Archive for the ‘ Medical Malpractice ’ Category

25
Jul

I Got Bladder Cancer After Using Invokana – Now What?

July 25, 2019

If you or someone you love was prescribed Invokana to treat type II diabetes and have since been diagnosed with bladder cancer, it is crucial that you speak with a medical malpractice attorney right away.

One might think that the drug only recently showed signs of causing cancer, but unfortunately, clinical trials and testing revealed that the drug may have been known to do so over a year before Invokana even came to the US market.

In addition to bladder and kidney cancer, diabetics who were prescribed Invokana have suffered a wide array of other severe side effects. You should discuss your medical malpractice case with an attorney so they can help you take the next steps in seeking justice and compensation.

Why Was Invokana Prescribed?

Originally, Invokana was thought to be a new, special drug to help type II diabetics control glycemia levels. It showed promising signs by treating diabetic symptoms as an SGLT2 inhibitor.

Unfortunately, a number of SGLT2 inhibitors, including Invokana, have proven to do more harm than good.

When Lawsuits Began Over Invokana

Lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson over the adverse effects of Invokana only began in the last few years in New Jersey. At first, the lawsuits alleged that Johnson & Johnson did not disclose the drug risks associated with diabetic ketoacidosis.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Patients taking Invokana began complaining of pain in the stomach, followed by vomiting and dehydration. Additionally, patients began experiencing chest pain, breathing difficulties, and more.

These are symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication where the body produces too many blood acids. If left untreated, the condition can ultimately lead to death, but if diagnosed and treated promptly, the effects are manageable.

After more cases of diabetic ketoacidosis were reported, the FDA issued a warning, but Johnson & Johnson continued to market their product. Doctors continued prescribing Invokana in spite of the warnings.

Decreased Bone Density

There have also been reported cases where taking Invokana can lead to brittle bones, which can cause fractures.

The FDA promptly issued a new warning noting that patients taking Invokana could begin losing significant bone density within 3 months of use.

Acute Kidney Injury

The FDA issued another warning in 2016 stating that a number of cases had surfaced where Invokana users suffered acute kidney injury.

Johnson & Johnson continued selling the drug, and doctors were merely advised to look for symptoms of acute kidney injury before taking their patients off Invokana.

Risk of Amputation

One of the more recent (and disturbing) FDA warnings came out in 2017 when a number of Invokana-prescribed diabetics began experiencing pain and numbness in their limbs. Many of these patients had to have limbs amputated.

Cancer

Because clinical trials showed a strong possibility that the use of Invokana could lead to bladder and kidney cancer, lawsuits have increased against companies selling and doctors prescribing SGLT2 inhibitors.

Cancer has surfaced most commonly in older males who had been taking Invokana for a year or more.

If you or someone you love has been prescribed Invokana, consult with your doctor about the risks and FDA warnings. If you’ve already begun experiencing any of the side effects listed above, you must speak with a doctor and attorney right away.

For more information about how an Indiana Medical Malpractice attorney can help you with your Invokana case, contact Stewart & Stewart at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

20
Jul

I Got an Infection from an Endoscope – What Can I Do Now?

July 20, 2019

An endoscopy is a useful medical procedure that can examine parts of the body that were once only accessible via exploratory surgery.

However, studies show the risk of infection from the equipment used in the procedure is higher than previously thought.

What is an Endoscopy?

An endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure that examines a person’s digestive tract. An endoscope is a flexible tube with a tiny camera attached to it that allows doctors to view your digestive tract on a monitor.

There are different types of endoscopies, depending on where the camera is inserted. In an upper endoscopy, the tube goes into the mouth and down the throat into the esophagus. From there, doctors get a good view of the esophagus, stomach and upper part of the small intestine.

If the endoscope enters the body through the rectum, the procedure is called a sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy, depending on how far up the colon (large intestine) is examined.

Endoscopies can also be used to conduct biopsies or to place objects into the body to help treat medical issues.

Why Do Infections Occur After Endoscopies?

