Blog Posts in 2009

  • Almost Sterile Is Not Sterile Enough

    || 11-Dec-2009

    You know all those surgical tools and medical instruments, such as endoscopes and bronchoscopes, at doctors’ offices and hospitals? You probably also know they need to be properly sterilized to prevent infections and such. Unfortunately, there aren’t exactly a ton of sterilizers on the market, and one that is used by many hospitals, System 1 by Steris, has been slapped by the Food and ...
    Continue Reading
  • Of Fillings and Fat

    || 7-Dec-2009

    Sometimes I read newspaper articles about medical malpractice cases and wonder if someone is trying to play a prank on me. The things some doctors allegedly do to their patients? Unbelievable. Take, for instance, the doctor/dentist in Moses Lake, Washington, who performed breast reduction surgery as well as liposuction on a 15-year-old girl. Dr. Thomas Laney has licenses to practice medicine and ...
    Continue Reading
  • Massive Crib Recall

    || 24-Nov-2009

    From time to time we talk about product recalls, especially when they involve safety issues. Just recently, in fact, we mentioned the Maclaren baby stroller recall. Well, now there’s a large-scale crib recall that involves more than 2.1 million drop-side cribs produced by Canadian company Stork Craft Manufacturing. So far there have been four deaths caused by the drop-side cribs. Basically, ...
    Continue Reading
  • When a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Lingers On

    || 19-Nov-2009

    Sorry, but here’s another nightmare story about an elderly patient who suffered extreme neglect at the nursing home paid to care for her. Alice Train suffered from dementia and diabetes but was otherwise mobile when she entered the Evergreen Milton-Freewater Health and Rehabilitation Center. Her condition dangerously deteriorated in less than two months and, according to the lawsuit filed ...
    Continue Reading
  • No, Your Other Left

    || 3-Nov-2009

    I am always amazed when I hear about surgeries gone wrong, particularly surgeries in which the wrong limb or organ is operated upon. I mean, how hard is it to clearly mark the spot that needs to be addressed? I was recently at the hospital with my mother, who was undergoing a quick procedure that required her to be checked into the short-term surgical ward. Every single person who saw her asked ...
    Continue Reading
  • Waterlogged

    || 29-Oct-2009

    Recently I blogged about the woman in Sacramento, CA, who participated in a water-drinking contest at a radio station then died of hyponatremia. Her family sued the radio station, and the case is currently in trial. Now I have an update for you, courtesy of this article in the Sacramento Bee. The family of the deceased is requesting an award between $34 million and $44.3 million. The jury has been ...
    Continue Reading
  • Big Problems in the Big House

    || 20-Oct-2009

    Prison is punishment, but how far should that punishment go? Should prisoners expect certain rights and accommodations? Shouldn’t they be treated like human beings? Katherine Anderson (now Newcomb) may have wondered this as she served 17 months at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Oregon, the state’s only women’s prison. Anderson nearly died of congestive heart failure as her ...
    Continue Reading
  • Non-Mandatory Mandatory Reporting of Medical Errors

    || 16-Oct-2009

    Washington State has a law that requires hospitals to report “never event” medical errors. The funny thing is, the hospitals aren’t filing the reports. So, now the Washington State Department of Health is investigating the reasons for this. An investigation by Hearst Newspaper (chronicled in a series of articles called Dead by Mistake ) uncovered some possible reasons. One is ...
    Continue Reading
  • (Over)Radiation Therapy?

    || 14-Oct-2009

    It’s bad enough to have to go through radiation, but to have excessive amounts of radiation zapped into you? Well, that’s what happened at Los Angeles’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for EIGHTEEN months. The hospital discovered that the resetting of a CT scan machine in February 2008 was responsible for radiation overdoses. Specifically, patients undergoing CT brain perfusion scans ...
    Continue Reading
  • Certificate? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Certificate!

    || 29-Sep-2009

    The state of Washington created a law in 2006 designed to reform medical malpractice lawsuits. Part of the law required those wishing to file medical malpractice suits to obtain certificates of merit before they could actually file a lawsuit. In other words, patients who were victims of medical mistakes had to find an expert (probably someone in the medical community) who would provide a ...
    Continue Reading