10 Tips Patients Can Do to Make Your Hospital Stay Safer

By Catherine Bertram

According to the Centers for Disease Control and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, these ten tips are actions patients and their families can do during hospital stays to try to make their hospital stay safer:

  1. "SPEAK UP"
    Talk to your doctor about any worries you have about your safety and ask them what they are doing to protect you.
  2. "KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN"
    If you do not see your healthcare providers wash their hands, please ask them to do so. Also remind your loved ones and visitors. Washing hands can prevent the spread of germs.
  3. Ask if you still need a central line Adobe PDF file [PDF - 191KB] catheter or urinary Adobe PDF file [PDF - 226KB] catheter. Leaving a catheter in place too long increases the chances of getting an infection. Let your doctor or nurse know if the area around the central line becomes sore or red, or if the bandage falls off or looks wet or dirty.
  4. ASK YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER "Will there be a new needle, new syringe, and a new vial for this procedure or injection?" Healthcare providers should never reuse a needle or syringe on more than one patient.
  5. BE CAREFUL WITH MEDICATIONS
    Avoid taking too much medicine by following package directions. Also, to avoid harmful drug interactions, tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking.
  6. Photo: A healthcare professional preparing to vaccinate a patient.GET SMART WITH ANTIBIOTICS
    Help prevent antibiotic resistance by taking all your antibiotics as prescribed, and not sharing your antibiotics with other people. Remember that antibiotics don't work against viruses like the ones that cause the common cold.
  7. Prepare for surgery Adobe PDF file [PDF - 207KB].
    There are things you can do to reduce your risk of getting a surgical site infection. Talk to your doctor to learn what you should do to prepare for surgery. Let your doctor know about other medical problems you have.
  8. Watch out for C. diff. Adobe PDF file [PDF - 179KB] (aka Clostridium difficile)
    Tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea, especially if you are also taking an antibiotic.
  9. Know the signs and symptoms of infection.
    Some skin infections, such as MRSA, appear as redness, pain, or drainage at an IV catheter site or surgical incision site. Often these symptoms come with a fever. Tell your doctor if you have these symptoms.
  10. GET YOUR FLU SHOT
    Protect yourself against the flu and other complications by getting vaccinated."

By following these 10 steps, you can help make healthcare safer and help prevent healthcare-associated infections.

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Medical Malpractice Claims - From Investigation to Litigation

By Catherine Bertram, partner
     cbertram@reganfirm.com



Medical malpractice cases are often some of the most complex civil claims that trial attorneys handle.  In almost all states, and certainly in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, there are special statutes and regulations that apply to these types of cases.  Attorneys who practice in this area must be familiar with these rules in order to represent their clients and the families of their clients.  Experienced attorneys know how to efficiently review and investigate these cases.  At our firm, we have established working relationships with medical experts on a national basis in almost all specialties so we can obtain independent reviews of the events and obtain answers for our clients to determine if the care rendered met the applicable standards or not.  

Step One

In most cases after we conduct an initial interview we ask the patient, or the family member with legal power to sign for the patient, to sign a medical authorization that allows us to obtain the key medical records and images.   Our staff is very experienced in this part of the case and they know how to process these requests and get us the records and images we need in a timely fashion.  

Step Two

Once the records are obtained they are reviewed and organized in a coherent manner for the reviewing expert or experts.  In some cases the records need to be reviewed by several types of experts in order to determine if there is a case of medical malpractice.  In some cases have records reviewed by both physician and nursing experts, depending on the circumstances.

Step Three    

We will then speak with the reviewing expert in order to determine if the case has merit in their opinion and whether it is a case that can be pursued.   We also try to answer any questions the patient or family may have about the outcome.  During those calls we have to ask certain questions to determine whether the elements of a medical malpractice claim exist.  The first issue is generally whether the doctor or nurse’s care fell below the standard expected of that individual in the same or similar circumstances.  The second question, which is equally important and must be proven by the patient in a civil malpractice case, is whether the doctor or nurse’s failure was a proximate cause of the patient’s injuries and harms.  In other words, is there a direct link between the doctor or nurse’s wrongful act,  or failure to act, and the injury the patient sustained.  This is commonly referred to by attorneys and judges as “proximate cause”.   If the case has failures by the doctor or nurse but those failures are not a cause of the patient’s injury then there is no case.     Sometimes the questions the patient has can be answered and sometimes the expert has more question and needs additional records or images or other information before they can reach a conclusion.   We continue to work with the expert to obtain that information.  Sometimes, a final conclusion cannot be reached because the records are not clear, the information is missing or there is contradictory information in the records. These issues are all then discussed with the patient and/or the family.  Sometimes,  final answers to certain questions are not obtained until you take the sworn testimony of various doctors and nurses in the lawsuit.  

Step Four

The attorneys from our firm then have a conversation with the patient and/or the family about what the expert’s conclusions were and what the next steps will be. There is no cost associated with this meeting or phone call.   Sometimes this conversation is done by phone, especially in circumstances where the patient is too hurt to travel or lives out of town.   In other cases,  the meeting is held in person at the law firm.  If circumstances are such that the patient cannot travel, and we need to meet, then our attorneys travel to the patient’s home, rehabilitation center or the hospital.

Step Five

If the family and the law firm decide the case has merit, and we want to pursue it together,  then a legal document called a retainer is signed. This document explains how the fee will be paid and how expenses from the case will be handled.

Step Six

Depending on whether the case is in DC, Maryland or Virginia, we work with our experts to develop the case.  We have working relationships with many local hospitals and insurance companies who insure the local doctors and hospitals.  We can often contact those claims directors or the risk managers for the hospital or nursing home and talk to them directly about the claim before the lawsuit is filed.  They know we mean business and they know we have qualified experts who have thoroughly reviewed the case so they are often willing to explore early resolution of cases through private mediation with a retired local judge.  This works quite well for our clients.   

If early resolution is not possible, we have the resources and the experience to file the necessary paperwork and provide the required statutory notices in DC, Maryland and Virginia to pursue the claims.  

If you have any questions about a potential case, feel free to call. 

About the author:

Catherine Bertram is board certified in civil trials and was recently nominated as a Top Lawyer for Washingtonian Magazine. Ms. Bertram has over 20 years of trial experience and is unique in that she was formerly the Director of Risk Management for Georgetown University Hospital so she brings a wealth of knowledge to her practice including how hospitals should be run and what doctors and nurses can do to protect patients.   She is a partner with the firm and devotes a majority of her practice to the representation of patients and families who have been injured or lost due to medical errors.  Ms. Bertram lives in DC and lectures regularly to lawyers and health care providers, nationally and locally,  regarding patient safety, medical negligence and other related issues. She has also published a chapter in a medical textbook.   She can be reached by email at cbertram@reganfirm.com or by phone 202-822-1875 in her office in Washington, D.C.

 

Posted In Birth Injury , Cancer Misdiagnosis , Legal Info , Legal Services , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Women's Health Issues
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DECODING MEDICAL RECORDS IN MALPRACTICE CASES


By Catherine Bertram, partner (cbertram@reganfirm.com)


One of the key tasks we initially perform when investigating a case involving malpractice or abuse at a health care facility is a thorough review of the medical records.  At our firm we have two attorney who have both worked in hospital settings so we are quite familiar with medical records.  Catherine(“Katie”) Bertram is a partner at the firm and was previously the Director of Risk Management at Georgetown Hospital.  Jackie Colclough is a nurse-attorney with the firm who has a wealth of experience including work as labor and delivery nurse in a local hospital.

Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind when looking at records:

COMPLETE  CHART

The first task is to review the records and try to make sure you have a complete set.  Often, the records are incomplete.  We check to make sure we have an initial History & Physical, Orders, Physician Progress Notes, Nursing Notes, Laboratory Data, Radiology Reports, Operative Notes, Operative Records/Consent Forms, Pathology, and a Discharge Summary.

Medical Records for pregnant patients are quite different.  We have extensive experience with these types of cases as well.  In childbirth cases you will also have to review the prenatal records from the mother’s office visits before the delivery. It is key to obtain the Fetal Monitor Strips (FMS) or Fetal Heartrate Strips (FHR) which demonstrate the baby’s heart rate relative to the mother’s contractions.  This is often critical in determining if the doctor acted promptly to deliver the child and avoid injury to the child.  You will also need the child’s chart and the operative delivery records.

INITIAL HISTORY & PHYSICAL


Doctors are required to write a detailed note within 24 hours of a patient’s admission. This note is often referred to as the “H&P.”  This is a good place to start in your review since it usually provides a history of the patient’s present condition and symptoms, past medical and surgical history and any significant labs or imaging results.  The note also usually includes a detailed plan for the patient.

ORDERS

Physicians have the responsibility and authority to order medication, labs, imaging and other services that the patient or nursing home residents need.  We check these orders to see what medication or services or consults have been ordered for the patient.  The orders should have a time and date and should be legible.  It should also have some indication that the R.N. acknowledged receipt and review of the order and that it has been carried out.  Some special order sheets may also be included like a patient controlled analgesia record (“PCA”) which is utilized if the patient has a pain pump which allows medication to be self-administered at regular intervals.

PROGRESS NOTES


There is another section of the medical record that includes entries by doctors and nurses, and sometimes others like consultants, physical therapists, pharmacists and medical residents.  This section often looks like a diary or a log.  Most doctors were trained to write their notes in a SOAP format. The first section should detail the “subjective” concerns of the patient.  The “objective” section follows and this  is where the physician performs a physical examination of the patient and records the findings.  The doctor usually goes through each system of the body and records the important findings or any changes.   The third section is “assessment” - which is the where the doctor records his or her thoughts about what is going on with the patient after considering the subjective complaints and the findings on physical examination along with any test results or images.  The final section is the “plan.”   Here, the doctor writes out the plan of action which should address the concerning findings and include a plan consultations by other specialists, medication changes, labs or imaging that is necessary and other follow up.

