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.”
I recently learned of an interesting article in the Medical Liability Monitor, an industry publication on medical malpractice. In the April 2008 issue, Phil Dyer, V.P. of Professional Liability Division of Kibble & Prentice, declares that the volatility in the healthcare professional liability market may finally be over. Mr. Dyer cites 6 reasons–and not one is tort “reform.”
What does this mean to patients? Probably not much. Hopefully, doctors and hospitals will continue to implement practice modifications that will “prevent claims.” Hopefully, the insurers will stay off the roller coaster of raising and lowering premiums so that doctors and hospitals can better predict these costs, but that probably won’t happen. Hopefully, the next time reinsurance costs go up because the reinsurers have found a better place to park their money, the insures won’t scream “tort reform” and try to take away the rights of the very patients who are injured by doctor’s and hospital’s negligence, but that probably won’t happen either. Maybe, just maybe, someone will pull this article from Medical Liability Monitor and waive it in the face of the insurance industry and cut off the argument. Maybe … but don’t hold your breath.In the mean time, trial attorneys will keep protecting the victims of medical negligence and dangerous products.
The New York Times is reporting that Heparin contamination is more widespread than first thought. And Heparin may be just the tip of the iceberg. Unknown to most Americans, U.S. drug manufacturers are purchasing many chemical components of their drugs from Chinese suppliers.The F.D.A. has linked contaminated Heparin to at least 81 deaths in the United States. Heparin, a drug-thinner used extensively to treat strokes, heart attacks and as a preventative measure in certain types of surgeries, has been found to be contaminated. If you or a loved one has suffered death, stroke, bleed or other side-effect in recent years, and Heparin was involved, please contact the The Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson to discuss your legal rights.
I’m announcing the launch of a new attorney web resource for Plaintiff’s Attorneys only. It is called MOPAO (Missouri Plaintiff’s Attorneys Only). Membership is strictly moderated and is open to Missouri attorneys who represent only plaintiffs in the personal injury and medical malpractice arena. Absolutely no memberships will be granted to any attorney who is a member of any defense firm. The goal of the list serve is to give a private and secure environment for open discussions and exchanges of information.If you are a 100% plaintiff’s only firm or solo, you may request membership by sending an e-mail to MOPAO. I look forward to your requests.Todd N. Hendrickson, Moderator–MOPAO
Another reason why so-called “Tort Reform” doesn’t make sense-Malpractice cases recover Governments moneyPosted by in Medical Malpractice - (0 Comments)
In a companion post, I noted that medical malpractice is costing Medicare billions of dollars-Medicare Study: Medical Malpractice Costing U.S. Government Billions. This study shows that medical negligence cost Medicare nearly 9 billion dollars between 2004 and 2006. Since this study looked only at Medicare patients, it doesn’t take into account Medicaid patients. It’s certainly reasonable to believe that the rate of incidents is similar and the federal government is spending billions more dollars to treat those victims of medical negligence.So what does this have to do with “tort reform?” To answer that question, you have to know how Medicare and Medicaid work. These government programs have so-called “super liens” against any settlement or judgment obtained against a negligent health care provider. A lien means that the government gets reimbursed for what it paid out in medical claims to treat the injuries caused by negligence. In effect, when an attorney takes a Medicare or Medicaid patient as a client, he is working for the taxpayers too.So how does “tort reform” interfere with this process? Most “tort reform” provisions seek to reduce the amount an injured party can recover from a negligent doctor or hospital. By reducing the amount of the recovery, they reduce the amount available to repay the taxpayers. Also, these “tort reform” laws tend to disproportionately affect the elderly and the poor–exactly those persons served by Medicare and Medicaid? Why does tort reform disproportionately affect the elderly and the poor, as well as children and woman who don’t work outside the home? Because arbitrary limits on non-economic damage awards, often called “caps,” fall hardest on these people. The poor, the elderly and the young cannot usually demonstrate significant lost income as a result of medical negligence. Past and future lost income, along with past and future medical expenses, are the cornerstone economic damages in a medical malpractice case. If lost income is out of the equation, those injured as a result of medical negligence are left with damages consisting of medical expenses and non-economic damages, sometimes called “pain and suffering.” When the pain and suffering damages are capped, the award is artificially reduced. With a cap, even if a jury decides that, for example, a surgeon who removes the wrong leg in a surgery, should pay One Million Dollars in pain and suffering damages, a judge is required by law to reduce that award to the capped level, no matter what the circumstances.And the lower the overall recovery, the less money is available to satisfy the federal Medicare and Medicaid liens. The less money available, the less Medicare and Medicaid get back. If the potential recovery is so restricted by caps that the case is no longer economically viable, then the case won’t be filed and Medicare and Medicaid will recover nothing. And then you and I, the taxpayers, will bear the ultimate burden of the medical negligence–not through increased medical costs, as the medical and insurance lobby would have you believe, but by paying the bills of those doctors and hospitals who caused the injury through their negligence.