Category – Medical Malpractice
According to an article posted on NJ.com, a cardiovascular specialist practicing at the Advanced Urgent Care in Lawrence, New Jersey has had his medical license suspended after admitting to prescribing painkillers to patients without the appropriate registration.
Improperly dispensing controlled dangerous substances, such as narcotics, is in violation of the terms of a medical license.
This doctor’s office was inspected in June by investigators from the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau, at which time the doctor admitted to violating the terms of his license. Furthermore, he admitted to having instructed his staff to call in patient prescriptions to pharmacies with another doctor’s certification and name. The inspection also yielded unlabeled and expired controlled dangerous substances, which, according to employees, were usually housed in an unsecured and unlocked cabinet.
This is not the first time this doctor has faced “charges” of unethical practice contrary to the terms of his licensure. In February 2011, the State Board of Medical Examiners restricted his license after allegations of misconduct and substance abuse.
A healthcare professional that does not fulfill his or her duty to provide the standard of care is a danger to patients and can cause serious injury or death. If you or a loved one has suffered injury or illness due to negligence or malpractice on the part of a healthcare professional, you may be entitled to pursue legal action.
The experienced NJ medical malpractice lawyers at Blume Goldfaden can help you determine whether you have a meritorious claim. Call (973) 635-5400 for a no-cost consultation of your legal rights and potential options.
February is Heart Health Month, and organizations such as the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) are teaming up to kick off nationwide campaigns which encourage Americans to get their heart health checked – especially if they have risk factors for heart disease.
Heart disease is the number-one killer of both men and women in the United States. One in four women will die of heart disease or a medical event caused by heart disease, such as a heart attack. Heart disease takes more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined. There is no cure for heart disease, but early diagnosis, changes in lifestyle, and surgery or simple medications can go a long way toward protecting you from a significant cardiac event.
Most doctors take heart health issues of all kinds seriously, and will work with a patient to properly diagnose heart disease, and make every effort to preserve or improve heart health.
Failure to diagnose or properly treat heart disease can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury or illness as the result of medical negligence, the experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys at Blume Goldfaden may be able to assist you in investigating and pursuing your potential claim. Contact the lawyers at Blume Goldfaden to learn whether your claim may have merit at (973) 635-5400.
According to The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the release of new regulations governing Medicare’s Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) provides an opportunity for the examination of this new healthcare model, which gives healthcare providers financial support to improve care in return for their acceptance of accountability for the overall cost and quality of that care. The final set of regulations, which were released in October 2011, aim to address various concerns which arose with the prior draft regulations.
According to the NEJM article, the final regulations make the following changes to Medicare’s ACO program:
- Allow broader range of ACO governance structures;
- Create more saving opportunities while delaying risk bearing;
- Reduce the amount of required quality measures;
- Allow for care from a greater variety of healthcare professionals, including specialists, to determine which ACO a patient is assigned to; and
- Allow ACOs to identify and reach out to patients more effectively.
Although it is Medicare’s ACO program that seems to be garnering the most attention, there are, in fact, nearly 100 other provider organizations which govern themselves under the basic elements of the ACO model: tying payment to improvements in patient care and lowering overall spending growth. Coordinating for the benefit of improved patient care is one of the most important responsibilities of healthcare providers who are part of an ACO. The lack of and/or poor communication between healthcare providers concerning a patient’s health is often the basis of preventable medical errors that may seriously jeopardize the health and even life of the patient.
If you or a loved one has suffered further illness or injury as the result of a healthcare provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. To learn more about your legal rights and to determine whether your claim has merit, contact the experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys at Blume Goldfaden for a no-cost consultation at (973) 635-5400.
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), there are approximately 100,000 emergency hospitalizations for U.S. senior citizens (over age 65) every year related to adverse drug events (ADEs). The study determined that two-thirds of these emergency hospitalizations are associated with the misuse of a small group of medications, specifically, diabetes medications and blood thinners.
The CDC study, which is entitled “Emergency Hospitalizations for Adverse Drug Events in Older Americans” in the NEJM, concluded that four particular diabetes and blood thinning medications caused the majority of ADEs in older adults. These medications are Warfarin, insulin, anti-platelet drugs, and oral diabetes medications called oral hypoglycemic agents. Data collected between 2007 and 2008 from 58 hospitals nationwide concludes that the highest number of emergency hospitalizations, 33 percent, involved Warfarin, a blood thinning medication used to prevent blood clots.