NURSING NOTES

In some facilities the nurses also write in the progress notes along with the doctors, but in many hospitals the nurses have their own checklists and flow sheets where they record their nursing assessments and interventions from their shift.  There may also be other specialized forms for medication administration (MAR) and for treatment (TAR).    

In long term care facilities (nursing homes) we check the skin sheet to verify if the patient is being turned and the skin integrity is being checked.  *Families are reminded that you must also check your loved one’s skin yourself.  It is key not to let any concerning new “hot spots” progress.  If you see a red spot or a pressure point that is concerning you need to ask questions and get the staff to act on it right away.

If a patient has a fall or any other abnormal event, the facts and circumstances should be clearly documented in the progress notes along with a plan.   In most cases, a fall requires prompt physician assessment.  

LABORATORY REPORTS

The laboratory report can also give you clues about what is happening with the patient and what needs to be addressed.  A high white blood cell count (WBC) can be a sign of an infection.  The lab usually provides the normal range for each value on the report so that you can compare the patient’s value to the normal population.   In most labs the patient’s value will be followed by an “H” or an “L” if the value is abnormally HIGH or LOW.   For lab values that are critical, or an emergency, the lab also usually includes documentation that the result was called into either the physician or the nurse assigned to the patient and the time of that conversation.   It is often the case that you can have the facility print out a laboratory summary report for the patient  that shows the results of the lab data over many days, an entire hospital stay or over the course of many hospital stays. This can be quite helpful in terms of tracking trends.  

RADIOLOGY REPORTS

Many patients also have x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, mammograms, sonograms or other diagnostic imaging performed as a part of their hospital stay. The written reports from these tests should also be included in the hospital chart.  You can often determine the date and time the image was obtained, which physician read the image and also if the image is very concerning, the radiologist often documents that the results were called into the patient’s doctor or nurse directly and the time of such a call.   The written reports may also suggest additional follow up testing or imaging that may be required for the patient given the clinical circumstances.  You also need to be careful because occasionally there are initial preliminary reports of the results and then final reports. If this is the case, you want to carefully compare the two for any significant differences.  

Sometimes imaging is obtained before, during or after surgery while the patient remains in the operating room so it is important to  make sure you obtain all of that imaging and those reports as well.  

OPERATIVE RECORDS

If the patient has had a surgical procedure, as an in-patient or in a same day setting, there are certain required records that will be present.  First, the pre-operative assessments, including anesthesia assessment and the consent form for the procedure. In some circumstances the patient will have had an x-ray, a cardiac clearance or certain blood work performed to make sure it is safe for the surgery.  The anesthesia provider will meet with the patient and obtain a history and assess the patient for anesthesia risks.   Also, the surgeon will talk to the patient about the surgery and obtain a written consent from the patient.

During the surgery, the healthcare team documents many things.  The nursing staff  document on records often called “perioperative” records that include safety checklists performed prior to surgery, including patient placement, verification of the surgery to be performed including which side and which surgery and other safety factors.  The nursing team keeps track of which surgical instruments are used during the surgery and must account for all instruments at the end of the surgery before the patient is closed to make sure no instruments or sponges are left in the patient.   The nurse also documents which nurses are in the operating room and when they leave. At some hospitals the doctor’s entrance and exit are also noted.

The anesthesia providers keep a very detailed log of the patient’s vital signs during surgery, the medication that are given and any response the patient has to medications.

The surgeon does not take notes during the surgery but is required to dictate a detailed operative note following the surgery.

The patient is moved to the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) following most surgeries. This used to be called the recovery room.  In most hospitals the patient is monitored by nurses and the anesthesia team in this area for a certain amount of time until the anesthetic wears off and the patient is either ready to leave based on certain discharge criteria or the patient is transferred to the hospital floor if it is a more involved surgery.   

PATHOLOGY

If a patient has cultures take, a biopsy or a surgery that involves removal of tissue, the patient should have a pathology report.   If the report involves growth results of a culture it can take a few days or several weeks for the final report to be issued.  Oftentimes we have to call and obtain those final reports as they may not make it to the final paper version of the hospital record.

DISCHARGE SUMMARY/AUTOPSY RESULTS

Once a patient leaves the hospital, the attending physician is required to dictate a discharge summary. Most hospitals require the discharge summary be completed and signed within 30 days of the date the patient leaves the hospital. This is also true if a patient dies in the hospital. In that case, you will also want to request any autopsy report or findings.   There are certain circumstances involving patient deaths where the facility is required to conduct an autopsy based on state law.  In other circumstances a physician may ask for an autopsy or a family may request one.  Again, certain testing may be done as part of an autopsy and the results may take a few days or have to be sent to a separate lab so make sure you obtain all of the results that accompany the autopsy.   In a medical case, we often request the entire autopsy file which may include photographs, tissue blocks and/or pathology slides with special staining.  


About the author:

Catherine Bertram is board certified in civil trials and was recently nominated as a Top Lawyer for Washingtonian Magazine. Ms. Bertram has over 20 years of trial experience and is unique in that she was formerly the Director of Risk Management for Georgetown University Hospital so she brings a wealth of knowledge to her practice including how hospitals should be run and what doctors and nurses can do to protect patients.   She is a partner with the firm and devotes a majority of her practice to the representation of patients and families who have been injured or lost due to medical errors.  Ms. Bertram lectures regularly to lawyers and health care providers, nationally and locally,  regarding patient safety, medical negligence and other related issues. She has also published a chapter in a medical textbook.   She can be reached by email at cbertram@reganfirm.com or by phone 202-822-1875 in her office in Washington, D.C.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Cerebral Palsy , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Women's Health Issues
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Experts Say Cell Phones Are "Possibly Carcinogenic"

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and senior trial attorney.             


ABC World News (5/31, lead story, 3:10, Sawyer) reported, "An important new alert about the safety of cell phones and the possible risk of cancer, brain cancer in particular...comes from the World Health Organization." NBC Nightly News (5/31, lead story, 3:10, Williams) reported, the WHO "statement labeling cell phones as a possible carcinogenic hazard comes from a panel of 31 scientists."      

According to the AP (6/1, Cheng), the statement was "issued in Lyon, France, on Tuesday by the International Agency for Research on Cancer" (IARC) after a "weeklong meeting" during which experts reviewed "possible links between cancer and the type of electromagnetic radiation found in cellphones, microwaves and radar." The IARC classified cellphones in "category 2B, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic" to humans. The assessment now "goes to WHO and national health agencies for possible guidance on cellphone use."

The Wall Street Journal (6/1, Martin, Hobson, Subscription Publication) reports that the IARC working group did not conduct new research. Instead, the panel reviewed existing literature that focused on the health effects of radio frequency magnetic fields. Its findings are slated to be published July 1 in Lancet Oncology.

The New York Times (5/31, Parker-Pope, Barringer, Subscription Publication) "Well" blog noted that the panel's decision to "classify cellphones as 'possibly carcinogenic' was based largely on epidemiological data showing an increased risk among heavy cellphone users of a rare type of brain tumor called a glioma." Most "major medical groups," including the National Cancer Institute, have "said the existing data on cellphones and health has been reassuring." Earlier this year, the Journal of the American Medical Association "reported on research from the National Institutes of Health, which found that less than an hour of cellphone use can speed up brain activity in the area closest to the phone antenna."

The lesson here is simple:  Don't blindly believe what the cell-phone companies are saying. their products may in fact cause cancer, according to international experts.  Consequently, be safe.  Use a cell phone only when necessary, and use an earpiece if possible. 

Let's hope the cell phone companies do the right thing by both testing their products sufficiently and revealing the true results of the tests, so customers can make proper decisions to protect their health.

Do you have any questions about this post?

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Attorney and Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association has recently named him the " 2011 Trial Lawyer of the Year".  He has also been acknowledged by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all of the more than 80,000 lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also acknowledged him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in medical malpractice matters, product liability claims, and serious automobile accident claims. Mr. Zambri was recently (2011 edition) acknowledged as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers, and has also been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics magazine (2011)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in the country.

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning defective products, medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com.  You may also reach him at 202-822-1899.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Product Liability , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Lab Errors: These Mistakes Can Be Deadly

By Catherine Bertram

An article in the Boston Globe last week, by Jonathan Salzman,  reports that a lawsuit has been filed by a patient who had surgery to remove his prostate after being told that he had prostate cancer.   Our blog mentioned this case last week.  The surgery left him incontinent.  Tragically, he did not have prostate cancer. It was a lab error.  The lab technician mistakenly mixed up his results with that of another patient.  As a result, this patient had a surgery he did not need and must now wear adult diapers and live with the consequences.  Another patient reportedly had an eight month delay in the treatment of his prostate cancer due to a lab mix up. He was told he was cancer free but that was incorrect.  He actually had cancer and was not treated for eight month.  The article reports that by the time he was informed of the mix up the cancer had spread to his lymph node.

Lab errors can be devastating to patients and can negatively impact the patient's chances of survival and require additional treatment.  We have this type of cases pending right now and we have the experience to understand how hospitals should label and track these types of results and what safety measures should be put in place to avoid these tragic occurrences.

