sexual misconduct, sloppy mistakes often with catastrophic consequences, and a medical board that often looks the other way. The article is built around the medical saga of Lubin & Meyer client, Charles Antonio, who suffered a serious injury during spine surgery by surgeon, Michael Medlock, MD. Antonio was unaware that his physician had settled several medical malpractice lawsuits filed by other patients also injured during surgery. To make matters worse, Damiano reveals that this same doctor was recently appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, the independent state agency that oversees licensing, regulation and the discipline of physicians that have harmed patients.
“When physicians with histories of bad outcomes do face consequences, the sanctions tend to be temporary or easily circumvented. Doctors quietly leave one hospital, only to pop up at another. In severe cases, a doctor with a history of problems might leave Massachusetts altogether and reboot his or her career in another state,” reports Damiano.

Who Will Protect Patients from Dangerous Doctors?


According to Meyer, the medical board and state government have never adequately protected patients. He describes the work of his medical malpractice law firm as the only recourse against the powerful medical regime, serving in essence as a consumer protection bureau for patients.
“Many medical professionals approach their work with the seriousness, preparation and abundance of caution that we as patients would expect. But there exists among physicians a culture of protecting one another, a lack of transparency, and an ultimate failure to self regulate when serious behavior problems and bad outcomes occur. It's a dangerous situation with repeat offenders being allowed to move from facility to facility and continue to do harm under a shroud of secrecy.”
“We often are the only defense for patients and their families whose lives have been forever changed as a result of a preventable medical error. Our important work on behalf of our clients holds medical professionals responsible, exposes dangerous medical practices and advocates for the safety of all patients.” — Andrew C. Meyer, Jr.


To read the full Boston Magazine feature length article, see below.



Questions about medical malpractice?


Lubin & Meyer can evaluate your case at not cost, with no obligation. Please contact us at (617) 720-4447. Or click the button below to fill out a form and we will contact you.

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4.14.2019

Recent Medical Malpractice Verdict and Settlement Reports Now Available

Year after year Lubin & Meyer PC outpaces all other medical malpractice law firms achieving more verdicts and settlements than any other firm in New England. (See related story: Lubin & Meyer Stands Apart in Medical Malpractice Verdicts and Settlements.)

Search medical malpractice trial reports
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We publish on our website summaries of some of those cases. Most recently, we have added the following trial lawyer reports as follows.
  • $10.7 Million Verdict
    Lawrence General Hospital Surgeon for Failing to Treat Intestinal Leak

    Failure to recognize signs of intestinal leak and retained surgical sponge, results in infection, colostomy and additional surgeries
    Attorneys: Nicholas Cappiello and John Carucci
  • $3.75 Million Settlement
    Paralysis Following Spinal Hematoma 

    Delay in the diagnosis and treatment of a spinal cord hematoma while recovering from stroke results in paralysis
    Attorneys: Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and William J. Thompson
  • $2.25 Million Settlement
    Delay in Spinal Surgery Results in Injury/Death

    Failure to timely operate on epidual hematoma results in paraplegia, bowel and bladder abnormalties, sepsis and death
    Attorneys: Robert M. Higgins and Barrie S. Duchesneau
  • $2 Million Settlement
    Perforated Bowel Infection
     

    Perforated bowel during weight loss surgery causes massive infection, host of injuries and additional surgeries
    Attorneys: Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and William J. Thompson
  • $1.5 Million Settlement
    Failure to Diagnose Perforated Intestine

    Wrongful death lawsuit alleged 58 year old man should have been admitted to the hospital for abdominal CT scan and surgical consult
    Attorneys:  Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and Krysia J. Syska
  • $1 Million Settlement
    Death of 3-day-old from Birth Injury

    Lawsuit claims delay in delivery and failure to recognize changes in fetal heart rate tracings resulted in death of baby from severe diffuse anoxic brain injury
    Attorneys: Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and William J. Thompson
  • $1 Million Settlement
    Lung Cancer Claim Settles Prior to Filing of Lawsuit  

    PCP's failure to follow up on radiologist's recommendations denied patient earlier treatment that would have prolonged patient’s life.
    Attorneys: Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and William J. Thompson
Many more trial reports are available on our website:
Search Verdicts and Settlements.

