Maryland Wrong Site Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit

October 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

A recent report in the Baltimore Sun highlights a recent medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a Maryland woman whose doctor allegedly removed the wrong ovary and fallopian tube during a cyst removal operation. Known as a wrong site surgery lawsuit, such types of medical malpractice are rare, but completely preventable.

According to the report, the complaint was filed last month in Baltimore City Circuit Court after a doctor who was supposed to remove a cyst on the ovary on the left instead operated on the ovary and fallopian tube on the right. The complaint alleged that the doctor was not supposed to remove any of the woman’s organs, failed to get proper consent and has left her with reduced fertility and the need for additional surgery.

Making matters even worse, the plaintiff alleged that the doctor did not tell her she had removed the wrong ovary, even after she returned days later complaining of pain on her right side. The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff did not discover the mistake until she went to a local emergency room, which discovered that the left ovary, with the cyst, was still in place and the right ovary and fallopian tube were gone.

Wrong site surgery is generally considered a “never event,” or a mistake that is inexcusable and should never occur.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has indicated that wrong site surgery is caused by “poor preoperative planning, lack of institutional controls, failure of the surgeon to exercise due care, or a simple mistake in communication between the patient and the surgeon.” The academy noted that 84% of wrong site surgery lawsuits against orthopaedic surgeons resulted in payments to plaintiffs, as opposed to 30% of other orthopedic surgery claims.

A number of studies have found that wrong site surgery mistakes can be almost entirely prevented when medical staff use extensive checklists, mark operating sites while the patient is still conscious, and confirm those sites with the patient, checklists and other members of the surgery team.

The Maryland malpractice lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. handle potential cases for wrong site surgery and other surgical errors.

To review a potential case with our Maryland surgical malpractice lawyers
Call 1(800) 522-0102 Toll Free 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week
or Complete an On-Line Consultation Request

Maryland Lead Poisoning Rates Continue to Drop

October 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

State officials are edging closer to their goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning in Maryland, but as they continue to win the battle against apartments, they are finding cases in other types of residences on the rise.

There were 531 Maryland children with harmful levels of lead in their blood in 2010, according to figures released by the Maryland Department of the Environment, 22 less children than the year before. The number represents less than .05 percent of the state’s youth.

Most of the cases of lead poisoning were in Baltimore, which also saw its numbers drop by 33 children for a total of 314 in 2010.

However, state officials say that while they are making progress in preventing lead poisoning in old rental units, they are seeing an increase in lead poisoning cases in newer, unregistered rental homes and owner-occupied homes. Neither of those type of dwellings fall under current state or federal lead poisoning prevention laws.

Investigators say 60% of the new cases of childhood lead poisoning in Maryland last year were in homes not covered by state and federal lead poisoning prevention rules. Lead poisoning cases in owner occupied homes rose to 149 in 2010, an increase of 20 cases. The number of cases in unregulated rental units nearly tripled, with 66 new cases last year. There were only 37 total cases in 2009.

Lead-based paint was banned in 1978, but many children living in older urban residences are exposed to old lead paint in poorly maintained apartments. Children can reach dangerously high blood lead levels through exposure to lead paint dust or by eating paint chips. Lead poisoning can cause developmental delays, behavioral difficulties and other health problems.

The Maryland legislature has commissioned a study group to make recommendations on how to prevent lead poisoning in homes not covered by state and federal laws.

MARYLAND LEAD POISONING LAWYERS

The Maryland accident lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. review potential claims for individuals who have experienced damages from lead poisoning throughout the state.

To review a potential case with our Maryland lead poisoning lawyers
Call 1(800) 522-0102 Toll Free 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week
or Complete an On-Line Consultation Request

St. Joseph Hospital Legionnaires Disease

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Patients and employees at Towson’s St. Joseph Medical Center have been warned not to use the hospital’s water supply after the presence of Legionnaires’ disease-causing bacteria was found in the hot water supply. Read more

Maryland Surgical Fires News Story

February 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Monday night, on WBAL TV’s 11 o’clock news, a story was presented about the risk of surgical fires that can occur when operating room tools create a spark that ignites flammable materials or gases around the patient. Although these surgery fires are rare, in many cases they can be prevented and may be caused by medical malpractice.

Each year in the United States, there are approximately 600 reports of surgical fires, and about 20 to 30 of these incidents result in severe injury or death for the patient. However, many of these events are never reported, and few medical facilities have the necessary training or safety precautions in place to reduce the risk of the operating room fires.

In recent decades, the occurrence of surgical fires has increased in part due to modern electrosurgical tool sand devices, paper or synthetic drapes replacing cloth drapes and the use of pure oxygen administered to patients during surgery

The WBAL Channel 11 News story highlighted the story of Maryland resident Catherine Lake, whose mother suffered second and third degree burns as a result of a surgical fire during a 2002 operation, which ultimately led to her death two years after the accident.

Lake has created www.surgicalfires.org in an effort to provide people with information about surgical fires and how they can be prevented.

In many states operating room fires do not have to be reported and few regulations are in place to reduce the occurrence of these events. Many are calling for nationwide reporting requirements, increased education and training for hospital staff about fire prevention and preparation, as well as better communication between surgeons and anesthesiologists during operations.

Although Maryland surgical fires are supposed to be reported, WBAL TV reports that under reported.