About the author:

Catherine Bertram is board certified in civil trials and was recently nominated as a 2010 Super Lawyer for Washington, D.C.  Ms. Bertram has 20 years of trial experience and is unique in that she was formerly the Director of Risk Management for Georgetown University Hospital.  Ms. Bertram is a member of the bar for the U.S. Supreme Court.  She is a partner with the firm and lectures regularly to lawyers and health care providers, nationally and locally, regarding patient safety, medical negligence and other related issues. She has also recently published a chapter in a surgical textbook.   She can be reached by email at cbertram@reganfirm.com or by phone 202-822-1875 in her office in Washington, D.C.

 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Women's Health Issues
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Georgetown University Hospital Lab Problems Prompt Closing

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

Georgetown University Hospital's lab for genetic analysis for breast cancer has closed and is being investigated by federal health officials, according to a Washington Post article (8/5/2010). In addition, tissue samples have been sent to an independent  lab for retesting.  "Federal officials are continuing to investigate the employee's allegations, according to an official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency in charge of overseeing the quality of testing in medical laboratories." According to the formal complaint filed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, there was concern that retesting was taking too long and that the hospital was not sharing the problem with patients. The eleven-month testing period in question began in May, 2009 and involved quality-control testing for HER2, a gene that causes breast tumors more likely to spread or return.

I urge anyone who was tested at Georgetown's lab during the past year to contact their personal physician to determine whether she should be retested.  Experts indicate that treatment should begin within twelve months of diagnosis.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, feel free to contact me at 202-822-1899.

Do you have any questions about this post?

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More Hospitals Found To Overdose Patients With Brain Scan Radiation

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

The Los Angeles Times (8/3, Zarembo) reports, "Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and Bakersfield Memorial Hospital are the latest additions to a list of California hospitals where [radiation] overdoses occurred during CT brain perfusion scans." According to officials at both facilities, the scanners had been "programmed...according to the manufacturer's specifications." The hospitals, however, "are unlikely to be absolved of responsibility," as "LA County health officials who investigated the County-USC overdoses concluded that the technologists were not paying attention to dose levels during the scans." Meanwhile, "Toshiba issued a statement Monday saying it 'cannot comment on specific cases' because of an investigation underway by the US Food and Drug Administration," adding, "We continue to work with all of our customers to educate them on the dose reduction technologies that we provide on our CT systems."

As more and more hospitals are found to overdose patients with radiation, doctors and health-care providers must be even more diligent to ensure patients are not put at risk.  The consequences of over-radiation can be horrific, even life-threatening.

I represent patients who have been injured as a result of medical errors every day.  The medical mistakes should never happen if reasonable standards are followed.

Do you have any questions about this post?

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Attorney and Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. He has been acknowledged by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all of the more than 80,000 lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also acknowledged him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in medical malpractice matters, product liability claims, and serious automobile accident claims. Mr. Zambri has also been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics magazine (2010)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.
 


 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Lab Errors May Lead to Tragic Consequences

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

The Boston Globe (8/2, Saltzman) reports that a law suit was filed last week against Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on behalf of a patient who underwent "unwarranted" prostate surgery after a hospital pathologist "had mistaken his [biopsy] slides for those of another patient who did have prostate cancer." A separate lawsuit was filed against a private laboratory in Lexington on behalf of another patient "whose situation was the reverse." That specimen, which was analyzed by Strata Pathology Services, came back negative, but eight months later "a second biopsy, examined at a different lab, revealed that he had cancer." These errors show that confusing biopsies can have devastating consequences.

I have represented victims of medical errors for nearly twenty years.  I am still amazed as to how many times laboratories mix biopsies and make other medical errors.  I see first-hand the emotional and physical harm such errors cause.  Labs need to do more to protect against these mistakes--errors that should never happen.

Do you have any questions about this post?

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Attorney and Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. He has been acknowledged by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all of the more than 80,000 lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also acknowledged him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in medical malpractice matters, product liability claims, and serious automobile accident claims. Mr. Zambri has also been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics magazine (2010)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.
 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Radiation Overdoses More Common, Dangerous Than Previously Believed

 

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

On its front page, the New York Times (7/31, A1, Bogdanich) reports that cases of radiation overdoses during CT brain perfusion scans, which "began to emerge late last summer, set off an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration into why patients tested with this complex yet lightly regulated technology were bombarded with excessive radiation." But, "after 10 months, the agency has yet to provide a final report on what it found." Now, "an examination by the New York Times has found that radiation overdoses were larger and more widespread than previously known, that patients have reported symptoms considerably more serious than losing their hair, and that experts say they may face long-term risks of cancer and brain damage," as well as eye damage. The "review also offers insight into the way many of the overdoses occurred."

Before undergoing a CT scan or any radiological procedure, you should speak to your doctor about the pros and cons of the procedure, and I encourage you to question the facility giving the test to be sure the doses of radiation are not excessive.

Do you have any questions about this post?

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Attorney and Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. He has been acknowledged by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all of the more than 80,000 lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also acknowledged him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in medical malpractice matters, product liability claims, and serious automobile accident claims. Mr. Zambri has also been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics magazine (2010)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.


 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Public Health , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings
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Stalevo May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk, Says FDA

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner               

CONTACT US  

                                                                                                        

Bloomberg News reported that "Novartis AG and Orion Oyj's Stalevo treatment for Parkinson's disease may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, US health regulators said." In a statement found on its website, the FDA states that its "review of Stalevo is ongoing, and no new conclusions or recommendations about the use of this drug have been made." The agency "is reviewing a clinical trial that showed that prostate cancer was more common among patients taking Stalevo than in those taking only a combination of carbidopa and levodopa."

If you have been prescribed Stalevo, we encourage you to speak to your doctor promptly about all potential risks and benefits.  Your doctor is obligated to provide this information to you so that you can make the best, most informed, decisions possible concerning your health. 

I'll report back once we learn more about the FDA's review of the clinical trial.  In the meantime, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me.

CONTACT ME  

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. He has been acknowledged by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all of the more than 80,000 lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also acknowledges him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in medical malpractice matters, product liability claims, and serious automobile accident claims.  Mr. Zambri has also been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics magazine--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Product Liability , Public Health , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Congress Deals With Radiation Safety, Doctor Kick-Backs

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

The New York Times, in a front-page report, announced, "To help ensure that medical radiation is safe, Medicare insists that certain highly technical cancer treatments be administered only when a patient's radiation oncologist is present or nearby." Federal officials say physicians who fail to adequately supervise technicians during radiotherapy risk patient safety. But, the issue also "raises questions about financial incentives and the overuse of high-tech, and highly reimbursed, treatments" when "less advanced and cheaper ones would have served just as well."

As a result, "Congress passed an antikickback law designed to stop doctors from" unnecessarily ordering "tests or procedures in which they have a financial interest," according to the report.  In addition, "radiation safety will be the subject of a Congressional hearing Friday." For its part, "the American College of Radiology has said that self-referral endangers patients because doctors tend to order more tests."

Before undergoing any diagnostic test or invasive procedure, your doctor should describe all benefits and  risks of the procedure and he or she should explain all alternative options as well.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including product liability, medical malpractice, and automobile accident claims.  Mr. Zambri has also been named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  

Mr. Zambri was sought after to publish a chapter regarding product liability litigation in Aspatore Books - a company that is touted as "the largest and most exclusive publisher of C-1 Level executives (CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, Partner) from the world's most respected companies and law firms."  To read Mr. Zambri's publication, entitled "Constantly Preparing To Win", please click here.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.   

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Cerebral Palsy , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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States Without Damage Caps Have More Doctors

 Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

In a blog at the California Progress Report (1/6), J.G. Preston wrote, "One of the arguments the 'tort reform' crowd uses to justify putting a cap on the amount of money a jury can award to a victim of medical negligence is their assertion that increases in the cost of malpractice insurance are driving doctors out of the business." But "there are more doctors per capita in states that don't limit the amount that can be awarded to victims of negligence than there are in states that have implemented caps. The American Association for Justice broke down the numbers and found there are 21% more doctors per capita in states that don't restrict compensation that there are in states with caps." 

And there are more doctors than ever in America.   Take a look at the most recent data published by the American Medical Association, which confirms this fact.  The publication considers data through 2008.  There were 309 doctors for every 100,000 people that year.   Compared to the 1960s, that's twice as many.  So, not only are there more doctors per capita in states without damages caps, there are also more doctors everywhere in this nation.

The lesson:  Don't let the corporate greed of certain special interest groups convince you that you need to abandon your constitutional rights to pad their pockets.  Victims of the carelessness of others need their rights. 

Be safe, and don't be fooled by well-worn rhetoric.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including medical malpractice, product liability, and automobile accident claims.  Mr. Zambri has also been named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (2010)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  

Mr. Zambri was sought after to publish a chapter regarding civil litigation in Aspatore Books - a company that is touted as "the largest and most exclusive publisher of C-1 Level executives (CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, Partner) from the world's most respected companies and law firms."  To read Mr. Zambri's publication, entitled "Constantly Preparing To Win", please click here.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.   

 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Cerebral Palsy , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Public Health , Tort Reform , Women's Health Issues
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Radiation Exposure from CT Scans Worse Than Previously Estimated

 Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

The CBS Evening News reported, "The problem of too much radiation during CT scans may be more widespread than anyone thought." CBS further confirmed that "new research...found a wide variation in radiation dose for the most common CT scan like abdomen, pelvis, and chest. A survey of four hospitals found some patients received 13 times more radiation than others for the same type of scan."   Over-radiation can be very dangerous.

