Dead in Bed Medical Malpractice

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Dead In Bed – A New Wave of Malpractice or the Same Concerns?

‘Dead in bed’ malpractice is sweeping the headlines and tragedies are adding up.  Imagine, your loved one’s routine procedure went great, but unexpectedly is found dead or severely brain injured due to lack of oxygen or other adverse effects.  The increasing rate of dead in bed medical malpractice is alarming, but is it a new problem or the same medical negligence wrapped in new packaging?

Classifying ‘Dead in Bed’ 

The term ‘dead in bed’ generally refers to an otherwise healthy patient who experiences death or an adverse event during recovery following a medical procedure.  A patient is left unattended to rest and/or recover from the procedure, only to die unexpectedly. From elective surgeries to required procedures, the cause of death in these cases is not related to complications from the procedure.

Local Investigations in Northeast Ohio

Recent investigations have shed light on the alarming trend. One of the largest investigations was a local study which found that post operative administered medication, specifically opiates, are the leading factor. If misused, opiates can cause critical suppression of a patient’s respiratory system/breathing  – Pain management changes over the last decade may be the single largest factor in the increasing occurrence of ‘dead in bed’.

A confidential ‘dead in bed’ national registry launched two years ago to track cases of this nature. Hospitals are directed to report ‘dead in bed’ cases but many are hesitant or avoid/under- report them.  As estimated 50,000 documented cases during the last decade fall into the ‘dead in bed’ category. Some investigations indicate that pain over-management with drugs is becoming commonplace, since hospitals are essentially awarded federal funding based on patient grades for pain management.

These preventable tragedies are yielding millions in payouts for hospitals right here in Cleveland and across the country.  A recent case in Akron resulted in a women being placed on life support and then died, only to find that her tragic death was preventable – She was served Dilaudid and left unattended.  Instead of using effective and very affordable monitoring solutions, the patient likely had her respiratory system suppressed until the amount of oxygen was no longer viable to support her brain and essential organs.  The same hospital system is under fire for investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing at local athletic facilities, yet bypass the easy monitoring solutions.

The technology is readily available to monitor oxygen levels – It’s just not being used. For a small fee, even patients that are considered low risk in recovery can be monitored around the clock.  In addition, changing the way hospital surveys are performed and how medication is administered can have a profound impact.

If your loved one died in recovery following a surgical procedure, you must call my offices immediately. 

As your Ohio medical malpractice attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

 

Failure to Diagnose our Nation’s Heroes

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Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars at Risk for Serious Illness and Misdiagnosis

Lung disease for present day war veterans is very much a part of everyday life.  While the Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense stand by their declaration that there is a low disease risk as a result of exposure, the numbers tell a very different story.  For our Nation’s heroes the battle for a proper diagnosis and treatment can be costly and nearly impossible without advanced directives in place.

The Foundation of a Diagnosis

In all of my years practicing law and working with some of the brightest minds in medicine and in the legal realm, it never ceases to amaze me how often the geniuses of our era stick their heads in the proverbial sand.  The first step to identifying and creating a treatment plan for any medical ailment is naturally to recognize the problem exists in the first place.

Despite record numbers of our veterans reporting pulmonary complications following their tours of duty, the VA and the medical community are largely resistant to identifying, diagnosing or treating these conditions.  Regardless if this is due to lack of knowledge or lack of resources – A medical misdiagnosis is a grave injustice for all.

Leading Symptoms of Lung Disease Stemming from Military Duty

  • Wheezing
  • Chronic cough
  • New or worsening asthma
  • Fatigue
  • General breathing complications
  • Low blood oxygen levels
  • Constrictive Bronchiolitis
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

These symptoms and the resulting medical complications can stem from a variety of causes, all of which are very common during military duty; you will be hard pressed to find a veteran that has not routinely encountered some or all of these conditions.

  • Trash pits – open burning
  • Metal particulates in the air
  • Sand, dust particulates
  • Explosives
  • Bacteria and fungi in air
  • Other combat related air quality issues

The first step toward recognizing and developing a treatment strategy for these combat related illnesses is actually quite simple to implement!  A lung biopsy is necessary to  properly diagnose a pulmonary disorder, but without justification, a high risk procedure will not be authorized.  If a lung biopsy cannot be authorized initially, some simple procedures can yield preliminary results that may be sufficient to warrant a lung biopsy.

  • Track run time before and after deployment (Recommend 2 miles)
  • Track spirometer readings before and after deployment
  • Allergy related asthma tests and other allergens
  • Airway inflammation ID by fractional exhaled nitric oxide testing
  • Impulse oscillometry testing for measuring pulmonary reactivity
  • Specialized stress tests

If you or a loved one suspect pulmonary complications following a tour of duty and are not receiving adequate treatment or diagnoses, you must call my offices today.