Diabetes medications and blood thinners are commonly used and necessary medications for older adults. These also require attentive management by medical professionals. Oftentimes, doctors and nurses who care for a large number of patients prescribe incorrect dosage amounts and/or forget to perform the necessary tests to determine the dosage level and efficacy of these medications, increasing the risk of ADEs in older patients. Two-thirds of all ADE emergency hospitalizations are the result of contraindicated use of the aforementioned medications.
Medical professionals have a responsibility to provide an appropriate level of care to their patients, young and old. Medication errors are especially dangerous for older adults and pediatric patients but have the potential to cause serious injury and/or illness in a patient of any age.
At Blume Goldfaden, our experienced medical malpractice lawyers in New Jersey are committed to pursuing meritorious claims of medical negligence.
To learn more about protecting your rights and the potential to pursue a claim surrounding this important medication issue, contact us for a no-cost consultation at (973) 635-5400.
After a medical license suspension of over two years, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners revoked the license of Dr. Parvez Dara for a total of four years and fined him $30,000 in civil penalties due to “gross and repeated acts of negligence,” according to NJ.com. Because his license had already been suspended, however, he would be able to reapply for it after 18 months.
State regulators had suspended Dr. Parvez Dara’s medical license in April 2009 after he was linked to a hepatitis B outbreak, according to The Associated Press. An estimated 3,000 of Dr. Parvez Dara’s patients were warned to get tested for hepatitis B after positive results in five cancer patients. Hepatitis B is transmitted through exposure to infected blood and can potentially cause severe liver damage. To date, 29 of his patients have been infected with hepatitis B.
His license was revoked after extensive investigation of Dr. Dara’s Toms River oncology office revealed long-term and blatant health code violations such as:
- Blood stains on the floor and in containers;
- Unsterile saline and gauze;
- Use of contaminated gloves;
- Open medication vials;
- Misuse of antiseptics;
- Unwrapped syringes being exposed to chemotherapy fumes; and
- Medication preparation near the sink where employees wash their hands.
A physician is responsible for maintaining a clean and sterile environment, free of infectious contamination. An oncologist has even greater responsibility to do so because cancer patients typically have compromised immune systems as a result of medical treatment of their disease.
The experienced New Jersey medical negligence attorneys at Blume Goldfaden find this type of disregard for the safety and health of sick patients deplorable. If you or a loved one has suffered illness or injury as the result of medical malpractice, we can help you investigate your possible claim and determine whether you may have a meritorious claim. For a free interview contact us at 973-635-5400. If we feel that your case requires investigation, we will obtain your medical records and review them at no charge with our in-house medical staff.
According to a study conducted by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the chances of sustaining an injury or other harm as the result of medical error is almost the same in a hospital as in a doctor’s office.
Health.usnews.com reported the number of malpractice claims paid on behalf of physicians in doctor’s offices and those paid on behalf of physicians in hospitals. Of approximately 11,000 malpractice payments in 2009, approximately half were paid for harmful events caused by medical errors made in hospitals and half for harmful events in doctor’s offices; though the leading type of medical error was different in each category. In hospitals, the leading causes of adverse or harmful events originated from unsuccessful surgery, whereas the leading cause of adverse events caused by medical error in doctor’s offices was an incorrect diagnosis.
According to researchers, the study also demonstrates the need to improve care in doctors’ offices, including the need to improve coordination between and within doctors’ offices. The study’s lead author states that “a primary care physician may refer a patient to a specialist, but the actual appointment may never happen. A cardiologist may order a scan, unaware that it was already performed during a patient’s hospital stay.”
Although the growing use of electronic health records is helping improve communication between doctors, patient safety in both doctors’ offices and hospitals will always remain a concern.
Our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Blume Goldfaden have decades of experience in handling meritorious medical negligence claims. To determine whether you may have a valid claim, call us for a no-cost consultation at 973-635-5400.
Three orthopedic surgeons have been penalized by the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners for failing to reveal their financial interest in a medical device. According to an NJ.com article, the penalized surgeons apparently did not disclose to their research institutions that they held financial interests in a ProDisc spinal disc device created to replace spinal fusion surgery.
As stated in the article, it is required that all doctors, when renewing their licenses, reveal any financial payments over $10,000 that they are given by medical device manufacturers.
Two of the surgeons have been fined and all three are required to complete an ethics course.
At the heart of this penalization is the issue of public trust. Doctors who put their financial interests before the patient’s care compromise their credibility and could create potentially harmful consequences for patients. A doctor who makes a treatment recommendation or diagnosis based on personal financial benefits rather than what is best for the patient’s health and recovery could face serious consequences.
As this story demonstrates, license renewal forms for doctors cover detailed and important information that affects how they practice medicine and care for the public.
At Blume Goldfaden, our New Jersey medical negligence attorneys have handled a wide range of medical malpractice cases, including those that relate to surgical error. For decades, our firm has obtained substantial recoveries for clients’ meritorious medical malpractice and hospital negligence cases. To learn more about your possible legal rights and options, call us at 973-635-5400 for a no-cost consultation.
NJ Based PDR Network Addresses Medical Malpractice Threat of Physician Failure to Recognize Drug Label Changes
Patients rely on prescription and over-the-counter medications to treat a wide range of medical conditions. These drugs are often prescribed by a doctor.
The labeling on pharmaceutical products is expected to provide accurate information to both the patient and healthcare provider about dosage, side effects, and instruction as to how the drug should be taken or administered. However, this information will only help ensure patient safety if a physician stays informed about changes in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug label guidelines.
According to a recent ModernMedicine article, statistics indicate that approximately 30 percent of medical malpractice lawsuits are associated with medication errors. Some of these suits relate to physician error when prescribing or recommending a contraindicated drug.
New Jersey based PDR Network reports that 25 percent of FDA-approved drugs contained in the 2011 Physicians’ Desk Reference are either new or have had major changes to their labels since the PDR’s 2010 edition. In medication-related medical malpractice lawsuits, the FDA-approved labeling in effect at the time the prescription was written should be evaluated to establish the standard of care applicable to healthcare providers prescribing medications.
Patients should not suffer injuries as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence in failing to stay up-to-date on recent changes in drug labeling. Medication-related errors can cause a patient’s death or lead to serious physical, emotional, and financial harm.
At Blume Goldfaden, our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers have the experience and resources required to help patients or family members afflicted by medication errors. Call us at 973-635-5400 for a no-cost consultation.
BG Attorney, Dennis Donnelly was recently on trial in Morris county, NJ in a case involving wrongful death from medical malpractice- specifically the suit alleged that there was failure to diagnose an insect sting allergy by an ER doctor and the admitting internist, which led to the death of a 40 year old father of 4 1 month later, when he was stung again. Verdict returned in the amount of 1.66 million in June 2010.
New research is linking the antidepressant bupropion found in Wellbutrin and similar medications to heart defects in infants. Taking Wellbutrin, which contains bupropion, while pregnant, may increase the baby’s chance of being born with a specific type of heart defect, studies show. According to a Reuters news report, Wellbutrin affects two out of every 1,000 infants born by women who take bupropion in their third trimester. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology originally addressed this potential danger.
While research regarding antidepressants causing birth defects is relatively new, it is clear that prescription for these and many other types of medication provided by doctors can impact a developing fetus’ health. It is the responsibility of doctors, nurses and pharmacists to carefully monitor their patients and to determine if a particular medication is contraindicated in pregnancy (especially if the expectant mother is taking any other medications), and to keep abreast of the latest medical studies regarding proper use of medications and drug interactions. In addition to knowing a patient’s medical history and drug allergies, your healthcare provider should also be aware of the possible side effects of the drugs that they prescribe. In addition, pharmaceutical manufacturers may be liable for damages caused by their medications if the drugs were not sufficiently tested, or, if the manufacturers did not properly warn the general public and healthcare community of the risks of taking the drugs.
If you have been taking Wellbutrin, another antidepressant, or any medication during pregnancy, and your child was born with a heart defect or some other condition related to that medication, you may be able to recover compensation for injuries sustained by you and your child. Potential medical malpractice and/or product liability cases may be brought against doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and drug manufacturers when a patient’s injury is causally connected to their negligence or wrongdoing.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact the New Jersey medical negligence lawyers at Blume Goldfaden. We always offer no-cost consultations. Call 973-635-5400 to discuss your potential claim with one of our attorneys today.