NBC Nightly News, referring to a study, stated that "researchers calculated that 72 million CT scans are performed in this country a year and concluded that could lead to 29,000 excess cancers and 15,000 excess deaths a year in the future."  The study NBC cited was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. 

A second study, in the same journal, of over 1,000 patients at four hospitals, showed that 1 out of 270 women and 1 out of 600 men suffer from cancer as a result of undergoing a single heart scan at age 40, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the report, researchers who performed the study noted that the differences in radiation doses may be a result of the difference in technology from one medical provider to another as well as a lack of standardized settings.

Bloomberg News reports that in the National Cancer Institute study, "the authors predicted that lung cancer will be the most common radiation-related cancer followed by colon cancer and leukemia." In response to these study, the FDA has "issued interim regulations Dec. 7 requiring closer monitoring of CT scans after more than 250 cases of exposure to excess radiation were reported since October."

Before undergoing a CT scan, you should get sound medical advice from an experienced physician who is familiar with the risks and benefits of the procedure.  If undergoing a scan, be sure the facility has technologically advanced equipment, so your exposure to radiation is minimized to the extent possible.  Your doctors should be advising you of all risks associated with the procedure, as well as all options available to you, so you can make the best health decision you can.  Your doctors should also be using equipment that is safe and in excellent working condition.

I wish you good health and happiness.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" whose practice is dedicated to handling catastrophic personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions stemming from defective or dangerous medications and medical errors.   He has also been named a "DC Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  If you need a patient advocate, we recommend that you read an article about medical malpractice claims authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 


 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Cerebral Palsy , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Glaxo Announces Payouts From Paxil Cases

 Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

Bloomberg.com reports that GlaxoSmithKline "has settled 450 suicide cases for about $390 million and 600 birth defect cases for unspecified amounts." According to the report, "The company has also paid out about $400 million in antitrust cases since 2003."

Many people who have taken Paxil have been subjected to an increased risk for suicide and birth defects.  The extent of the increased risk has never been disclosed. 

I represent victims of dangerous products.  Far too often companies put profits over people, placing into the marketplace drugs that have not been properly tested.  We hope that companies will put people over profits and be sure their products are safe before they are sold.

Before taking any medication, be sure to consult with a physician.  Your physician should also inform you of all risks and benefits of a medication before you ingest it, so that you can make the best health decisions you can.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including product liability, medical malpractice, and automobile accident claims.  Mr. Zambri has also been named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  

Mr. Zambri was sought after to publish a chapter regarding product liability litigation in Aspatore Books - a company that is touted as "the largest and most exclusive publisher of C-1 Level executives (CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, Partner) from the world's most respected companies and law firms."  To read Mr. Zambri's publication, entitled "Constantly Preparing To Win", please click here.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.    

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Cerebral Palsy , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Patient Safety , Product Liability , Public Health , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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State Tort "Reforms" Don't Lower Insurance Premiums

 Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

The American Association for Justice has published an article that establishes what we have known now for some time--that state tort "reforms" have provided a boon to insurance companies, while physician and patient premiums continue to skyrocket.  The winner:  insurnace companies, whose profits have hit record levels.  The losers:  doctors and, especially, patients, whose fundamental rights have been taken from them.

"An analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and company annual statements shows malpractice insurer profits are 24 percent higher in states with caps.  In these cap states, insurers took in 3.5 times more in premiums than they paid out in 2008.  In contrast, insurers in states without caps took in just over twice what they paid in claims."

98,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors, yet the insurnace industry and the chamber of commerce want o place nonsensical limits on patients' rights simply to pad insurance companies' profits.  This profits-over-people model is anti-American and unethical.

The report establishes that the "medical malpractice insurance industry has seen a 47 percent increase in profitability in the last 10 years. Overblown 'reported' losses were used by the insurance industry to justify new measures restricting the rights of those injured by medical negligence."

Americans need to fight back against the myths spread by special interest group.  Over 30 states have been fooled into thinking caps on daages will help pemiums.  They haven't. In the meantime, though, "the average profit of the 10 largest medical malpractice insurers was higher than 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 35 times higher than the Fortune 500 average."

To view a copy of Insurance Company Handout: How the Industry Used Tort Reform to Increase Profits While Americans' Premiums Soared, visit http://www.justice.org/clips/Insurance_Company_Handout.pdf.

As I mentioned, It is widely accepted that approximately 98,000 Americans die every year as a result of medical errors.  That's like two 747 airplanes full of passengers crashing to the ground every day for a year.  Yet, some legislators want to strip innocent victims of their constitutional rights, including limiting their recoveries, instead of focusing on preventing future errors. 

Our leaders should be fighting for safer drugs, safer hospitals, better medical practices, and a safer American health system.  We must put people over profits.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" whose practice is dedicated to handling catastrophic personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions stemming from defective or dangerous medications and medical errors.   He has also been named a "DC Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  If you need a patient advocate, we recommend that you read an article about medical malpractice claims authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 

 

 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Cerebral Palsy , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , Tort Reform , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Medical Malpractice Accounts for Far less than 1% of Overall Healthcare Costs

 

 Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

According to a study from Public Citizen,  medical malpractice payments to patients who have been injured due to medical errors declined for the third year in a row.  The study further shows that the payouts total between merely 0.18% and 0.6% of the overall medical costs in this country. 

Is this decline the result of better medical care?  Unfortunately, no, according to the study.   Instead, fewer injured patients are being compensated.  Approximately 98,000 people are killed every year in this country due to medical mistakes, but payouts only go to about 11,000 of them.  If there is a medical malpractice crisis in this country, the core of the crisis is sloppy medicine, not frivolous lawsuits, notes the study:

More than 80 percent of the money paid out for medical malpractice in 2008 was for cases involving "significant permanent injuries"; "major permanent injuries"; injuries resulting in quadriplegia, brain damage or the need for permanent care; or death, according to NPDB [National Practitioner Data Bank] reporting.

Despite the hysteria surrounding debates over medical malpractice litigation, experts have repeatedly concluded that several times as many patients suffer avoidable injuries as those who sue. The best known such finding was included in the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) seminal 1999 study, "To Err Is Human," which concluded that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die every year because of avoidable medical errors. Fewer than 15,000 people (including those with non-fatal outcomes) received compensation for medical malpractice that year, and in 2008, the number receiving compensation fell to just over 11,000.

Patient safety needs to become a priority in this country.  Unless it does, thousands upon thousands of Americans will be needlessly killed or seriously injured each year. 

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" whose practice is dedicated to handling catastrophic personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions stemming from defective or dangerous medications and medical errors.   He has also been named a "DC Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (2009-2010)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America. 

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , Tort Reform , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Medical Errors Should Be Reported to Improve Safety

 Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     


The AP (12/11, Tanner) reports that "in 2005, Illinois legislators...passed a measure requiring hospitals to report the deadliest kind" of medical errors, but "the law has yet to be implemented -- and it likely won't be for at least another year." Illinois "budget woes and foot-dragging by special interests are among reasons cited for the long delay." However, "there are finally glimmers of progress. That includes the recent launch of a related state website that tracks hospital infection rates and staff levels, and the imminent start of a search for a vendor to help put the law in place."

Ten years ago, a landmark report proved that medical mistakes kill up to 98,000 Americans yearly. Only a handful of states have decided to do something about it, Minnesota being the first in 2003.  In 2005, Illinois modeled a law after Minnesota's.  Four years later, the law has still not been implemented.  Why?  Foot-dragging by special interest groups.  Finally, though, some progress is being made, including " the recent launch of a related state Web site that tracks hospital infection rates and staff levels, and the imminent start of a search for a vendor to help put the law in place."

According to the AP report, "The law will require hospitals to publicly report so-called "never" mistakes. These are mostly preventable errors with potentially life-threatening consequences -- like the wrong-knee surgery by Chicago-area doctors last year or the forgotten sponge left inside a Plainfield woman during breast tumor surgery."

A few things the law requires:

  • hospitals required to report major medical errors within 30 days to the state's public health department
  • list of hospitals and mistakes will be posted online
  • hospitals required to determine cause of errors and to develop corrective plan

These kinds of laws should be in every state in our country.  Medical providers should not bow to special interest groups.  Sharing more, not less, following an adverse event is the only way to truly minimize future medical errors. 

Encourage your legislators to work hard to implement strong laws that clearly work to open communication and spur better, safer health practices.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" whose practice is dedicated to handling catastrophic personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions stemming from defective or dangerous medications and medical errors.   He has also been named a "DC Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (2009-2010)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America. 

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Cerebral Palsy , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , Tort Reform , Women's Health Issues
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Evaluating a Medical Malpractice Case

 Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

As a consumer justice attorney, I have the privilege of representing and helping people through difficult times every day. Oftentimes, my clients are horrifically and permanently injured due to no fault of their own. Other times, I represent families of those who have died as a result of someone else's carelessness.

This may surprise you, but it is widely accepted that approximately 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of medical negligence, more than deaths caused by guns and automobile collisions.  The yearly death toll from medical errors equates to the number of deaths that would result from two 747 airplanes crashing to the ground every day.  This alarming statistic does not even include those who have not died, but have nevertheless suffered serious permanent injuries due to a lack of appropriate medical care.

I have published a paper that addresses some fundamental, but extraordinarily important, steps necessary to properly and thoroughly evaluate a potential medical malpractice claim. By no means does the article include all investigative efforts required to analyze a case, as every claim is different and deserves special attention. 

