Addiction and Medical Negligence Cases

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Medical Negligence in Addiction and Overdose Cases

Despite 35 years of representing victims of medical malpractice, negligence and preventable injuries and deaths, I still need to stop and catch my breath from time to time.  As our world changes, so too does medical intervention and negligence that can result from faulty medical care In a recent local case, an addiction and subsequent overdose due to medical negligence, was named as the leading factor in the death of a 55 year Northeast Ohio man.

In 2010, by all accounts, 50 year old Bret Moyers was a healthy man.  5 years later, Mr. Moyers was dead and his family suffered an unimaginable tragedy. After an injury at work, Mr. Moyers was prescribed and treated with heavy pain medication, and eventually an accidental overdose led to his death at the young age of 55.

The first aspect of this tragedy was that Mr. Moyers was injured at work. The second aspect was that he was a victim of negligent medical care for failure to manage his condition properly; ultimately leading to his death.

Proving Medical Negligence or Malpractice

Headlines across the country are riddled with the tragic stories of addiction, and many believe that the drug manufacturers are truly to blame.  Furthermore, hospital quality scores and physician ratings are often tied to pain management success, and many medical professionals claim they are in an impossible position.  The drug manufacturers want their drugs prescribed, and the hospital ratings from patients who want and/or need the drugs also support handing out opioids and other heavy pain medications.

In the Moyers’ case, the estate and family of Mr. Moyers alleges medical negligence as a result of addictive medications readily and continually prescribed without proper patient evaluation.  They further ascertain that the individual responsible for writing the prescriptions was inexperienced in pain management of this nature.

Lake Health is named in the suit, as well as the independent medical practitioner.  The suit alleges that as a whole, Lake Health failed to outline and adhere to the proper administration and monitoring of addictive pain medications, all while Ohio was/is going through one of the worst addiction and overdose trends the country has seen.

Only time will tell how Mr. Moyers’ estate and subsequent case will result, but I anticipate a large shift in cases of this nature.  At what point do we need to hold the medical professionals responsible for wielding the pen and pad without regard?

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or tragic death, contact 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.

MRSA Hospital Acquired Infection

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 MRSA and Hospital Acquired Infections

For many, a surgery or hospital visit of any kind is coupled with anxiety, and with high hopes for a ‘best case scenario’.  Unfortunately, despite a successful surgery or procedure, a simple hospital stay in and of itself can cause complications.  MRSA, the common name for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, is the leading culprit, and most widely recognized type of hospital acquired infection.

In addition to being resistant to many antibiotics, MRSA has an array of qualities that make it downright awful. MRSA is easily transmitted, and can quickly cause sepsis or death, even if detected early.  Children, the elderly and those that are ill or have undergone a procedure, are all at a higher risk.

How Poor Hospital Care Leads to MRSA

MRSA alone is not uncommon.  The CDC reports that MRSA is estimated to be present in every 2 out of 100 individuals, and that 33% of people carry general STAPH within their nose, that does not cause any resulting illness.

The CDC also reports that cases of MRSA are down roughly 50% over a five year trend, but averaging still about 30,000 cases.

MRSA is spread simply, by contact with an infected wound or by cross contamination. 

  • Improper patient contact
  • Lack of glove usage / improper gloving
  • Lack of cleanliness in utensils
  • Lack of surface cleanliness

A healthcare professional can spread MRSA by treating an infected wound and then going to a second patient and spreading the bacteria.  Failure to properly clean hands, tools and gloving are all factors.

The results of MRSA can be deadly. Even a simple procedure can lead to long term effects or death. While MRSA is partially to blame on antibiotic resistance, CDC guidelines can largely eliminate the issue and the spreading of MRSA in hospital facilities.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious illness or death as a result of MRSA acquired in a hospital setting, contact 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.

Disturbing Facts About Ohio Nursing Homes

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Recent Headlines Report Disturbing Information About Ohio Facilities

With our elder population expected to grow by 45% over the next 20 years, the latest negative information about Ohio nursing homes is highly disturbing! Factoring in the increased costs and competition for facilities, our seniors are at risk for injury and death if the numbers don’t improve dramatically.

One case in Rocky River, Ohio cites a 12 hour poisoning that ultimately led to the patient’s death.  Other documented cases from nursing homes across Ohio cite deaths due to negligence or injury. Inspection reports coupled with federal statistics have led to Ohio nursing homes earning one of the lowest quality ratings across the country.

