Around the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk and nearly seven years since his unexpected passing, information regarding the circumstances of his death and the legal actions that followed have surfaced. The New York Times received records from an anonymous source that detailed the complications that Armstrong faced and the legal settlement that was made after his death between the hospital and his family. This new information brings about questions regarding how harmful secrecy can be when medical malpractice is involved in a patient’s death.
When you’re dealing with a medical problem and don’t know how to take care of it, you expect your doctor to examine you, assess your symptoms, provide a diagnosis, and give you treatment options. Unfortunately, not all doctors practice medicine according to the required standard of care. When a negligent physician delays your diagnosis and you sustain permanent injuries, you can hold them accountable and seek compensation in order to live as high a quality of life as possible.
Learning your condition could have been diagnosed sooner to prevent injuries can be devastating, especially when the harm is irreversible. When negligence is attached to the delayed diagnosis, medical malpractice can be proven. In order to start building a strong claim against the physician who wronged you, you’ll want to understand what a delayed diagnosis is, what the possible consequences are, and how a lawyer can help you.
Knowing you’ll be going into surgery can be overwhelming. It’s likely you have many thoughts running through your head about how the procedure will go and what recovery will be like. If you’re worried about the risks, possible outcomes, or medical errors, there are things you can do to maximize your chances of having a successful surgical outcome. Overall, it’s important to remember that you are the one undergoing surgery, which means you should feel as prepared as possible before the operation.
On December 26, 2017, an unidentified patient was accidentally injected with a paralyzing anesthetic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The hospital is under investigation for not being upfront with the Davison County Medical Examiner about the deadly medication error.
The patient was being treated at Vanderbilt for a subdural hematoma, also known as bleeding in the brain, and was suffering from headaches and vision loss. Even with those symptoms, the patient was awake, alert, and improving.
It can be a frightening and overwhelming experience to learn your baby is ill or has been diagnosed with a medical condition. There are likely to be doctor’s visits, tests, and treatments, and it’s normal to have questions regarding how the illness or condition arose. New babies can suffer from two different types of medical problems: birth injuries and birth defects. While those terms are sometimes used interchangeably, it’s crucial to understand the difference between the two.
Understanding Birth Defects
A birth defect is a disease or medical condition that develops while a child is still growing in the womb. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), birth defects are common. Every four and a half minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. That means that nearly 120,000, or one in 33, babies are affected by this issue every year.
These conditions are structural changes that can affect how any part of the body looks, works, or both. The severity depends greatly on the defect. In some cases, quality of life or lifespan can be impacted. Most birth defects are found within the first year of life or before birth. While some may be easy to see, like a physical deformity, special tests are needed to detect heart defects or hearing loss, for example.
Most birth defects form in the first three months of pregnancy; however, some can occur in the latter six months. In many cases, a birth defect is completely outside you or your doctor’s control.
Over the years, we have discussed many health care related issues on our blog, including those involving medical malpractice. We have also written many posts discussing proposed rules and legislative changes in the healthcare industry that harm patients, their rights, and their safety. Recently, a new proposed rule change that would put an end to public reporting of certain infections acquired in hospitals has been making headlines, and is being criticized for its potential impact on public safety.
The newly proposed rule change is part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plan. Under the proposed legislation, federal regulators would no longer report on hospital infections, including serious infections and other accidents and injuries, including:
The “super bug” MRSA
Surgical site infections
Patient injuries / infections ranging from bedsores to respiratory failure post-surgery
Never events (preventable medical errors that should never happen)
If the proposed rule is approved and finalized, the CMS website won’t disclose data on infections or safety measures. That’s because doing so would require that data to be part of a program the current Presidential administration states hospitals should no longer use to report safety issues.
Birth injuries are never an easy experience, especially when those injuries result from preventable acts of negligence committed by the medical professionals in whom you placed your trust during such an important time. While families are tasked with rebuilding their lives and finding ways to manage life-altering repercussions, it is also important to understand they have legal rights when birth injuries are preventable – rights that can not only provide them with a sense of justice, but also the compensation and resources they need to navigate their futures.
At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia birth injury lawyers are passionate about serving as the advocates and support system families need during difficult times. Backed by decades of combined experience and a reputation for handling challenging medical malpractice cases, we understand the vital role we play in guiding birth injury victims through their personal and legal journeys, and why it becomes so critical for families to assert their rights as a means to seek the justice and compensation to which they are entitled.
Hospitals are an important piece of our health care industry, and they play an important role in treating patients who often require serious or immediate care. While we can’t expect hospitals to successfully treat every patient all of the time, we can certainly expect them to take reasonable measures in protecting patients from preventable harm – it’s their legal duty. Unfortunately, two hospitals in Philadelphia fell short in that regard.