To read my article, entitled "Evaluating a Medical Malpractice Case", please click here.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" whose practice is dedicated to handling catastrophic personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions stemming from defective or dangerous medications and medical errors.   He has also been named a "DC Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America. 

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Cerebral Palsy , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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American Associate for Justice Publishes Primer on Medical Negligence Debate: A Must Read

 

 Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

The American Association for Justice has published a primer on the medical malpractice debate.  It comprehensively shows how special interest groups have perpetuated myths in an effort to strip Americans of their rights in order to pad their profits.  Here are some of the findings:

  • Myth #1: There are too many “frivolous” malpractice lawsuits
  • Myth #2: Malpractice claims drive up health care costs.
  • Myth #3: Doctors are fleeing.
  • Myth #4: Malpractice claims drive up doctors’ premiums.
  • Myth #5: Tort reform will lower insurance rates.

It is widely accepted that approximately 98,000 Americans die every year as a result of medical errors.  That's like two 747 airplanes full of passengers crashing to the ground every day for a year.  Yet, some legislators want to strip innocent victims of their constitutional rights, including limiting their recoveries, instead of focusing on preventing future errors. 

Our leaders should be fighting for safer drugs, safer hospitals, better medical practices, and a safer American health system.  We must put people over profits.

To read the publication, please click here.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" whose practice is dedicated to handling catastrophic personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions stemming from defective or dangerous medications and medical errors.   He has also been named a "DC Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  If you need a patient advocate, we recommend that you read an article about medical malpractice claims authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , Tort Reform , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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GAO Says FDA Lacking in Developing Drug Surveillance Office

 

 Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner     

 

The Associated Press has reported today that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "still hasn't restructured its staff to better monitor drug safety, more than three years after experts recommended key changes in the wake of the Vioxx scandal."  According to the report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) will release a report today indicating that FDA officials "have made some changes to drug oversight," although the agency "continues to give the bulk of its decision-making power to scientists who approve new drugs, rather than those who monitor the side effects of drugs on the market."  Consequently, the GAO "calls on the FDA to set a timetable for transferring new responsibilities to the surveillance office."

In response, the FDA "said major decisions about drug safety are delegated to the new drugs division because that is 'where staff with the broadest expertise and experience' on product safety issues reside," according to the AP report.

We urge the FDA to ramp up its surveillance of drugs, and we implore pharmaceutical companies to be sure their products are safe before placing them into the marketplace.  Drugs are obviously important, but manufacturers need to put people over profits.  No drug should enter the marketplace until it has been thoroughly tested and until its side-effects are fully understood.

Before taking any medication, please confer with your doctor.  Know all risks and benefits of a drug before taking it.

We wish you good health.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who dedicates his practice to catastrophic personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions stemming from defective or dangerous medications.   He has also been named a "DC Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  If you need a patient advocate, we recommend that you read an article about medical malpractice claims authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Cerebral Palsy , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Task Force Study Regarding Effectiveness of Mammograms Sparks Political Debate

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire

A recent federal task force's study that discourages routine mammograms for most women below the age of 50 has sparked a major political debate.  As a Washington Post article puts it, "The findings underscore a decades-long debate in the medical community about the benefits and risks of routine breast cancer screening for younger women."

In response to the study, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) "announced that his House health subcommittee will hold hearings on the mammogram issue next month," according to the Post report.  And legislators from both political parties are suggesting that "the task force had been swayed by insurance companies that stand to save money if fewer screenings are performed."

Certainly, insurance companies' greed should not dictate what treatments are best for patients.  Those decisions should be left to medical experts who know what they are talking about, who are responsible for making sound decisions and informing their patients of all attendant risks and benefits.  As it stands, the  American Cancer Society has reiterated that it will continue to recommend regular mammograms for women age 40 and above. 

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions stemming from misdiagnosed cancer and dangerous drugs.  He has also been named a "DC Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  If you need a patient advocate, we recommend that you read an article about medical malpractice claims authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Public Health , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Federal Task Force Challenges Uefulness of Mammograms, Sparks Intense Debate

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire

As reported in the Washington Post, a federal task force has concluded, "Women in their 40s should stop routinely getting annual mammograms, and older women should cut back to one scheduled exam every other year." 

The report notes that higher than "182,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States, and the disease kills more than 40,000, making it the second most common cancer after skin cancer and the second leading cause of death from cancer among women after lung cancer."  Consequently, challenging the usefulness of a long-used screening procedure--mammogram--has spurred heated debate among, physicians and academics.

The task force cites evidence that harms attendant to annual exams beginning at age 40 outweigh the potential benefits.  As the Post report states, mammograms "produce false-positive results in about 10 percent of cases, causing anxiety and often prompting women to undergo unnecessary follow-up tests, sometimes-disfiguring biopsies, and unneeded treatment, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy."  Having said that, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and others assert that the benefits greatly outweigh the potential dangers. 

Daniel B. Kopans, a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, is quoted in the report, saying, "Tens of thousands of lives are being saved by mammography screening, and these idiots want to do away with it...It's crazy -- unethical, really."

According to the report, the American Cancer Society has not indicated a desire to change its guidelines, but the National Cancer Institute said it would re-evaluate its recommendations.

We urge our readers to speak with their doctors and make individual decisions about what is best for your health.  It may be appropriate if not necessary for some women to have annual mammograms in light of their family history, for instance.  Others may be doing more harm than good by exposing themselves to annual mammograms.  Doctors should know what is best for each individual and should advise their patients accordingly so that women can make the best decisions that they can, and so their long-term health can be promoted.

To read the full Post article, please click here.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions stemming from misdiagnosed cancer and dangerous drugs.  He has also been named a "DC Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  If you need a patient advocate, we recommend that you read an article about medical malpractice claims authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Patient Safety , Public Health , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Study Suggests Hormone Therapy Increases Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire

According to a recent Danish study, women who undergo hormone replacement therapy after menopause are at a meaningfully higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.  A Reuters report states that the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, comments that women who took hormone replacements were 38 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer than those who did not.  This follows a study that was conducted ion 2002 by the Women’s Health Initiative, which produced similar findings.

We encourage our readers to be very careful when taking any medication.  No women should undergo hormone replacement therapy or other kind of therapy without first seeking the advice of medical experts.  Doctors should warn patients of potential side-effects and should not prescribe drugs unless it is proper to do so in light of all risks and benefits.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions.   He has also been named a "DC Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)--a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  Our firm has experience pursing cases for patients that involve dangerous medical products, as well as claims involving inappropriately prescribed medications.  If you need a patient advocate, we recommend that you read an article about medical malpractice claims authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 

 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Patient Safety , Product Liability , Public Health , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Doctors Fail to Report Abnormal Test Results At Alarming Rate

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire

Doctors fail to report clinically significant findings to their patients in more than seven percent (7%) of the cases, according to the Associated Press, relying on a new study published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.  Physicians' use of electronic medical records tended to lower instances of failures to inform.  The frequency of errors is higher in practices that used a combination of electronic and paper records, as opposed to practices that relied on only paper or only electronic records, reports Nicholas Bakalar of the New York Times.    

We encourage doctors to utilize the electronic technology now available to better communicate with patients and other physicians regarding a patient's symptoms and conditions.  Reckless record-keeping leads to needless deaths and injuries.  There is a crisis in this country--too many Americans die each year as a result of hospital and doctor errors.  Nearly 100,000 people die every year as a result of hospital mistakes alone.  Safety needs to be a priority as we move forward.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters.  He has successfully litigated multiple cases against Metro and other automobile owners.  He has also been named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine.  Our firm has experience pursing cases for patients that involve tragic medical errors, including the failure to properly inform patients of abnormal test results.  If you need a patient advocate, we recommend that you read an article about medical malpractice claims authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Cerebral Palsy , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Nursing Home Negligence , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , Tort Reform , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Matrixx Withheld Consumer Complaints

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire

Shannon Pettypiece reports for Bloomberg that Matrixx Initiatives Inc. announced that it failed to turn over to U.S. regulators about 800 consumer complaints concerning serious side-effects linked to its Zicam nasal spray and swabs, which have been withdrawn.

According to the report, "Matrixx, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, stopped selling the cold remedies on June 16 after the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers the treatments may cause a loss of smell. Matrixx today defended its products and called the FDA warning 'a surprise,' during a conference call with analysts."

The 800 complaints were unearthed only after the FDA performed a routine inspection found 800 reports of consumer concerns this past May.  William Hemelt, acting president and chief operating officer of Matrixx, said that he was informed that  his compnay did not need to report the complaints despite a 2007 regulation requiring companies to turn over reports of serious side effects, arguing that the regulation didn't apply. 

“We have complaints but we weren’t required to send them,” Hemelt said. “At least we didn’t believe we were required to send them and we based that on an opinion of counsel who looked at the FDA regulation and said no, it doesn’t fit.”

The FDA reported that doctors and consumers have linked a permanent loss of smell to the us of the medications.

When companies withhold critically important information it smacks of putting profits over people.  Safety and public health should always be the paramount concern of drug companies. 

Our firm has experience pursing cases for patients that involve tragic medication errorspharmacy mix ups and unsafe medications.  If you think you have been injured by a defective product, we encourage you to read a portion of a book regarding products liability authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

For information about your legal rights, please contact Mr. Zambri at 202-822-1899 or email him at szambri@reganfirm.com.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Medical Device Oversight Required

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire 

According to a Reuters article, reported by James Pethkoukis, experts have determined that the FDA's approval process needs to be improved to better protect patients from dangerous risks.