A series of articles by Cleveland.com and the Plain Dealer have provided a wealth of information – For better or worse!

From the “51 best 5-star rated facilities in Northeast Ohio” to the federal ratings data and more – Their series ‘ A Critical Choice’ sheds light on a topic we simply cannot ignore.

Nursing Home 101

‘Nursing homes’ is a blanket term, covering facilities that are categorized for a variety of services

  • Rehabilitation Care (Post operative and physical therapy)
  • Skilled Nursing
  • Assisted Living
  • Memory Care

From short term care following a hospital visit from an illness or surgery, to physical therapy or long term care for assisted living or dementia or Alzheimer’s care… we call upon our nursing homes in times of crisis and necessity, often jumping through hoops, with an expensive price tag. The unexpected ratings for many Ohio facilities combined with the growing elder population are exceedingly cause for concern.

Quality of Care and Ratings

The national rating system known as Nursing Home Compare uses a 5-star rating system to report findings on over 15,000 nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid, and are licensed by the state.

The 5-star system covers general staff, nursing staff, overall satisfaction and quality of safety and health initiatives across the facility.

Facility representatives argue that the rating system essentially punishes difficult cases, not taking into account the level of care, how many severe cases, fall risks and other high risk factors. Small facilities that provide an ‘above and beyond’ level of care are also not weighted in their score measurements.

  • 41% of Ohio Facilities had a below-average rating as of 12/1/16
  • In the last 3 years, at least 31 deaths were a result of care issues
  • Minimum staffing remains concerning in Ohio
  • Ohio requires 50% less training minimums vs. the minimums in California
  • 30% of Ohio’s near 1,000 nursing homes and assisted living facilities were fined a combined $6.3 million dollars over the last 3 years
  • 4 out of 5 facilities in Ohio are For-Profit (for-profit facilities have a history of being 3 times more likely to be ranked low)

As of December, 2016 Ohio had over 180 ONE STAR facilities, followed by 198 TWO STAR facilities..  that means nearly 41% of all facilities in Ohio had 1 or 2 star ratings. This is deplorable!

Choosing a Nursing Home

Families can choose a nursing home for their loved one carefully, by combining several factors and observations..

  • Unscheduled visits
  • Meetings with staff and administrators
  • Ratings and scores
  • General online searches and reviews
  • Personal observations – sights, sounds, smells
  • Access to information – Notifications of falls, incidents, etc.

ZERO of the 31 cited deaths occurred in 5-star rated homes in Ohio.  The majority of the deaths occurred in one or two star rated facilities. Unfortunately, with a growing number of seniors turning to nursing homes over the coming years, we will only see these death counts grow. It is important that the facilities and responsible parties be held accountable.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call my offices immediately.  As your Ohio 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.

3 Unbelievable Facts About Medical Malpractice

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Battling the Myths of Medical Malpractice

Fact 1. Medical malpractice happens often.

Annually, it is estimated that anywhere from 40-80,000 individuals die as a result of medical malpractice.  From simple errors with very little repercussion, to catastrophic tragedies – Medical malpractice occurs on a daily basis across the country.

As the victim of medical malpractice, it is important to seek help. Your health care providers, insurance companies and even family and friends can perpetuate the falsehoods and guilt surrounding medical malpractice. The bottom line is if you have suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, they deserve to pay.

A large part of what I do as an experienced medical malpractice attorney is to educate my clients and their loved ones! Medical malpractice is not preying on the human aspect of health care – Every physician and health care professional will lose a patient or have an unpredictable scenario come into play.

Medical malpractice claims ensure careless, negligent individuals are held accountable.

Fact 2. Malpractice claims DO NOT drive up healthcare costs or drive up insurance rates, driving out the good doctors.

Being bullied by the insurance industry and folklore surrounding medical malpractice is the foundation of many thought processes on the topic.  Decent, law abiding citizens in general are not confrontational, and will avoid causing issues – Even at the expense of a lifetime of pain and suffering or worse – the loss of a life. Financial falsehoods only serve to perpetuate this behavior.

The cost of malpractice insurance is a FRACTION of the costs caused by medical malpractice and other errors.  Conservatively, costly medical errors and malpractice is about 50% higher than the cost of medical malpractice insurance – and that is a low estimate.