According to recently released data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), two Philadelphia hospitals are being penalized for excessively high rates of infections and injuries among patients treated at those facilities. Albert Einstein Medical Center in North Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Hospital in City Center are among more than 750 health care facilities nationwide being penalized through a program established under the Affordable Care Act (the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program), which was designed to decrease preventable injuries, infections, and blood clots in the American healthcare system. Under that program, facilities like Pennsylvania Hospital and Albert Einstein Medical Center will receive reductions in Medicare payments.
In recent blogs, we have discussed how corporations, lobbyists, and politicians push for legislative changes that restructure our civil justice system in a manner that benefits themselves – even when it comes at the expense of everyday Americans and victims of negligence. Prime examples of these changes relate to tort reform, which have succeeded in state legislatures across the country passing unfair laws that limit the amount of compensation victims are able to recover after being harmed by negligent health care providers.
Today, more states than not impose some type of damages cap on medical malpractice cases. Most of these states limit non-economic damages – which are the types of intangible losses victims and families suffer after preventable injuries, such as mental anguish, loss of quality or enjoyment of life, and their pain and suffering. Some even limit total damages that can be recovered, including economic damages. Should one particular bill making its way through Congress be passed (the “Protecting Access to Care Act”), these caps could be placed on medical malpractice and nursing home injury cases nationwide.
The unfortunate truth is that money is continually flooding into American politics – and that money can be traced back to lobbyists and corporations that have financial interests in limiting how much they pay to the victims they harm, or the victims harmed by their insurance policy holders. The powerful combination of money and rhetoric have succeeded in getting tort reform initiatives and damages caps to pass in many states, but advocacy efforts are beginning to strengthen, raise awareness, and prompt much needed change.
Cancer diagnoses are never welcomed news, but when timely and accurate, they provide the opportunity for patients to seek the treatment they need and better their prognosis. Unfortunately, medical professionals who provide substandard care during diagnostic testing can strip patients of that opportunity, enable the progression of their condition and suffering, and decrease their chances of recovery.
Because medical malpractice is an area of law which places accountability on health care providers in whom we place our trust, and holds them liable for providing substandard care, victims of cancer misdiagnosis may have the right to seek legal action. Due to the challenging legal and medical issues involved, cancer misdiagnosis cases demand the attention of proven and experienced attorneys.
Our medical malpractice lawyers at Shrager & Sachs fight for patients and families that have suffered at the hands of negligent medical professionals across Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and beyond. Our team understands the elements of providing medical negligence, as well as ways to navigate challenges inherent to complex medical information and disputes over quality of care and liability. Because we know these cases are ones of significant emotional turbulence, we treat clients compassionately, and fight aggressively on their behalves.
I highly recommend this firm based on their expertise and outcomes. In addition, Rob Sachs genuinely cared about my emotions re: bringing my case (and all of the ancillary tasks surrounding it) to closure. Rob fully understood what was important to me and my family. Well done; thank you!
19:44 16 Jul 18
This firm represented our family in the wrongful death of my father. They greatly exceeded our expectations. Attorney Rob Sachs and his team went the extra mile. On a scale of 1-10, they are an 11! There may be bigger law firms in the Phila./Pa area, but none better!M. Scanlan
13:38 18 Apr 18
I worked with Rob and his team after I sustained a head injury in a car accident which resulted in years of treatment and loss of work. Rob and his staff were incredibly knowledgeable and successful in fighting for me. I felt as though Rob was personally invested in my case and recovery. After my case was won and "closed", Rob continued to be available as a resource. When the nature of my needs evolved to a different area of law, he referred me to another professional yet still remained involved. I would highly recommend Rob Sachs to anyone seeking legal representation.
22:27 12 Feb 18
I referred a rather complicated medical malpractice-wrongful death case to Rob Sachs of Shrager, Spivey & Sachsand am very thankful that I did. Two other prominent law firms in Philadelphia had reviewed the matter and turned the case down. Rob offered to give us another opinion and, after thoroughly examining all of the reports and medical records, he notified us that he would undertake representation. He very aggressively pursued the claim and eventually obtained a seven figure settlement! Remember, this was a case that two other medical malpractice firms had turned down, and the family of the deceased victim had all but given up until we got the case to Mr. Sachs. Can't say enough good things about him, his work ethic, his knowledge and expertise in this complex field of law and the results he obtained for the family!! I would highly recommend Rob to anyone looking for a great lawyer to handle their case!.
21:53 25 Jan 18
Over the years I have had several opportunities to work with these lawyers and I've always been very impressed. In particular, I have found Rob Sachs to be especially well-versed in all case issues/law, and very easy to work with. I highly recommend this law firm!
23:19 24 Jan 18
Shrager, Spivey & Sachs is one of the best personal injury law firms in Philadelphia. Their team of trial lawyers do an outstanding job helping clients navigate through the legal process and are always willing to go the extra mile.
14:46 24 Jan 18
Rob Sachs and all of the attorneys at Shrager, Spivey & Sachs are not only zealous advocates for their clients and for justice, but they are also compassionate and caring. It can be challenging to find lawyers who are both technically at the top of their game and also caring. This firm checks both the boxes!