Several studies have concluded that current cleaning methods and guidelines do not effectively sterilize the endoscopes used for the procedure.

One particular study examined a number of cleaned endoscopes from three hospitals in the United States. It found that 71 percent still contained microbial growth, and 22 percent of endoscopes had signs of organic contamination. Two of the hospitals were found to be practicing substandard reprocessing and drying methods.

There are three levels of medical equipment that require different forms of cleaning, ranging from noncritical to critical. Noncritical devices like stethoscopes require low-level disinfection, while critical devices require sterilization. Endoscopes fall into the semi-critical category, where high-level disinfection is required but not sterilization.

How Common is an Infection?

It was thought that the risk of infection after an endoscopy was around one in one million cases. However, a study released in 2018 by Johns Hopkins University found that number to be up to 100 times higher. The rates are around one in one thousand for a screening colonoscopy. That number rises to around 45 in one thousand for people who were hospitalized within 30 days prior to their endoscopic procedure.

What are the Signs of an Infection from an Endoscopy?

The following symptoms are signs of a general complication from an endoscopic procedure:

  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bloody, black or very dark-colored stool
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Severe or persistent abdominal pain
  • Vomiting (especially if the vomit is bloody or looks like coffee grounds)

Call your doctor or go to the emergency room if any of these symptoms occur.

Most infections are treated with antibiotics and will resolve on their own. However, there is a risk of contracting a “superbug” infection, especially in those with weakened immune systems. These infections can have severe complications and can even lead to death.

What Are My Options?

While the FDA is releasing more rigorous guidelines for cleaning these devices, faulty practices can leave medical facilities and healthcare professionals open to medical malpractice cases.

When you go to a hospital or other medical facility for a procedure, it’s supposed to make you better or lead to better health, not make you sick or worse.

If you had an experience where an endoscopic procedure left you with a serious infection, you need to contact an attorney to see if a medical malpractice suit is an option for you. Stewart & Stewart is the home of the best medical malpractice attorneys in the state of Indiana, and they will be happy to discuss your situation with you and let you know if you have a case. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you – call 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

24
Jun

What is Bone Cement Implementation Syndrome?

June 24, 2019

Doctors perform more than 600,000 knee replacement operations a year, making it one of the most common bone surgeries in the United States.

While it is major surgery and involves a lengthy rehabilitation process, patients who receive a new knee generally see significant improvement in their quality of life.

The average lifespan of an artificial knee is around 20 years. However, recently many are failing in as little as two years.

A major issue is the adhesive, called bone cement, used to bond the artificial device to existing bone. Bone cement is created by medical professionals by mixing liquid and powdery substances into an adhesive that is applied wet and gradually hardens.

Although rare, failure of the adhesive can cause a serious condition known as Bone Cement Implantation Syndrome, or BCIS, that can lead to obstructed blood vessels, stroke or heart attack.

This condition is also seen in surgeries that attach artificial joints to the shoulder, elbow, and hip. The reaction is known to occur during or shortly after the operation, oftentimes while the patient is still on the operating table. Serious symptoms are:
Cardiac arrest and/or arrhythmias
Hypotension (low blood pressure)
Hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the bloodstream)
Loss of consciousness
Pulmonary embolism
Scientists aren’t clear on what causes BCIS, but the most popular theory has to do with an embolus – an object that’s carried into the bloodstream during surgery. The embolus can be fat, marrow, cement, air, bone, or platelets. When the bone cement is applied between the artificial joint and the existing bone, it expands and can put increased pressure on the bone, sometimes causing blood vessels to pop. These popped blood vessels are believed to be the cause of foreign objects leaking into the bloodstream.

A British study published in 1999 shows that there were 23 deaths attributed to BCIS in 23,077 joint-replacement surgeries. Among 15,411 procedures that did not use bone cement, there were zero reported deaths.

