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More NTM Infection Cases Confirmed at Hershey Medical Center

Published on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm in Medical Malpractice.

You may recall from our previous blog that an outbreak of nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) a few weeks ago at WellSpan York Hospital in Pennsylvania resulted in the deaths of four patients. Now, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has announced that more cases have been confirmed at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Approximately 2,300 patients who received open-heart surgery at this hospital have been alerted of the possibility that they may have been exposed to the bacteria.

In light of this information, the Health Department is urging healthcare facilities to follow new guidelines related to the use and care of the heater-cooler devices believed to be the culprit behind the recent onslaught of patient infections. So far, all of the heater-cooler devices at both hospitals have been replaced.

The heater-cooler devices, used to monitor the body temperature of patients undergoing open-heart surgery, has been linked to the spread of the harmful bacteria. Because the device blows air onto the patient, any contaminants on or inside of the device due to contaminated water or improper cleaning methods could make contact with an open wound. While NTM bacteria is usually not harmful, it can be very dangerous to an individual whose health is already compromised.

Ben Carson Sued for Medical Malpractice 8 Times

Published on Nov 9, 2015 at 8:22 pm in Personal Injury.

During his three-year long career as a neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, a man now running for the republican nomination for the presidential election, has been sued eight times for medical malpractice in Maryland.

In one instance, a patient who was suffering from multiple sclerosis, sustained pain on the left side of her face, and suffered vision problems was referred to Carson for injections that would reduce nerve pain and alleviate the patient’s symptoms. Sadly, the symptoms and suffering grew worse.

To help the patient, Carson suggested that the patient undergo an invasive operation referred to as microvascular decompression. During this procedure, a part of the patient’s cranium was removed to separate a nerve from other parts.

In the lawsuit, investigator found that Carson did not review the patient’s MRI which would have informed him of the patient’s lesions on the brainstem due to multiple sclerosis, making the invasive procedure useless. Carson failure to review the MRI caused him to breach standardized medical care.

Four Patients at Pennsylvania Hospital Dead After Contracting Bacterial Infection

Published on Oct 25, 2015 at 8:23 pm in Medical Malpractice.

A suspected outbreak of nontuberculous mycobacterium, also known at NTM, may be linked to the deaths of four patients at WellSpan York Hospital in Pennsylvania. Hospital staff estimate that roughly 1,300 open-heart surgery patients may have been exposed the bacteria, eight of whom have so far contracted infection. Since all four of the patients had underlying medical conditions, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is still not officially attributing their deaths to the infection, although the hospital has admitted that it was a contributing factor. This is the second hospital in Pennsylvania in recent months to be associated with a deadly infection.

NTM naturally occurs in water and soil, and sometimes in tap water. It usually does not make people ill, but people with weakened immune systems, like those recovering from surgery, may be at risk. Inhaling the bacteria can result in a serious pulmonary illness that could take up to a year to cure with antibiotics.

The Beginning of a New Formation of Nursing Home Regulations

Published on Aug 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

After the Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against Golden Gate National Senior Care due to alleged inadequate care, poorly trained staff members, and not enough staff members in 14 different nursing home facilities, the Auditor General and the Department of Health (DOH) formed a task force to review the state regulations of these facilities over a six-month period.

Currently, the DOH is permitted to place provisional statuses on facilities not performing up to par. During this period, the nursing home is able to operate but must be monitored by the DOH while the facility makes improvements to ensure the health and safety of residents. In addition, the DOH is able to ban admissions, initiate civil penalties, and revoke the nursing home’s license. Due to the increase in nursing home safety concerns over the last decade, the task force has been given the responsibility to reform regulations so that nursing homes are forced to abide by stricter standards.

Updates on the Pocono Interstate Crash

Published on Jun 5, 2015 at 8:25 pm in Truck Accidents.

As an update on the truck/bus collision Wednesday in Pennsylvania, we are learning more about the truck company whose truck crossed the median and struck the bus. Subsequent reports about the accident indicated that the driver of the tractor trailer which crossed the median was Franklin Wyatt of Macomb, Oklahoma. He was driving for Greatwide Dedicated Transport, which is an operating division of Cardinal Logistics Holdings, LLC from North Carolina. We checked one of our resources for handling commercial truck cases and found that “Greatwide Dedicated Transport” corporate structure is becoming increasingly common in the interstate trucking industry.

