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Welcome to the Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg, Co. blog!  We look forward to sharing our knowledge with you in our upcoming posts. We are an state wide law practice with officesin Cleveland, OH, Ashtabula, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio.   We have a staff of more than 25 paralegals and legal assistants and 12 full time attorneys who focus on the following legal concerns:

We believe that an informed client is an empowered client, so on this blog we will bring you the latest information on popular topics. These will include personal injury, workers’ comp, car accidents, medical malpractice, insurance coverage, mass tort/class actions, nursing home neglect and abuse, and other trending topics.

Several hospitals in Northeast Ohio recently scored very low on safety in a study conducted by Consumer Reports. On a one to 100 scale, the highest score reported was a 72, while the lowest was 39. To arrive at the score, researchers evaluated each hospital on the following six factors:

The findings by Consumer Reports are disappointing, but not necessarily surprising. Unsanitary hospital conditions and errors made by medical personnel are one of the top three causes of death in this country. The report suggests that if serious changes aren't made in the medical industry, it will cost 2.25 million people their lives in the next 10 years. A huge part of this problem is that hospitals are not always forthcoming with the information contained in this report. In fact, only 18 percent of hospitals nationwide participated in the Consumer Reports survey.

Nager, Romaine and Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. is a personal injury law firm that has years of experience in medical malpractice cases. Despite the growing number of claims, medical malpractice remains one of the most difficult areas of personal injury law to prove. The burden of proof is completely on you as the injured patient to show that the doctor, clinic or hospital that treated you acted in a negligent manner. Our attorneys will aggressively pursue this proof and fight for your right to fair compensation in your medical malpractice case.

A report recently released by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) revealed that after pharmacy management initiatives were put into effect, the total number of narcotics prescribed in the state fell by 12 percent, which translates into 1.1 million doses. The pharmacy management regulations were enacted as a measure to reduce the incidence of narcotics addiction, but the regulations may make it more difficult for some injured workers to receive legitimate prescriptions.

Narcotics under fire

Narcotic medications are the strongest painkillers available, and many people rely on them just to get through the day. They are prescribed to a range of patients that include those with cancer, chronic diseases and neuromuscular disorders. They are also an effective short-term treatment for the pain associated with serious injuries.

According to the BWC report, the 12 percent decrease in prescribed narcotic painkillers has saved the state $2.1 million. The pharmacy management regulations also affect prescriptions for skeletal muscle relaxants (SMRs), which are commonly used in conjunction with narcotic pain medications. SMR prescriptions have dropped by 59 percent since the regulations went into effect.

Although the pharmacy management regulations were first implemented in September 2011, the study compares only the prescriptions filled from February 2012 to April 2012 to those filled during the same period in 2011.

The major provisions of the pharmacy management program in Ohio are as follows:

Biomet M2a Magnum Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuit Alleges Defective Implant Caused Oregon Woman to Suffer Pain, Undergo Complex and Risky Revision Surgery

July 7, 2012

New York, New York – A lawsuit against the M2a Magnum Hip Implant System manufacturer alleges that excessive shedding of Colbalt and Chromium Biomet causes rejection of the device following surgical implant. Removal of the device is considered high-risk surgery.

$2.4 Million Verdict in Drug Interaction Wrongful Death

October 26, 2011

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – A $2.4 million verdict was awarded to the family of a patient, who died of a drug interaction following total knee arthroplasty, because a psychiatrist failed to monitor the heightened drug interaction between the patient’s regular medications of Clozaril, Anafranil and Ativan, with anesthesia and morphine prescribed in conjunction with the surgery.

Actos and Congestive Heart Failure

August 15, 2012

Washington, D.C. – The FDA has placed a warning label on Actos®, an oral diabetes medication, due to the high incidence of Actos users developing congestive heart failure. The affected patients did not have pre-existing heart conditions. Takeda Pharmaceuticals “has been accused of concealing, or downplaying, the number and the severity of heart problems linked to Actos.”

Verdict: $13.9 million: Jury finds in favor of family in malpractice suit

October 22, 2010

Warren, Ohio – A jury awarded 10-year-old Haley Cobb $13.9 million in a lawsuit alleging her mother’s doctor failed to perform a timely Cesarean-section, depriving Haley of sufficient oxygen and leaving her brain injured with Cerebral Palsy.