At a congressional hearing, Representative Frank Pallone, who chairs a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, stated, "There is evidence of an approval system that is broken -- that its standards, its procedures and its rules don't meet modern needs of getting medical devices to those in need with confidence in their safety." The article further comments that "Marcia Crosse, healthcare director for the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, said various shortcomings 'raise concerns' about the FDA's pre-approval reviews and post-approval monitoring 'that are necessary for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of medical devices.'"

Although Americans benefit greatly from new products, the FDA must do more to protect those who will be using the products in the end--the patients. Without serious oversight, great harm can result.

Our firm has experience pursing cases for patients that involve tragic medication errors, pharmacy mix ups and unsafe medications.  If you think you have been injured by a defective product, we encourage you to read a portion of a book regarding products liability  authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

For information about your legal rights, please click here or contact Mr. Zambri at 202-822-1899.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings
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FDA Issues Warnings About Clarcon Skin Products

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire and Catherine Bertram, Esquire

The AP recently reported that  "The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers Monday not to use skin products made by Clarcon." This warning followed a recent inspection which revealed high levels of disease-causing bacteria in the products.  According to the report, the FDA has said that the findings are "particularly concerning because the products are promoted as antimicrobial agents that claim to treat open wounds and damaged skin and protect against various infectious diseases."  Yet, according to the report, some of the bacteria found in the products "can cause opportunistic infections of the skin and underlying tissues and could result in medical or surgical attention as well as permanent damage," the report comments.

Our firm has experience pursing cases for patients that involve tragic medication errorspharmacy mix ups and unsafe medications.  If you think you have been injured by a defective product, we encourage you to read a portion of a book regarding products liability authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

For information about your legal rights, please click here or contact us at Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-463-3030.


 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Merck & Co., Schering-Plough Accused of Fraud

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire and Catherine Bertram, Esquire

Bloomberg News reports that "Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. were sued by a Pennsylvania fund for active and retired state employees over claims they misled consumers into paying too much for prescriptions of Zetia [ezetimibe] and Vytorin cholesterol pills."  The Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund alleges in a complaint that "the companies have known for years -- and failed to make public -- that Zetia doesn't reduce fatty arterial plaques that can cause heart attacks and strokes."  The reports commenst that two studies last year showed that "the pills may work no better at unclogging arteries than does an older, cheaper medicine called simvastatin." Nevertheless, the companies allegedly withheld the the finding and "used false and deceptive marketing techniques claiming Vytorin was more efficacious than and just as safe as the much cheaper generic," according to the report.

Our firm has experience pursing cases for patients that involve tragic medication errorspharmacy mix ups and unsafe medications.  If you think you have been injured by a defective product, we encourage you to read a portion of a book regarding products liability authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

For information about your legal rights, please click here or contact us at Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-463-3030.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , Tort Reform , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Propylthiouracil Poses Serious Liver Injury

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire and Catherine Bertram, Esquire

An U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report confirms that, two days ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "warned health care professionals about the risk of serious liver injury associated with the use of the anti-thyroid drug propylthiouracil for the treatment of Graves' disease."  Citing the FDA, HHS reports that: "After analyzing adverse event reports, the FDA has identified an increased risk of liver injury with propylthiouracil when compared to an alternative treatment for Graves' disease, methimazole," said Amy Egan, M.D., deputy director for safety, Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products, in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Health care professionals should carefully consider which drug to initiate in a patient recently diagnosed with Graves' disease. If propylthiouracil therapy is chosen, the patient should be closely monitored for symptoms and signs of liver injury, especially during the first six months after initiating therapy."

Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder which causes the thyroid gland to be overactive. The thyroid gland releases hormones that regulate the rate of the body’s metabolism.  These hormones "are critical for body temperature control, energy, weight, mood, and blood calcium levels."

Medications can have serious side-effects, especially if warnings and precautions are not taken seriously. Doctors should fully inform patients of all risks associated with prescribed medications and patients should never hesitate to ask their doctors for more information if they are confused about the risks of certian medications.

Our firm has experience pursing cases for patients that involve tragic medication errorspharmacy mix ups and unsafe medications.  If you think you have been injured by a defective product, we encourage you to read a portion of a book regarding products liability authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

For information about your legal rights, please click here or contact us at Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-463-3030.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Medications , Men's Health Issues , Obstetrics , Patient Safety , Pediatrics , Product Liability , Public Health , U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warnings , Women's Health Issues
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Antidepressants May Cause Breast Cancer

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire and Catherine Bertram, Esquire

According to a recent Bloomberg report, researches have determined that certain antidepressants may increase the recurrence  of breast cancer among women who have already survived the disease.  The study reports that drugs including Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft "significantly decrease the effectiveness of a drug [tamoxifen] used to reduce the chances of breast cancer recurrence", states the article. 

Notably, the study revealed that tumors were more than twice as likely to return after two years in women taking the antidepressants cited above while on the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen, as compared with those taking tamoxifen alone. The research was conducted by Medco Health Solutions Inc., and was presented at a meeting of researchers at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Orlando.

To read the entire article, please click here.

Our firm has experience pursing cases for patients that involve tragic medication errorspharmacy mix ups and unsafe medications.  If you think you have been injured by a defective product, we encourage you to read a portion of a book regarding products liability authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

For information about your legal rights, please click here or contact us at Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-463-3030.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Product Liability , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Colorectal Cancers Run in Families

By Victor E. Long, Esq.

It is estimated that about 15% of colorectal cancers run in families. For that reason, it's important to know the health history of your immediate family and to tell your children.  People with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) develop hundreds of polyps in the colon and rectum. Without treatment, FAP usually leads to colorectal cancer by age 40. Less than 1% of all colorectal cancers are due to this rare form of inherited cancer, which is caused by a change in the APC gene.

Surprising data indicates that despite knowing they are at heightened risk for colorectal cancer, some people with or at risk for FAP fail to follow recommendations for endoscopic screening.  Information regarding colonoscopy, woman's screening protocols and  the availability of an alternative, known as virtual colonoscopy, has been provided in this blog.

The major reason respondents gave for not following up with endoscopic screening was that their healthcare provider had not recommended it.

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Public Health
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False Positives Common During Cancer Screenings

As reported by the Annals of Family Medicine, cancer screening frequently yields false positives — with resulting invasive procedures.

Researchers studied nearly 68,500 adults, aged 55 to 74, who underwent up to 14 screenings over 3 years in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Tests included digital rectal examination plus prostate-specific antigen measurement; chest x-ray; flexible sigmoidoscopy; and cancer antigen 125 testing plus transvaginal ultrasound.
Among the findings:

  • The risk for having one false positive after four tests was 37% among men and 26% among women; after 14 tests, risks rose to 60% and 49%, respectively.
  • The risk for undergoing a false-positive–prompted invasive procedure after four tests was 17% among men and 12% among women; after 14 tests, risks were 28% and 22%, respectively.
  • Sigmoidoscopy accounted for the most false positives and related procedures.

The researchers conclude that providers "should educate patients about the likelihood of false positives and resulting diagnostic interventions when counseling about cancer screening."

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis
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Summer and Skin Cancer: Prevention and Early Detection Are Key

Posted by Jacqueline Colclough, Esquire

As the official beginning of summer approaches with Memorial Day Weekend, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and other health organizations are undertaking efforts to education the public about skin cancer risks and prevention.

According to the American Cancer Society, over one million people across the United States are currently affected by skin cancer. This year alone, more than 68,700 new cases of melanoma, the most serious of skin cancers, are expected nationally. Precautions such as avoiding sun exposure during midday hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), using sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and avoiding tanning beds and sun lamps are all important measures in the prevention of skin cancer.

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Men's Health Issues , Pediatrics , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Taxotere Promotional Materials Misleading

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire and Catherine Bertram, Esquire

Dow Jones Newswires  reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has urged Sanofi-Aventis SA, a drug manufacturer, "to stop distributing certain promotional material for its breast cancer drug, Taxotere [docetaxel], saying the material misleadingly claims the medicine is more effective than proven."  According to the report, the FDA has indicated that "binders with reprinted medical studies claim Sanofi's Taxotere is better than other medicines to treat patients with breast cancer after prior chemotherapy treatments failed," yet the "FDA is unaware of substantial evidence to support these claims."

We encourage our readers to be very careful when reading or listening to promotional materials disseminated by drug companies.  All too often these materials are misleading and are driven by the drug companies' desire to maximize its profits.   We believe that people should be above profits and that promotional materials must be accurate and properly informative.  If profits are put above people, public health will be compromised.

Our firm has experience pursing cases for patients that involve tragic medication errorspharmacy mix ups and unsafe medications.  If you think you have been injured by a defective product, we encourage you to read a portion of a book regarding products liability authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

For information about your legal rights, please click here or contact us at Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-463-3030.

 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Product Liability , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Cancer Society Approves Virtual Colonoscopy

By Victor E. Long, Esq.

According to Washington Post  the American Cancer Society, finds Virtual Colonoscopy  to be effective at finding large polyps.  Virtual colonoscopy is a procedure used to look for signs of pre-cancerous growths, called polyps; cancer; and other diseases of the large intestine. Images of the large intestine are taken using computerized tomography (CT) or, less often, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A computer puts the images together to create an animated, three-dimensional view of the inside of the large intestine.

Invented 16 years ago by a radiologist who got the idea while playing video games on a flight simulator during advanced training at Johns Hopkins, virtual colonoscopy has become an increasingly popular.  However, Medicare has tentatively decided not to pay for virtual colonoscopies.

