pharmacist and physician errors

Primum non Nocere – Pharmacist and Physician Errors

pharmacist physician errorsWhen you go to visit your doctor, you hope to feel better and be healthier when you leave than before you made the trip. And when you go to the pharmacy to get medicine prescribed by the doctor, you have similar expectations. But that’s not always the case.

The phrase “do no harm” comes from the Latin primum non nocere and is believed to be the basis for a portion of the Hippocratic Oath, which includes a promise made by physicians to “abstain from doing harm.” Non-maleficence, which is derived from the maxim, is one of the principal precepts of bioethics that all healthcare students are taught in school and is a fundamental principle throughout the world. Another way to state it is that, “given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good.” It reminds the health care provider that they must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. It is invoked when debating the use of an intervention that carries an obvious risk of harm but a less certain chance of benefit.

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Florida Medical Malpractice Caps Ruled Unconstitutional

Florida Medical Malpractice Caps Ruled Unconstitutional
How do you relate pain and suffering to someone? You can use hand motions like rubbing your forehead and say “Wow, I have a terrible headache!” But that only goes so far, the person you are communicating with has no idea how you feel. Maybe they have never even had a headache and haven’t a clue.

Now imagine having your esophagus perforated during a routine surgical procedure, then having everything you eat or drink leak through to your chest cavity. Then your condition worsens and you are in a coma for 6 weeks and in intensive care for an additional 3 months.

How do you relate that kind of pain and suffering to someone? It’s difficult.

Finally, imagine after all that suffering, you present your case in court. Then because of medical malpractice caps on damages you are denied the compensation you deserve. The judge or jury’s opinion on what you are entitled to becomes irrelevant. That is what happened to the victim who suffered those tragic events.

It’s just not right!

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Critical Court Decision Says Cruise Lines Open to Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

A wise man once said “Assumptions are dangerous things to make.”

We assume a lot. When we take a trip aboard a multi-million dollar cruise ship for example, we assume we are safe from accidents and that we would receive exceptional medical care should we become ill. That is not entirely accurate.

Maritime medical malpractice have languished in limbo for many years, with victims grasping for ways to sue negligent physicians and other healthcare professionals employed on cruise ships. But a decision on Monday, November 10, 2014 by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 11th Circuit in Atlanta says cruise lines should not be immune from lawsuits alleging medical malpractice. See the decision here:

Cruise lines have enjoyed immunity from many types of negligent actions for years, and this decision is truly historic. Because most laws affecting negligence are state statutes, they only pertain to events which occur within the boundaries of the state.

One of the key portions of the decision, written by Justice Stanley Marcus, states, in part:
“…..we now confront state of the art cruise ships that house thousands of people and operate as floating cities, complete with well-stocked modern infirmaries and urgent care centers. In place of truly independent doctors and nurses, we must now acknowledge that medical professionals routinely work for corporate masters. And whereas ships historically went ‘off the grid’ when they set sail, modern technology enables distant ships to communicate instantaneously with the mainland in meaningful ways.”

Negligence, injuries, liability, accidents, or medical malpractice occurring at sea or on foreign soil are unique, and a victim should seek the advice of an expert attorney in the area of cruise ship negligence.

Cruise Ship Negligence and Medical Malpractice are two areas of special focus for the Law Office of Lazarus and Lazarus. Gary and Arleen Lazarus have been guarding the rights of victims of sickness and injuries sustained on cruise ships for over 20 years. Their experience in south Florida and their knowledge of maritime and malpractice law has gained them sterling reputations in the area of cruise ship negligence.

A phone call to 954-356-0006 will put you in touch with attorneys Gary and Arleen, and their caring, experienced staff. They will be happy to listen to your story and recommend the best course of action for your specific situation.

Facts About Medical Malpractice

The headlines are sometimes stunning; multi-million-dollar awards to victims of medical malpractice.
One might question just how prevalent malpractice is, and the answer is very.

The fact is that medical malpractice is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. This is according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

What is medical Malpractice? Medical malpractice occurs when a health-care provider deviates from the recognized “standard of care” while treating a patient. The “standard of care” is what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.

This manner of looking at a case helps determine if the provider was negligent.

Factors to consider when investigating possible malpractice include history, training, and whether proper risk management precautions were properly observed.

An experienced malpractice attorney is the best resource for answers when you or a loved one has possibly suffered medical malpractice.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has over 20 years investigating, litigating, and protecting the rights of victims of medical malpractice in Fort Lauderdale and all over the state of Florida. Calling 954-356-0006 will put you in touch with Gary Lazarus or Arleen Lazarus, and they will be happy to listen to your story and recommend the best course of action for your situation.