As your Ohio medical malpractice attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373

 

Medical Malpractice – Delay Tactics

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Delay Tactics: Why You Need an Attorney for Your Medical Malpractice Claim

As noted in a 2016 headline case against the Cleveland Clinic,  attorney delay tactics can be incredibly detrimental to a medical malpractice claim.  Delays can count against the window for filing a claim and can cost injured victims a fortune in terms of financial compensation and justice.

A United States Air Force Colonel sought treatment at the Cleveland Clinic for prostate cancer.  The recommendation to remove the cancerous gland, but the subsequent botched surgery left him unemployed, incontinent and impotent.  The Cleveland Clinic claims no responsibility, and the victim may be barred from ever pursuing his case.  Why you may ask?  His attempt to file in 2010, 2 years after the surgery, was met with resistance from Clinic attorneys and expensive delay and deny tactics ultimately led his initial case to be dropped.

Delay Tactics and Unnecessary Expenses

When going against a massive power house like the Cleveland Clinic, it is essential to have an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your corner.  Delay tactics, record restrictions, expensive discovery hurdles and other obstructions can quickly sink a case. I have seen it happen time and again.  In this specific example, the victim was advised not to pursue the case by his own attorneys! A grave injustice for this proud serviceman and his family.

Expensive delays can also have much larger and more serious implications – In the state of Ohio, a patient has 1 year from when a patients discovers the injury and at most 4 years from the date the action caused the injury file a medical malpractice claim.  If you file and withdraw a claim, or fail to file altogether, the clock is ticking and your justice and financial compensation is at risk.

 

Changing the Rules

This case also highlights the secrecy in the medical community when it comes to injuries and lawsuits.  Not only is the Cleveland Clinic accused of negligently causing this victim’s injuries – but a host of other violations have also come to light.

  • Physician lying about being present during the surgery
  • Failing to follow appropriate protocol for initial complaint
  • Withholding information from an inspector
  • Failing to have proper consent forms
  • Falsely billing the government

This is the perfect example as to why a medical malpractice claim and subsequent ruling is not only for fair and just compensation, but also necessary to change the way our medical system lies, hides and defies the standard rules and regulations.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice, call me immediately. As your Ohio medical malpractice attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373

What Medical Professionals Can Be Held Liable for a Medical Malpractice Claim?

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Any time a person steps foot into a hospital or medical facility, the medical professionals in that facility must provide a certain standard of care to the patient no matter what.

These medical professionals can include surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and even internal medicine physicians.

Whether it is a routine doctor’s appointment or a scheduled surgical procedure, the physician at hand is responsible for your health and well-being. Medical malpractice injuries can range from emotional damage to severe injury or death.

What is standard of care?

The definition for standard of care is the level of care provided by a physician that is deemed as reasonable care based on the patient and circumstances.

If this standard of care is breached by a medical professional, it may result in medical negligence and injury to a patient. In order to pursue a medical malpractice claim, failure to provide the standard of care must be established.

A new study by The Doctors Company indicates internal medicine physicians are more likely to be sued for medical malpractice compared to other medical specialists.

According to the 1,180 closed medical malpractice claims studied, 39% of these were related to failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis. Other claims against internists include delay or failure to order diagnostic tests and errors in medication.

These results not only show how injuries resulted in the malpractice claims but also includes where they occurred. Many people think medical negligence typically occurs in hospitals, but the study indicates over half of the claims occurred in an office or clinic setting (57%) while 37% happened in hospitals, 5% in nursing home facilities, and 4% in other facilities.

If you feel the standard of care has been breached by a medical professional and resulted in an injury to you or a loved one, I urge you to call me immediately.

As your Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice attorney, I will fight for you.  I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Medical Malpractice- 10 Tips Surgeons Don’t Want Patients to Know

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It is no secret that doctors put more cash in their pockets through multiple procedures. Some may even think those procedures are unnecessary, but many of us do not question medical professionals when it comes to our own health.

How can patients know they are receiving top-notch as well as necessary medical care?

Readers Digest dove headfirst into this question by providing 50 “secrets” surgeons may not tell patients. Many of these can be tips to avoid putting yourself or your loved one in a situation that can result in medical malpractice.