Lee family awarded $19.2M in malpractice suit

February 7, 2011

Lee County, Florida – Kierra Smith, who was born prematurely, suffered profound developmental disabilities when the hospital’s neonatal staff administered nutrition through a central venous line that was 100-times more powerful than nutrition prescribed by Kierra’s doctor. Kierra suffered cardiac arrest, which left her with cerebral palsy and blindness.

In 2004, Ohio enacted a controversial Apology Statute with a stated purpose of improving the physician/patient relationship when medical errors take place.  The statute permits a health care professional to apologize to a patient when a medical error occurs in the care of a patient or a procedure leads to an undesirable result.  The apology (according to the statute) cannot later be used against the health care professional in court if a medical mistake results in a medical malpractice case.

Ohio Revised Code Section 2317.43(A) provides that "statements, affirmations, gestures, or conduct expressing apology, sympathy, commiseration, condolence, compassion, or a general sense of benevolence [made by a physician] * * * are inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest."

All of this sounds benign enough until one sees how this might play out in the context of an undesired medical result and/or a medical malpractice case.

Studies have shown that patients are less likely to seek a legal resolution to a medical error when they receive an apology from their doctor.  Doctors have complained that the potential for litigation chills the physician/patient relationship when medical errors take place as the doctor who committed the error may fear anything he/she says might be used against him/her in court.  The result often leaves a patient with a cold defensive feeling from their doctor following the medical error or undesired result.  The Apology Statute seems to aid this and, at least in aspirational terms, seems to be a good thing for patients and doctors.  With the protection of the Apology Statute, the offending doctor can apologize for the error and explain treatment options going forward under circumstances where the patient feels empathy from the negligent physician.  One of the dangers of the Apology Statute is that the patient may feel empathy for the negligent doctor and less likely to pursue a medical malpractice case under circumstances where it is their only practical option.  More importantly, a patient may assume that a doctor's apology has legal significance and that the doctor is accepting responsibility for the consequences of the error or undesired result.  This may delay a patient's pursuit of legal options which, in the case of medical negligence, can be limited to one year from the date of the malpractice.  Of course, the patient has no legal recourse once the statute of limitations (1 year from date of malpractice) has expired.  Further, an apology from a health care professional does not prevent that person from denying fault in court should a malpractice action be necessary.   From the perspective of the patient, this can clearly be seen as a classic bait and switch.

This fear was realized for one patient in Ohio (and can be expected to occur to many others) following a recent Ohio Supreme opinion which extended the Apology Statute to apply to an admission of fault (not an apology) from a health care professional.  In the case of Estate of Johnson v. Randall Smith, Inc. the physician stated to his patient following a medical error "I take full responsibility for this.  Everything will be okay."  The Court held that this statement could not be used in the subsequent medical malpractice case brought against the physician when (in the eyes of the patient) everything was not "Ok."  This case serves as an example of how the Apology Statute can mislead patients and protect health care professionals.   In this case, the doctor's statement that he was taking "responsibility" would logically pacify the patient but the doctor later denied fault in court and the patient could not use his statement against him.   The result is a one way street that is certain to lead to legal problems for many patients who have or will be the victim of medical mistakes.

The opinion from this case can be found at http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/docs/pdf/0/2013/2013-Ohio-1507.pdf.

Much litigation has arisen out of the DePuy ASR™ Hip System, a cup-and-ball hip replacement system made of metal. The manufacturers had issued a voluntary recall of the parts in August 2010, and the litigation followed.

In fact, thousands of individual cases against Johnson & Johnson, whose DePuy orthopedic unit manufactured the hip replacement system, have been consolidated in federal district court in Ohio. The hip replacements have been the subject of many mass tort cases.

However, the New York Times recently reported that Johnson & Johnson lost its first trial over the DePuy hip replacement system. A state court jury in Los Angeles awarded more than $8.3 million in damages to a Montana man in the case, but it refused to award punitive damages because it found that DePuy did not act with fraud or malice. The jury awarded the plaintiff $338,000 in medical expenses and $8 million in pain and suffering.