You can search our archive of verdicts and settlements by keyword. Please note that the archive does not include every result. Also, past performance does not guarantee future results.

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

Questions about a medical error? Contact us for a free case review. Representing patients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode  Island.

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3.13.2019

Massachusetts: Avoidable Hospital Errors Continue To Plague Quality Care

Tracking 29 Things That Should Never Happen in a Hospital


Despite a reputation for excellence and innovation, Massachusetts hospitals can sometimes be dangerous places. In an effort improve patient safety, the state Department of Health tracks “serious reportable events” also known as "never events" — avoidable adverse events that should never happen in a hospital.


As defined by Massachusetts law,* a serious reportable event (SRE) is an event that results in a serious adverse patient outcome that is clearly identifiable and measurable, reasonably preventable, and that meets any other criteria established by the department in regulations.
* Section 51H of Chapter 111 of the General Laws

The total number of SREs in Massachusetts acute care hospitals in 2017 was 922. Some of the most common avoidable errors included:

  • Falls = 308
  • Pressure ulcers = 294
  • Surgery on wrong site = 49
  • Medication errors = 52
  • Foreign objects left in patient = 31


Total Number of SREs in Acute Care Hospitals by Year


** Two events in 2015 and 2016 affected a large number of patients and is reflected in the increase in SREs reported. Data abstracted on Jun 15, 2018 from the Health Care Facility Reporting System.


Massachusetts Serious Reportable Events


Below are the 29 preventable adverse events that Massachusetts tracks and must disseminate publicly in an effort to improve patient safety. This is the most recent data from 2017, which shows still too many SREs — over 900 for the year.

Surgical or Invasive Procedure Events
1. Wrong body part, side or site surgery of procedure = 49
2. Wrong patient surgery or procedure = 1
3. Wrong surgery or procedure performed = 8
4. Foreign object left in patient after procedure unknowingly = 31
5. Death of ASA Class I patient during surgery or within 24 hours = 0

Product or Device Events
6. Contaminated drugs, device or biologics = 21
7. Device misuse or malfunction = 21
8. Intravascular air embolism = 3

Patient Protection Events
9. Patient discharged to unauthorized person = 0
10. Serious injury or death during patient disappearance = 2
11. Suicide or self-harm = 25

Care Management Events
12. Serious injury or death from medication error = 52
13. Unsafe blood transfusion = 1
14. Maternal serious injury or death associated with labor or delivery = 7
15. Newborn serious injury or death associated with delivery = 11
16. Serious injury or death after a fall = 308
17. Stage 3, Stage 4 or unstageable pressure ulcer = 294
18. Artificial insemination with wrong egg or sperm = 0
19. Serious injury or death from loss of irreplaceable biological specimen = 2
20. Serious injury or death from lack of follow up or communication of lab result = 10

Environmental Events
21. Serious injury or death from electric shock = 0
22. Oxygen or gas delivery error = 2
23. Serious injury or death from burn = 25
24. Serious injury or death from physical restraints = 2

Radiology Events
25. Serious injury or death from metallic object in MRI = 0

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 = 7
29. Serious injury or death after physicial assault of patient or staff = 41

Data source: Serious Reportable Events in 2017 Acute Care Hospitals, Non-Acute Care Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Public Health Council, July 11, 2108

For more information, download the full report.

Previous reporting on Massachusetts SREs on the Patient Safety Blog:
View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

Questions about a medical error? Contact us for a free case review. Representing patients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode  Island.

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9.10.2018

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

View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com
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

8.29.2018

Our Healthcare System Is Failing Mothers in Childbirth

US Hospitals Show Increasing Trend in Preventable Injuries and Deaths To Mothers During Childbirth


Did you know that the United States currently has the highest rate of women who die during childbirth in the developed world? Women in our country are suffering life-altering injuries and death — most of which are avoidable injuries — due to hospitals that do not take appropriate steps and care of mothers leading up to and during and after delivery.
 
Recent in-depth reporting by USA Today, NPR and ProPublica have exposed this national embarrassment: Why in a country with the most advanced medical technology are women dying from childbirth?


The above video is part of the USA Today report, Hospitals Know How To Protect Mothers. They Just Aren’t Doing It.

