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Medical Malpractice Archives

Highlighting retained surgical instrument cases

Almost everyone in Indianapolis has likely heard horror stories about people who have underwent surgery later discovering that instruments doctors used in their procedures ended up getting left in their bodies. While some may have a hard time believing such tales, statistics show that not only do such accidents happen, but also that they may be more common than most would think. Information shared by the Joint Commission shows that between 2005-2012, it received reports of 772 cases of retained surgical instruments. Such errors often cause problems in patients much greater than those they originally sought surgical treatment for. 

The dangers of false positive test results

When a patient sees a doctor in Indiana, he or she has a reasonable expectation that the doctor will not make an errors. However, when it comes to medical tests, more people than just the doctor are involved. This increases the chances a mistake will be made. In fact, false positive results are quite common, according to MedScape.

3 ways nurses can avoid mistakes

Nurses are often the first and last health care professionals many patients in Indiana interact with when they are in hospitals and medical clinics. Many of them are so overworked that mistakes are a common occurrence. Nursing errors often lead to long-term pain, poor health, suffering, death and heartache for patients and their families. 

What are some examples of surgical errors?

From birth injuries that never should have occurred to mistakes involving the prescription of medication, there are many examples of medical malpractice. However, those which involve a surgical error can be especially devastating in Indianapolis, and in other cities across Indiana. When these mistakes occur, they can generate a wide variety of problems for patients and even their loved ones, from severe physical pain to mental trauma, financial turmoil and even the loss of life.

Using patient education to avoid medication errors

Every day, hundreds of Indiana medical patients rely on professionally trained doctors to provide treatments for a variety of conditions and symptoms. Many of these people trust the opinions, education and suggestions of medical professionals especially when recommendations for medications are made.

How is a brain injury diagnosed?

If you suffer from a head injury, it may have caused a brain injury. It is not easy for doctors in Indiana to diagnose this type of injury because of the complexity of the brain and the limitations of testing and diagnostic equipment. If you have an accident and a brain injury is suspected, you are likely to go through many different types of tests.

Suggestions for deciding on a reputable nursing home

For many Indiana families, making the decision to send their loved one to a nursing home is accompanied by feelings of worry, anxiety and stress. Often, these emotions are related to the process of finding a reputable nursing home that is capable of providing the type of compassionate care that every human deserves.

Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys obtain $2 million verdict in Evansville

The Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers at Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. obtained a $2 million jury verdict in a case arising from a medication error at an Evansville hospital.
The case involved the administration of a radioactive iodine to a nine-year old girl at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. The patient was undergoing a thyroid uptake and scan, in which a small dose of radioactive iodine is administered in order to assess whether the thyroid gland is functioning properly. As part of the procedure, Deaconess was supposed to administer a dosage of 4 microcuries of a radioactive iodine known as I-131, Instead of 4 microcuries, Deaconess gave the patient 424 microcuries of the radioactive iodine. As a result of the overdose, the patient was required to undergo annual ultrasounds and laboratory studies to monitor for thyroid cancer. As of the date of trial, she had not developed thyroid cancer.
Deaconess's position at trial was that there was little if any damage. From a legal standpoint, Deaconess argued that an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer was not a legally cognizable damage. The trial court rejected this position before trial, and instructed the jury that damages were recoverable for an increased risk of harm.
Factually, Deaconess claimed that the girl's chance of developing thyroid cancer as a result of the overdose had only gone from the 1.44% chance applicable to the general population of white females to 2.67%. Deaconess also argued that even in the unlikely event that Nicole developed thyroid cancer, such cancer was likely treatable and curable.
In response, the patient's lawyers presented the testimony of two nationally renowned experts on thyroid cancer and the effects of radiation exposure. Both experts testified that the patient had a greater than 50% chance of developing thyroid cancer during her lifetime as a result of the overdose. The jury apparently chose to believe the testimony presented by the patient, returning a verdict of $2 million approximately 35 minutes after being given the case. (Although the verdict was for $2 million, the verdict was reduced by the court to $1.25 million as required under Indiana's Medical Malpractice Act. That law limits the recovery against a healthcare provider to a maximum of $1.25 million.)
The case, Ford v. Deaconess Hospital, Inc., Cause No. 82C01-0503-CT-261, was tried in Vanderburgh Circuit Court from February 25-27, 2013. Deborah Pennington and Jerry Garau represented the patient at trial. They and the other experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. are available to assist patients who have been injured as a result of medication errors or any other form of medical malpractice. 

Indiana Supreme Court hears arguments on uninsured case

On May 10, 2012, the Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could profoundly alter hospitals' billing practices. The case, Abby Allen and Walter Moore v. Clarian Health Partners, Inc., arises from hospitals' common practice of billing uninsured patients inflated "charge master" rates for hospital services. Uninsured patients are the only patients who pay the charge master rates. Insured patients and patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid receive the same services at rates steeply discounted from the charge master rates.