Edited by Hulsey Vazzer

Widower Sues Jacksonville Doctors for Negligence Following Wife’s Death

1100587_hospital_hand%20sxchu%20username%20Egilshay.jpgA Jacksonville widower has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against two physicians he claims caused the death of his wife of nearly seven years. Last August, 39-year-old Brooke Boon died from a pulmonary embolism three days after undergoing a four-hour plastic surgery. David Boon alleges his wife’s primary care physician, Dr. Gary Glicksteen, and plastic surgeon, Dr. Daniel Calloway, committed negligence when they allowed the mother of two small children to remain on the birth control drug Yasmin prior to performing the elective surgery.

Boon’s lawsuit alleges the two doctors committed negligence because they both knew contraceptive drugs increase a woman’s chances for developing a blood clot following surgery. He also says both doctors were aware that Brooke was taking the drug. Additionally, Boon pointed to the Physician’s Desk Reference which states patients should not take oral contraceptives for at least four weeks prior to an elective surgery. In addition to the two doctors, Boon’s lawsuit names Glicksteen’s employer, Internal Medical Group, as a defendant.

Medical professionals who provide treatment to patients in Florida must do so with a reasonable level of care. When a medical caregiver such as a primary care physician, nurse, surgeon, hospital, pharmacist, or dentist fails to provide a patient with proper care and an injury results, the victim may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. A failure to diagnose or properly monitor a patient, an incorrect or delayed diagnosis, and surgical, birthing, and prescription errors may give rise to a medical malpractice claim. Other common medical professional errors include the improper administration of anesthesia, medical lab errors, and negligence.

The victim of a negligent, careless, or reckless medical care provider may be eligible to receive compensation for their medical costs, lost wages and benefits, future medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other damages. When a patient is hurt or killed by a health care provider in Florida, the victim and their families have up to two years from the time when they learned a medical professional may have caused the injury or loss to file a claim. Because Florida law allows insurance companies six months to evaluate a medical malpractice claim before a lawsuit may be filed, injured patients should file their claim as quickly as possible.
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Medical Negligence Lawsuit Filed Over Death of Palm Harbor Girl

1033916_medical_instruments_3%20sxchu.jpgIn May, the parents of a 12-year-old Palm Harbor girl who died following a routine tonsillectomy filed a medical negligence lawsuit against Mease Countryside Hospital in Pinellas County Circuit Court. According to the suit, Carly Jane Liptak died after the hospital and several medical professionals made a series of mistakes and provided the child with a dangerous mix of drugs. Liptak’s parents have asked the court to award them damages for mental anguish, medical costs, and funeral expenses.

On August 13, 2010, Liptak had her tonsils removed at the hospital’s outpatient facility. According to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office, she suffered from a pulmonary embolism and cardiac arrest during the surgery. Liptak’s mother, Elisa, stated although the hospital told her the operation would only take about 25 minutes, her daughter was in surgery for more than three hours. Following her surgery, Liptak was transported to All Children’s Hospital where she remained on life support until she died two days later. The Medical Examiner stated Liptak died from natural causes as a result of complications related to her tonsillectomy.

According to the Liptaks’ lawsuit, the surgery team removed both of their daughter’s tonsils despite that she showed signs of distress while the first tonsil was being removed. The couple also accused the hospital of using a questionable type and dosage of local anesthetic combined with epinephrine on their daughter. The suit alleges the combination increased Liptak’s heart rate at the same time that doctors administered two additional drugs. The alleged result was damage to the child’s heart and fluid in her lungs. The couple believes their daughter drowned in her own fluids as a result of the drug combination. The hospital is also accused of using poor resuscitation methods on Liptak. According to Liptak’s parents, their main goal in filing the suit is to ensure that no one else’s child is given the same drugs used on their daughter.

Florida hospitals, doctors, and nurses have a duty to provide patients with a reasonable standard of care. When a patient is injured or killed because a medical professional failed to provide proper care, the victim or the victim’s family may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Florida, those injured by a health care provider have up to two years to file a malpractice claim. Insurance companies also have up to two years to assess such a claim before a lawsuit may be filed. Because of this, it is important for an injured patient to consult with a knowledgeable South Florida medical malpractice attorney immediately following any act of negligence by a medical professional.
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Elderly Americans Are Often Prescribed Too Many Drugs in Florida, Nationwide

1367222_colorful_pills%20sxchu%20website.jpgNot surprisingly, elderly adults are the largest consumers of prescription medication in the U.S. Many aged Americans are reportedly over-medicated and placed at risk by the possible side effects associated with the drugs they regularly consume. In fact, over 40 percent of citizens over the age of 65 take at least five medications on a daily basis and about one-third of them suffer a dangerous adverse side effect at some point.

