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St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Fails to Adequately Investigate Deaths of Infant Heart-Surgery Patients

Published on Sep 27, 2016 at 7:36 pm in Medical Malpractice.

According to an article published by The Inquirer, the St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in North Philadelphia failed to determine why nine patients sustained fatal injuries during heart surgery. In February, The Inquirer reported that the death rate among infant heart-surgery patients at St. Christopher’s was almost triple the national average. One month later, a three-day surprise inspection took place at the North Philadelphia Hospital.

The report stated that in January, the hospital was ordered to stop performing all non-emergency heart surgeries. The hospital continues to hold pending an internal review. As of now, a submitted plan of correction has been approved by the state, but the procedures have yet to resume.

Jeffrey Jacobs, a leader of a countrywide effort to publicize surgical records as well as a chief of cardiac surgery at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, explains that each fatality in surgery should be carefully examined in order to learn why the fatality occurred and to prevent similar fatalities in the future.

Robert Sachs to Speak at AAJ’s Upcoming Nursing Home Litigation Fundamentals Seminar

Published on Sep 26, 2016 at 7:37 pm in In The News.

Our team is pleased to announce that Attorney Robert Sachs will be a faculty speaker at the Association for Justice’s Nursing Home Litigation Fundamentals Seminar, which will take place on October 28 and 29 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center & Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This will be the second presentation of the seminar that took place in Philadelphia last spring.

The event is designed for both experienced and new nursing home lawyers and will cover a wide range of issues related to nursing home litigation, including the process from a case evaluation to resolution. Speakers for the event will include former chairs of AAJ’s Nursing Home Litigation Group. While presenters will undoubtedly share information regarding new tactics that can be used during litigation, the presentation will focus on the fundamentals which remain crucial in these types of cases.

Speaking about the upcoming event, Sachs states, “I am pleased to be on the faculty along with some of the top nursing home lawyers in the country. I have been asked to address medication errors.” He adds, “Sadly, I have handled too many cases like this. These cases run the gamut and include everything from criminal actions, to ‘mercy’ killings, to dosage calculation errors, to chemical restraint cases. This is a very active area for nursing home litigation.

PA Collects Medical Error Information, Doesn’t Share With Public

Published on Sep 19, 2016 at 7:42 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Most consumers believe they should have the right to know of potential hazards when making important decisions about a service – including services as important as their medical care. Unfortunately for patients in Pennsylvania, not all information about the quality of care at state medical facilities is readily available or accessible. This is because the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, the agency which keeps stats on medical errors and related issues throughout the state, doesn’t allow patients to know the full details behind medical errors, including those resulting in injury or death.

The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act, which became law in 2002, requires certain information regarding medical errors be kept confidential. Why? Officials state that by maintaining confidentiality and the Patient Safety Authority’s non-punitive stance, more medical facilities are willing to self-report information about “near-misses” and errors. The focus, officials claim, is to promote safety improvement rather than fear.

Identifying Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Warning Signs

Published on Aug 29, 2016 at 8:01 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

As elders become physically and mentally incapable of caring for themselves, many people put their elderly loved ones into a nursing home. Nursing homes are designed to provide medical care and various forms of therapy so that the occupants of that nursing home are as healthy as possible despite ages and conditions. Majority of occupants in nursing homes do not need hospital care, but need to be watched over and tended to several times a day. Oftentimes, unfortunately, many nursing homes fail to provide the appropriate services,committing acts of abuse and neglect, which may cause detrimental outcomes for elderly patients.

The Definition of Abuse:

  • The Federal nursing home regulations define abuse as a deliberate infliction, unnecessary confinement, intimidation, deprivation of care and service, or punishments that cause physical harm, pain, and mental anguish.

The Definition of Neglect:

  • The Federal nursing home regulations define neglect as a failure to provide a resident with the necessary care and service that ensure the resident freedom from harm, pain, and emotional distress.

Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S., Study Says

Published on Jul 27, 2016 at 8:02 pm in Personal Injury.

A recent study published in The BMJ medical journal is shedding light on the serious impact of medical errors in hospitals and other health care settings. According to the study – which was conducted by patient safety researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and published in May – medical errors may now be the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Researchers noted the following about the study:

  • Medical errors encompassed a broad category ranging from negligent doctors to issues involving communication and mistakes during patient transfers.
  • Medical mistakes cause roughly 251,000 deaths each year – more than strokes, diabetes, respiratory disease, and accidents.
  • The numbers equate to an average of 700 deaths every day – and roughly 9.5% of all deaths in the U.S. annually.

The study drew from an analysis of four larger studies that found high rates of error-related fatalities throughout the health care industry. Aside from variance in data and individual circumstances, it ultimately shows that many people are dying from care they are receiving rather than the underlying medical issue for which they are seeking care.

