Archive for the ‘Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer’ tag

Study Finds I-PASS System Reduces Medical Errors

April 9th, 2015 at 7:30 am

reduce medical errors, Westport personal injury lawyerA study conducted by researchers from multiple hospitals and led by Boston Children’s Hospital revealed that injuries caused by medical errors could be reduced as much as 30 percent if there were better communications between clinicians during patient hand-offs.

Medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in this country. Almost 80 percent of those errors – which are caused by issues such as diagnostic delays, medication overdoses, and preventable surgical complications – are found to have originated in miscommunications between medical personnel, especially during the times of patient hand-offs.

Details and results of the study were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Boston Children’s Hospital was the lead site in the study. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, also located in Boston, was in charge of coordinating all the data. The other hospitals involved included:

  • Benioff Children’s Hospital, San Francisco, in conjunction with University of California San Francisco;
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, in conjunction with University of Cincinnati;
  • Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Portland, OR in conjunction with Oregon Health Sciences University;
  • The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, in conjunction with University of Toronto;
  • Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Palo Alto, CA in conjunction with Stanford University;
  • Primary Children’s Hospital, Salt Lake City, in conjunction with University of Utah;
  • St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO, in conjunction with Washington University St. Louis;
  • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, in conjunction with Drexel University; and
  • Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

The study focused on what benefits using the I-PASS system, which utilizes bundled communication and training tools for hand-off of patient care between providers, would have in reducing medical errors. The acronym stands for Illness severity, Patient summary, Action list, Situational awareness and contingency planning, and Synthesis by receiver. The I-PASS system utilizes:

  • Standardized communication and hand-off training for all medical facilities;
  • Sharing patient information using computerized programs which utilized the I-PASS structure; and
  • Attending physicians overseeing and observing hand-offs of their patients.

The study lasted for 18 months. In the first six months, medical staff was monitored and assessed. For the second six months, medical staff was trained on the I-PASS system and required to use the system. The last six months also involved monitoring and assessing staff.

By using the I-PASS system, the overall rate of medical errors declined from 23 percent. For every 100 admissions, the number of medical errors went from 24.5 to 18.8. Injuries caused by medical errors fell by 30 percent. For every 100 admission, the number of patients injured went from 4.7 to 3.3.

If you have been injured as a result of a medical error, contact an experienced Westport, CT medical malpractice attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for your pain and loss. Call 203-226-6168 for a free consultation with Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law.

A Patient’s Nightmare: When Surgical Tools are Left behind

December 8th, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Connecticut attorney, Connecticut malpractice lawyer, Connecticut medial malpractice, Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer, hospital negligence, surgical tools left behindA common nightmare for patients undergoing surgery is having surgical tools left behind inside the body. While a patient is on the operating table, sponges and towels may fall into open wounds. Additionally, broken pieces of instruments, stapler parts, and other sharp objects may also be left inside patients’ bodies.

In 2013, The Joint Commission, a healthcare safety watchdog group, released a report which discovered more than 770 incidents of foreign objects being left in patients both during and after surgery throughout a seven year period. In fact, the cases resulted in 16 deaths. Moreover, 95 percent of the cases required patients to remain in the hospital for a longer period of time. The incidents most commonly occurred in operating rooms, labor and delivery rooms, ambulatory surgery centers or “labs where invasive procedures such as catheters or colonoscopies take place.” Lack of policy and procedure, as well as failure to comply and communicate, were cited as common causes.

One of the goriest stories involving surgical tools left behind include a string of incidents which occurred at the University of Wisconsin. For five years in a row doctors left surgical tools in five patients. Two of these incidents involved a 13-inch retractors—a surprisingly long object to overlook.

Connecticut hospitals, however, do not have a much better track record. According to the Hartford Courant, state hospitals reported 65 cases of surgeons having left objects in patients between 2004 to 2008. One Hartford Hospital patient went through the same devastating experienced as the patient at the University of Wisconsin—a 13 by 2-inch retractor was left inside her body. It was not until two weeks after the initial operation that the mistake was discovered: the patient returned to the hospital complaining of sharp abdominal and neck pain, and then had to undergo a subsequent operation.

If you or someone you know underwent a surgery and experienced subsequent complications, perhaps caused by having surgical tools left behind, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. You do not go through it alone. An experienced Connecticut medical malpractice attorney can assist with your case and look out for your best interests. Call 203-226-6168 today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Common Surgical Errors Result in Severe Medical Trauma

November 28th, 2014 at 7:00 am

severe medical trauma, abdominal infection, Connecticut medical malpractice, Connecticut medical malpractice attorney, Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer, hernia surgery, hospital safety, medical malpractice claim, punctured colon, severe patient trauma, surgical errorRoutine Surgery Results in Severe Medical Trauma

Earlier this year, a Connecticut woman was awarded $12 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit after her colon was punctured during a routine hernia surgery. The error led to a massive abdominal infection. Additionally, the woman went into septic shock and suffered a heart attack and organ failure. The woman then fell into a month-long coma, had to have a large part of her large intestine removed, and also sustained permanent injuries.

Common Surgical Errors

According to CNN News, medical errors, such as the one noted above, kill more than 200,000 people every year in the United States. Medical professionals estimate that these serious types of medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S.

One of the most common types of medical errors is the accidental puncturing of an organ. In fact, a report from the National Institute of Health (NIH) states that laparoscopic surgery carries severe risk of puncturing an organ and is by far the most common type of operation for women addressing gynecological issues. WebMD notes that more than 4,000 preventable mistakes—such as the puncturing of an organ, operating on the wrong body part, or performing an incorrect procedure—occur annually and result in an impressive $1.3 billion in medical malpractice payouts every year.

Contact a Connecticut Medical Malpractice Attorney

Having surgery can be frightening—especially when considering the risks and the potential for human error. If you recently underwent surgery and experienced a resulting injury, severe medical trauma, or were not made sufficiently aware of the surgical risks, you may be eligible for compensation. The most important step to determine if this is the case is to seek the counsel of a legal professional. You do not have to go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Westport medical malpractice attorney today to discuss your case. Call 203-226-6168.

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