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5 Tips for Finding a Good Medical Malpractice Lawyer

5 Tips for Finding a Good Medical Malpractice Lawyer

200,000. That’s the estimated number of patients who die each year in the U.S. alone due to medical malpractice. Unfortunately, as it is a common situation in the country, you should have an experienced medical malpractice lawyer by your side just in case a doctor does not do their work correctly.     Here are 5 tips for finding a good medical malpractice lawyer that would be of great assistance to you if you are treated in a negligent or careless way.   Get referrals.     Find out if you personally know someone who can point you in the right direction. Get as many referrals as possible.  This way, you have wide room to navigate when you will start to narrow down your options.   Narrow down your options to about three or four names.     To effectively do this, there are some general things that you can look into before you set an appointment with them. Track record, of course, is the most important. Find out if the law firm has extensive experience in handling medical malpractice cases or if the lawyer is a member of associations that deal with personal injuries. If you are up to it, you can even check the state bar association website to see the lawyer’s standing.  Online reviews are helpful as well.   Once you have three or four names, you can schedule a face-to-face meeting.     Ask about the duration of the case and the cost of their legal services. You should be extra keen about the lawyer’s capacity to be upfront with their fees as well as...
New Jersey Medical Clinic Shut Down Due to High Infection Rates is Open Again

New Jersey Medical Clinic Shut Down Due to High Infection Rates is Open Again

The Osteo Relief Institute, a medical clinic specializing in knee pain in Wall Township, was shut down by state health officials on March 7 but was back in operation two weeks later. Thirty-eight patients were infected by injections, reports NJ.com. This instance is just a small part of hundreds of thousands of infections patients suffer when they obtain medical care across the country. Monmouth County Health Department officials found that employees weren’t properly washing their hands and allowed full needles to sit “well before” they were used on patients. After a re-inspection, the clinic re-opened. The state confirmed 38 reported cases of infections due to injections but an investigation continues. The problem of infections caused by health care providers is well known and widespread. Results of the HAI (Hospital Acquired Infections) Prevalence Survey were published in 2014, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It reports that an estimated 722,000 infections occurred in U.S. acute care hospitals and about 75,000 patients with HAI’s died during their hospitalizations in 2011. As the Osteo Relief case shows, the problem isn’t limited to hospitals. The CDC also states that in the past ten years more than thirty outbreaks of hepatitis B and C in non-hospital healthcare settings occurred in outpatient clinics, dialysis centers and long-term care facilities. Often infections can spread between medical facilities. Patients infected in hospitals may be transferred to rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes where infections spread to other patients and residents. Infections in skilled nursing facilities can make their way to hospitals if an infected resident is transferred to a hospital. While many infections can be dealt with...
More exhausted residents = more dead patients?

More exhausted residents = more dead patients?

Think you work long hours? Medical residents, those who have graduated medical school and are working in hospitals to get hands-on experience, can currently work up to 16 hours a shift. The private group overseeing physician training in the country is proposing that it be increased to 28 hours, reports the Los Angeles Times. That may mean exhausted residents treating patients in New Jersey hospitals in the future. Have you ever been awake for more than 24 hours? If so, how well did you function? Do you think you would be able to make life-and-death decisions after being awake that long or perform a medical procedure without making mistakes? The 16-hour limit was a reduction in 2011 from 24 hours, after evidence showed exhausted residents were endangering both their patients and themselves. Studies show the longer residents work, the more likely they are to make potentially deadly errors when caring for patients. Nearly 20% of residents at the University of California Los Angeles stated in a 2007 survey that they had fallen asleep while driving, because of work-related fatigue. Doctors who want the increase claim that current shift limits may endanger patients by forcing residents to leave at critical times and that the grueling hours are preparation for the future, when they will be unsupervised. This training is compared to getting ready for a marathon. “With enough experience comes resilience and the ability to perform under expected, sometimes challenging conditions,” Thomas Nasca, chief executive of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, stated when announcing the proposed change. The proposal is rightly coming under criticism from both physicians and...
Going to a Hospital Could be a Crapshoot. Should it?

