Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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As an Atlanta personal injury attorney, I routinely retain experts to testify in every case. In fact, in order to file a medical malpractice case in Georgia state court, one must attach an expert affidavit identifying at least one act of malpractice. The following areas of emphasis are typically what I look for from experts who are retained in my cases.

  • A thorough understanding that the standard of care is that degree of skill and care exercised by physicians generally under the same or similar circumstances.
  • Remember, you must be able to definitively answer many questions to reasonable degree of medical certainty, which is legal causation and is much less stringent than medical etiology.
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Vaginal rejuvenation surgery has become a great help in restoring sexual sensation for many women after childbirth. It helps to make the vagina and its cavity tighter by repairing the looseness that can come about from stretching and damage during childbirth. Labiaplasty, in which the outer lips of the vulva are restructured through traditional surgical techniques or lasers, can also be included in vaginal rejuvenation.

Vaginal rejuvenation is a serious medical procedure. Certain risks and complications are to be expected due to its invasive nature. These risks and complications can be reduced if the vaginal rejuvenation procedure is performed with lasers instead of traditional surgical methods.

Numerous risks and potential side effects arise during the recovery phase after the operation has been performed. These side effects can include: bleeding, bruising, infection, lost sensation, redness, and swelling.

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A now 2-year boy who suffered brain damage when he was born in 2010 has won an award of $55 million when a jury found the hospital that delivered the boy to be negligent.

The plaintiffs were at home when the mother went into labor. The childbirth was attempted with a midwife but the child was stuck in the birth canal. Therefore, the mother was rushed to the hospital where doctors agreed to perform a C-section immediately.

However, after waiting more than two hours, the procedure had not been performed. The mother waited in agonizing pain while her son began suffering brain damage. Eventually the procedure was performed but the child was left with permanent brain damage.

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The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a new trial in a case in which a Clark County jury found a local Hospital and a local obstetrician not liable in a malpractice claim that they mishandled the birth of the Georgia teen which left her permanently disabled in 1998.

In an effort to prevent undue sympathy, the trial judge limited the amount of time the injured teen was permitted in the courtroom. However, in a near unanimous decision, the justices ruled that it was in her right to be present at her own trial.

The parents of the injured Georgia teen maintain that the hospital personnel did not react in a timely manner to readings from the fetal heart monitor and alert doctors of the need to perform a Caesarean section. The lawsuit also states that the baby was not breathing upon delivery and that the loss of oxygen was a factor in her brain damage. The Obstetrician’s decision to induce labor with medication rather than deliver the baby by C-section is also in question.

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The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) claims that 13.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the U.S. last year. This is a 5% increase over the previous year. However, as the number of cosmetic procedures increase in Atlanta, so do the number of injuries resulting from such procedures, many of which are caused by negligence.

For example, a plastic surgeon has been named in a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging that he left one of his patients with abnormalities. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant performed abdominoplasty and liposuction that disfigured her and left her in excruciating pain. The plaintiff also alleges that the surgeon neglected to give her post-operative instructions.

The surgery was performed on May 4, 2011, after the defendant referred to himself as a surgical “artist.” The plaintiff was told that the procedure had gone as expected and to wear compression garments. She alleges that the doctor did not inform her how to wear the compression garment or give her any information concerning post-op damage.

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After a recent appearence at the American College of Cardiology convention in Atlanta, some studies are now suggesting that Crestor may be linked to cardiomyopathy, which is a serious condition that has an effect on the muscle of the heart. Crestor is a statin, and statins reduce coenzyme levels, which causes an increased risk for heart failure. Therefore, anyone who takes statins is at risk of cardiomyopathy.

Numerous studies connect statin use to low levels of coenzyme Q10. One such study examined the level of coenzyme Q10 in people taking lovastatin (Mevacor). The researchers concluded that lovastatin does decrease tissue levels of CoQ10, which can reduce heart functioning. Patients with low tissue levels of CoQ10 with moderate or weak heart functioning who are treated with lovastatin are at an increased risk.

Coenzyme is a protective enzyme that protects the heart from failing. Since statins seemingly reduce levels of coenzyme Q10, patients need to supplement coenzyme Q10 to reduce their risk of experiencing heart failure. Another study found that cardiomyopathy caused by statins is more prevalent than documented and that discontinuation and supplemental CoQ10 can reverse such side effects.

