Articles Posted in Medicine

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On May 21, 2010, Amanda Lawson entered the Southeast Laser & Plastic surgery clinic in Waycross, Georgia to receive breast augmentation surgery. The shopping center clinic advertised its cosmetic procedures in the local paper and even offered a discount coupon. Lawson paid $3,500 and underwent the four hour procedure.

A month later, she returned to the clinic because her incisions were open, exposing the silicone gel implants. She was prescribed oral antibiotics, pain killers and sent home. A few weeks later her condition had not improved. Lawson went to Irwin County Hospital and was diagnosed with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus — MRSA. She spent a week in the hospital to treat her still open wounds and the infection. The next month she was again hospitalized for a staph infection and received intravenous antibiotics. At this time, she underwent surgery to remove both implants. Lawson was permanently disfigured as a result of the ordeal.

According to the lawsuit she filed against the practice and doctor that performed the botched surgery, Lawson did not receive a complete pre-operative exam nor was she even measured for the implants. Her first meeting with the surgeon was the day of the surgery and his assistant was the owner of the clinic who was not a licensed medical professional. She was given only local anesthesia, a tranquilizer and a pain killer.

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Pharmacy Rx symbol

Pharmacy Rx symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More than 1.5 million people are injured each year in the U.S. due to medication errors, and about 7,000 are killed. When doctors or pharmacists makes a mistake with prescription medications, the consequences can be fatal.

Claims for prescription errors are often based on simple negligence, but can be attributed to professional malpractice. The following are the most common mistakes made by both doctors and pharmacies:

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According to ABC News, the family of a Californian toddler will receive $10 million a medical malpractice settlement.

In November of 2010, the  two year old’s parents took her to a Sacramento Hospital with a fever, skin discoloration, and weakness. After waiting five hours without seeing a specialist, she was flown to another healthcare facility. The second healthcare provider determined she was suffering from streptococcus A bacteria. Due to the extended wait, the bacteria had invaded her blood and organs, leading to a necessary amputation.

The settlement with the Sacramento hospital and its parent company, Catholic Healthcare West, ranks among the largest in California history, according to medical malpractice attorneys.

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According to the CBS Evening News, GlaxoSmithKline- a British pharmaceutical company- has been ordered to pay $3 billion in a settlement after an investigation of its sales and marketing practices.

The Washington Post stated that the investigation spanned seven years, with analysis of marketing practices for 10 well-known GlaxoSmithKline drugs. The investigation also questioned possible Medicaid reimbursement fraud.

“The settlement [is] the largest yet in a wave of federal cases against pharmaceutical companies accused of illegal marketing, surpassing the previous record of $2.3 billion paid by Pfizer in 2009,” as reported by New York Times.

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Teva Parenteral Medicines, Inc., Baxter Healthcare Corp., and McKesson Corp. have been ordered by a jury to pay at least $20.1 million for packaging and selling an anesthetic in a way that proved harmful to patients. The jury concluded that the companies wrongfully sold Propofol in vials large enough to be used on multiple patients. Consequently, three colonoscopy patients contracted Hepatitis C. The plaintiffs sought $25 million in actual damages over the incurable liver disease. Punitive damages have yet to be decided.

Teva faces almost 300 lawsuits stemming from a Hepatitis C outbreak three years ago. The company has argued that the infections were caused by “improperly sanitized medical equipment, not reused Porpofol containers.”

About McAleer Law:

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Four years after undergoing aortofemoral bypass surgery in January 2004, an 85-year-old woman underwent a second surgery to remove a surgical sponge previously left behind.  Throughout those four years, the woman suffered from pain in her back and the lower left quadrant of her abdomen, weakness, dizziness, numerous infections that were treated with antibiotics, nausea, and a foul odor coming from her body that would not resolve itself with showering or other attempts at personal hygiene. Finally, a CT scan revealed a mass near the woman’s colon that turned out to be an old laparotomy pad.

In December 2009 a suit was filed alleging negligence and malpractice against the surgeons who performed the original procedure and the hospital where the procedure was performed.  The patient offered to settle with the responsible parties for $250,000.  This offer was rejected and the case continued in the court system until the hospital admitted all liability, cleared the surgeons of any blame and settled the case for $375,000.

If you are dealing with an injury due to the negligence of a physician and are uncertain about your rights and how to seek compensation, contact McAleer Law.