Thirty-eight years ago, the California Legislature passed a medical malpractice law that capped noneconomic damages at $250,000. With inflation, that's equal to more than one million dollars today. Yet, legislation rarely takes inflation into account, which means today's victims of medical malpractice are also victims of the law.
A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group, Texas Health Resources and Harvard's schools of medicine and public health confirmed something medical malpractice attorneys see frequently: Hospitals can benefit from surgical errors and other medical errors.
The chief medical officer for ESPN's X Games, Dr. David Chao, is under scrutiny by the Medical Board of California for his negligence in hip surgeries. According to the Board, the sports medicine doctor was grossly negligent in a 2007 hip surgery and was found negligent in three other surgeries. Furthermore, the doctor improperly maintained medical records, which could have led to additional patient injuries.
"The bitter fact is that there is no appetite in the medical community to come clean about every medical error." These are the words of the chief of pediatric cardiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Darshak Sanghavi.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are often difficult to prove, but there are some cases where pointing out negligence is as easy as showing there was an object left inside a patient's body or a surgeon performed the wrong surgery.
Last week, we covered a new report from the Los Angeles Times that raises big questions with area doctors' new approach to prescription drugs. According to the Times' research, many doctors have moved away from reserving narcotics for the most extreme cases - these potentially addictive and deadly substances are now among the most popular drug products.
Our last post introduced new groundbreaking investigative journalism from the Los Angeles Times. In its study out this week, the Times pointed to two problems in the Los Angeles area that are driving a deadly trend towards prescription drug overdoses.
In a new investigative report, the Los Angeles Times says that prescription drug overdoses are a big problem in California. Its research showed that 47 percent of the Los Angeles area's 3,733 narcotics-related deaths between 2006 and 2011 involved prescriptions.
Medical mistakes occur with frightening frequency in the United States. A new government pilot program is exploring a different angle to help improve healthcare by harnessing patient perspectives and reports. If this program is successful, it might be a big step towards reducing common medical malpractice scenarios liked missed diagnoses and treatment errors.
Los Angeles' Keck Hospital was recently cited by state regulators for a medical malpractice incident in which a foreign object was left in a patient's chest. A report from the California Department of Public Health indicates that a patient came to the hospital for a redo of a stemotomy and aortic valve replacement.