Furthermore, the results and continuity of care required after a medical mistake can be a burden on the tax payers, not on the healthcare system or insurance. Malpractice related insurance payouts are less than a single (1) percent of all costs related to insurance and healthcare in the US. This has remained consistent for almost two decades, and we still see rising costs and blame in our insurance rates each year.

Trust me when I tell you, even the good physicians are not opposed to legitimate medical malpractice claims – Bad doctors give a bad reputation to any health care institution.

Fact 3. Doctors are not always investigated and/or disciplined by a medical board.

In Ohio for example, a physician may or may not be reported, investigated or disciplined by the Ohio state medical board.  How is this possible?

Similar to other crimes and criminal activity, reporting it can be the difference in preventing future occurrence. Holding a negligent medical professional accountable can save a life in the future.

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

Outpatient Medical Misdiagnosis

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1 in 20 Patients are Estimated to be Misdiagnosed

Medical misdiagnosis is a huge problem!  It is important to understand that misdiagnosis is not limited to hospitals – misdiagnosis routinely occurs in outpatient settings as well.

It is estimated that 12 million outpatients are misdiagnosed annually in the US.

Hundreds of millions of patients seek outpatient care annually, so a 5% misdiagnosis rate doesn’t seem too bad – that is until you realize this means millions and millions of patients are misdiagnosed.  10-15% of patients are estimated to be misdiagnosed in a hospital setting.

Of the 12 million patients that are misdiagnosed in outpatient care, it is estimated that over half will have severe or deadly complications as a result. This statistic far exceeds those that are misdiagnosed in hospital settings, arguably due to the fact that the misdiagnosed patient is simply sent home without continued monitoring or care, in contrast to patients misdiagnosed in a hospital setting.

As a patient receiving outpatient care, it is important to monitor your symptoms, discuss your history and communicate with your healthcare provider.  Unfortunately, regardless of your thoroughness and due diligence, misdiagnosis can still occur. Outpatient facilities can be overwhelmed with tight schedules and resources, and as a result patients pay the ultimate price. Follow your ‘gut’ so to speak; if you feel you have been misdiagnosed  seek a second, third, fourth and fifth opinion if necessary.

Understand your rights, contact me today!

As your Ohio medical malpractice lawyer, 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.

Medical Negligence – Wrong Site Surgeries

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Medical Malpractice – Wrong Site Surgery

Many people think surgery on the wrong body part is something that occurs in movies or stuff urban legends are made of. In today’s high tech world it seems inconceivable that wrong site surgeries still occur!   Unfortunately, these situations do happen in real life – an average of 40 or more times per week across the US!

Many will claim that these numbers are inflated, but instances of wrong site surgeries must be reported. The issue is these numbers are not readily available for public consumption. Regardless, wrong site surgeries can, and do yield tragic consequences.

Carelessness, Miscommunications and Negligence lead to Wrong Site Surgeries

It is difficult to understand how such a terrible mistake can occur on the operating table. How can an individual with years of medical training, surrounded by a team of other similarly intelligent people make such an egregious error? Patients and their families are devastated. Once the initial shock wears off they are left to deal with a second medical issue since their primary medical issue was never resolved

In medical facilities, preventative measures are in place with repetitive confirmations on who the patient is, what they are there for – and even as far as to physically draw on the area on operation day prior to the procedure. Make no mistake, wrong site surgeries occur due to carelessness, and are never your fault as the patient! As your medical negligence lawyer, my goal is to obtain fair compensation for you and to make sure this never happens again by holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Examples of Wrong Site Surgeries

Many resources claim that the most common types of wrong site surgeries are in orthopedic or ocular (eye) procedures. This could be a simple case of ‘switched sides’ in which a patient is scheduled for a procedure on the left and mistakenly has the operation completed on their right side. Other examples include mix-ups that are completely unrelated, or in severe occurrences, wrong amputations or surgeries completed on the completely wrong patient leading to lifelong impact or even death.

Repercussions can include a long, expensive road to recovery. Not only have I seen clients that have to recover and rehabilitate from having an erroneous procedure – but they also face complications resulting from not having the proper procedure done in the first place.

I will fight to get you or your loved one fair compensation and hold the doctors, nurses and medical facility accountable.

As your Ohio medical negligence lawyer, 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.