Some patients are known to be at higher risk than others and can be candidates for uncemented surgeries. If bone cement is used, doctors and staff will more closely monitor the patients during and after surgery.
Possible risk factors include:
Old age
Impaired heart and lung function
Pulmonary hypertension
Osteoporosis
Bone cancer
Multiple fractures needing repair
If you or a loved one have had to deal with the effects of BCIS after a joint-replacement operation, you have options. The attorneys at Stewart & Stewart are some of the most experienced in the state of Indiana at handling medical malpractice cases. You may be entitled compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death. We would be honored to help you get what you deserve for having to suffer the effects of a surgery gone wrong. Please call us at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today for a no-risk consultation.

24
Mar

How Can an Attorney Help Me if My Child Was Born with a Defect?

March 24, 2019

Birth defects are something that no parent ever wants to experience. Before the baby is born, parents look forward to all the milestones their child will complete and adding a brand new member to their family—they never expect to have to deal with lawyers, doctors and an unfair diagnosis that their child has a defect caused by birth.How Can an Attorney Help Me if My Child Was Born with a Defect?

When birth defects do happen, though, it’s imperative that you contact an attorney to help you through the process. While you deal with the aftermath, you are probably asking yourself why this happened in the first place—a question your attorney can help you answer. While many birth defects are unavoidable and no one’s fault, a lot of them can be directly related back to medications taken during pregnancy, a negligent surgeon or doctor during or before birth or a missed diagnosis from an obstetrician. If a birth defect can be linked back to one of these things, you will have a lawsuit on your hands.

A birth defect can happen due to a number of different reasons, but the most common causes include:

  • A prescription drug given to the mother while pregnant. The actual drug or the dosage amount could be to blame for a birth defect.
  • Exposure to chemicals or dangerous toxins
  • Failure to diagnose or properly treat a condition during pregnancy, labor or birth
  • Failure to properly monitor a child during pregnancy
  • Negligence during labor

 

A child who is exposed to these causes may be born with defects including club foot, cleft palate, brain and skull deformities, Spina Bifida, Cerebreal Palsy, heart defects and may even be born stillborn or suffer fetal death. If any of these can be traced back to negligence, medical malpractice or exposure, you’ll need an attorney to help you not only enter into a lawsuit, but to win it and get the help you need and deserve.

An experienced attorney will take the case out of your hands and pursue the law the on your behalf, taking into account your needs during this trying time. We will initially help you decide if you have a case to move forward with and from there, we will take the necessary steps to enter your claim and get you compensation as soon as possible.

Your family doesn’t deserve to deal with a birth defect, especially one that could have been avoided. Let us take this ordeal on for you so you can focus on raising your baby. For more information about how the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart can help you, contact us today at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

23
Mar

How Do I Know if I Had an Acetaminophen Overdose?

March 23, 2019

Acetaminophen is a popular drug used for a variety of illnesses and ailments. Most commonly found in Tylenol, Acetaminophen can also be found in prescription drugs and other over-the-counter medications. While many people can take Tylenol daily to treat things like headaches and muscle pain, others will have adverse reactions to the medicine, specifically when not taken correctly or when mixed with other medicines.

It may be shocking to know, but many people have overdosed or been severely harmed by the use of Acetaminophen—some cases of Acetaminophen overdose or wrongful use have even led to death. The most dangerous side effect of Acetaminophen use is liver damage, which often occurs when patients mix Acetaminophen with another drug or use too much Acetaminophen in one single dose.

Every body is different, but the FDA states that the recommended daily dose for Acetaminophen is 4,000mg per day for adults. There are differing accounts of this, with the maker of Tylenol actually saying that the dose should be limited to 3,000mg. Always talk to your doctor if you are prescribed, or plan to take, a dose this large in one day.

Symptoms of an Acetaminophen Overdose

Most people do not expect to have any side effects after taking a prescribed medication, especially one as common as Acetaminophen, and even more so when they are taking an over-the-counter medication like Tylenol. But, for those that do take Tylenol regularly or were prescribed a medicine that contains Acetaminophen, it’s important to know what an overdose may look like so you can catch it before it’s too late.

If you experience any of these symptoms, head to the doctor or hospital immediately.

