Malpractice

The demise of Flea, who live-blogged his medical malpractice trial

Stunning news. The Boston Globe on Flea, his trial and how his blogging ultimately led from a possible victory to settlement:

As Ivy League-educated pediatrician Robert P. Lindeman sat on the stand in Suffolk Superior Court this month, defending himself in a malpractice suit involving the death of a 12-year-old patient, the opposing counsel startled him with a question.

Was Lindeman Flea?

Flea, jurors in the case …

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Missed sepsis in the ER

An ER nurse tells a recent story of how delayed notification of blood culture results led to this outcome:

Now the family has hired an attorney to look into the matter. Could that man have been saved if he had been told to come back to the hospital and was admitted and treated sooner? Hard to say. Maybe.

"Why do doctors treat anyone who practices malpractice law?"

More frustration boils over in this letter:

I can not think of a single colleague who enjoys practicing medicine due to the fear of litigation.

Lawyers are only too aware that they don’t need to be correct but to have just enough information to convince a jury of laypeople. Why is there rarely a case brought against a lawyer for a frivolous lawsuit? Why isn’t it automatic for the …

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Lawyers finished destroying medicine, move on to veterinarians

A poignant letter in the WSJ:

I worry about the unintended consequences of the actions to increase the potential compensation to the owners. One only has to look at the increased costs of medical care for humans that are a direct result of malpractice lawsuits to see that a similar situation could occur with vets. My dog has epilepsy and we spend a lot of time and money at the …

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Defensive medicine

What is defensive medicine?

Defensive medicine is the deviation from sound medical practice to avoid the threat of malpractice litigation.

According to a 2005 study in JAMA, over 90 percent of physicians surveyed admitted to practicing defensive medicine. This can range from “positive” defensive medicine, like ordering unnecessary tests, referring to consultants, or performing unneeded procedures; to “negative” defensive medicine, like avoiding high-risk patients or procedures.

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Do nurses complain too much?

Scalpel likens nurse complaints to how lawyers consider lawsuits:

Nevertheless, it seems to me that many nurses will complain about each other and about physicians at every opportunity. They will fire off e-mails to their bosses, my bosses, or even the CEO of the hospital about any disagreement or perceived mistreatment, whether or not it affects patient care. Everyone has to walk on eggshells or we will end up …

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TeleDoc: Damn the physical exam

I’m pretty sure the first malpractice case will kill them off:

But David Karp, a risk management consultant in Cloverdale CA, thinks TelaDoc’s physicians could face some potential liability. “Of course, some minor conditions can be diagnosed over the phone,” says Karp. “In fact, doctors do this all the time. But when you take away the ability to see the patient, to palpate the body, check the skin color, evaluate …

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You can’t sue a doctor for a medical bill

Some patients think they can sue doctors for anything. Like this story over medical bills:

Out of the blue, we received a bill for $300 from a collection agency from the former neurologist. I recently wrote to the doctor and told her what had transpired and how we felt we owe her nothing.

We know we could have pursued a medical malpractice claim but choose not to, but …

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Why doctors order unnecessary tests

I’m happy that this study is getting some play in the media. Essentially, many of the “routine” tests done on a physical are not recommended (the whole concept of a “routine physical” is controversial – but that’s for another discussion). Merenstein concludes:

# 37 percent of checkups included a urinalysis.

# 9 percent of checkups included an electrocardiogram.

# 8 percent of checkups included an …

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A news station reveals a doctor’s name after a malpractice settlement

The plaintiff didn’t really understand the concept of a settlement:

“The doctor responsible for Kate’Â’s death pretty much walked off scott free,” Gavoni said . . .

. . . When Gavoni entered his wife’s allergist’Â’s name it said there was a settlement, but that was it. There was no mention of his wife’s death and the doctor was never disciplined.

Can EMTs be sued for malpractice?

“The wife of a man whose death came under investigation after a San Francisco Fire Department ambulance crew failed to take him to the hospital said Tuesday that rather than helping her husband, the crew had talked him out of getting treatment.

‘He was complaining about his heart,’ Sheila Narcisse Potter said of her husband, Elissa Potter Jr., 59. ‘They kept saying, …

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David Letterman is excused from jury consideration in a medical malpractice case

“David Letterman, who lives in North Salem, reported for jury duty Monday at the Westchester County Courthouse and was considered for a medical malpractice case. He assured the doctor’s lawyer that he could be fair, but was eventually excused.”

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