Consumers Union, a national non-profit organization, has just released a new report that follows a landmark report of 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the new report isn’t good news.In To Err is Human – To Delay is Deadly, the group reports that more than 99,000 people die each year in the United States from medical errors. This is up from the figure of 98,000 deaths per year reported by the Institute of Medicine in 1999. In the the intervening 10 years, we have made no progress.What are some of the reasons for this disturbing lack of improvement? Consumer Union reports that, among many reasons, few hospitals have adopted well-known systems to prevent medication errors and that the FDA rarely intervenes. Medicine, as an industry has failed to adopt transparent systems for reporting errors. The medical industry has failed to raise standards for competency of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.Consumers Union makes this disturbing analogy: 99,000 deaths per year is equivalent to a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing and killing everyone on board every other day. In no other industry would Americans allow these kinds of errors to continue to occur.I struggle every day to bring accountability to those who have injured or killed patients. If you or a family member are a victim of medical negligence, contact me at stlpersonalinjury.com.
The Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson are accepting cases involving possible surgical site infections caused by contaminated forced air warming devices. In many surgeries hospitals utilize a forced air warming device to maintain the patient’s body temperature. The most commonly used of these devices is Arizant’s Bair Hugger (R). These are essentially large driers which blow hot air through a perforated warming blanket.Our investigations indicate that these devices may trap and contain bacteria, forcing it onto the patient during surgery.If you or a loved one has suffered a surgical site infection you may have a claim. Please contact us to discuss your case.
The World Health Organization has outlined simple steps that hospitals can take to reduce surgical mistakes, reported the New York Times. Simple procedures like utilizing a “time out” in which all members of the surgical team, before any incision, agree on the identity of the patient, the type of procedure that is being performed and, if appropriate, identifying the correct limb involve, such as right knee v. left knee. Many of these steps, such as getting an accurate count of needles and sponges during the procedure and identifying that the same number of have been removed from the patient after the procedure, have been standard procedure in American hospitals for years. But introducing these simple steps to hospitals world-wide will reduce infections and iatrogenic injuries world-wide.
The Food and Drug Administration has called for stronger warnings to be placed on epilepsy drugs such as Topamax, Lamictal, Lyrica, Neurontin, Tegretol, and Trileptal that use can cause an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or even actions. The FDA reviewed studies conducted since the original warning labels were approved which show that patients on these drugs have an increased risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts when compared with dummy pills.If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of these or other defective drugs or medical devices, you should contact The Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson. Contact Todd N. Hendrickson for a free consultation.
Byetta, a drug used to treat Type II diabetis, is suspected of causing hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis in numerous patients. As a result, the FDA has issued an alert. Byetta is given by injection. If you are taking Byetta, you should immediately discuss this information with your physician. Information for your doctor can be found here.If you suspect that you or a loved one has been injured as a result of using Byetta or any other drug or as a result of medical malpractice, please contact Todd N. Hendrickson.
As a trial lawyer, I’m asked this question all the time: How do you put a dollar figure on a human life? There is no easy answer. Every human life has value and no amount of money can ever replace a life. These contradictory ideas are at the heart of the problems that juries face every day in this country when they are called upon to do just that: place a dollar value on a human life. So, is there any guidance? Actually, there is …The United States places a value on human life all the time. Cold, hard dollar values. The U.S. does this in order to evaluate the costs and benefits of various safety and other programs. The Environmental Protection Agency values a single human life at $7.22 million. The federal Department of Transportation has done the same calculation and has come up with a figure of $5.8 million. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has long held the value of a single human life is $5 million. The U.S. uses these figures like this: If a program would save 3 lives and would cost $10 million, then the cost-benefit analysis would be in favor of spending the money to save those 3 lives.So, if our federal government values a single human life at $5 million dollars or more, then how can various state governments, including Missouri and Illinois, place caps on what a jury can award for a human life, at levels far below the value that our federal government places on a human life? In Missouri, state law caps “non-economic damages” at $350,000 per person. $350,000 is only 7% to less than 5% of the true value. In Illinois, the cap stands at $500,000. These caps are outrageous and should be stricken down and repealed so that a jury can decide, on its own, on the basis of the community’s shared values and beliefs, the value of a human life.
