Monthly Archives: May 2016

Patient Profiling: Are Addicts Mistreated by Medical Professionals?

An estimated 23.5 million Americans suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, Americans with medical histories of addiction may be treated in a discriminatory fashion by health care professionals. Even patients suspected of being addicts may run into trouble. This practice is referred to as ‘patient profiling’, where patients are stereotyped by medical professionals to be a certain way. Take the recent case of a Brooklyn woman who died at Coney Island Hospital from meningitis. A nurse had assumed she was psychotic from synthetic marijuana, despite having a temperature of 101 and various other symptoms pointing to infection. A medical malpractice lawsuit filed against the hospital claims that instead of treating her for meningitis, nurses chained her to a bed and left her to die. Rather than being seen by a physician, the woman’s medical needs were allegedly ignored. This example is a reminder that some medical professionals lack training…
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Joan Rivers’ Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Ends in Settlement

Almost two years ago, 81-year-old comedian and television personality Joan Rivers died during a laryngoscopy. A medical malpractice lawsuit filed against Yorkville Endoscopy by Rivers’ daughter, Melissa Rivers, claims that doctors were initially scheduled to perform a vocal-cord biopsy, a less risky procedure. Performing a laryngoscopy may have caused Rivers to go into cardiac arrest, which led to her death. An anesthesiologist present for the procedure even vocalized concerns about performing a laryngoscopy, and was worried it could impair Rivers’ ability to breathe. In addition to concerns prior to carrying out the operation, an investigation conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services uncovered numerous medical errors before and during the procedure. Doctors did not weigh Rivers before conducting the laryngoscopy, which made it difficult to know how much anesthesia to use. The lawsuit also claims that doctors did not receive consent from Rivers to perform the laryngoscopy and…
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Why Patients Are at Risk of Medication Errors During Hospital Discharge

Medication errors are an increasingly common threat to patients being discharged from hospitals. Four years ago, researchers at Harvard Medical School conducted a study on medication errors and hospital discharges. Researchers used 851 hospital patients undergoing treatment for heart disease to assess the scope of the problem. Half of the patients experienced medication errors during the first month after being discharged. In addition, 23 percent of these errors were deemed ‘serious’ and another 2 percent were life-threatening. We can use a recent example to discuss how patients and their families are hurt by medication errors. Kaiser Health News recently published a sad story describing the death of a patient who was discharged with the incorrect medication. According to the patient’s daughter, who is an oncology nurse, her mother began to experience mouth sores and other serious side effects after arriving home from the hospital. The hospital had given her a…
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