The plaintiffs lawyers had asked that the jury award their client $36 million to $144 million, arguing that the DePuys executives had acted unethically by failing to warn doctors and patients about the defects in the product. After deliberating for more than five days, the jury declined to do so.

Johnson & Johnson found that the verdict was “mixed,” and it said that it would appeal. The company disputed the jurys determination that the hip replacement had been defectively designed. Another trial was scheduled to start in Chicago the following week, and other cases are expected to head to trial later this year.

In some states, a limit has been placed on the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice actions. These limits, or caps, on damages are part of tort reform. The hope is to keep medical malpractice insurance premiums lower. Ohio is one of those states. As of April 11, 2003, Ohio law placed a cap on the amount of pain and suffering damages that can be awarded in a medical malpractice action.

According to Ohio law, the award of pain and suffering damages (also known as non-economic damages) in medical malpractice cases is limited to $250,000 or three times the economic damages up to a maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff or $500,000 in cases with more than one plaintiff.

If the plaintiff’s injuries are found to be catastrophic, the cap is $500,000 per plaintiff and $1 million in cases with more than one plaintiff. Catastrophic injuries include:

However, there is one exception to this cap. According to Ohio Constitution Article 1, § 19a, the amount of damages recoverable for a wrongful death cannot be limited by law. Therefore, the cap does not apply to wrongful death cases that arise from medical malpractice.

Previous caps on damages had been held to be unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court. However, the constitutionality of this cap was upheld in Arbino v. Johnson & Johnson.

Last year healthcare investigators became concerned about an apparent outbreak of spinal meningitis. The cause of the outbreak was tied to contaminated steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center, a now-defunct Massachusetts business (NECC). The damage and heartbreak of the toxic injections received by patients throughout the United State continues today.

Across the country, 58 people have died from meningitis. In Ohio, there has been one death, 13 cases of meningitis and eight infections. Months after the number of meningitis cases subsided, patients who received injections of contaminated medication near their spine are being diagnosed with serious fungal infections.

In a recent editorial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the authors described a Michigan study of MRI results of patients exposed to contaminated injections who had previously reported no symptoms. Of 172 asymptomatic patients, 17 underwent surgery after the MRI detected fungal infections within or around their spine.

Treatment for spinal fungal infection includes surgery and powerful anti-fungal medications that can cause serious side effects. Symptoms of a spinal abscess may include:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends follow-up on patients who exhibit symptoms. If steroids you received were compounded at NECC, check with your doctor about the advisability of procedures to screen for spinal abscess or infection.

If you suffered harm due to contaminated medications from NECC or other sources, get good medical care and then speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in Ohio.

A recent study by the Joint Commission raises an alarm about death and injury resulting from alarm fatigue experienced by those caring for critically ill patients.

The Joint Commission is a non-profit healthcare accreditation agency with a mandate to improve public health care. A recent report calls for leadership and development of guidelines in the area of alarm management based on points that include the following:

The Joint Commission recommends development of strategies, education and planning to address this clearly deadly turn of events in medical care. In any healthcare setting, be sure you have a friend or family act as a medical advocate and if injured, seek reputable legal help.

With age comes physical decline. By age 65, many Americans have one or more prescriptions. A recent study poses serious questions about the safety of medications prescribed to elderly Americans.

In April of this year, Brown University released a study of more than six million Medicare patients that made significant points about medication practices for the elderly in this country:

If you or an elderly loved one takes one or more medications, check with your healthcare provider about the possibility of dangerous medications or other side effects.

Medication mistakes are a common form of medical malpractice. While medications can be life-saving, they can also lead to disability and death when improperly prescribed. If concerned about unsafe medications, talk to your doctor, and then speak with an attorney with our firm.

Ohio University has settled a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a former student who lost her arm due to flesh-eating bacteria. The victim accused the University of misdiagnosing her illness, leading to its progression and the eventual amputation of her right arm, shoulder and shoulder blade. She was awarded $250,000 in the August 2013 settlement.

Medical malpractice payouts exceeded $3.6 billion nationwide in 2012. The breakout by allegation is as follows:

As can be seen, diagnostic errors are the leading source of medical malpractice claims. These include misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose and delay in diagnosis. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, diagnostic errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, right behind heart disease and cancer. They are costly, both in terms of human and financial loss.

