The New York Times (4/29, Bakalar, 1.68M) "Well" blog reports, "The most common cause of paid claims for malpractice is making errors in diagnosis," according to research published in online in BMJ Quality and Safety. Researchers found that "errors related to treatment and surgery were second and third most common, and all other errors combined - obstetric, medication, monitoring, anesthesia and the rest - accounted for only 20 percent of malpractice payments."
Phoenix Medical Malpractice Law Blog
The over 7,000 patients of an Oklahoma dentist who may have been exposed to HIV and Hepatitis received significant continuing coverage on the Friday and Saturday network newscasts, leading ABC's news on both nights and receiving over 11 minutes of airtime amongst all the segments.
Bloomberg News (2/26, Voreacos) reports that on Monday, a jury in Atlantic City, New Jersey, ordered a Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon unit to "pay $3.35 million in the first of 2,100 lawsuits over its vaginal mesh implant." The jury found that the Cincinnati-based medical device manufacturer "failed to warn a South Dakota woman's surgeon of the risks tied to its Gynecare Proflift vaginal mesh implant and fraudulently misled her. Linda Gross, a 47-year-old nurse, sued along with her husband, complaining of constant pain and 18 operations she had after the device was implanted."
Reuters (2/26, Warner) adds that Monday's verdict was preceded by a six-week hearing before Judge Carol Higbee and nine panelists. After the verdict was read, Judge Higbee scheduled a hearing for today, during which the jury will consider whether punitive damages should also be awarded to the plaintiff.
The FDA on Thursday will propose rules to stop manufacturers from selling a type of artificial hip that, in many cases, is failing early. According to the New York Times (1/17, B1, Meier, Subscription Publication, 1.68M) an estimated 500,000 patients in the US have received the artificial hip. Under the FDA proposal, "makers of artificial hips with all-metal components would have to prove the devices were safe and effective before they could continue selling existing ones or obtain approval for new all-metal designs." The action "is intended to close a loophole in the 1976 federal law under which medical devices were first regulated. It is the agency's first use of powers that Congress granted to it last year to deal with medical devices, like all-metal hips, that have been in regulatory limbo for decades."
The Los Angeles Times (12/21, Gorman, 692K) reports, "Ten California hospitals received fines Thursday for errors that resulted in either serious injury or death to a patient." $785,000 in penalties was issued to the hospitals for "errors that include removing the wrong kidney, leaving surgical objects behind and failing to call for assistance when a patient began bleeding excessively." The hospitals that received fines were Kaiser's South Bay Medical Center, Kaiser's Oakland Medical Center, Methodist Hospital of Southern California, UC San Francisco Medical Center, Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, and Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center. UC San Francisco Medical Center has received six fines since 2007, a fact Debby Rogers, deputy director of the department's Center for Healthcare Quality, called "concerning." The state has "fined 141 hospitals a total of $9.6 million in penalties" since 2007.
Hospitals and public health officials are working to improve safety for mothers in the delivery room following sharp increases in the rate of severe complications from childbirth. - Video: Working to Make Childbirth Safer
The AP (12/6, Kerr) reports that "the government is taking action against the makers of a portable baby recliner called the Nap Nanny after five infant deaths." The story notes that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission "filed an administrative complaint Wednesday alleging that the new model of the Nap Nanny, called the Chill, and two earlier versions 'pose a substantial risk of injury and death to infants.'" The CPSC is now "seeking an order that would require Nap Nanny maker Baby Matters LLC of Berwyn, Pa., to notify the public about what the agency deems a serious product defect," and it also wants the firm to offer consumers a full refund.
Life Care Centers of America, a Tennessee-based nursing-care company, systematically defrauded Medicare of millions of dollars, according to a federal complaint. - Read the Complaint
The AP (11/16, Salcedo) reported, "A children's safety equipment manufacturer has agreed to recall about 220,000 infant travel beds after reports of one infant's death and nine others entrapped or distressed while inside the portable sleep tents." According to the AP, the Consumer Product Safety Commission "announced the recall in cooperation with KidCo Inc. of Libertyville, Ill., early Friday after determining that an infant could roll between the bed's air mattress and the tent's fabric sides, raising the danger of suffocation." The story explained that if the travel bed's air mattress "is placed in the floor of the tent, an infant's head could lodge between the mattress and the tent's side, making breathing impossible."