Category: Disclosure of Errors

Simple Checklist Helps Prevent Deaths and Complications after Surgery

by John McKiggan

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study showing that using a simple checklist helped decrease the number of surgery related deaths by more than 40%. The research showed that major complications after surgery fell by almost 1/3.

Using a Checklist

The checklist required the operating team to review a list of questions which included:
1. Were proper antibiotics given;
2. Was the correct patient on the operating table;
3. Was the correct surgical site identified;
4. Was sufficient anesthesia and blood supply available;
5. Did the patient have any allergies;
6. Counting needles/sponges to make sure nothing was left inside the patient.
Staggering Results

You Can File a Complaint About Your Doctor!

by John McKiggan

I get several calls a week from patients, of family members of patients, who are concerned about the care that they, or their family member, have received from their doctor or hospital.

In most cases, a careful investigation of the facts reveals that there are no grounds for a medical malpractice claim (in other words, the doctor or hospital wasn’t negligent) or that there may have been negligence in the patient’s care, but the cost of filing a lawsuit would be more than the potential recovery.

Explaining these facts to my clients is one of the more frustrating aspects of being a medical malpractice lawyer. I hate telling patients that I believe there was negligence in the care they received but that I don’t think they should pursue a compensation claim.

Pathologist Menon Should Have Been Fired Years Ago: N.B. Inquiry

by John McKiggan

Dr. Rajgopal Menon, a pathologist responsible for potentially hundreds of faulty cancer test results should have been fired years ago according to Justice Paul Creaghan
5000 + Test Results Wrong or Incomplete!

Justice Creaghan is heading up an inquiry formed after an independent audit found that more than 5000 of Menon’s pathology tests for breast cancer and prostate cancer were incomplete or misdiagnosed. Let me repeat that: Menon’s test results were wrong in more than FIVE THOUSAND cases. More than 25% of all the test results he performed over 12 years contained errors!

As a result, cancer patients had their diagnosis delayed or, in some cases, patients were told they had cancer when they did not.

How Often Does Medical Malpractice Happen in Canada?

by John McKiggan

How often does medical malpractice happen in Canada?

The short answer is that the law suits that are filed in court are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to medical malpractice claims in Canada.

Medical malpractice claims in Canada tend to get a lot of attention in the media. Everyone is concerned about the quality of health care that they receive, and claims that raise concerns about problems with medical care naturally get reported in the newspapers or on television.

Altered Medical Files: “I think my records have been tampered with!”

by John McKiggan

Altering medical records does not happen as often as it appears to happen on television or in the movies. However, it happens enough that experienced medical malpractice lawyers develop a sense of when further investigation into the legitimacy of a medical record or chart is warranted.

One of my favourite movies of all times is The Verdict with Paul Newman. I love the scene where he finally realizes that he can prove that the defendant doctor altered the medical files of the woman who was left in a coma because of the doctor’s negligence.

Lessons Learned From Past Cases:

Officials told to Turn a Blind Eye to Cancer Test Results: N.L.

by John McKiggan

Moira Hennessey, an assistant deputy minister in Newfoundland and Labrador’s health department has told the Cameron Inquiry that she was ordered not to question confusing figures about cancer test results according reports from the CBC.

“Forgot” to tell Bosses about Problems

She also testified that she “forgot” to pass on information on problems with cancer screening results to her bosses.

Disgraced Pathologist Menon “Sorry” but Blames Everyone in Sight

by John McKiggan

Dr. Rajgopal Menon, the dismissed pathologist at the centre of a public inquiry into botched cancer screening tests and autopsies in New Brunswick, apologized to his former patients yesterday for any errors he may have made.

Menon “Apologizes”

“I wish to sincerely apologize to any patient if I have made an error in reading their pathology slides. I was not aware of any errors in my work.”