To substantiate a medical malpractice claim, you must prove medical negligence, causation and harm. Courts require that you demonstrate your injury was caused by the negligent care, and that it was reasonably foreseeable that the injury would result from the medical error. Although this sequence of events is often demonstrable, there are times when doctors have done nothing wrong but are still swept up in a lawsuit. This has led many physicians to practice “defensive medicine,” ordering excessive tests and screening procedures to guard against medical malpractice claims. This practice adds expense to the medical healthcare system as well.

If you believe you have been injured because of medical malpractice, contact Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. for a consultation.

In Ohio and throughout the United States, the digitization of health records is underway. While electronic recordkeeping has advantages, recent reports highlight the need for more vigilance when it comes to the potential for errors.

For many healthcare practitioners, migrating patient medical information to electronic health records (EHRs) is a costly but necessary measure. Some of the advantages from digitizing patient medical information are:

However, mistakes are still occurring to the detriment of patients’ safety. A 2012 report on EHR use in healthcare facilities said errors in EHRs can impact a larger group of patients than mistakes made on paper records, and a Bloomberg article published last year increased awareness of the issues surrounding electronic systems by detailing the risks these systems present.

Common EHR errors include:

These errors can cause prolonged hospitalization, unnecessary surgery and even death. It seems that, at present, the disadvantages of EHRs are being realized before the advantages of digitization can be fully appreciated.

If you suffer medical or prescriptive error in Cleveland or the nearby area, speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to learn about your legal options.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirms risks and fears previously published by the FDA that the use of laparoscopic power morcellator (LPM) medical devices during hysterectomies and fibroid removal can cause the spread of benign and malignant tissue throughout the body and result in the growth and spread of cancers. (Click here to read the FDA Executive Summary on Laparoscopic PowerMorcellation during Uterine Surgery for Fibroids)

LPM devices are used to break up the tissue of the uterus during hysterectomies and fibroid removal. The problem, as cited by the FDA and confirmed in the JAMA study, is that even though patients are screened for cancer prior to the procedure, cancers such as sarcoma and endometrial cancer have a probability of being missed during the pre-procedure screening. Thus, when cancer goes undetected and a LPM device is used it is essentially cutting into cancer cells and spreading those cancer cells throughout intraperitoneal cavity (an area inside the abdomen shared by digestive organs, reproductive organs and supplied with a rich blood supply). This greatly increases the risk to patients of spreading cancer throughout the body.  In the April 11, 2014 edition of the Wall Street Journal a compelling article was published which addressed the recent discovery about the danger of LPMs which have been in use since 1990. (Click here to read the full article)

If you’ve had a hysterectomy or fibroid removal and a LMP device was used during the procedure and you subsequently developed cancer or other injuries from the procedure, you may have a claim. Please contact the mass tort attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our contact form or call us toll free at (855)GOT-HURT (or 855-468-4878) to speak with our experienced staff to discuss your circumstances.

Medical Malpractice - Wrong Site Surgery

While this may sound like an urban myth, wrong site surgery commonly occurs in hospitals throughout the US.

Surgery performed on the wrong SIDE or SITE of a body can happen as a result of negligence.  Wrong site surgery is actually recognized as a ‘never event,’ which means that the NQF (National Quality Forum) has named wrong site surgeries as a “clearly preventable and identifiable medical error that has serious consequences.”

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that wrong site surgery is so widespread that many physician insurance policies no longer cover this type of medical error.  One report stated 79% of wrong site ocular (eye) and 84% of wrong site orthopedic (bones, ligaments, joints) surgeries resulted in victory for the injured victims.

It is estimated that only 10% of wrong site surgeries are even reported due to physician reporting qualifications; even though wrong site surgeries are considered one of the most widespread medical errors in surgery.

Causes for Wrong Site Surgeries

Wrong site surgeries are clear, preventable medical errors.  The cause is directly related to carelessness, negligence and/or failure to perform a thorough preoperative preparation.

A widespread initiative called ‘sign your site’ is the most common way of prevention – This means preoperative care includes marking and confirming the surgical site with all involved staff as well as the patient.

