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Kansas City, Missouri Medical Malpractice Blog

Topical concern: Tardy FDA response to deadly bacteria?

The sad saga regarding contaminated endoscopes goes on.

We last left off with this high-profile and nationally important health-related story in our February 23 blog post, informing readers therein that tainted scopes used to detect and treat digestive disorders resulted in the deaths of two patients at one California hospital. Additionally, several other patients at that facility were infected through contact with the scopes, with scores of ex-patients being notified that they, too, might be at risk.

Sad update on endoscope-acquired infections

As a segue to today's blog post, our readers in Missouri and elsewhere might logically want to take a look at one of our earlier entries, namely, our January 27 post.

The title of that entry focusing upon endoscopes used in the treatment of digestive ailments poses this very direct question: "Does disinfecting absolutely ensure cleanliness?"

Marching ever onward: pro football's concussion litigation

The United States is a nation composed of sports fanatics. Although not every person across the country spends each weekend firmly ensconced on the sofa watching his or her favorite sport, of course, scores of millions of fans do precisely that.

The recent Super Bowl was certainly evidence of that, with various media outlets reporting that more than 114 million people watched at least part of the game.

Is there a time limit in Missouri for filing a malpractice case?

The quick response to the above headline question is, "You bet there is," and a would-be malpractice plaintiff had better stay on top of the details in order to not jeopardize his or her legal claims.

In fact, all states have statutorily enacted statutes of limitation laws that grant repose to potential defendants after a certain stated period.

Health reform group takes aim at preventable medical mistakes

A widely quoted and oft-cited medical report from 1999 estimating that close to 100,000 patients in hospitals across the country were dying each year from preventable medical mistakes was flatly eye-opening to the public.

It was also likely erroneous, being refuted by various later studies, including a recent finding that well more than 400,000 people might be prematurely dying from preventable mistakes annually.

Endoscopes: Does disinfecting absolutely ensure cleanliness?

A Missouri-based story does not yet prominently feature alongside other recent tales concerning frightening outcomes associated with endoscope use.

In time, though, that could change.

A “deadly pattern of illnesses” was recently noted in a media expose concerning the use of so-called duodenoscopes that are inserted down patients’ throats to probe for digestive disorders such as gallstones and cancerous tumors.

The use of scopes for that purpose is widely acknowledged as beneficial in a high number of cases, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noting the scopes’ “lifesaving” ability.

Electronic health records: not a seamless process, Part 2

Part of the bait extended by government officials to doctors to entice those physicians to vigorously participate in the transformation from paper medical records to digital patient records has been money.

And no small amount. Doctors who have transferred over to electronic health records and demonstrated “meaningful use” of such systems have reportedly received about $9 billion in federal funds from Medicare officials.

Along with that carrot, though, comes a stick, with physicians who fail to demonstrate meaningful use now potentially facing fines.

As noted by Politico, a national news group, those “angry doctors facing a punch in the wallet” are more than a bit piqued by that prospect, with many of them being highly critical of electronic health records in general.

Electronic health records: anything but a seamless process

It might have struck you as an immediate apparency or, rather, dawned on you only over time.

We’re talking about your recognition as a patient of electronic health records. For years, your doctor busily scribbled away in your patient records, making handwritten notations. Then, suddenly, he or she began interacting with a computer screen each time you came in for an appointment.

How’s that working for you?

Concededly, your physician might still be hunched over your records with pen in hand, but that would be an anomaly; reportedly, a clear majority of all doctors across the country are now participants in the EHR revolution, with hospitals using a digital record format in almost every instance.

Novel teaching assist targets shoulder dystocia

As we noted in a relatively recent blog post (please see our entry dated December 24, 2014), the outcome of any birth injury incident involving shoulder dystocia “is often materially connected to the manner in which medical personnel detect and respond” to the sudden danger.

As with any birth-related injury, that means this: The medical outcome following a complication that arises during the birth process -- whether oxygen deprivation, the sudden potential for brain injury, uterine rupture, an infant’s shoulder dystocia or anything else -- is often critically linked to the ability of a medical team to take timely and proper action to prevent or minimize the consequences of harm.

With shoulder dystocia, failure to act properly and with requisite swiftness can bring dire consequences. We noted some problems that can result from medical negligence in dystocia cases in the above-cited post. They centrally include paralysis and brain injury.

Taking a close look at outpatient surgical clinics, Part 2

We queried in our immediately preceding blog post whether it seemed reasonable to throw up any red flags concerning the care provided patients in America’s outpatient surgical centers.

Here’s why, as posed in a question: How can there be any real concerns when, as noted in a recent media article discussing ambulatory surgical clinics, many millions of patients across the country visit them each year for operations?

In fact, that Washington Post piece states that about 23 million people had surgeries performed in outpatient clinics in the United States in a recent year.

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