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Safyral is a birth control medication that is used by a large number of women in Atlanta. It contains drodpirenone and a supplement designed to increase levels of folate in women. But Safyral, like other birth control medications that contain drodpirenone, is being asked by the FDA to bring its label up to date by including warnings.

In December of 2011, an advisory panel of the FDA considered the safety and value of contraceptives that contain drospirenone. Among the contraceptives that the panel considered were Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz, and Safyral. This inquiry was the result of concern over the increased risk of blood clotting women who use drospirenone are experiencing.

The advisory panel voted 15 to 11 that the benefits of birth control medications that contain drospirenone, like Safyral, offset the risks linked with its use. However, critics argue that there are older forms of birth control that are safer and just as effective as the newer ones that contain drospirenone.

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Hospitals emergency rooms throughout Atlanta and the rest of the country are adopting a new policy of charging patients $150 if they do not have an urgent problem. Last year, over 80,000 patients left emergency rooms owned by HCA Healthcare without receiving treatment after being told that they would have to pay as much as $150 first because their problems weren’t considered emergencies.

This screening method and upfront fee is being used by hospitals in an effort to ensure that the sickest people receive top priority. While those patients who do not require emergency care are given information they can use to find a more cost-effective and efficient form of care that meets their medical needs.

HCA leads the way with this pay-first strategy that is aimed at discouraging patients with nonemergency ailments from going to the emergency room after being screened. It is now estimated that half the hospitals in the US charge this fee to reduce overcrowding in emergency rooms. However, some doctors fear that patients in need of medical attention will do without treatment because of this fee.

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A study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that as many as one in five patients (22%) have needlessly had heart implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) implanted against national guidelines. As a result, patients who needlessly received the implants had a considerably higher risk of experiencing complications; even resulting in in-hospital death. And these procedures are costly, unnecessarily wasting thousands of dollars in medical funds.

ICDs are usually implanted in patients with advanced heart failure in an effort to restore normal rhythm to the heart when it beats irregularly. Researchers have yet to find any advantage in implanting these devices in patients who have had a heart attack or who have undergone bypass surgery. Accordingly, national guidelines do not advise implanting defibrillators in patients who have been diagnosed with heart failure or who have short life expectancies.

Dr. Sana Al-Khatib of Duke Universities School of Medicine, the lead author of the study, alleges that some of the implants may have been appropriate; but a lot more were performed in spite of the research evidence. “It’s lack of knowledge. It’s ignorance. It’s not keeping track of the guidelines,” she explained to MSNBC.com. “And we may have some physicians who don’t agree with the guidelines or don’t think the guidelines apply to patients,” she continued.

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The most recent edition of New Zealand Medical Journal Digest includes a discussion of medical doctors and a health psychologist talking about the negative side effects associated with the use of homeopathic remedies. The doctors in the article consider such treatments as arnica, colloidal silver, deer velvet, and a number of other treatments classified as homeopathic remedies to be a “waste of time and money,” and in some instances, harmful to the user.

As much as 95 percent of homeopathic products and hundreds of therapies are not backed by research or credible biologically, according to the doctors. Of these so-called remedies, the doctors expressly discussed arnica, deer velvet, the Lemonade Diet, magnets, propolis, rescue remedy, shark cartilage, and super doses of vitamin C for the treatment of cancer.

Some of these treatments, such as colloidal silver, which is advertised as aiding the immune system in the fight against cancer and HIV, could actually be dangerous. According to Dr. Holt, “Silver does have some anti-microbial actions, but not only is there no clinical evidence of an efficacy for these serious indications, products have been shown to contain widely variable amounts of silver and can cause argyria-dangerous and untreatable silver poisoning.”

According to drugwatch.com, consumers often make the assumption that because they are readily available, supplements must be safe. In and of themselves, that may be true, but when combined with drugs, supplements can cause serious adverse reactions. The FDA cites research that shows at least half of American adults regularly use dietary supplements, which are defined as “products taken by mouth that contain a dietary ingredient.” According to the agency, these include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs or botanicals. St. John’s wort, vitamin E, ginseng and Ginko biloba all have been touted for their ability to boost certain health aspects. Unfortunately, they also interact with various widely prescribed drugs and cause life-threatening reactions.
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