    • Pain in your stomach area, specifically the upper right side
    • Vomiting or intense nausea
    • Loss of appetite or inability to stomach foods as usual
    • Dark urine
    • Extreme fatigue
    • A yellow tint to your skin tone
    • Excessive, uncommon sweating

 

If these symptoms are ignored for too long, they can lead to a swollen abdomen, mental confusion, jaundice or even cause a patient to fall into a coma.

What Can I Do If I am Harmed by Acetaminophen?

Unfortunately, the use of Acetaminophen can lead to illness and dangerous side effects even when taken as prescribed. If you or a loved one experienced liver damage, signs of overdose, fell into a coma or even died after taking a prescribed amount of Acetaminophen, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages. While the FDA stands strong on their recommendation to limit the use of Acetaminophen, many patients are still prescribed high doses or given the okay to take a drug containing Acetaminophen with another, causing an unintentional overdose or liver damage.

If this happens to you or a loved one, contact Stewart & Stewart immediately. The statute of limitations on this type of case is short, so waiting to file a claim could cause your case to be thrown out.

No one deserves to suffer after taking a medication that was meant to help him or her recover or relieve symptoms. Any medicine offered over-the-counter should be considered safe and the warnings and dangers surrounding it should be clear and readily available to all who buy or take the drug. For more information about how the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart can help you, contact us today at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

14
Oct

How Can I Prove Medical Malpractice in Indianapolis?

October 14, 2018

We trust our doctors to treat us with the highest level of care and to always offer—and provide—what is best for us. Unfortunately, there are many cases where doctors fail to care for us appropriately, and that is where medical malpractice comes into play.

Proving medical malpractice can be tricky — you can’t sue a doctor just because a surgery didn’t work as long as they did it correctly. However, you can sue them if the surgery they performed was the wrong option for your specific condition or you were injured during the surgery due to the doctor’s negligence.

No one ever wants to be involved in a medical malpractice suit, but when a doctor fails to do their job appropriately, it’s important that the patient gets the compensation they deserve so they can get additional treatment or pay for any pain, suffering or lost wages caused by that doctors’ negligence.

In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred, your case must include all 3 of these entities:

1.    It happened with a main doctor or long-standing physician: If you are passed onto a new doctor right before a surgery, it will be harder to prove your case. Negligence occurs when a doctor and a patient enter an agreement and the doctor fails to uphold his or her end of that agreement. This means that you must have a relationship with your doctor: either they are your primary care doctor, or they have been your surgical physician for a decent amount of time. You must have proof that you discussed and agreed upon your treatment option before the treatment took place.

 

2.    You were hurt: There are many side effects and negative aspects of all surgeries and procedures, and hopefully, your doctor will explain these to you before you decide on a treatment option. If one of those occur due to your treatment, it’s unfortunate, but you won’t have the grounds to pursue a medical malpractice case. Instead, you must prove that you were injured outside of those parameters, for example, you lost a limb or attained a deformity that wasn’t a direct result of the treatment, but rather the doctor who performed it.

 

3.    Negligence occurred: This is the hardest part of a medical malpractice case. As mentioned, just because a surgery didn’t go as planned, doesn’t mean it was malpractice. Instead, you must prove that the doctor caused your extensive injuries or unrelated harm and that those injuries could have been avoided if you used another doctor. The best way to prove negligence is to have your attorney hire a similar doctor or physician to testify that if they had done the surgery or procedure, the injury wouldn’t have happened.

All three of these items are difficult to prove, and having an attorney on your side is sometimes the best way to ensure you get what you deserve in a medical malpractice case. The attorneys at Stewart & Stewart have helped many victims of medical malpractice get the compensation they deserve after an injury due to the negligence of a trusted healthcare professional. If you wish to pursue a medical malpractice case, give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

5
Oct

What are the Most Popular Malpractice Cases in Indianapolis?

October 05, 2018

What are the Most Popular Malpractice Cases in Indianapolis?