Unfortunately, wrong site surgeries go far beyond operating on the wrong eye or wrong extremity.  Brain and spine surgeries are also common for wrong site surgical errors.

The Joint Commission estimates that as many as 7 wrong site surgeries occur DAILY in the US!

If you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, contact Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. immediately.  Our attorneys will aggressively pursue your case and work to help you or your loved one obtain fair compensation for your claim.

Trust your medical injury case to one of the best firms in Ohio. Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A.

Birth Injuries and High Risk Pregnancies

The incredible, overwhelming joy of pregnancy and childbirth is truly one of the most amazing life experiences that we get. While largely portrayed as a life changing, magical time in media and in the medical field – There is also often a very heartbreaking and tragic side to pregnancies and childbirth.

It is estimated that out of every 1,000 babies born across the US each day, 6-8 of those experience a birth injury. While that number may seem to be a ‘small percentage’ as a statistic, the vast impact this will have on the child and on the family is undeniable. High risk pregnancy and physician failure to properly plan, monitor and deliver during a high-risk pregnancy is a very serious contributing factor.

High Risk Pregnancy

To have an easy, healthy pregnancy may seem to be a fairy tale for many.  Every person is different, and the human body can react differently from one child to carrying the next! It is incredibly important that your physician is thorough, thoughtful and able to effectively and safely handle your pregnancy and delivery.

The US Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute of Health define a high-risk pregnancy as a pregnancy that threatens the life of the mother, or of the fetus. There are many common factors that can contribute to this.

What About Other Factors, Less Commonly Recognized? 

It is your physicians’ job to predict, assess and monitor – Along with listening to feedback you are providing along the way. Failure to recognize a complication or medical condition can have tragic results.  High risk pregnancies can certainly complicate carrying to term and safe delivery, but have a physician that is ill prepared will certainly not help the situation.

If you or a loved ones’ baby has been injured as a result of a high risk pregnancy, contact Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. immediately.  Our attorneys will aggressively pursue your case and work to help you or your loved one obtain fair compensation.

Trust your birth injury case to one of the best injury firms in Ohio.

 

Medical Malpractice - Why You Should Call a Lawyer First

Medical malpractice is defined as an error, act or omission that occurs during treatment, that results in injury or death of the patient.  Unfortunately, while the definition is concise, real instances of medical malpractice are anything but clear cut.  If you or someone you love has been injured or has died as a result of a suspected medical error, your very first phone call should be to a trusted medical malpractice attorney.

In times of crisis, it is very difficult to think of anything aside from what is happening in the immediate situation.  Many victims are essentially and purposely bullied or taken advantage of during times of extreme stress and heartache.  Unfortunately, these are precise reasons negligence is as prevalent as it is in our healthcare systems.  Difficult decisions and actions that must be made are often against what is ingrained in our very human nature – big business healthcare and insurance companies count on the very fact victims and their families are not thinking clearly to act.

What to do if you suspect medical malpractice

The very first thing you should if you suspect a medical mistake, omission, negligence or error resulted in injury or death is to contact an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. Speaking to hospital staff, administrators, attorneys and insurance representatives can be incredibly intimidating. In the instance of malpractice, these individuals’ sole purpose is to minimize the damage, and quickly bury the situation before it escalates.  Hasty offers, mixed messages, distorted facts and bully tactics are all used to intimidate patients and their families when they are already in a compromised mental and emotional state.

Why do you need a trusted, experienced malpractice attorney?

As complicated as medical malpractice is, there is a right way to collect case information, gain expert witness testimonies, document occurrences and begin to ascertain the truth behind the situation. Simply expecting the health care systems or insurance companies to be forthcoming is not an option.

An experienced malpractice attorney can handle even the most complex and devastating cases.

If you or someone you love suffered a tragic injury or died as a result of negligent medical care, contact Nager, Romaine and Schneiberg Injury Law today. Trust your case to our expert attorneys, and together we will fight for the absolute maximum compensation you deserve and hold the negligent parties accountable.

 

Hernia Surgical Information

Hernia surgery is a common procedure that can sometimes be completed laparoscopicalyy. The process of repairing a hernia is to ensure the abdominal tissue is put back into its proper place and then the abdominal wall is strengthened to prevent future complications.

