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October 2012 Archives

Woman seeks to delay her medical malpractice trial

A former Ohio University student who is suing the college for medical malpractice has asked for a postponement in her trial. She has asked an appeals court to order the delay until another aspect of her case is settled. The woman's suit stems from possible errors that may have caused the hospital to fail to properly diagnose her. Under Ohio law, universities are not liable for punitive damages and are only liable for a limited amount of non-economic damages. The woman is arguing the constitutionality of this law and wants a postponement of her case until that issue is settled. The woman already lost a plea to have her case heard in another court where these limits would not apply and is awaiting a decision from the appeals court before proceeding with her lawsuit.

Man seeks millions in malpractice suit from VA hospital

A man who was treated at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, is suing the federal government for $10 million after he claims a nurse caused damage to his groin by improperly applying ice packs.The hospital malpractice suit stems from an incident in which the man entered the VA hospital for medically necessary surgery to his genitals. After the surgery, a nurse continued to apply icepacks to the surgical site for 19 hours. This treatment resulted in frostbite that led to gangrene, according to the complaint, and eventually led to a partial amputation of the patient's genitals that will require reconstructive surgery to correct.

New technology helps avoid surgical tools from being left behind

Stories of surgical sponges and even instruments left in patients might seem hard to believe, but they definitely happen. These types of hospital errors appear with alarming frequency. However, new technology may help doctors avoid this pitfall and keep patients safer and healthier.About 4,000 so-called retained surgical items are reported every year in the United States. Most of these are sponges are used to control bleeding. In most operating theaters, nurses are responsible for counting the number of sponges used to be sure they are all retrieved. New technology such as radio-frequency tags has made the old method of counting obsolete, but some hospitals cling to these practices.

Military doctors may be overprescribing painkillers

A new report by the National Academy of Sciences shows that military doctors may be overprescribing pain pills. This lax prescribing leads to the issue of overmedication that seems to be plaguing service people with resulting addictions.Active personnel who are caught abusing prescription drugs may be given a dishonorable discharge, leading to loss of veterans' benefits. Unable to pay for their medication, they may resort to criminal behavior to get the drugs, such as buying from dealers or other patients. This can lead to a lack of speaking out regarding addictions. Active duty personnel are afraid to seek help because it may result in the loss of benefits they need to continue to get needed drugs.

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