Decrease in Medical Malpractice Verdicts May Not Be a Good Sign

Published on Jul 7, 2016 at 8:04 pm in Medical Malpractice.

According to an article published by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, as of last year, medical malpractice jury verdicts dropped significantly. While many individuals in the medical community believe this may come as a relief from increasing insurance premiums, many attorneys believe this is an indication that injured patients are not being provided with opportunities for redress.

Reports state that in the state of Pennsylvania, juries issued verdicts in 449 malpractice cases. Of those medical malpractice cases, 78.4% of those verdicts were decided in favor of the defendant. In 2015, 78.2% of 101 verdicts favored medical professionals and hospitals.

Lawrence Kelly, the president of the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, explained that the insurers and the medical community has worked diligently to build a jury that is bias when handling these types of medical malpractice cases. Some believe that legislators and jurors are able to convince juries to do so by creating scenarios that allow doctors to abandon entire towns over liability concerns.

Community Involvement Spotlight: Rob Sachs & the SeniorLAW Center

Published on Jun 3, 2016 at 8:05 pm in In The News.

At Shrager & Sachs, we care about our community and take pride in getting involved with local organizations. As part of his commitment to the people he serves, Attorney Robert Sachs is involved with the SeniorLAW Center, where he serves as a board member.

Mr. Sachs views his service as a board member of SeniorLaw Center as an adjunct to his nursing home negligence practice. “Over 20 years ago, just after I began working as David Shrager’s partner in 1994, Mr. Shrager encouraged myself and the rest of the firm to become involved in cases on behalf of Pennsylvania’s senior citizens,” said Mr. Sachs. “As a group, Mr. Shrager felt that older Pennsylvanians were horribly underserved regarding legal services. Especially in the context of personal injury litigation, where lawyers traditionally undertake representation on a contingent fee basis, the available damages for one who was no longer working and had a relatively short statistical life expectancy has kept many lawyers from representing older clients.”

One-Year Anniversary of Amtrak 188 Derailment

Published on May 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm in Personal Injury.

Thursday, May 12 marked the one-year anniversary of the Amtrak 188 derailment that took place in Frankfort. Sadly, on that day, eight people suffered fatal injuries while over 200 others suffered serious harms. The National Transportation Safety Board reported that the Amtrak train reached speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour before derailing on a curve near Frankford Junction.

Still, a mystery remains. Even now, researchers cannot identify the exact cause of the accident or any circumstances leading up to the tragic event. The engineer of Amtrak 188 states that his memory of that evening remains foggy. As of now, no criminal charges have been filed. However, cameras have been installed throughout the cabs of locomotives so that the performance of engineers can be monitored.

Rob Sachs to Serve as Course Planner & Speaker at PA Nursing Home Litigation Seminar

Published on Apr 29, 2016 at 8:11 pm in In The News.

Managing Partner Rob Sachs is serving as the course planner and as speaker at the Pennsylvania Association for Justice Nursing Home Litigation Seminar scheduled to take place on Monday May 2, 2016. The panel will include other lawyers from around the country who are experts in a variety of nursing home subjects, including nursing home abuse and neglect.

During the seminar, Attorney Sachs will be discussing case selection and intake. Other subjects will include how to take the most effective corporate designee deposition, corporate negligence in Pennsylvania, subrogation and reimbursement in light of McCutchen v. U.S. Airways, and other timely topics which anybody handling a nursing home case should know.

Robert Sachs Included in 2016 Best Lawyers List

Published on Apr 1, 2016 at 8:12 pm in In The News.

We are pleased to announce that Robert Sachs has been included in the 2016 Super Lawyers List for his outstanding contributions to the legal profession. This accomplishment is a truly a testament to his experience, professionalism, and unparalleled client advocacy.

As managing partner of Shrager & Sachs, Robert’s practice focuses on plaintiff’s complex personal injury claims, including those involving mass torts, product liability, truck accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse. A seasoned attorney with significant experience and a solid history of success in the courtroom, Robert is also a frequent lecturer and blogger on personal injury topics. He is also active member of the Board of Directors for SeniorLaw Center in Philadelphia and the Public Justice Foundation.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most highly respected peer review guide to the legal profession in the world. For more than 30 years, Best Lawyers has earned a reputation as the most unbiased and reliable source of legal referrals. Individuals seeking legal services can trust that when they search the Best Lawyers online database, they will find only the most outstanding attorneys in every location and practice area.

To view the 2016 Best Lawyers list online, please visit www.bestlawyers.com.

Shrager & Sachs is passionate about the pursuit of justice. If you’ve been hurt and are looking for outstanding legal representation, please contact us today to talk about your rights as an accident victim.Free consultations with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer are available when you call (888) 899-0652.

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