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Ohio Personal Injury Law Blog

Imaging tests invaluable, but only if interpreted corrrectly

The high-tech imaging tests so readily available for doctors to rely upon these days can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, medical facilities in Ohio and nationally are now stocked with highly sophisticated equipment that doctors can use in given instances when patients’ symptoms point a certain way. CT scans, MRIs, X-rays and other diagnostic assists can be invaluable tools enabling timely and accurate diagnoses of illnesses and disease across a wide spectrum.

On the other, hand, though, it becomes instantly problematic when the results shown by those impressive imaging tools are interpreted incorrectly.

Anesthesiology: Subpar care during surgery can yield dire results

It is certainly understandable why a lay person might be less than conversant regarding the details of various medical specialties. Notwithstanding what they mean, it is often hard enough just to properly pronounce or spell them.

Do you know offhand, for example, how an endocrinologist routinely spends most of his or her day? How about a gastroenterologist, hematologist or dermatopathologist?

And what about an anesthesiologist?

Steps a patient can take to reduce medication errors

There is no question that when used correctly, medications do a lot to keep the health of those who are injured or sick from deteriorating. Unfortunately, when a medication error occurs the outcome can be catastrophic.

Medication errors are generally due to a breakdown in communication. Depending on the situation this breakdown may occur between health care providers or between a health care provider and a patient. Among other things these issues with communication could result in the wrong medication being prescribed or being given in the wrong dosage. To try to avoid this situation there are certain steps that a patient can take.

Does surgical error represent life sentence for prison inmate?

We put ourselves in the hands of medical professionals when we are ill with the understandable expectation that they have the necessary skills to make us better. At the very least, we expect they have the wisdom to refer us on to someone with greater experience if they can't deal with a problem themselves.

To be sure, there are instances when it can be difficult to make a definitive diagnosis and decide what the most fruitful steps may be for achieving the optimal outcome. But in cases where the removal of a diseased organ is called for, such issues aren't that much of a concern. 

Could these tips reduce the odds of a misdiagnosis?

In today's society there are a lot of "do-it-yourselfers" out there. While these individuals may be able to perform home repairs or fix a car, it is fair to say that when it comes to medical issues almost everyone has to seek assistance from a health care provider. While it may be necessary to visit a doctor to address a medical concern, this does not mean that the patient must completely remove him or herself from the process. In fact, some believe that there are things a patient can do to help ensure that he or she is getting the correct diagnosis.

Tech assists in medicine: vital, of course, but problematic, too

We have noted in a number of past blog entries myriad issues that have been mainstay concerns in the medical industry in recent years.

A report authored by the ECRI Institute reiterates many of those concerns and strongly underscores the need for medical administrators and professional staff members to duly heed them and take remedial measures that will better ensure patient safety in hospitals across the country.

The concern especially relates to technology. As noted in a media report summarizing ECRI’s findings on 2015 hospital hazards, there are “a variety of technology hazards that put patients at risk” in medical facilities nationally.

Topic focus: medical malpractice liability on cruise ships

A longstanding principle that has been operative on the high seas and applicable to cruise ships as well as to other maritime traffic stresses that company owners are effectively shielded from the malpractice acts of on-board medical professionals.

The reasons for such shielding are at once understandable, at least by reference to a bygone era marked by steamships, rudimentary medical care and lapsed communications.

Readers might reasonably think back to on-water conditions prevalent in the 19th century, when ship doctors were fully unsupervised and completely independent of corporate supervision and authority for successive months or years. As noted in a media examination of maritime-based medical malpractice liability, such an environment was subsumed within “a wholly different world” than what presently exists.

Nursing home abuse focus: How prevalent is the problem?

In our immediately preceding blog post, we chronicled the high number of nursing home abuse claims plaguing a national chain provider. Those resulted recently in what was reportedly the largest abuse and fraud settlement ever reached between a provider and the federal government.

The $38 million “failure of care” pact reached last month between government officials and Milwaukee-based Extendicare Healthcare Services (please see our November 20 post) seems to naturally beg this question: How common is nursing home neglect and abuse throughout the country, including in Ohio? Was the fact pattern sketched out by federal investigators against Extendicare an anomaly confined only to that company or, rather, a disturbingly familiar reality throughout the nursing home care industry nationally?

Ohio lawsuit triggers national nursing home abuse probe, settlement

Litigation alleging nursing home abuse and fraud that started in Ohio eventually mushroomed into a federal probe that closely examined a national chain’s conduct in multiple states.

That didn’t turn out well for Wisconsin-based Extendicare Healthcare Services, a major player in the nursing home industry across the country.

In fact, it cost the seventh-largest nursing home chain in the United States a whopping $38 million in settlement fees. That agreement reached last month is reportedly the largest so-called “failure of care” settlement that the federal government has ever reached with a nursing chain.

Incidental findings: What they are, why they're worrisome

Radiologists in Ohio and nationally often confirm through imaging tests what doctors initially suspect regarding a patient’s illness or disease.

According to various studies, they also confirm medical problems initially undiagnosed and suspected by a primary care doctor ordering up diagnostic tests in many instances. In fact, so-called “incidental findings” are reportedly discovered in as many as one-third of all imaging scans.

An immediate question obvious pops up in regard to such a statistic, namely this: What is subsequently done about such unintentional discoveries? Are they routinely acted upon to alleviate medical harm and promote patient safety, or are they often passed over as practitioners continue their focus on primary ailments?