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Covington KY Medical Malpractice Law Blog

After removing wrong rib, surgeon tries to cover up mistake

The world of medical malpractice has the tendency to attract the strange and the bizarre. Medical procedures are foreign concepts to begin with to many people, but when errors are made, they can seem even more incomprehensible. But even given all of this, the following medical malpractice story really does raise some eyebrows.

A woman who needed to have her eight rib removed due to a lesion went into surgery expecting everything to go well. After the procedure, she was still experiencing pain in the area, so she complained to a different doctor than the surgeon who performed the surgery. The doctor took an x-ray of the area, and they found something startling: the wrong rib was removed, and metal coils were left inside of her by accident.

Medical malpractice lawsuit resolved

Regular readers will recall that in our previous Covington medical malpractice blog post, we described a trial over the death of a young doctor at a Pennsylvania hospital. The 26-year-old died of a brain hemorrhage at Geisinger Medical Center.

In an ironic twist, the young doctor was supposed to start her pediatric residency at a facility owned by the company that also owns the medical center where she died. Her family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the company, alleging a breakdown in communication at the center was among the errors that caused her death. The two sides recently announced a settlement in the case.

Young doctor’s death prompts medical malpractice lawsuit

It is about a three-hour drive northeast of Covington to Plains Township, Pennsylvania. On the town's Facebook page today, there is mention of the opening back in 1981 of the NPW Medical Center. Today, the facility is called Geisinger Wyoming Valley and is "the largest healthcare facility in Northeastern Pennsylvania."

Why is that important? The facility is today at the center of a medical malpractice trial. The plaintiffs in the case allege that a failure in communication between doctors – coupled with human error – caused the death in 2013 of a young pediatrician.

The clock is running

The mystery of time has been examined in songs by everyone from Cyndi Lauper to REM and from Enya to Cher. It has been explored in classic movies such as "Groundhog Day" and "Back to the Future" and in books such as H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine."

The familiar elusiveness of time wraps around all of our days, figuring prominently in most aspects of life. All of this leads up to a deadline no one who has been the victim of negligence by a doctor should ignore: here in Kentucky, as well as in Ohio, you have exactly one year in which to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Experimental surgeries leave 6-year-old with brain damage

He's just 6 years old, but he faces some of the toughest obstacles anyone of any age can face in life. The boy lives with his family about 300 miles northwest of Covington in the Chicago area.

His family recently settled a medical malpractice lawsuit for $30 million against a doctor and a medical center where 25 surgeries were performed on the boy. Some of the procedures were "risky, novel operations," the suit stated.

Doctor becomes medical malpractice attorney

An accident in a baseball game 12 years ago broke bones in his hand and shattered his career as a surgeon. Prevented from answering the call as a doctor, he turned to a new calling: the study of law and life as a medical malpractice attorney.

Lawrence Schlachter has been a surgeon and is now a lawyer fighting for patients who have suffered at the hands of negligent physicians, nurses or hospital staff.

The sound of healing

For people who are ill, the sound of silence can be a healing absence of distracting noise. Unfortunately, as anyone who has been hospitalized in Covington or Cincinnati can tell you, hospitals are anything but quiet.

As hospital administrators, doctors and others try to find ways reduce the risk of medical malpractice, they are looking more carefully at factors such as noise that can be detrimental to healing.

Unnecessary but lucrative procedures

Some readers of our Covington medical malpractice blog will recall a post we published back in October on an Indiana cardiologist. The New York Times had run a thought-provoking investigative piece on a doctor who retired in 2014, leaving behind hundreds of angry and injured former patients.

A more recent article in a legal journal gave us more details on the disturbing allegations against the heart doctor. Nearly 300 people are pressing legal claims against him, many accusing him of implanting unneeded defibrillators and pacemakers and routinely carrying out medically unnecessary procedures.

Listen closely: The stethoscope is dying

There are two sides of the stethoscope debate: those doctors who say the listening device is dead or dying and those physicians who say the instruments are still useful and are likely to be important for years to come.

No matter which side of the debate your Covington doctor is aligned with, it's likely that he or she agrees that many medical personnel aren't as good with the devices as they should be and that the quality of their diagnoses might well suffer for it.

Ohio Supreme Court mulling medical malpractice case

It's a little over an hour's drive north from Covington to find the suburban home of a retired Air Force colonel who is waiting to hear the Ohio Supreme Court rule on his medical malpractice case. The high court won't be deciding whether or not the former colonel and airline pilot was harmed by a negligent surgeon, but whether or not he waited too long to file his claim against the Cleveland Clinic.

Ohio allows injured patients just four years to file medical malpractice claims. The former colonel was operated on in 2008 to remove a cancerous prostate gland. He says the botched surgery left him impotent, incontinent and incapable of continuing his career as a commercial airline pilot.

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