Avoidable Maternal Deaths in the US


The USA Today article states:
"Doctors and nurses should be weighing bloody pads to track blood loss so they recognize the danger sooner. They should be giving medication within an hour of spotting dangerously high blood pressure to fend off strokes.

These are not complicated procedures requiring expensive technology. They are among basic tasks that experts have recommended for years because they can save mothers’ lives.

Yet hospitals, doctors and nurses across the country continue to ignore them...."
The article includes input from Dr. Steven Clark, a leading childbirth safety expert and a professor at Baylor College of Medicine who says some hospitals follow best practices, but change is slow: “It’s a failure at all levels, at national organization levels and at the local hospital leadership levels as well.”

According to another recent report by, ProPublica and NPR, The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth,
"The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and 60 percent are preventable. The death of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse, in the hospital where she worked illustrates a profound disparity: The health care system focuses on babies but often ignores their mothers."

Maternal Deaths in Massachusetts


We recently reported on the situation here in Massachusetts in a previous blog post, Women Dying in Childbirth in U.S. — A Preventable Tragedy, which highlights a Boston Globe investigative report on maternal deaths at MetroWest Hospital. Lubin & Meyer represents the family at the center of that exposé which includes data on the trends of mothers dying in childbirth in the U.S. and in non-developed countries.


Birth Injury Attorney Krysia Syska
"What's most disturbing about the increased trend in maternal deaths and injuries is that the medical profession knows how to prevent most of these harms. Hospitals aren't following recommended guidelines to identify high-risk pregnancies, and monitor and respond to a mother's well-being before, during and after delivery."

Krysia Syska, Birth Injury Lawyer


 

 Share this lifesaving information

The USA Today article includes a link to a printable guide for you and/or a loved one that highlights the most important questions to discuss with doctors and hospital staff related to a mother's safety during childbirth.

Tips included in this guide include ensuring that the medical team:
  • measures blood loss
  • pays attention to blood pressure readings
  • know preeclampsia warning signs that can lead to stroke
  • insist nurses take blood pressure correctly.

Download the Childbirth Safety Guide here for more detailed information.

Questions about problems encountered during childbirth?


Our medical malpractice and birth injury attorneys are available to review your case free of charge.  Our lawyers practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. There is no obligation or fee to have your case reviewed by our medical-legal team.

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

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8.10.2018

$35.4 Million Verdict in Mother’s Childbirth Stroke Case Upheld on Appeal

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has upheld a $35.4 million verdict from 2015, in a medical malpractice lawsuit (Larkin v. Johnston) involving injury to a mother during childbirth. The lawsuit was brought by a 28-year-old mother who was left paralyzed by a stroke hours after the vaginal birth of her daughter. Andrea Larkin received prenatal care by the OB/GYN group at Dedham Medical Associates, where previously her primary care physician, Dr. Johnston, had found brain abnormalities including an aneurysm that were never discussed with her or recorded in her medical record's “problem list,” as required by DMA policy.

Lubin & Meyer represented the plaintiff at trial. The total judgment will include the addition of pre-verdict statutory interest. For more information, see the trial report here.

See the appeal document here: Timothy Larkin v. Dedham Medical Associates, Inc.

Attorney Adam Satin represented the plaintiff on appeal.



Questions about injuries to an infant or mother before, during or after delivery?


Our birth injury attorneys and on-staff nurses are available to evaluate the circumstances surrounding your injuries. Please contact us to request a free case review. No obligation.

Our attorneys practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. 

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

7.19.2018

Lubin & Meyer Sets the Pace with Four Multimillion Dollar Verdicts in First Half of 2018

In the first six months of 2018, medical malpractice law firm Lubin & Meyer PC has achieved four multimillion dollar jury verdicts — including a rarely seen "gross neg­ligence" verdict — more than any other firm in the Commonwealth.

The verdicts are listed below. Click on a link to view more information about any trial.
  • $3.2 Million Verdict for the family of a Mass. General patient regarding a doctor's failure to inform the patient of all treatment options following abnormal biopsy result. (July, 2018)
  • $6.8 Million Verdict for the decedent's family in wrongful death case against a Low­ell General doctor involving a delay in diagnosis of kidney cancer. (February, 2018)
  • $6 Million Verdict for the family of a wom­an who died following hernia surgery at Winchester Hospital. (February, 2018)
  • $1.6 Million Verdict for a patient who suffered 3 years of renal failure and dialysis resulting from a medication error at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. (February, 2018)
 Below is our recent ad in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.


