Look for more updates on my other blog at DrWhitecoat.com
Judge orders Colorado family to pay $340,000 in legal fees after losing the medical malpractice suit it brought against a hospital.
The family plans to declare bankruptcy. The family’s attorney, Stacy Warden, alleges that the hospital lacked compassion for “going after a family with a severely disabled child.” If attorneys file frivolous cases, perhaps the attorneys should be on the hook, not the families …
West Virginia couple is suing a physician for failing to diagnose an epidural abscess that later rendered the patient with permanent paralysis, in addition to other physical pain and suffering.
The details of the case aren’t provided, so the comments below are not necessarily related to this case.
However, just consider …
Spinal epidural abscesses present as either neck or back pain in 70-100% of cases. Fever and neurologic deficits accompany the pain in only 10-15% of initial presentations.
CT or MRI of the spine is the only way to diagnose this disease process and early diagnosis is important to a good outcome.
But the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Choosing Wisely campaign state that CT or MRI for acute low back pain is “often a waste of money” and probably not needed unless there is “a history of cancer, unexplained weight loss, fever, recent infection, loss of bowel or bladder control, abnormal reflexes, or loss of muscle power or feeling in the legs.” Remember … these symptoms are present in only 15% of patients with spinal epidural abscesses.
Therefore, according to the AAFP and the Choosing Wisely campaign, it should be “unnecessary” to diagnose the 85% of spinal epidural abscesses that present with only acute back pain.
Yeah, that logic didn’t work too well with me, either.
Want a *brief* look into a day in the life of an emergency nurse … since certain other emergency nurses aren’t blogging any more? Here’s a local newspaper’s brief overview.
SAMHSA study (.pdf file) shows that emergency department visits due to nonmedical use of prescription stimulants and caffeine pills increased fourfold between 2005 and 2011.
Another hospital starts collecting payments at the time of a patient’s emergency department discharge. Wonder what happens if patients don’t pay …
Number of emergency department visits from magnetic foreign body ingestions increases fivefold between 2003 and 2011. The government already put buckyballs out of business due to safety concerns. The only logical conclusion is to criminalize the manufacture of any magnet smaller than the size of a child’s mouth. Come on, Joint Commission. You’re dropping the ball here. Our childrens’ safety is in jeopardy.
Next stop: Outlawing credit cards. Those magnetic stripes could KILL a person!
What happens when you pass laws to provide medical insurance to everyone? Emergency department visits increase. Massachusetts Medical Society President notes that when people have medical insurance and they don’t have a primary care physician, they “go to the emergency room.” Same thing can be said when people have medical insurance and their physicians won’t take their medical insurance because it pays less than the cost of care for the patients. Not that that would ever happen …
The rhetoric is getting old already. Your doctor is a worrywort, therfore you may end up getting “unnecessary” tests and paying for lots of expensive tests. But if your doctor misses a diagnosis because he didn’t order the “unnecessary” test, he’s a flaming idiot and should have his license revoked.
Harvard law professor Michelle Mello, who commented on the article, says that mediation in front of a judge would reduce defensive testing because it would reduce the stigma of being accused of malpractice and negligence. Just goes to show you that just because you’re a Harvard professor doesn’t mean that you know what you’re talking about. Doctors still have to report all claims – mediated or not – when applying for hospital privileges or state licensure, and any payments on a physician’s behalf get reported to the National Practitioner Databank – which is queried every time that a physician seeks licensure, insurance, or hospital privileges.
But thanks for spreading the misinformation, professor.