The most common type of a hernia is an inguinal hernia.  This type of hernia accounts for 70% of all hernia cases. When an inguinal hernia occurs, the intestines push through a weakened spot in the lower abdominal wall.

Other types of hernia cases;

Hiatal hernia

Umbilical hernia

Incisional hernia

Hernias can be caused by weakened or strained muscles, chronic coughing, previous weakness from an abdominal surgery or a congenital condition that fails to close the abdominal wall properly.  In most cases, a surgical repair of the hernia is required.

Complications with Hernia Surgical Mesh

During hernia repair surgery, a mesh may be used to aid in strengthening the abdominal wall. The mesh is put in place to act as a second layer of support to strengthen the abdominal wall.

Due to the nature of a hernia surgery, further scar tissue and weakened abdominal muscles can lead to future hernias.

Unfortunately, certain types of the hernia mesh have been known to cause serious, sometimes deadly health problems and complications.

Depending on the type of hernia mesh that was used, you could be facing serious complications now and in the future.

Signs and Symptoms of Hernia Mesh Complications

Hernia mesh issues can present in a variety of ways and will almost always require emergency medical care. If you have had hernia mesh implanted, contact your medical provider immediately or seek a second opinion if you experience any of the following symptoms after surgery.

The erosion and painful failure of hernia mesh can result in a long road to recovery. The nature of hernias coupled with the increased risks that even reparative surgery brings – makes the product failure reprehensible.

If you or a loved one experienced complications following hernia surgery with surgical mesh repair, or if you have recently had a surgical procedure completed, you may be entitled to compensation. Hernia mesh surgery can be completed successfully, but it is up to medical professionals, our surgeons and the product manufacturers to keep us safe.

Contact NRS Injury Law today for a free case evaluation and start the road to recovery with our experienced attorneys by your side.

A recent study released by John Hopkins University lists deaths attributed to medical malpractice as the 3rd highest cause of death in the US.

A recent Cleveland headline stated the number of malpractice victims in the US annually can fill EVERY SEAT of the Cleveland Browns’ stadium 6 times over!

The sad reality is that more individuals die as a result of medical errors than of the diseases and conditions they are seeking treatment for.

It’s Time for a Change

Medical Malpractice DeathsWhile changes in hospital policy, stigmas on reporting errors and preventable measures are being slowly put into place, the fact remains that the medical malpractice instances are a serious threat. Thought to be far under-reported and only a fraction of all medical errors (non fatal errors are also of serious concern) our healthcare system is essentially becoming our greatest threat.

Accurate reporting, policies that promote prevention and tracking, as well as an open discussion about the risks are all a steps in the right direction but far from the ultimate goal. There will always be a human element to medical care, but the problem is undeniable in this country.

Protection and Prevention

Vigilance can have a far reaching impact on any individual’s medical care. As a patient you should be able to trust your medical professional, but unfortunately for over half a million people per year that is just simply not the reality. From fatal mistakes to errors that lead to substantial injury and or extended medical care – patients and their families must be their own advocate.

ASK QUESTIONS AND DO RESEARCH

ASK FOR PROPER PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AND HAND WASHING

USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM

While these three tips may seem simple, they can go a long way to documenting, detecting and preventing medical errors in the US.

If you or a loved one are the victim of medical malpractice, contact our offices immediately. NRS Injury Law has the experience and resources necessary to fight the largest institutions and for the compensation you deserve.  Contact Nager, Romaine and Schneiberg today. Get a free case evaluation now!

 

Reducing the Risks for Baby and Mother During Childbirth

When you think about pregnancy, what images come to mind? For many individuals, the excitement of welcoming a new family member tends to overwhelm all other thoughts. Very understandably so! It’s also potentially dangerous, however, because this perspective tends to completely gloss over the risks that childbirth poses to both mother and baby. It might be tempting to assume that childbirth is no longer an issue given today’s modern technological advances, but that is sadly not the case.

Reducing the Risks for Baby and Mother During ChildbirthAccording to an article recently published by National Public Radio (NPR), maternal death as a result of childbirth is still a very real risk. In fact, the number of women dying in childbirth was steadily increasing throughout the beginning of the 21st century, on a national level. Healthcare became more focused than ever before on caring for infants rather than mothers, due to the assumption that the mothers would be fine. The idea that women could die from preventable issues during childbirth was essentially relegated as an outdated view, that belonged firmly in the past thanks to modern medical advancements.