Medical professionals take the Hippocratic Oath to ensure that when someone seeks treatment, they give them all the reasonable care they need. In some cases, however, this does not always work out. Unfortunately, many complications or fatalities arise every year due to the negligence and violations of care standards by those in the medical field. Every life matters, and if that is not taken seriously, you might have a malpractice claim on your hands. To give real examples of medical malpractice, here are some cases that have occurred in Indianapolis.

Medical Malpractice LawsuitsDr. Weinberger: America’s Most Wanted

This malpractice case is held as a very extreme and unique instance that attracted a great deal of media coverage. This case was not only followed closely in Indiana but also throughout the country. Dr. Mark Weinberger, a nose and throat doctor, was first sued in 2002 for malpractice after one of his patient’s died of throat cancer. The patient’s attorney claimed that Weinberger never diagnosed the woman, but instead insisted on an unnecessary sinus surgery. With a little more digging, the deceased’s attorney contacted several others, and before he knew it, had at least 25 other malpractice cases against Weinberger. At the news of this, Weinberger’s employees noticed a secret room that they deemed “the scary room” was slowly being emptied. It was filled with survival gear, and soon after, Weinberger fled to Europe. The original civil case filed by the deceased woman’s family was won, and Weinberger was sentenced to five years in prison and two years of probation.

Smith v. IU Health

Vincent Smith died in 2006, but it took nearly 10 years before his family was awarded $2 million. Smith had gone in for a surgical procedure at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital to remove hardware that had been placed in him from a prior orthopedic surgery. He was then given a hefty dosage of various opiate pain medications. Following the administration of these drugs, Smith passed away due to an opiate combined drug intoxication. The case was brought to a jury before finally reaching a decision. In Indiana, there is a cap of $1.25 million to be awarded in damages for these cases. Despite winning more in this case, the Smith family can only claim that capped price. However, following the verdict, they claimed that this was just fine with them.

 

 

Neurosurgeon Abruptly Leaves

Neurosurgeons are notorious for having a high amount of medical malpractice cases, presumably due to the sensitivity and intensity of their specialty. In 2011, a patient of Dr. John T. Cummings of Community Health Network became permanently disabled after surgery. Apparently, a piece of equipment went into her spinal canal, leaving her paralyzed. She was awarded $1 million in 2014. One month before the settlement, Cummings left Community Health Network suddenly. It eventually came to light that since 2013, 15 cases were filed against him with only two of those being dismissed. For instance, one woman filed a lawsuit because she went to Cummings due to extreme leg and back pain. Cummings recommended surgery; however, after the surgery her condition became incredibly worse causing the need for more subsequent procedures. It was during this time of multiple procedures for the woman, that Cummings left. Searching for answers, the woman became one of those other cases filed in 2013. Following his departure, his patients were left with many questions, but Cummings still lives in the Indianapolis area and does have his license. As of 2017, it was reported that despite having his license, Cummings was no longer practicing.

Medical malpractice is a serious instance of negligence. If you lost a loved one or suffered an unnecessary complication due to healthcare negligence, contact a medical malpractice attorney at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

13
Sep

Can You Sue for Dental Malpractice in Indiana?

September 13, 2018

You make a point of taking care of your dental hygiene, seeing your dentist regularly and following up with any dental issues or concerns. Suddenly, though, your diligence has caused a serious injury or dental problem that you were not expecting due to your dentist’s negligence or lack of care.have you, or a family member suffered due to Dental Malpractice?

While often a less common occurrence, dental malpractice is still a big entity of medical malpractice. Just as we expect our doctors to diagnose and treat our medical concerns, we trust our dentists to do the same. When a dentist fails to diagnose properly or timely, provides faulty dental work, or even performs dental work that is unnecessary for the purpose of gaining extra insurance money, they should be held responsible for malpractice.

But while this type of malpractice is common, it’s also quite hard to prove that your dentist was, in fact, negligent. An experienced attorney can help you make this distinction by helping you prove that either the dentist failed to provide the standard of care or intentionally committed a fraudulent or unreasonable act that in turn, caused your pain, suffering, or additional medical bills.