Questions about a possible medical malpractice lawsuit?

Contact Lubin & Meyer for an initial case review or a second opinion at no cost. No obligation.

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

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

4.26.2018

Diagnostic Error Study Shows Getting A Second Opinion is Worth the Effort

Misdiagnosis and Delay in Diagnosis of Cancer and Other Diseases Is Common — Especially in Younger and Female Patients


A recent study reveals that among patients who sought a second opinion at the prestigious Mayo Clinic, more than 20% had been misdiagnosed by a primary care provider.

As reported in the Washington Post:
"The researchers looked retrospectively at 286 patients who had seen primary-care physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in 2009 and 2010. Nearly two-thirds were younger than 64, and most were female.”
The Post article further clarifies:
"In 62 cases (21 percent), the second diagnosis was “distinctly different” from the first, the researchers reported. In 36 cases (12 percent), the diagnoses were the same. In the remaining 188 cases, the diagnoses were at least partly correct but were “better defined/refined” by the second opinion, according to the study.”
The prevalence of misdiagnosis is covered also in this NBC television segment (below)...



When Is Misdiagnosis or Delay in Diagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?


Cases of misdiagnosis or delays in diagnosis are often the basis of successful medical malpractice lawsuits when a physician or other healthcare provider does not take patient complaints seriously, does not order or follow up on diagnostic tests, or when other problems enter into a patient's care such as lab errors, communication errors, electronic medical records issues, or other hospital system errors.

This is especially harmful in cancer and other diseases where an early diagnosis can make a big difference in the patient’s prognosis — often whether they live or die.

For example, three of the most recent medical malpractice settlements posted to the Lubin & Meyer website are all related to the delay in diagnosis of cancer.

Do You Have Questions About a Diagnostic Error?


If you believe that you or a loved one may have suffered undue injury due to a delay in diagnosis of a medical condition or disease, you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney in your state that regularly deals with such cases and can bring your case to trial if needed, or negotiate the best settlement.

Lubin & Meyer medical malpractice attorneys represent patients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Please learn more about our firm at lubinandmeyer.com. Or, use the button below to connect with us now.

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

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3.26.2018

New Stroke Treatment Guidelines for Thrombectomy and Clot-dissolving Drug

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has published new guidelines that would make more patients eligible for critical treatments to remove or dissolve blood clots that cause strokes. The guidelines, based on the most recent science available, were published in the Association’s journal Stroke, and the research is published on the NEJM website here. See also the New York Times reporting below.

More time for Thrombectomy


According to the AHA/ASA:
"A major new recommendation increases the window of time for selected patients who are eligible to have blood clots mechanically removed from vessels supplying the brain. Mechanical clot removal is only advisable in clots that block large vessels. The guideline recommends that large vessel strokes can safely be treated with mechanical thrombectomy up to 16 hours after a stroke in selected patients. Under certain conditions, based on advanced brain imaging, some patients may have up to 24 hours. The previous time limit was six hours."

Possible Treatment with Clot-dissolving Drug

 The other recommendation:
"Another new recommendation broadens the eligibility for administering a clot-busting IV drug called alteplase – a type of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) – the only FDA-approved clot-dissolving treatment for ischemic stroke. Previously, patients with mild strokes were not eligible for clot-busting treatment, but new research suggests it could help some of these patients. The guideline says doctors should weigh the risks and benefits in individual patients, because the drug can decrease disability when given promptly and appropriately."

Patients at risk of stroke should discuss the new guidelines with their family and doctors.

Get More Information


American Heart Association /  American Stroke Association

New England Journal of Medicine

Questions About Your Stroke Care?


If you have questions about the diagnosis and treatment of your stroke, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our stroke lawyers can review your stroke case for free in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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

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11.15.2017

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.

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

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11.01.2017

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

8.01.2017

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.

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

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

7.14.2017

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

5.10.2017

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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3.16.2017

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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