Today, there is a nationwide initiative to lower the numbers of mothers dying during childbirth as much as medically possible. This initiative seeks to standardize levels and methods of care during unexpected and dangerous developments during both the pregnancy and childbirth itself, in order to ensure that mothers receive the care they need. Healthcare is shifting its focus from being almost solely concerned with infants and their risks they experienced during childbirth, to encompassing mothers as well, in other words, in an attempt to keep both as safe and healthy as possible.

If you or someone you love have been injured during childbirth, the attorneys at NRS Injury Law can help. Our experienced legal team will passionately defend your interests in order to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Reach out to Nager, Romaine and Schneiberg today for a free case evaluation.

Surgeons and Medical Facility Blamed for Woman’s Foot Injuries

While it comes with risks, in some situations surgery is a necessity to improve a patient’s health. Surgical procedures do not always go as planned, however, and the resulting injuries suffered by patients can be devastating.  One Ohio woman who lost part of her leg as a result of botched foot surgery was one of eight patients who filed separate medical malpractice lawsuits against a Hilliard podiatrist. Unfortunately, this type of medical malpractice is more common in Ohio than you might expect. If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of a medical professional, an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Ohio can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Foot Surgery

Foot surgery is generally considered safe and is often medically necessary to correct problems that cause pain or difficulty walking. In this case, the woman underwent foot surgery which only made her existing pain and discomfort worse. The woman ultimately suffered serious and permanent injuries to her foot and toes as a result, which then had to be amputated. 

Proper Medical Care Not Provided

Proper care must be provided to patients at every step of the way during care. The patient must be adequately evaluated, diagnosed, and treated. The procedure needs to be completed without avoidable complications caused by a provider’s negligence. After the procedure, careful medical care must be provided to ensure a satisfactory recovery. When this does not happen, medical professionals can be held responsible for improper or insufficient care.

Post-Surgical Care

Even when surgery goes as it should, a patient can suffer irreparable harm due to improper post-surgical care. Sometimes, patients are allowed to leave the hospital too soon after surgical procedures, which can result in the worsening of their condition. A patient must be aware of the potential for complications to arise even after surgery, and the physician and medical staff must provide proper supervision while the patient heals. Any failure to properly dress a patient’s postoperative wound or monitor a patient’s condition after surgery can result in permanent injuries. When medical care provided is inadequate, it may be considered medical malpractice.

When a mistake is made before, during, or after surgical treatment, the doctor, surgeon, and other medical staff may be held responsible for a patient’s resulting damages. A victim of medical malpractice has the right to pursue compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability that the injury caused. If you were the victim of a medical mistake, contact the Ohio medical malpractice lawyers at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., to learn more about how to get the money you deserve.

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

If you went to a healthcare provider in Ohio and suffered serious harm, you might be wondering whether you are eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Each medical negligence case has its own set of facts, so it is essential to discuss your options for filing a claim with an Ohio medical malpractice attorney. It is difficult to say with certainty whether you have a valid claim until you speak with a lawyer. In the meantime, however, we want to provide you with additional information about medical malpractice claims in Ohio. The following are five things you should know about filing your lawsuit.

Medical Malpractice Claims Must Be Filed Within One Year, But Some Exceptions Exist

If you have plans to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you should begin working with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss the time window for filing a claim. Under Ohio medical malpractice law, medical negligence lawsuits in general must be filed within one year from the date of the negligent act that resulted in your injury.  In the context of a medical negligence case, the negligent act is the failure of a healthcare provider to uphold the established standard of care for similar healthcare professionals.  Just because a medical procedure does not result in a positive recovery, does not in and of itself mean that medical negligence has occurred.   There are some exceptions to the one year statute of limitations for medical negligence claims.  Most significantly, if a patient could not have reasonably known about an injury immediately, then that patient may have one year from the date he/she discovered or reasonably should have discovered the injury to file a claim. It is always best practice however to file within one year of the act of negligence to avoid this possible defense.