Thousands of people each day fall victim to criminal attacks and suffer severe life changing injuries and loses. The most frustrating part is that many of these attacks are preventable and are the result of poor and inadequate security by property owners.Premises and Security Liability laws state the property owners must be responsible for protecting visitors from harm, and that includes criminal activity. It is their duty to study their surroundings and be aware of any signs of criminal activity. A property owner must provide adequate security such as proper lighting, security patrols, and security hardware on doors and windows.If you were attacked or victimized on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact an experienced negligent security attorney who can take action and investigate your case.St. Louis accident and injury attorney Todd Hendrickson, P.C., has successfully represented numerous clients in complex security negligent claims. He understands how difficult it is to experience such tragedies and will aggressively work to have the responsible party held liable for your injuries and damages.A list of possible negligent security claims include:• Landlord liability• Inadequate parking lot surveillance• Inadequate lighting• Negligent hotel security• Forced entry• Employer Security Liability for negligent hiring• Bank Security Liability and ATM kiosk security• Attacks in elevators and stairwells• Shopping mall security negligence• College campus and dorm room security negligence• Negligent hospital security• Negligent sport stadium securityIf you or someone you know is injured or attacked on someone else’s property, and you suspect inadequate security was part of the problem, contact an experienced attorney who can take immediate action and help you pursue compensation.St. Louis negligent security attorney Todd Hendrickson, P.C. has the skills and the experience to get you the results you need.
You’ve been injured, whether it was in a car accident, work place injury, or due to medical malpractice or as a result of a faulty product. Have you ever thought about how you talk to your doctor about these injuries? No? Well you should …
Doctors write office notes and reports about every office visit they have with you, and every time they see you in the hospital. Doctors are the historians of your medical condition. What they write can affect any legal case you may have. Whatever the doctor documents about your injury or condition is what the insurance company, defense attorney, judge and jury will see. And all too often, if you try to say “that isn’t what I said!” who do you think that insurance company, defense attorney, judge and jury are going to believe?
Doctors are just like everyone else. They want to be successful at what they do. They want their patients to get better. As a result, doctors records tend to be biased in favor of recovery. I’m not saying it is an intentional bias. In most cases, it is not. It is just that their job is to make you better and they want to believe that they are achieving that goal.
So … how does what you say to your doctor affect what they write? Simple: unless you are 100% recovered, never tell a doctor “I feel fine” or “I feel better.” We all know that those statements are usually followed by an “except ….” “Doc, I feel fine, except my left leg is still killing me. I can’t bend it the way I should and the pain wakes me at night.” If your doctor has been treating this condition for awhile, chances are, his records will record: “Patient feels fine” or “patient improved.” In fact, you aren’t. And you’ve just created a hurtle for you and your attorney to overcome.
So, resist the temptation to say “I’m better” or “I’m fine” if you aren’t. Prepare for your visit with your doctor. Think about how your injury or condition has been since you last saw your doctor. Be prepared to tell him, quickly and succinctly, each of your complaints. Tell him or her what triggers any pain. Tell them if it hurst after certain activities or at certain times of the day. Be prepared to give them examples of things that your injuries have kept you from doing, or have made difficult to do, such as housework, your job, recreational activities. Don’t exaggerate. Never exaggerate! Simply list your problem and leave out “I’m fine” out of your vocabulary until there is nothing else on that list of things that are hurting or bothering you. Then, and only then, are you “fine.”
Anderson Cooper 360?will air “Operating under the Influence” tonight, March 31, 2008, at 10pm, eastern. The advertisements for the show indicate “imagine undergoing the knife, while your doctor is undergoing treatment for addiction!” Unfortunately, a number of my clients don’t have to “imagine” that consequence.I have a number of cases in which a physician’s addiction is an issue. In one, within days of operating on my client, the physician tested positive for cocaine use. Only after the patient suffered a horrible complication did he learn that his surgeon had returned from rehab only a few days before operating. And worse yet, the hospital was aware of the stint in rehab and had not provided for drug testing before allowing the surgeon to return to the operating room and had not required that the surgeon be monitored by another surgeon in surgery.This type of negligence, on behalf of both the addicted doctor and the hospital, is clearly inexcusable. All hospitals have, or should have, in place policies and procedures to detect and monitor impaired doctors, nurses and other staff.I’ll watch “Operating under the Influence” tonight with interest. For more, see AndersonCooper360