Disturbing Medical Malpractice Trends on the Rise

Medical malpractice can lead to serious or irreparable injuries and even death. The increasing practice of medical negligence in hospitals around the country is of grave concern to medical malpractice lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.

One recent report of medical negligence happened in Virginia, where a $1 million civil lawsuit was filed against an orthopedic surgeon who left his patient with serious and permanent damage to her left collarbone post-surgery. The presiding judge continued the trial into September 2013 in order to allow sufficient time for expert medical testimony.

Court records reveal that the accused surgeon carried out a carpal tunnel release and open reduction internal fixation on the patient. While the former procedure involved reducing pressure / pain on a nerve in the patient’s wrist, internal fixation involved the introduction of implants to mend her bones.

The patient alleged that while performing the procedure, the surgeon determined that a small portion of the distal clavicle was osteoporotic. He attempted to screw a six-inch metal plate to make the clavicle stable, but was unable to hold the plate in position at the distal end. Though the physician was aware that the procedure may not work, he still left the plate in position and tried to stabilize the end of the plate using sutures instead of screws.

The patient complained that the sutures functioned like a saw and cut the clavicle off completely. Moreover, she lost the use of her left arm and shoulder due to the pain and loss of range of motion.

Other allegations against the surgeon included in the complaint are failure to refer the patient on time to a more knowledgeable and experienced shoulder specialist, and failure to get informed consent for the open reduction fixation procedure.

Doctors and surgeons are required to deliver a legally imposed standard of care to patients. In this case, it appears that the surgeon did not deliver the care of a reasonably prudent Virginia orthopedist and left his patient with severe injuries and extensive medical expenses.

Earlier this year cnn.com revealed an increasingly growing trend in the U.S – more and more doctors carrying out invasive cosmetic procedures even if they don’t have the necessary credentials or training to do so. In fact, state medical boards do not restrict physicians from carrying out procedures not covered by their training or specialty. If physicians are licensed, they can carry out whatever medical procedure they want to, provided their patients consent to it.

The implications of this are clearly demonstrated by the story of a woman who went to a board-certified physician for a breast augmentation procedure. Following the procedure, the woman realized that her breast implants were wedged in her armpits.

When the victim rushed back to her physician, he stated that he had never seen anything like that before. The woman approached another surgeon for a second opinion. The second surgeon said the previous surgeon made a grave mistake during the the procedure and extensive surgery would be required to fix it.

One shocking truth came out of the whole incident – the board-certified physician was not board certified in plastic surgery. He was really an eye doctor.

Another example of medical negligence cited in the article is that of an ENT physician who received $12,000 from a young hairdresser for performing two unneccessary surgeries. One was abdomen liposuction, and the other, introduction of breast implants that were as big as watermelons.

The reason that more and more physicians discard their own specializations for plastic surgery may be plain and simple: money. The decline of insurance reimbursements has led more physicians to look for alternative methods to supplement their income. Plastic surgery is a field of medicine that is safe from insurance companies.

When considering a plastic surgery procedure, it is important to consult a physician who is certified by the ABPS (American Board of Plastic Surgery). If considering facial plastic surgery, the procedure should be done by someone who is certified by the ABFPRS (American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery).

If you or someone close to you was a victim of any form of medical malpractice, consult a competent medical malpractice attorney to take legal action against the physician. You may be entitled to medical expenses, as well as compensation for other losses such as pain and suffering.

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