Recently, new guidelines that point out the most dangerous drugs for the elderly were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The guidelines, which updated the Beers Criteria, were created by a panel comprised of 11 pharmacology and geriatric care experts. The group reviewed over 2,000 research studies related to drugs often prescribed to the elderly. Based on their review, the panel named 53 drugs or classes of drugs that may be inappropriate for use in people over 65. The 53 drugs were then labeled in one of three ways: to be used with caution if no alternative drug exists, to avoid in individuals with certain conditions, and a drug that should not be prescribed to the elderly.

According to the panel, many antihistamines should not be used in the elderly due to a host of possible side effects. Many common anti-inflammatory medications also place older people at an increased risk of intestinal bleeding, especially when combined with certain other drugs. Sedation hypnotics may cause confusion or severe sedation. Additionally, aspirin may not pose a benefit for individuals over age 80 according to the panel. Although the guidelines are recommended for use by physicians who treat the elderly, the panel stated the guidelines cannot replace a doctor’s judgment and should not be used in malpractice litigation.

The Foundation for Health in Aging has also created a drug and supplement diary for elderly patients to share with their physicians and pharmacists. Too often, elderly patients have multiple doctors who do not communicate regarding the drugs they are taking. Without proper knowledge, health care providers may prescribe additional drugs that can potentially create toxic combinations. Elderly patients should also be vigilant regarding possible drug side effects.

Physicians, nurses, hospitals, dentists, and even pharmacists have a duty to provide all patients with a reasonable standard of care. When an individual is harmed by a medication, they may have a professional malpractice or pharmaceutical negligence claim against their doctor or the pharmacist who dispensed the drug. In Florida, patients who were the victim of any type of medical malpractice have only two years to file an injury claim. Because insurers also have up to two years to evaluate a medical malpractice claim before a lawsuit may be filed, it is vital for you to discuss your Florida pharmaceutical malpractice case with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible.
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Miami-Dade Widow Claims Husband Died Because Hospital Released Him Too Quickly

823923_its_been_a_long_road%20sxchu.jpgIn early April, a South Florida man died less than 36 hours after he was released from Kendall Regional Medical Center following a hit and run bicycling accident. 51-year-old Miguel Rocafort was allegedly severely injured by an unidentified driver while riding his bicycle. Although several other hospitals were closer, emergency responders from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue reportedly elected to take Rocafort to the Kendall Regional Medical Center due to the hospital’s class II trauma center. According to his widow, Flor Graham, the hospital released Rocafort too early which contributed to her husband’s death.

Rocafort fractured a vertebra in his neck, sustained a serious head injury, suffered from fluid on the brain, and broke a leg in the crash. Still, his wife claims the hospital tried to discharge Rocafort two days after the accident due to concerns over how much of his treatment costs would be covered by his health insurance. His wife, who is a medical assistant at another area hospital, convinced the hospital to let Rocafort stay for an additional day. In the end, he was released from Kendall Regional Medical Center three days after breaking his neck in the hit and run crash. Rocafort died about one day after he was released.

According to Rocafort’s friends and family, the man was severely injured and still in a great deal of pain when discharged from the hospital. Soon after returning home, Rocafort began having difficulty breathing and became unconscious. Although his wife administered CPR until rescue personnel arrived, they could not revive him. Rocafort was pronounced dead at the Baptist Medical Center in Homestead.

Kendall Regional Medical Center reportedly refused to address Graham’s claims that the hospital was more focused on insurance coverage than her husband’s health. Instead, the hospital issued a statement that said Rocafort was treated and appropriately discharged.

Following Rocafort’s death, the hit and run accident case was transferred to investigators from Miami-Dade traffic homicide. Police are still looking for the vehicle that struck Rocafort. In addition to facing possible criminal charges for the accident, the driver who hit Rocafort may also be subject to a Florida wrongful death lawsuit.