Plaintiffs Must Get an Affidavit of Merit to File a Lawsuit

Ohio medical malpractice law requires a potential plaintiff to get an “Affidavit of Merit” before she or he can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The Affidavit of Merit provides information from a healthcare provider expressing an opinion that the medical professional’s treatment fell below the acceptable standard of care.   Obtaining an affidavit of merit takes time so the window for evaluating a potential medical malpractice case, in practical terms, can be even shorter than the one year statute of limitations.    Again, the best practice is to contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as you think you may have received medical care which was below the acceptable standards.

Non-Economic Damages in Medical Negligence Cases are Capped 

Ohio’s medical malpractice law does not cap economic damages (such as medical bills or lost wages), but it does place a cap on non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering). A plaintiff’s non-economic damages may be capped at $250,000, or three times the amount of the economic damages awarded.  The non-economic damage cap does not apply to wrongful death caused by an act of medical negligence.

Many Different Types of Healthcare Providers Could Be at Fault

 While many patients think only a doctor can be liable for medical malpractice, in fact many different healthcare providers may be responsible, from surgeons to family physicians to pharmacists or nursing staff as well as psychologist, dentists, radiologists, etc. Depending upon the case, even a hospital or a laboratory may be responsible for injuries in a medical negligence case.

Malpractice Might Not Be the Cause of Your Injury

Medical negligence is certainly the cause of many different types of healthcare-related injuries, yet it is important for plaintiffs to know that unsuccessful medical outcomes are not necessarily caused by negligence.  All medical procedures have acceptable risks (i.e., even if a healthcare provider gives a patient the best care possible, an unwelcome outcome still may occur).  It is important to consult with an attorney if you believe medical malpractice has occurred so that an analysis of your potential case can be initiated.

Contact an Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a medical professional’s failure to provide the acceptable standard of medical care, you may have a viable medical malpractice lawsuit but it is imperative for you to act quickly.  One of the aggressive Ohio medical malpractice attorneys at our firm can discuss your claim with you. Contact Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co. L.P.A. to learn more about our services.

When you suffer a serious injury while seeking medical care or treatment in Ohio, you should be thinking about your options for filing a medical malpractice claim. Depending upon the circumstances surrounding your injury or illness, it may be difficult to determine who precisely is at fault, and how you should file your claim.

For example, if you sustained an injury or suffered harm while seeking treatment at a hospital, is the hospital or your doctor responsible? Can nurses and pharmacists be responsible for injuries that result in injuries? Can you hold a laboratory that produces a defective test result accountable for a delayed diagnosis? And can you file a medical malpractice lawsuit against more than one party?

All of these questions are critical to discuss with an Ohio medical malpractice attorney. In the meantime, we want to provide you with some information about fault in medical negligence lawsuits in Ohio to help you get a sense of the process.

Many Different Healthcare Providers Can Be Liable for a Medical Error 

If you are seeking a diagnosis, treatment, surgery, medication or another type of consultation or procedure from a healthcare provider, you should know there are many different ways healthcare providers can be liable for medical malpractice and many kinds may be held accountable. To determine who may be liable for your injury under Ohio medical malpractice law, it will be important to determine the type of injury you suffered.

For example, if you received a misdiagnosis which delayed the correct diagnosis of your actual condition, and a significant worsening of your actual condition because of the misdiagnosis, a handful of healthcare providers could be liable. If your doctor sent tests to a lab and the results were wrong, the lab and any lab techs who may be liable. If your doctor was negligent in reading the test results or made an error in reviewing your charts and understanding your symptoms, your doctor may be liable. In some cases, if your doctor is employed by a hospital or another facility, that facility also may be responsible as an employer.

If your prescribing physician or nurse practitioner made a mistake when prescribing your medication or writing the prescription, that healthcare provider could be at fault. If a pharmacist made an error in filling the prescription, the pharmacist could be liable.

You May Be Able to File a Lawsuit Against More than One Party

If more than one healthcare provider was at fault, you may be eligible to file a claim against more than one provider. It is extremely important to have an experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney assess your case to determine your best course of action.

Contact an Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Do you need assistance filing a medical malpractice lawsuit? One of our aggressive Ohio medical malpractice attorneys can help. Contact Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg, Co., LPA to learn more about the services we provide.

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