Going to a Hospital Could be a Crapshoot. Should it?

You may have great faith in your local New Jersey hospital. Perhaps you, a family member or friend was treated there and did well. But if you need treatment for something new, is that hospital the right place for you? The federal government and health insurance companies have statistics on the nation’s hospitals and how well they treat different conditions, but you can’t have access to them. Your choice of hospital is a leap of faith. Should you have more information to make a better, more informed decision as to where you should be treated and by whom? For the first time, a comprehensive study comparing how hospitals treat a variety of medical conditions was released in December, reports the New York Times. Researchers found those treated at the country’s worst hospitals were three times more likely to die and 13 times more likely to have medical complications than if they were treated in one of the best hospitals. The study found there is wide variation in outcomes from hospital to hospital and from region to region. Researchers looked at 22 million hospital admissions and information from the federal Medicare program and private insurance companies. They analyzed the data and used two dozen measures of medical outcomes. They adjusted the results for how ill the patients were, their age and income. Wide differences were found among hospitals, including that many of the better hospitals were not uniformly good. For instance, one may do very well with heart patients but have many poor outcomes for orthopedics. Like businesses, government agencies or law firms, not all hospitals are the same. Some...
Malpractice Concerns Lead to Professional License Suspensions

Malpractice Concerns Lead to Professional License Suspensions

A medical malpractice case may not be the only legal issue faced by a physician, nurse or other healthcare professionals in the state of New Jersey. A physician, for example, needs to be licensed by the state in order to legally practice medicine. After the initial license is issued, physicians must re-register to continue legally practicing. During this process, physicians must show they exercise acceptable ethical and medical practice standards. A complaint or medical malpractice case may show those standards have been violated, jeopardizing that medical license. Medical boards decide if a physician’s professional conduct or medical practice ability justifies modification, suspension or revocation of a license to practice medicine. State board members review patient complaints, malpractice data, information from health care institutions and reports from other government agencies. If a board gets a complaint that a physician has potentially violated the law, the board can investigate, hold hearings and impose discipline which can include fines, public reprimands, suspension or revocation of a license. Restrictions can be placed on a physician’s license while he or she receives additional training or supervision to correct a problem. Examples of license suspensions include these cases in New Jersey: Two North Jersey physicians supposedly practicing family medicine had their medical licenses suspended in July. State authorities accuse them of essentially acting as a “pill mill,” prescribing painkillers to patients when there was no legitimate medical purpose. Criminal charges are pending against one of them, Dyung Kang, who lives and practices in Little Falls, according to northjersey.com. The other doctor, Michael W. Rutigliano, who lives and practices in Paramus, has been under investigation for...
Outpatient Medication Errors Can Lead to Medical Malpractice Claims

Outpatient Medication Errors Can Lead to Medical Malpractice Claims

Your idea of a medical malpractice case may be that of an operation gone terribly wrong or a defective medical device doing more harm than good to a patient. Medical malpractice also covers medical negligence in doctors’ offices and outpatient clinics, frequently because of medication errors. There are many possible issues that can lead to an outpatient medication error, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): A patient may meet with a doctor for a very limited time, and appointments may be weeks or months apart. Some people have a hard time managing medications on their own, especially if they take several. A patient who has more than one doctor or is being discharged from the hospital may not have their care properly coordinated. Each doctor involved may prescribe one or more medications, which may lead to a dangerous reaction with medications prescribed by another doctor. Authors of one study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine followed 86 patients who had been hospitalized at a large academic medical center who were later seen by their primary care physicians within two months after discharge. Researchers found 49% of the patients experienced at least one medical error after leaving the hospital. Less than half of the primary care physicians were provided information about the discharge medications and plans for their patients. Medication errors are “very common in ambulatory care” according to HHS: One study found that more than 4.5 million ambulatory care visits happen every year due to adverse drug events. Prescribing errors are “startlingly common in ambulatory practice.” The chance of a medication error...
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