March 29, 2006

Driving the Yellow Bus

Flea_1We're happy to offer the first post from Flea--a guest blogger who's also pediatrician in the northeast. You can  check out his drfleablog,  here.

A pediatrician shouldn’t be writing about medical malpractice. We fleas don’t get sued very often. Our malpractice insurance premiums are a fraction of what our colleagues on OB/GYN pay. Parents like us. We wear cute ties and nice fuzzy animals on our stethoscopes.

But pediatricians and other fleas do get sued. If a bad outcome occurs in a hospital, the hospital may get sued as well. Hospitals don’t like to be sued. They will do anything legally and reasonably in their power to prevent medical malpractice suits.

A few years ago, a baby born at a hospital in my community died of a rare condition known as kernicterus. It seems the baby had a very high level of a substance called bilirubin in his blood. Bilirubin is the yellow pigment that gives rise to the yellow skin condition known as jaundice. In high enough concentrations, bilirubin can be toxic to brains and can even cause death. The hospital settled for an undisclosed, but presumed very large amount of money.

A few months later, the hospital decided to implement a universal bilirubin screening protocol. In other words, every baby born at the hospital would have a bilirubin test, regardless of how yellow the baby appeared. The chairman of the department of Pediatrics confided in me that the main reason for the policy was to prevent any more damaging medical malpractice suits.

Continue reading "Driving the Yellow Bus" »

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.

    Subscribe to our RSS Feed.

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.

Powered by TypePad
Member since 09/2005