Here are 10 of 50 tips patients should consider:

  1. Ask hospital employees which surgeon is good.
  2. Question the doctor’s complication rate.
  3. Most surgeons have “inherent financial conflict of interest”. This means that doctors would be paid more by doing surgery rather than handling a medical issue with minor medical treatment options.
  4. Check if your surgeon is board-certified. More often than not, surgeons are not certified in their specialty.
  5. Your primary care doctor’s referral may not always be the best referral. Don’t assume your family doctor will pick a top-notch surgeon; always do your research before deciding.
  6. Talking to former patients can be helpful. You can ask your doctor if you can talk with a former patient, it’s worth a shot to try.
  7. A surgeon may not provide additional procedure options if they don’t know how to do it. It is good to get a second opinion in case there is another surgical option available with less risks, recovery time, etc.
  8. Ask your doctor who you will follow up with after your surgery. Some doctors may not follow up once a patient has been discharged. It is important to ask your doctor to identify who you should follow up with and when.
  9. Have a procedure done early in the week. If you need a follow-up for complications, some doctors may leave town for weekends and you’ll be stuck with no doctor.
  10. Some surgeons may have practice management consultants that will bulk up your bill in the end. These consultants will push for medical equipment (braces, walkers, etc.) or further testing (MRIs, x-rays, etc.) that can be extremely costly to your medical billing.

This list is only a fifth of the list Readers Digest provided!

It is important that you and your loved ones read through the entire list so you can make smarter, healthier and more beneficial decisions in your healthcare and treatment plans.

Read the full list here and share friends and family. Any one of these tips can make a difference in preventing medical errors made by your doctor!

If you suspect that you or your loved one was made victim of medical malpractice, call me immediately. As your Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice attorney, I will fight for you.  I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

New Study Concludes Over 250,000 Deaths by Medical Errors

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A new study just released by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Martin Makary and Michael Daniel in the British Medical Journal that states 251,454 people died per year as a result of medical errors.

If 251,454 people died each year in plane crashes in the United States, all airports would be closed. This is a shocking statistic because believe you me; it represents only the REPORTED cases. In my considered opinion, the true number is in excess of half a million.

The question is what can we do to reduce the staggering number of medical errors that result in death?

Unfortunately, hospitals do not police their own employees because, at the end of the day, they are profit centers and only concerned about the “bottom line”.

Believe it or not, medical institutions look at payments and wrongful death claims as the cost of doing business.

The best way to correct this grotesque problem in our healthcare system is to pursue medical malpractice claims. In addition to getting my clients compensation so that they may live as normal a life as possible, I hold those responsible who expose us to unnecessary harm and danger.

And by doing so, we actually change the way medical healthcare providers conduct themselves.

A few years ago I represented the mother of a one year old boy who died as a result of a nurse’s negligence.

While she was administering a routine shot she pressed the boy’s body against hers. During this time the mother expressed a concern that she felt her son was having difficult time breathing.

The nurse told her mother that she was a professional and knew what she was doing, and if the mother continued to object she’d be asked to leave the exam room. Tragically, the nurse suffocated the little boy. The nurse handed back to the mother a dead child.

The key component of our settlement was that all of the nurses at this institution would receive continued education in administering shots, and the mother of this dead boy would participate in these seminars to emphasize just how important it is to get it right.

If you suspect that you or a loved one are a victim of a medical malpractice and/or birth injury, NEVER, EVER believe a healthcare professional when they tell you the tragedy that befell your loved one could not have been avoided. If you ever hear that phrase uttered, call me immediately.

You need to call me as soon as you suspect there is a problem because there is only a one-year statute of limitation in medical malpractice claims. However, in birth injury claims, the one-year statute begins to run on the child’s 18th birthday which, in essence, means you have until the child is 19 to pursue a claim.

As your Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice attorney, I will fight for you.  I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

How to Request Medical Records When You Suspect Medical Malpractice

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In my 34 years as a medical malpractice lawyer, I have seen many situations where access to medical records have been denied when a doctor’s negligence is suspected.

If you suspect a doctor’s medical negligence resulted in your loved one’s injury or death and the hospital will not release their medical records, here are several reasons why:

  • You are not next of kin
  • Power of Attorney ceased when your loved one passed away
  • You are not the Administrator or Executor of the estate

In some unfortunate cases, a hospital may simply refuse to provide the necessary documents if there is suspicion of foul play by a medical professional.

If you are unable to acquire your loved one’s medical documents, the following steps may be necessary to pursue a medical malpractice claim:

  • When a person dies, any power of attorney that a family member may have, expires.
  • An individual needs to be appointed Administrator or Executor of the Estate in order to obtain the authority to get the medical records after that point.
  • An individual will need a Probate attorney to help them file the appropriate paperwork. *I do not recommend handling this part on your own.*
  • Once an individual has been appointed, they would need to provide their Appointment Papers along with a release for the particular institution or physician to obtain the records.

If you suspect you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice by a doctor and cannot request medical records, follow the above steps and contact an attorney for further assistance on obtaining medical records.

In the state of Ohio, citizens have the right to access their health care records!

No person should suffer for a medical professional’s mistake and live with the detrimental consequences of another’s error. Call me immediately if you feel that you have received substandard care that resulted in serious injury or even death.

As your Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice attorney, I will fight for you.  I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Wrongful Death Claims: How Can an Autopsy Report Help?

