Jun 2 2016

CDC: Medical Errors Lead in Deaths behind Heart Disease, Cancer

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University Medical School have found that, of the 2,597,000 deaths that occurred in the United States in 2013, an astounding 251,000 were attributed to medical errors. That accounted for 9.7% of all deaths and is the third-leading cause of death. The findings were reported by The British Medical Journal.

The article cited data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control which placed medical errors behind heart disease (611,000) and cancer (575,000) and ahead of COPD (149,000), and suicide (41,000), followed by motor vehicles and firearms (34,000 each). The list of common causes of death are determined using death certificates filled out by physicians, funeral directors, medical examiners and coroners. However, the death certificates rely on assigning an International Classification of Disease (ICD) code to the cause of death. This led the researchers to believe that the number of deaths arising from medical errors are grossly underestimated.

The researchers defined medical error as “an unintended act (either of omission of commission) or one that does not achieve its intended outcome, the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended (an error of execution), the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim (an error of planning) or a deviation from the process of care that may or may not cause harm to the patient.” They also wrote that, while a medical error may not be consequential, “an error can end the life of someone with a long life expectancy or accelerate an imminent death.”

They further acknowledge that human error is unavoidable, but it can be reduced by putting more and better safety protocols in place. These include:

  • Making errors more visible when they occur so their effects can be intercepted
  • Having remedies at hand to rescue patients
  • Making errors less frequent by following principles that take human limitations into account

If you have been injured or had a loved one pass away due to a doctor or hospital’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney is vital in protecting your rights. Contact the dedicated, experienced attorneys at Alegria & Barovick LLP for the representation you deserve. Call (914) 761-1133.

May 19 2016

New York State Ranked Highest for Malpractice Award Payouts

For the third consecutive year, medical malpractice lawsuits paid out more in New York last year than in any other state. Recently, the medical malpractice insurer Diederich Healthcare released its annual report detailing which states within the United States have the highest and lowest medical malpractice award payouts. Malpractice payouts started to rise in 2013 and have continued to increase at a steady pace since then. The 2016 findings were based on analysis of the medical malpractice payouts in 2015 as recorded by the National Practitioner Data Bank.

Since 2013 New York State has ranked the highest in the U.S. for its total payout amount. This year, New York held its first-place standing with $711,718,250 total malpractice awards paid out ($35.95 per capita).

Payment amounts varied based on the type of malpractice allegation and severity of outcome. The malpractice allegations that reaped the highest payouts involved diagnosis, surgery and treatment while obstetrics, medication and anesthesia were among the lowest. Malpractice cases where death was the outcome accounted for the highest payment amounts at 30 percent of the total. Significant permanent injury ranked second highest with 18 percent, and major permanent injury and quadriplegia, brain damage and lifelong care tied for third highest at 16 percent.

Award payouts also varied based on gender and age demographics. Females accounted for 52 percent of the total payments, whereas men accounted for 47 percent. Middle-aged patients were ranked the highest for total award amounts.

If you have been injured due to a doctor or hospital’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney is vital in protecting your rights. Contact the dedicated, experienced attorneys at Alegria & Barovick LLP for the representation you deserve.  Call (914) 761-1133.

May 12 2016

The Effects of Traumatic Birth Syndrome

According to medical researchers specializing in the care and treatment of newborns, there has been a rise in traumatic birth syndrome — the effects of which could adversely affect a newborn’s well-being.

Traumatic birth syndrome describes the presence of trauma-induced skull and spinal damage and spinal misalignment as a result of the birth process. The trauma on the newborn is magnified by the supine position of the mother (lying on her back), the force she applies to push the baby out, the use of drugs to ease the mother’s pain and induce labor, and the use of surgical interventions. After the birth, the baby may experience vertebral subluxation.

During the pushing stage of labor, the spine may be injured as the fetus is compressed and pushed down the birth canal. The main cause of subluxation is the pulling, twisting and compression of the infant’s spine during birth. If something alters normal birth, subluxations will occur at the greatest point of stress (the upper and lower cervical vertebrae). In severe cases, these can result in more obvious clinical nerve damage (such as paralysis), but more frequently subluxations are unnoticed by physicians and parents until later in the child’s life.

Children with traumatic birth syndrome may suffer from the following: colic, sleep disorders, symptoms of lowered immunity, poor development and more. Some subluxations have been found to be severe enough to lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

If your newborn child has been injured or suffered traumatic birth syndrome due to a doctor or hospital’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney is vital in protecting your rights. Contact the dedicated, experienced attorneys at Alegria & Barovick LLP for the representation you deserve. Call (914) 761-1133.

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