Settlement Finalized: $900, 000 Awarded to Woman Who Suffered Permanent Injury to Spinal Accessory Nerve

Published on Apr 6, 2015 at 8:26 pm in In The News.

Shrager & Sachs was able to settle a case for an emergency room nurse who developed complex regional pain syndrome after incurring a spinal accessory nerve injury during a lymph node biopsy while under receiving diagnostic care at a hospital in central Pennsylvania.

The spinal accessory nerve controls functions related to the muscles in the shoulders and the head, such as shrugging the shoulders or tilting the head back. It can also affect motions of the arms, including extension and other larger arm movements originating in the shoulders.

Immediately after the biopsy, the patient began to experience injury symptoms promptly. The doctor’s defense was that there was no way that the procedure could have injured her in such a manner as she had claimed, as the nerve was too “deep” in the lymph node to be accessible.

Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcers Still A Significant Problem, PA Officials Report

Published on Mar 12, 2015 at 8:28 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Earlier today, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority released an advisory that hospital-acquired pressure ulcers remain a top concern for hospitals across the state. According to the advisory:

  • PA hospitals reported over 19,000 pressure ulcer events (recognized safety concerns) in 2013.
  • PA healthcare facilities reported 33,545 events involving impaired skin integrity in 2013 – a majority of which were hospital reported pressure ulcers.
  • Nearly 30% of pressure ulcers reported from 2007-2013
  • Reports of pressure ulcers from 2007 – 2013 reveal alarming rates and show need for improved protocol.

Pressure ulcers – also known as bedsores – are a form of injuries to the skin and underlying tissue that occur when there is prolonged pressure applied to the skin. They often affect individuals who are unable to move or regularly change positions when lying down. In hospital settings, health care providers typically set programs to avoid the development of pressure ulcers in bedridden patients. Pressure sores can range in severity from Stage I (redness, slightly dark pigmented skin) to Stage IV and severe deep tissue injuries.

Attorney Rob Sachs to Speak at Upcoming Legal Education Conference

Published on Mar 6, 2015 at 8:27 pm in In The News.

Attorney Rob Sachs, Jr. – managing partner of Shrager & Sachs – will be speaking at an upcoming legal education conference next Monday, March 23. The conference – Auto Litigation 3.0 – is being hosted by 360 Advocacy and will be held at the Encore in Las Vegas. Speakers include some of the nation’s top and most accomplished injury lawyers who will be sharing their insight on handling auto accident cases.

Mr. Sachs’s presentation – Maximizing Wrongful Death Damages ­– is designed to help lawyers who handle cases involving fatal accidents. As is often the case, fatal auto collisions can result in tremendous emotional and financial damages for victims’ families. Mr. Sachs will be focusing on help lawyers improve case preparation, discovery, settlement negotiation, and trial advocacy skills so they can maximize compensation for families.

Partner Rob Sachs Secures Settlement for Victim of Surgical Injury

Published on Dec 23, 2014 at 8:29 pm in In The News.

Shrager & Sachs is pleased to announce that Managing Partner Rob Sachs, Jr. has recently settled a central Pennsylvania medical malpractice case. The case was settled for just under $1 million.

The case involved a surgical injury to our client’s “spinal accessory” nerve during a lymph node biopsy procedure. In addition to suffering from a loss of function of the muscles typically controlled by the spinal accessory nerve, our client also developed a highly disabling “complex regional pain syndrome.”

Coincidentally, our client was a former emergency room nurse at the very hospital where the malpractice occurred. As a result of her injury, she will never work again a

Tracy Morgan injured another is killed by Walmart truck

Published on Jun 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm in Truck Accidents.

We all heard sad news today that comedian Tracy Morgan was seriously injured while travelling back to New York from a comedy performance last night in Delaware. Preliminary investigation by the state police indicates that Morgan’s limo bus was hit from behind by a Walmart tractor-trailer that “didn’t see” slow moving traffic until it was too late. In addition to Morgan’s critical injuries, another person was killed. The tractor-trailer driver has been charged with death by auto and other charges.

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