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Patient Safety , Public Health
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New Guidelines on Prostate Cancer Screening

Posted by Jacqueline Colclough

On April 27, 2009, the American Urological Association (AUA) issued new guidelines on prostate cancer screening for men. Contrary to recent advice of other groups, AHA recommends that well informed men aged 40 and over who have a life expectancy of at least 10 years should be offered the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in order to establish a baseline reading and that PSA testing should be individualized rather than a blanket annual test for any man aged 50 and over. These guidelines have been issued amid growing recent controversy regarding when men should start regular PSA screening, how often, and at what point a biopsy is indicated.

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Men's Health Issues , Public Health
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Early Diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer Critical

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire and Catherine Bertram, Esquire

Each year in America there are approximately 16,000 new diagnoses of esphogeal cancer, reports an article in Medical New Today.  Unfortunately, according to the report, only 10% of those diagnosed survive the disease.  The principal reason for this alarming statistic is the lack of early detection.

It is widely recognized that smokers are predisposed to esophageal cancer.  However, as the article points out, there are several other contributing factors, including:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption;
  • Obesity;
  • Lye ingestion; and,
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux or heartburn.

To read the entire article, please click here.

We encourage our readers to speak with their doctors about their health risks.  Physicians should know to check for illnesses when their patients manifest certain health risks. 

For information about your legal rights, please click here or contact us at Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-463-3030.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Is a Mammogram Worth it?

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire and Catherine Bertram, Esquire 

For decades women have been advised to undergo mammograms to screen for breast cancer.  Routine exams, especially after age 50,  are highly recommended.  It was recently reported in a New York Times article, however, that British medical experts came to the conclusion that mammographies may do more harm than good.  The so-called experts suggest that for every life saved by the procedure at least one other person is forced to endure unnecessary and invasive procedures to treat slow-growing cancers that would otherwise cause no harm if left untreated.

Many experts, including the American Cancer Society, dispute the British claim, and urge women with usual risks (ie, family history of cancer, over age 50) to utilize mammograms as part of their routine screening for breast cancer.  On balance, the benefits of earl detection outweigh the risks associated with under-treatment.

To view the Times article, click here.

For information about your legal rights, please click here or contact us at Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-463-3030.

 

 

 

 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis
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Mammogram Accuracy Varies by Facility: New Study

The reliability of mammography results varies significantly between medical facilities, according to new research published in a recent edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).  Even more importantly, certain organizational characteristics tend to predict which facilities will return a more accurate reading.

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Patient Safety , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Melanomas On Scalp and Neck Nearly Twice As Deadly: New Study

Melanoma is one of the deadliest skin cancers, but new research demonstrates that melanomas located on the scalp or neck are even twice as deadly as those found on other parts of the body.  The finding is the result of a study published in a recent edition of the medical journal Archives of Dermatology

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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March: National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer affects both men and women, and accounts for more deaths annually than all other cancers except lung cancer.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal cancer is most often diagnosed in people who are 50 years of age or older, and the risk of being diagnosed increases with age.  Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Military Doctors Misdiagnose a Marine Serving in Iraq, Leading to Death

The CBS Evening News  with Katie Couric will have a report this Thursday about how military medical malpractice killed Sgt. Carmelo Rodriquez, a Marine who served in Iraq.  CBS News Bryon Pitts investigates in a heart wrenching extensive story, how military doctors misdiagnosed melanoma to be a harmless wart.  Pitts met the Marine, child and family by his side, 8 minutes before his death caused by Stage 4 melanoma.

His family insisted to be interviewed instead because they say Sgt. Rodriguez "...said don't let this be it.  Don't let this be it.  Fight!  That's what we are doing.  We're going to fight for him."  Laws prohibit the family to sue the military and his family had to pay for the funeral.

According to a veterans group that tracks soldiers who are misdiagnosed, there are hundreds of misdiagnosed cases across the country.

The full story will be broadcast Thursday on the CBS Evening News at 6:30 EDT.  It will reveal startling details about how family members of deceased servicemen and women have no legal recourse when malpractice among military medical doctors leads to irrevocable harm - and even death.
Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice
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PET Scans Found to Improve Lung Cancer Diagnosis

The diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer patients may be improved by routine imaging with positron emission tomography (P.E.T.), according to a recent research review published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Women's Health Issues
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Aggressive Surgical Treatment of Breast Cancer Increasing: New Study

According to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, between 1998 and 2003 in the U.S., there was a 150% increase in the number of women who opted to have both breasts surgically removed after being diagnosed with cancer of a single breast.  The surgical procedure -- Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy (CPM) may often be unnecessary, according to researchers, as most affected women never develop cancer in the second breast. Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Patient Safety , Women's Health Issues
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Predicting Breast Cancer Risk In African American Women Improved

As reported in Medical News Today, scientists have developed a new, more accurate risk assessment model for breast cancer in African American women. The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, or Gail model, has been used for many years to determine breast cancer risk in all racial groups, however, much of the model is based on breast cancer data only from white women. The new study, called the Women's Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences (CARE) study, was conducted in order to gather data on African American women with and without breast cancer. The study was conducted by Mitchell H. Gail, M.D., Ph.D. from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and his colleagues and is published in the November 27, 2007 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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No Link Between Post-Surgery Lymph Node Count and Colon Cancer Survival: New Study

The screening of 12 or more lymph nodes following colon cancer surgery -- a quality assurance practice recommended by the National Quality Forum (NQF), the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) -- does not appear to improve the odds of 5-year cancer survival.  The finding is the result of recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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New Women's Colorectal Cancer Screening Protocol Announced

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has revised its colorectal cancer screening recommendations to encourage colonoscopy as the preferred method of screening both average-risk and high-risk women for colorectal cancer.  ACOG's previous recommendation was that all women above 50 years of age be screened for colorectal cancer, but no preference was given regarding the specific type of screening instrument.  The latest recommendation includes colonoscopy, specifically, because it allows for visualization of the entire colon surface and for removal of precancerous polyps simultaneously.  Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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New Study: Traditional Pap Test Inferior To HPV Test

A recent major epidemiological study led by McGill University researchers reveals that the human papillomavirus (HPV) screening test is far more accurate than the traditional Papanicolaou (Pap) test in detecting cervical cancer. The first round of the Canadian Cervical Cancer Screening Trial, led by Dr. Eduardo Franco, Director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology at McGill's Faculty of Medicine, concluded that the HPV test's ability to accurately detect pre-cancerous lesions without generating false negatives was 94.6%, as opposed to 55.4% for the Pap test. The controlled randomized trial initially involved 10,154 women aged 30-69 years and spanned the years 2002 through 2005. It was the first of its kind conducted in North America for HPV testing as a stand-alone screening test for cervical cancer.

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Highly Aggressive and Frequently Misdiagnosed

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is deadly, and rarely detected in self breast exams or routine mammograms.  That's because it develops as a sheet, rather than in nodules or lumps that can more easily be felt or seen.  In many cases, IBC isn't diagnosed until it is too advanced to treat successfully; not only because it's difficult to detect, but also because it spreads much faster than typical breast cancers.  IBC is also relatively rare, accounting for between 1% and 5% of all cancers in the U.S.  According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, the following signs and symptoms are associated with IBC:
  • "A breast that appears red, purple, pink or bruised
  • A tender, firm and enlarged breast
  • A warm feeling in the breast
  • Itching of the breast
  • Pain
  • Ridged or dimpled skin texture, similar to an orange peel
  • Thickened areas of skin
  • Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm, above the collarbone or below the collarbone
  • Flattening or retraction of the nipple
  • Swollen or crusted skin on the nipple
  • Change in color of the skin around the nipple (areola)"
Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Women's Health Issues
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Americans Misunderstand Cancer Risk Factors: New Study

Americans harbor a number of inaccurate and unsubstantiated beliefs regarding cancer -- particularly those Americans who are most at risk of developing the disease.  The finding is the result of a recent study by the American Cancer Society and published in the journal Cancer

The study centered on a telephone survey and the responses of random Americans with no prior diagnosis of cancer to 12 inaccurate or unlikely statements about cancer risks, some of which have recently been circulated as email hoaxes.  Two-thirds of the survey participants correctly identified 7 of the 12 statements as false, but more than 25% of those interviewed identified 5 of the 12 statements as true.  Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Patient Safety , Public Health
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"Good Morning America" Host Diagnosed with Breast Cancer: Tips for Successful Mammography

"Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts recently announced that she has breast cancer, and will begin treatment with surgery.  The news and talk show host detected the cancer in its early stages immediately following her televised report of anchor Joel Siegel's battle with cancer, and the importance of early detection.  Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Women's Health Issues
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Breast Cancer Gene Linked to Father: New Study

Breast cancer genes can be inherited from a father, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Half of genetic breast cancers are actually inherited in this manner, but unless the father has female relatives with cancer,  the gene may have been passed down silently, without causing cancer.  Though men may develop breast cancer, it is rare.  Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Public Health , Women's Health Issues
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Free Prostate Testing & Exams: George Washington University Hospital

FREE  PROSTATE  TESTING & EXAMS :  Test Results within a Matter of Minutes
 

Call 202-741-3106 to schedule your free prostate testing and digital rectal exam offered by the GW Cancer Institute, GW Medical Faculty Associates, GW Hospital and the GW Medical Center.

