Hospital-acquired conditions, also known as “never events”, are particularly awful medical mistakes that should not ever occur. Some examples of these preventable errors include:

  • Operating on the wrong place on the patient’s body
  • Discharging a newborn to the wrong parents
  • Leaving a foreign object, such as a scalpel or sponge, inside the body
  • Mismatched blood transfusion
  • Causing an air embolism during treatment of a patient

Unfortunately, not all medical mistakes are avoidable at all times. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported medical errors account for as many as 98,000 deaths per year. A more recent study specific to surgical errors conducted in 2013, found that more than 4,000 surgical “never events” occur annually in the United States.

Due to the fact that these events are preventable, health care organizations are attempting to get rid of them completely and health insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid, are no longer paying for costs related to hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). Also, many of these “never events” are being openly reported by the public. All of these strategies aim to inspire hospitals and medical professionals to accelerate the progress of patient safety.

Never events within hospitals can point to a major safety problem within an organization. It has been reported these error rates are much higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries such as United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Some states, such as Minnesota (the first state to pass a statute that required obligatory reporting), have enacted legislation requiring reporting of hospital-acquired conditions but not all states are required to do so. It has been up for debate whether or not required reporting of HACs has affected how frequently they occur.

As the term “never events” indicates, these events should under no circumstance be occurring however, they continue to occur. If you or a loved one feel you are the victim of a medical mistake contact The Yost Legal Group today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (800-403-7259). When you call, you will speak with an experienced Baltimore Medical Malpractice attorney absolutely FREE.

The attorneys at Yost Legal Group are experienced, caring professionals ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination. Call us today to receive a free, confidential consultation about your possible case.

At The Yost Legal Group, we will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you, and fight hard to ensure that your rights are protected.

We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front, and you owe us nothing unless we win your case.


Colonoscopies Help Millions of People Annually, But What Can Go Wrong?

There are over 14 million colonoscopies performed annually. This can be a life-saving procedure for many individuals. Colonoscopy exams allow doctors to go inside the large intestine and the colon with flexible tubing attached to a small video recorder. The purpose is usually to use the video image from the recorder to identify polyps, ulcers, cancer or pre-cancerous growths. Tissue samples can also be collected and polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy.

Each year, colonoscopies are responsible for discovering about half of all diagnosed colon cancer, allowing them to save lives. Unfortunately colonoscopies can also do damage if the doctor performing the colonoscopy is unskilled, under-trained or negligent.

Injuries that can occur from colonoscopies include:

  • Hemorrhaging
  • Bowel Perforation
  • Splenic Tear or Rupture
  • Peritonitis
  • Sepsis

Up to 2.5% of colonoscopies involve serious injuries, with 0.03%-0.7% being colon perforation (CP). CP is widely recognized as one of the most serious complications following a colonoscopy. A perforated colon can occur during colonoscopy if too much force is used to advance the scope, creating a puncture or tear in the wall of the intestine. Perforation can also occur if the biopsy forceps cut a hole completely through the wall of the intestine. If perforation occurs, causing air and bacteria to leak into the abdomen, it is a medical emergency.

Symptoms of a perforated colon or large intestine may include:

  • Severe abdominal pain and tenderness
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting

Most patients notice these side effects within 24-48 hours after the colonoscopy takes place. If the perforation goes untreated the patient can become septic. Sepsis occurs when the body has an extreme reaction to bacteria or germs. Symptoms of peritonitis and sepsis include:

  • Fever
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Rapid respiratory rate (tachypnea)
  • Confusion.

People who have CP almost always need emergency surgery to repair the hole, either by closing it or by removing the torn or punctured section of intestine. However, occasionally the hole may close on its own, allowing the individual to only need antibiotics and very careful monitoring, with x-rays and CT scans to confirm the hole remains closed and no abdominal infection or abscess develops. Failure to recognize and treat perforation due to colonoscopy is medical negligence.

Complications due to the perforation during colonoscopy are the cause of preventable injury and death. Our experienced attorneys fight for individuals who have been negatively impacted by the negligence of others.

If you would like to discuss a potential claim arising from an intestinal perforation during colonoscopy, the attorneys at Yost Legal Group are experienced professionals ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination. For a free consultation, please call The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529.)

The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights

Medical Professionals Often Fail to Diagnose Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, where it is estimated that at least 100,000 Americans die of PE every year. Pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot travels to the lungs, where it gets stuck and blocks blood flow, causing fluid and pressure buildup, damage to lung tissue and, in serious cases, cardiac arrest and sudden death. The blood clots which travel to the lungs to become pulmonary emboli first form in the deep veins within the body, and are called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVTs most typically form in the lower legs.

It is most common for people who are physically restricted to experience DVTs and PEs. When patients are in a cast or physically immobile for any reason, the lack of body movement slows down blood flow, allowing blood to easily clot. Recent surgery also puts individuals at a higher risk. In order to avoid PE after surgery, medical professionals should use compression stockings, pneumatic cuffs (called intermittent pneumatic devices, or IPDs), physical therapy, anticoagulant medication to keep the blood thin, or a combination of these preventive therapies.

Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Rapid heart rate & breathing
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fainting
  • Heart palpations

Often, by the time these symptoms are present, the patient’s life is in immediate danger and emergency treatment is needed. The period preceding the PE emergency may be the best time to prevent the PE, and involves careful observation of the immobilized or recent surgical patient, including observation of their arms and legs for unusual swelling, discoloration, an arm or leg warm to the touch, and assessment of any complaints of arm or leg pain or cramping.

It is important to know:

  • As many as 900,000 people are impacted by DVT and PE every year.
  • Sudden death is the first symptom of PE in almost 25% of people who have PE
  • One-half of the people who survive DVT and PE will have long term complications

Pulmonary embolism is the most common cause of preventable death in patients hospitalized for surgical procedures. Recent studies have also recognized PE as one of the most frequently missed diagnoses in living patients. Our experienced attorneys fight for individuals who have been negatively impacted by the negligence of others.

If you have had a pulmonary embolism after surgery because a health care professional failed to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety call The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529) for a free consultation.

The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights