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September 27, 2006

Sponges, Marbles, and Nurse's Revenge

Zap Yikes! Nurse Who Killed Patient—A Former High School Foe No Less—Pulled Plug on Her Breathing Alarm Read [Charlotte Observer]

Pow! No More Sponges Left Inside Patients After Surgery? Read [Orlando Sentinel]

Kazam! Keep Your Marbles Together in Small Town USA ... Or Else Read [KTRK-TV]

Boom! Hey Vikings, Kick The Tires On Your Doc Read [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Zap! $16  million Med-Mal Award Reversed; Judge Dropped The Ball Read [Hartford Courant]

September 25, 2006

'Cock' Doc Underfire

Mascu Alright, the more appropriate term is "penis doctor." But it still galls us that some cardiologist read a how-to book and began performing delicate surgeries outside his discipline. In this case, "visions of grandeur" became "distorted organs." We'll leave it to the Chicagoist who said it, ah, best:

This morning's Sun-Times ran a story about Dr. Sheldon Burman, the founder of the MSD Clinic, an abattoir of masculinity located in our old Northwest Side childhood stomping grounds. "MSD", by the way, stands for "Male Sexual Dysfunction", although with the rash of malpractice claims filed against Burman (45 and counting), it could just as well stand for "my scary-looking ding-a-ling". Guaranteeing an increase of one-half inch in length and a fifty percent increase in penile thickness, Burman and his crack (smoking?) team essentially helped men change their penis size from "pudding snack cup" to "rusty, dented tuna can". The sheer number of malpractice claims against Burman were enough for state medical officials to start the process of revoking Burman's medical license. Burman still stands by the thouands of procedures he's done since 1981.

We digressed today. We know. We take responsibility. But it's still a liability mess.

FYI: Doc Burman said he had no formal training but taught himself the  knife tricks. Read [UPI]


News Can Bruise

News_17 Cook County Sees 25% Drop in Med-Mal Lawsuits But Insurance Rates Steady. Sweet.
Read [Quad Cities Online]

If Crazy Malpractice Climate Keeps Docs Away, Will Life Expectancy Drop? Read [Post-Gazette]

Flordia Doc Calls Some Expert Witnesses Lying Fools Read [The Ledger]

You'll Get Sun and Bagels in Boca, But Forget About An OB/GYN Read [Boca Raton News]

September 21, 2006

This Makes Us Sick!

The whole idea behind ThisMakesMeSick is exposing the outrageous problems of America's medical liability nightmare.

We've been evenhanded over the past year going after the dirtbags causing the mess, no matter if they are lawyers, doctors, patients, politicos, or insurance companies.

Recently, we heard a truly sick tale from Blaine Stanziana about his wife's horriffic hospital stay:

My wife went into Pittsburgh's Mercy hospital on 10-3-05 for a hysterectomy. The morning of the surgery we told hospital doctors that my wife still had a sore throat. They ignored us. My wife then placed this information in the preoperative anesthetic evaluation form where question 6 asked " Have you had any of these symptoms in the past week? A Sore Throat? A cough or cold? My wife then checked the yes box's for both answers.

My wife  developed the Flesh Eating Disease called Necrotizing Fasciitious in her surgery incision six hours after  surgery. My wife then underwent five emergency surgeries in three days to save her life. She was on a breathing machine fighting for her life. In all she had seven surgeries in eight days all because the hospital did not listen to us about her having a sore throat the morning of the surgery.

Here is a photo taken by Blaine of his wife after the incident.



If you have a tale, let's hear it! EMAIL US


Continue reading "This Makes Us Sick!" »

September 19, 2006

AMA Big: An 'awful' tort system

Hat Tip to one of our most vocal readers, Donna Baver Rovito, who pens the Liability Update.  She let us know about an frank interview with the president of the Amer. Medical Assoc. Excerpts:

"The $250,000 (damages) caps that we've passed in the state of California stabilized (medical malpractice) premiums somewhat, but we still have this awful, awful system."


"Are we trying to give away money to people who have things happen to them, or are we trying to weed out negligence in care?"


"We have a system where 60 percent to 65 percent of the money in the system goes to trial lawyers (and cases are decided by) juries that can't even pronounce the (medical terms), or understand what's going on."

Read it all, here.

Opinion: Medical Errors Hidden in PA

Images2_2 We've enjoyed the lively banter taking place in the Philadelphia Daily News, where the letters to the editor are getting heated.

It all started when a counter-punch was thrown after a doc talked of rising med-mal insurance rates—we covered it here. Now the head of the Pennsylvania trial Lawyers Association weighs in. Excerpt:

"Nationally, we know that as many as 98,000 people die annually because of a preventable medical error. But in Pennsylvania, these errors remain hidden from patients and the public.

But taking away the rights of someone who has been hurt by malpractice is the wrong answer to a serious problem. The best way to stop malpractice suits is to prevent malpractice." Read the rant here.

Images3 Any one think there is a third way between these sparring—and well-educated—factions?

