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February 2013 Archives

Misdiagnosis common with pediatric stroke victims


According to a pediatric neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Pediatric Neurology in Ohio, pediatric stroke is among the top 10 causes of death in children. One 15-year-old boy from Parma Heights is an exemplary case study: After he visited an emergency room with symptoms such as difficulty with movement, vomiting and extreme headache, emergency room doctors misdiagnosed him with a severe migraine, and this failure to diagnose his condition properly resulted in delayed treatment. His mother's insistence that he be transferred to a different medical center resulted in the proper diagnosis of a pediatric stroke. However, diagnosis and proper treatment were delayed by 25 hours.The boy experienced a second stroke after treated, and this resulted in such incredible pressure on his skull that doctors had to remove part of the it. In addition, he also lost mobility in his limbs and some speech ability. He continues to receive physical therapy treatment today in an effort to fully recover from his strokes.

New course seeks to lower risks of pain management

The Colorado School of Public Health has created an online program called "The Opioid Crisis: Guidelines and Tools for Improving Chronic Pain Management." Intended to combat the problem of medication errors related to overdoses and unintentional deaths from prescribed opioids, the program is being endorsed by the Colorado Medical Society, or COPIC, a provider of medical malpractice insurance in Colorado. Statistics from the Robert Johnson Foundation indicate that over 80 people die each day from unintended opioid medication overdoses. The program's online training course not only offers tools that target the epidemic of opioid abuse, but it also provides guidelines for assessing possible addiction risks in patients who have pain that is chronic but not cancer-related and provides access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or PDMP. There is also a calculator that estimates the dose of opioids taken by a patient.

New Hampshire radiologist accused of medical malpractice

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire face lawsuits because a radiologist stole syringes filled with fentanyl and injected himself with the painkiller. It is also alleged that he refilled the used syringes with saline and that they were used to inject patients. The radiologist suffered from hepatitis and now at least 32 patients have been diagnosed with his strain of the virus. Medication errors like this one may be of interest to Colorado residents because AART is a national organization and this radiologist could've been hired by a Colorado hospital. At least two patients are including ARRT in their lawsuits, because they claim the organization failed to investigate a complaint against the radiologist in Arizona. They continued to credential him, which allowed him to be hired by Exeter. The Arizona hospital fired him after he was discovered unconscious in the hospital locker room with needles and syringes in his possession.

Wrongful death case may go to Colorado's highest court

A case regarding medical malpractice and a wrongful death claim  may make it all the way to the State Supreme Court of Colorado. A widower is fighting Catholic Health Initiatives over a lower court ruling that stated since his twin sons died in their mother's uterus, they did not meet the state's definition of living. This excludes the babies from the wrongful death suit their father filed.  In 2006, the man took his 31-year-old wife to the St. Thomas More Hospital emergency room. She was 28 weeks pregnant with twin boys and experiencing vomiting and shortness of breath. She had a heart attack and died a short time later. Her twins were delivered, but they had died in the womb. Her husband filed a wrongful death suit for all three of them. The court sided with the hospital attorneys' claim that according to state law the babies were not considered living people due to the fact they died in the uterus. The case of the wife's death was dismissed for unrelated legal issues.

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