Who:
• Men 45 and older
• African American Men 40 and older
• Not to be used for a second opinion

When:
• To schedule your free screening, please call 202-741-3106

Where:
• Ambulatory Care Center, 22nd and I Streets, NW, Washington, DC
  Second Floor
• Testing located one block from the Foggy Bottom Metro (Blue and Orange Line)
Parking

What:
With the use of the Qualigen FastPack* blood-testing analyzer, men who participate in this GW program will get the results of their blood work and their exam as they leave the appointment. This is the first blood testing analyzer custom-designed to perform complex quantitative immunoassay tests. No need to take time off work, come during your lunch break to be tested—call 202-741-3106 to schedule an appointment today.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Men's Health Issues
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American Cancer Society Releases Guidelines On HPV Vaccine


In the January 19, 2007 issue of its journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the American Cancer Society has recommended that girls ages 11 and 12 receive Merck's human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil, which reportedly has been shown to be 100% effective in preventing infection with HPV strains 16 and 18.  It is believed that these strains together cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancer cases. In June 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil for sale and marketing to girls and women ages nine to 26, and the U.S. Center for Disease Prevention and Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices later that month voted unanimously to recommend that girls ages 11 and 12 receive the vaccine.  

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Men Need Earlier Colonoscopies

According to a recent study, men may benefit far more than women from early colonoscopy screening for cancer.  Current guidelines call for average-risk men and women to begin colorectal cancer screening at age 50.  But the new findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest there is a big difference in risk between the sexes at the recommended age.  The researchers concluded that to maximize the cost effectiveness of screening, men may need to be screened earlier, or women later, than current guidelines suggest. 

If you have questions concerning this topic, please call Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC  at 202-463-3030. 

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Men's Health Issues , Patient Safety , Women's Health Issues
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Danish Study Offers Further Support for HPV Testing

While the Pap smear remains the best initial cervical cancer screening tool for younger women, a recent Danish study has found that for older women (women age 40 and older), a test for human papillomavirus (HPV) is a much more effective way to screen for this cancer.  According to the November 1, 2006 issue of Cancer Research, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), HPV infection is both frequent and transient in younger women, resulting in positive testing for HPV when no actual risk of cervical cancer exists.  In older women, however, HPV infection is rarer and more persistent, putting a woman at substantial risk for the disease before changes in cervical cells, detected by Pap smears, are obvious. 

"We have documented that a single HPV test can actually predict older women at risk for cervical cancer better than a single Pap smear can," said Susanne Krüger Kjaer, M.D., the study’s senior author and professor and head of the Department of Virus, Hormones and Cancer at the Danish Cancer Society.

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Is Prostate Cancer Over-Treated?

A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that more than half of the American men who have their prostate cancer treated with surgery or radiation might have been just as well off using a “wait and see” program. As reported by Forbes, the researchers are now looking for a method to best determine which patients should be in which treatment group.

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New Test Predicts Lung Cancer Risk of Spread

Scientists at Duke University have developed a new test, called the Lung Metagene Predictor, which is able to predict with near certainty whether the most common type of lung cancer will return after surgery. The 90% accurate predictions allow physicians to better prescribe a treatment for the patient.

Lung cancer is either classified as “small-cell” or “non-small-cell.” The small-cell cancer is treated with chemotherapy and non-small-cell is usually treated with surgery. However, nearly one-third of those patients who undergo surgery see a reappearance of the cancer in their bodies. The Lung Metagene Predictor will allow physicians to determine which patients will see the reappearance and prescribe a more aggressive treatment for them.

Duke researcher David Harpole says, “If we can use the test to increase patient survival by even 5 percent, we would save 10,000 lives a year. In reality, we can do much better than that.”

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Patient Safety , Public Health
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Lab Errors Can Result in Patient Harm: Does your OB/GYN track your labs?

Tracking Lab Test Results and timely follow-up by your physician in terms of reviewing and acting upon all concerning outpatient tests is of paramount importance in avoiding medical errors.

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), every physician's office should have the appropriate procedures in place to ensure that patient's results are obtained for each test ordered.

According to Dr. Karen L. Bruden, a member of ACOG's Committee on Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, OB/GYN offices should be able to answer the following questions about their lab and testing tracking systems to ensure patient safety:

"1. Is a log kept of all cytology samples submitted to different labs? By whom?
2. Is there a mechanism for tracking delayed reports or those that were never received?
3. As a secondary safety net, are all patients instructed to contact the office regarding Pap results within a specific time period?
4. Who is responsible for receiving the cytology reports?
5. Does the physician see and initial all reports before they are filed in the patient's chart?
6. Is the cytology report attached to the chart at the time it is triaged by the physician (rather than put in a stack of "loose" reports)?
7. Are all reports triaged by the physician, or only abnormal reports?
8. If the physician reviews only the abnormal reports, who determines what constitutes an abnormal report? Are there written guidelines for the office staff?
9. What are the level of education and qualifications of nonphysician office staff who participate in the triage process? RN? LPN? colposcopy nurse? medical assistant? clerk?
10. Does the office have a "no-show" policy and mechanism in place?
11. At the end of the workday does the physician personally review the medical record of all patients who "no-show?"
12. Who is responsible for the recall of patients with abnormal cytology? Is a log kept to ensure that the patient was seen and the abnormal results addressed?
13. Is there a policy for the recall of patients who are not accessible by telephone?
14. Does the laboratory have a policy for notifying the clinician about abnormal results?
15. Is there a system for the physician to discuss results directly with the pathologist if needed?"

For more information on this topic, please visit the ACOG  website for more information regarding patient safety issues. The reader may also read more about this in the January 2006 policy statement issued by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Obstetrics , Patient Safety
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Newly-Diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer? Ask Questions!

According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer.  However, if discovered early, colorectal cancer is one of the most curable types. 

Patients who are newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer experience a period of shock and disbelief.  Successful management of this or any other serious disease requires good communication between the patient and his or her physician.  Below are 10 important common-sense questions for newly-diagnosed patients to ask their doctor about colorectal cancer, excerpted from WebMd. 

"1)   How far has my cancer spread?
 2)   What are my chances for recovery?
 3)   What is your expereince in treating patients with this disease?
 4)   Am I likely to need a colostomy?  If so, might it be permanent?
 5)   What specialists will I see in my treatment and recovery? What will their roles be?
 6)   Which postoperative treatments do you recommend, if any?  Do I have any other options besides radiation or chemotherapy?
 7)   What side effects should I look for if I need those treatments?  Whom should I call about any bothersome side effects?
 8)   How often should I be screened for recurrent cancer?
 9)   Is there any way to help prevent the return of my cancer?
10) Can you recommend a good support group or resource where I can get more information?"

A good source for basic information about colorectal cancer is available through WebMD's cancer newsletter. Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis
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Breast Cancer Screening, Prevention & Early Detection Support Resources

American Cancer Society Updates Guidelines

The American Cancer Society's (ACS) annual guidelines for the early detection of cancer have been updated and are published in the January/February issue of CA: Cancer Journal Clinic. These guidelines summarize recommendations for early cancer detection, emerging issues for cancer screening, and data on cancer screening rates for adults in the United States. No new updates were published in 2005.

The American Cancer Society provides testing guidelines for several specific cancers, including breast cancer, colon and rectal cancer, cervical cancer, endometrial (uterine) cancer and prostate cancer.


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Rise in Chemotherapy for Colon Cancer Coincides With Improved Survival

According to a December 2005 report by Reuters Health, a recent study suggests that, from 1990 to 2002, the increased use of chemotherapy with surgery coincides with improved survival for advanced colon cancer patients. In fact, the use of adjuvant chemotherapy for these cancer patients rose from 39 to 64 percent during this interval, while the number of patients surviving for five years increased by 16 percent. The study, conducted by J. Milburn Jessup, M.D. and others from the National Cancer Institute, involved data from nearly 86,000 patients in 560 hospital cancer registries. During the study period, "the difference in survival between surgery alone and surgery plus chemotherapy increased," Dr. Jessup told Reuters Health. Moreover, Dr. Jessup suggested that present-day survival rates may be even better, noting that the data used in the study predated the development and use of newer and perhaps more effective chemotherapy agents.
For the complete Reuters Health report, please click here.

Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Men's Health Issues , Women's Health Issues
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Errors in Cancer Diagnosis Common, Often Harmful

"In a review of cytologic-histologic specimen pairs, errors in cancer diagnosis were seen in up to 11.8% of cases, according to a report in the November 15th issue of Cancer. Moreover, in a substantial proportion of cases, the error caused some degree of harm for the patient."

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Colorectal Cancer Screening: Colonoscopy

One of the most frequent claims of medical malpractice that we handle involves failure to timely diagnose cancer. As with many cancers, early detection of colorectal cancer increases survivability. Since approximately 2000, the American Cancer Society has recommended that men and women at average risk begin routine screening at age 50. It is important to understand that these are very general guidelines for "average risk" patients and that individuals with risk factors require screening at an earlier age.

It is generally recognized that colonoscopy is the most effective diagnostic procedure for colorectal cancer screening. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should immmediately consult with your physician to determine if a colonoscopy is needed: blood in the stool; change in bowel habits; unexplained stomach discomfort; frequent gas, pains or indigestion.

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice
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Breast Cancer: Early Detection

Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer deaths in women in the United States. It is predicted that, this year alone, more than 200,000 women and nearly 1,500 men will develop breast cancer. The American Cancer Society currently recommends that breast cancer screening practices include annual mammograms for women at average risk beginning at age 40. Mammograms are imperfect, however, depending upon such factors as the skill of the interpreting radiologist as well as the particular kind of breast cancer that may be involved. For this reason, additional screening practices may include breast self-examination or a clinical breast examination conducted by a nurse or physician.

Continue Reading Posted In Cancer Misdiagnosis , Medical Malpractice , Women's Health Issues
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