Docs and lawyers: We demand you hash this sh$# out once and for all over some cheese steaks. Gino will moderate

September 18, 2006

How To Boost Patient Safety

UnknownIn the latest issue of The Milbank Quarterly, a distinguished group of health policy experts applaud special health courts—a novel solution to ease the pain that is the nation's medical liability crisis:

"... Among those advantages are 'the cultivation of a culture of transparency regarding medical errors and the creation of mechanisms to gather and analyze data on medical injuries.'"

Philip K. Howard—the chair of Common Good, which champions special health courts—said: “Reliable courts are essential to align incentives to improve quality and contain costs. Medical justice today is ad hoc, infecting healthcare with a debilitating distrust that special health courts would be able to cure.”

Read more here.

September 15, 2006

Liability Madness

Door-sized window found ajar, 84-year old hospital patient dead three stories down Read [Frederick News-Post

Arbitration Works: Suit settled over hospital's tainted steroids Read [The Pilot]

'Conservative' Lawyer Joins GOP Gov Ticket in Florida even though he broke with GOP on medical liability law. A trial lawyer and the GOP living in perfect harmony? Nice work Jim Baker on brokering this truce. Read [Palm Beach Post]

September 13, 2006

Opinion: Paying Off Rick Santorum

Images1_2 A recent letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Daily News that MENTIONS Sen. Rick Santorum R-PA (smiling at left):

The malpractice debate

I DON'T DOUBT that Dr. Margaret Hessen has rising insurance costs (op-ed, "Doc's view of malpractice debate," Sept. 8).

We all are feeling that burden. But I hold no sympathy for the good doctor who puts her misguided trust into the hands of Republican politicians and price-gouging insurance companies.

The Congressional Budget Office found that malpractice costs account for a very small fraction of total health care spending and that even radical reform would have a relatively small effect on total health-plan premiums. This is a non-partisan agency under the GOP-led Bush administration that came to this conclusion. (You can find the information here.)

Why does Dr. Hessen blame Americans for her insurance premiums instead of personal responsibility? Because it's easier to attack Americans than it is to fight the insurance-industry lobby.

The industry spends billions of dollars a year :  to pass laws that hurt Americans. What we need are new politicians, publicly financed elections and national health care. And doctors who accept personal responsibility for their actions.

Can we get a witness, er, comment?

The Great Untalked About in Med-Mal

Dougwojceszak_6From the most recent SorryWorks! Newsletter:

The media often talks about the pain visited upon patients and families by medical errors (which is very real), but rarely do they talk about the pain and suffering experienced by medical professionals after medical errors. Sure, there are those healthcare professionals who are cold and callous and truly don't care, but the vast majority of doctors and nurses suffer greatly after a medical error. They beat themselves up and literally grieve.

The situation is made worse when risk management and defense counsel tell the doctor or nurse to shut up and abandon the patient/family. Healthcare professionals being told not to heal patients and families who have been hurt only makes a bad situation worse. There are countless stories of clinical depression, ruined careers, divorces, and even suicides among healthcare professionals after medical errors.

Doctors and nurses need healing too after errors, and they can only receive the healing they need by taking ownership of an error, confessing their mistake to a patient and family, apologizing, and then hearing the magic words from a patient or family: "I forgive you."

About TMMS

  • ThisMakesMeSick answers renowned medical inventor Dr. Robert Fischell's wish to spread awareness (and outrage!) about the medical liability crisis that's ruining our healthcare system.

    Learn more...

What makes you sick?

  • We want to hear your thoughts and personal stories.

    Have you...

    • Fretted over rising malpractice premiums?

    • Signed a truly unbelievable medical liability waiver?

    • Faced a frivolous lawsuit?

    • Dealt with a doctor or a hospital who wouldn't take responsiblity for their actions?

    • Practiced defensive medicine?

    Let us know about groups and individuals offering real solutions. And be sure to add your comments to our posts.

    Contact the editor of ThisMakesMeSick.

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You don't say...

  • "This election destroyed a popular Karl Rove myth. The truth is that trial attorneys are winning, attacks on trial attorneys are backfiring and opponents of the civil justice system are losing."

    The CEO of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America said.

  • "We have discovered that virtually all patients are willing to sign a contract in which they agree not to sue their doctors on frivolous grounds."

    Jeffrey Segal, M.D, a board-certified neurosurgeon and the founder and president of Medical Justice Services, Inc., said.

  • "Low-risk obstetrics has been done here for 60 years, but not anymore."

    Carl Hanson, chief operating officer of the county-run Minidoka Memorial Hospital in southern Idaho hospital's, explained as they get out of the baby business. Read

  • "I have children, and I don't know where they're at."

    Rosalinda Elison, a former patient at the UC Irvine Medical Center’s fertility clinic, said after learning that that her eggs and embryos had been stolen and implanted in another woman who then gave birth to twins.

    Read more You Don't Say, here.

Crisis by numbers:

  • $4.6 million

    New York state grants available to expand the use of electronic medical records. Such initiatives have been hailed nationally as a way to cut medication errors, save money and improve patient safety. LINK

  • $700,000

    Amount raised by Fairness and Accountability in Insurance Reform to oppose malpractice limits in Arizona. LINK

  • $450,000

    Amount the Arizona Medical Association says Arizonans for Access to Health Care has raised to decide whether to push for montetary limits on lawsuits. LINK

    Read more CRISIS BY NUMBERS, here.

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