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The pain of losing a loved one is heart-wrenching, but the pain of losing a loved one due to medical negligence is horrific and should never happen. Losing a family member wreaks havoc on emotions and can make it difficult to think, speak, act, or comprehend exactly what happened. Understandably, the furthest things on the minds of those who are grieving is to request an autopsy report.

It is critical to request an autopsy report if you suspect your loved one’s death was the result of a medical negligence!

To pursue a wrongful death claim, an attorney must be able to prove negligence by a medical professional directly caused the patient’s death.

A death certificate is documentation provided by a medical practitioner that certifies a deceased person’s physical state and vital statistics such as name, age, date of birth, date of death, cause of death and location of death. Additionally,  an autopsy is a post-mortem examination the decedent to determine the cause of death.  An autopsy is conducted by a medical examiner.

The difference between a death certificate and an autopsy report is significant.

An autopsy can help determine the causal connection of negligence with cause of death.  A death certificate only touches the surface.

In some situations, the death certificate may make clear that the patient’s death resulted from a medical professional’s negligence. However, the causal connection may be difficult to establish if the patient has a history of medical issues. This is when an autopsy report is needed.

You will need a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney that can determine the causal connection between medical negligence and cause of death.

In the state of Ohio, your lawyer must prove these 4 things:

  • The patient’s death was a result of negligence.
  • The patient would have been entitled to compensation for their injuries if they had survived.
  • A patient’s surviving family member exists.
  • The surviving family member suffered damage as a result of the patient’s wrongful death.

If you suspect substandard care resulted in your loved one’s death, you need to call me immediately.

As your Ohio Wrongful Death lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Don’t Be a Silent Victim of Medical Malpractice

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Medical malpractice is, unfortunately, a risk we as patients take each time we receive medical treatment. Doctors are humans and can make errors in judgement; however, a doctor’s error can result in serious injury or in severe cases, even death. A question that you should ask after suffering injury by a medical professional is: could this injury have been prevented?

The results of a Harvard Medical Practice study exposed a shocking number of medical negligence cases that have gone unreported.

The study reviewed 2,671,863 patients, and out of those patients they discovered there were 98,609 adverse events. Out of those were 27,179 adverse events due to medical negligence.

That is over 27,000 unreported medical negligence cases in one year.

This number represents over 27,000 patients or patients’ families that were made victim by a doctor’s medical negligence. Additionally, the study identifies the following:

  • Ages 64+ were at higher risk of receiving substandard quality of care
  • The gender of a patient did not have a significant impact
  • Older patients with pre-existing health issues received substandard medical care

Whether you, a parent, spouse, grandparent, child or a friend was severely injured by the negligence of a doctor, speak up… do not be a silent victim!

A doctor’s duty to his or her patient is to always provide a high standard of medical care, no matter what the medical history, insurance or complication is!

If you or a loved one has suffered a debilitating injury or even death by a medical professional’s substandard care, you need to call me immediately. Do not remain silent as these other 27,000 patients have in the past.

As your Ohio Medical Malpractice attorney, I will fight for you and your loved ones. I’ll be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Ohio Medical Malpractice Damage Caps and Stipulations

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Ohio Medical Malpractice – Damage Caps and Stipulations 

Financial compensation sought by a victim of medical malpractice is commonly referred to as damages. If the injuries resulted from another person’s negligence or malicious behavior – that person may be entitled to payment for pain, suffering, medical bills and more. I always explain to my clients as to what constitutes damages, what they can, expect and what other factors may impact the ability to file, and potentially win a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.

Financial Compensation

Actual expenses that result from a medical malpractice injury are known as compensatory damages. These are directly tied to the incident – ongoing medical care, lost wages and a host of other expenses. Compensatory damages do not have a ceiling or cap in the state of Ohio.

The second type of damage in a medical malpractice claim is known as non-economic damages. This relates to pain, suffering, future emotional tolls and others This type of damage award is limited by either $250,000 or triple the amount of compensatory damages. The only exceptions to this rule are in wrongful death cases or catastrophic events. For wrongful death cases in Ohio there is no cap on damages. For catastrophic claims, the cap is increased to $500,000.

The last type of damages in an Ohio medical malpractice case are known as punitive damages. With punitive damages, the medical professional is essentially being punished for his or her behavior. Punitive damages are strictly in place to punish malicious behavior and reckless disregard for safety. Punitive damages are used to prevent future incidences.  The cap is set to 2x the amount of the compensatory damages awarded to the victim.

Make Them Pay

It is important to remember that in our state, the timeframe to file a medical malpractice claim is typically one year. The clock begins when the condition or conditions should have been reasonably discovered by a medical professional, or from when the incident or injury occurred. If you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, call me today.

As your Ohio medical malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you. My goal has always been to Make Them Pay.
 
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.