Because medical caregivers in Florida must provide their patients with a reasonable level of care, Rocafort’s widow may have a medical malpractice claim against the hospital. While medical malpractice victims and their families have up to two years to file an injury claim in Florida, insurance companies also have two years to evaluate a malpractice claim before a lawsuit may be filed. If you believe you or a family member was the victim of medical malpractice in Florida, it is a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you are able.
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Florida Supreme Court Considering State’s Medical Malpractice Damages Cap

875413_balance%20sxchu%20website.jpgThe future of Florida’s medical malpractice damages cap law enacted in 2003 is now being considered by the State’s Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of Florida recently heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the law in Michelle Evette McCall v. United States of America. The law limits non-economic damages to $500,000, unless death or a catastrophic injury results. In such cases, the cap is instead $1 million. It also limits recovery for emergency services to $150,000, and $300,000. Additionally, where someone who is not a licensed health care provider committed the negligence that caused a patient’s injury, the cap is $750,000 and $1.5 million no matter where medical services were provided.

In the McCall case, a woman died from blood loss shortly after giving birth at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in 2006. After her family sued for medical malpractice, a jury awarded McCall’s estate $2 million for pain and suffering. The judge in the case, however, lowered the award to $1 million in accordance with the 2003 Florida law. McCall’s estate appealed the reduction in damages on the grounds that her constitutional rights were violated because the reduction effectively limited McCall’s access to the courts.

An attorney for the State of Florida, Daniel Lenerz, said McCall’s access to the courts was not limited by the Florida damages cap. He stated lawmakers have created other damage limits on numerous occasions that have survived judicial scrutiny. According to Justice Barbra Pariente, a court will regularly defer to lawmakers with regard to caps on legal cases. She said the real question is how long such limits are defensible.

Florida lawmakers reportedly passed the malpractice damages cap law in response to a tightening insurance market. At the time, many physicians claimed increasing premiums could put them out of business. Insurance companies were also allegedly writing policies with lower maximum damages coverage. When the medical malpractice law was enacted, Florida lawmakers required insurers to reduce medical malpractice rates by 7.8 percent. It also required 18 new insurers to enter the market.

According to a lawyer for McCall’s estate, Robert Peck, 95 percent of all Florida medical malpractice cases are settled outside of a courtroom. He also stated the average settlement is $213,000. Peck does not believe cases such as McCall’s were the impetus for the medical malpractice damages cap law. Now, the issue is up to the Florida Supreme Court. The Court has an unlimited amount of time to examine the constitutionality of the law and render an opinion.

In Florida, the victim of medical malpractice has two years to file a claim. Insurers also have up to two years to evaluate a patient’s claim before a lawsuit may be filed. Because of this, it is vital for you to discuss your Miami-Dade medical malpractice case with a capable lawyer as soon as possible after your injury.
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CVS Pharmacy Mistakenly Dispenses Breast Cancer Drug to Children

1323011_pills%20sxchu%20website.jpgA pharmacy error has affected as many as 50 families in New Jersey. A CVS pharmacy in Chatham allegedly distributed the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen by mistake to a number of children who were prescribed chewable fluoride tablets. Although company investigators believe only a few children actually took the breast cancer drug, its ingestion is reportedly unlikely to cause any detrimental health effects.

CVS, the nation’s second largest drugstore chain, has issued a public apology for the mistake. The company also stated it contacted every family who received a 0.5 mg fluoride prescription in Chatham during the last 60 days. No mention was made regarding how the mix-up occurred. According to the company’s director of public relations, Mike DeAngelis, most parents who received prescriptions at the Chatham location received the correct pills.

Experts stated it is unlikely this particular drug mix-up would result in serious health effects. Fluoride is generally prescribed to children by their dentists. Although the two drugs have a similar appearance, fluoride is designed to be chewed while the Tamoxifen should be swallowed. Any child who mistakenly chewed the breast cancer drug would experience a bad taste and likely attempt to spit it out.

The consumer affairs division of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is currently investigating the drug mix-up to determine whether any laws were violated by the pharmacy. On Friday, the company was ordered to provide the name of all pharmacy employees at the Chatham store and copies of all correspondence related to the error. Company representatives will also be questioned under oath this week. CVS has stated the company is still investigating exactly how the error occurred in an effort to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

Luckily, the pharmacy error that occurred in New Jersey did not result in a serious injury or wrongful death. Still, doctors, dentists, nurses, hospitals, and even pharmacies have a duty to provide patients with a reasonable standard of care. When an injury occurs due to the improper dispensing of medications, a patient might have a pharmaceutical negligence or professional malpractice claim against the pharmacist or pharmacy that dispensed the drug. The State of Florida provides patients who were the victim of malpractice with only two years to file a claim. Because insurance companies also have up to two years to evaluate a patient’s medical malpractice claim before a lawsuit may be filed, it is crucial to discuss your pharmaceutical malpractice case with a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
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