Many patients may feel that they can sue their dentist when a crown comes undone or when they do not like the care they received. But, unless your care caused you to truly suffer, you probably do not have a dental malpractice case on your hands. In order to consider a lawsuit, you must be able to prove one of these:

·         Injury or Pain Due to Negligence

Most dental procedures have pain associated with them, but that pain is still included in the standard of care. To prove malpractice, you must be able to show that the pain and suffering you are experiencing is out of that standard of care. If a nerve or tooth is damaged that wasn’t involved in the original procedure, or if the procedure failed because the dentist was not prepared for it, then you have a case on your hands.

 

·         Failed or Delayed Diagnosis

After your dental hygienist cleans your teeth, the dentist should come in to take a look at your mouth and make sure everything looks okay. If you are complaining about pain or discomfort, they should take the proper measures to truly understand what your issue is. If a dentist fails to do this properly, they could miss a major diagnosis, causing you to go untreated or treated improperly. This is dental malpractice.

 

·         Misconduct

Misconduct can include a lot of different acts, but if your dentist is acting inappropriately and fails to perform his or her duties as a dental professional, you may have a case on your hands.

If you have experienced any of these problems and feel you have a dental malpractice case, contact the experienced attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. For more information or to file a dental malpractice claim, contact us at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

25
Apr

2 Common Medical Malpractice Claim Mistakes

April 25, 2018

Filing a medical malpractice claim requires experience, patience, and evidence.

At Stewart & Stewart, we know how hospitals, doctors, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals protect themselves from claims, and that’s why we’re able to provide high-quality legal representation for victims like you who were hurt by the negligence of others.

But we also know that even seemingly minor mistakes can jeopardize entire claims and make it difficult or impossible for victims to get the compensation they deserve. Two of the most common mistakes that medical malpractice victims make include:

  1. Not keeping evidence related to the claim—Our Indiana medical malpractice lawyers will do everything they can to build your claim, but we also need information and evidence such as prescription medication bottles, the names of doctors and hospitals you visited, your initial reason for needing treatment or surgery, and when your treatments occurred.
  2. Waiting too long to file a claim—The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim in Indiana is two years. But what’s more pressing is how quickly evidence can and will disappear, making it more difficult to prove that your healthcare provider failed to live up to expectations and responsibilities while treating you.

If you believe you were harmed by a medical professional or healthcare facility, contact us today for a free consultation. All we need are the basic facts and information, and we’ll handle the rest of your claim while you focus on getting better.

Comments Off on Medical Malpractice Frequently Asked Questions
7
Mar

Medical Malpractice Frequently Asked Questions

March 07, 2018

At Stewart & Stewart, we’re proud of the legal representation we provide to people who are victims of medical malpractice. But we also know that many victims are unsure if they have claims, and they may be confused about what constitutes medical malpractice.

Because the medical field is highly complex, decisions involving a single patient can involve many medical professionals and parties. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced Indiana medical malpractice lawyer on your side who can help you understand what happened to you, whether you have a claim, and what steps you need to take to protect your rights.

Some of the most common questions our attorneys get from people who believe they were harmed by healthcare profession include:

  • Does medical malpractice only involve surgical mistakes? Medical malpractice claims often involve surgical mistakes, including leaving surgical tools inside patients’ bodies or operating on wrong body parts. However, medical malpractice covers a wide range of careless mistakes by healthcare professionals, including misdiagnoses and prescription errors.
  • Does signing a consent form prevent me from filing a medical malpractice claim? Some hospitals and healthcare facilities require patients to sign lengthy consent forms before they’re treated for illnesses or injuries. Those forms are designed to mitigate liability, but they don’t permit healthcare professionals to treat patients carelessly or negligently. If you were harmed by a doctor, surgeon, or other provider, you may still be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation.

If you or someone you love was harmed by a medical professional, we’re here to help you get the money you deserve. Call today for a free consultation.