Category: Medication Errors

Quebec Orders Hospitals to Disclose Medical Errors

by John McKiggan

Quebec became the first province in Canada to require hospitals to publicly disclose medical errors. Quebec’s Department of Health and Social Services has announced a new registry that will collect standardized data from 275 hospitals across the province.

The system will document all reported medical errors including:

1. Patient falls;
2. Supply problems; and
3. Medical record errors.

Bone Strength Drugs May Cause Bone Loss: Halifax Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains

by John McKiggan

Each year millions of North Americans take medication that is supposed to help increase their bone strength. More than 20 million prescriptions of Bisphosphonates are written by doctors every year for the treatment of post menopausal osteoporosis (brittle bones). The common brand names of the drugs are Fosamax, Actonel, and Boniva.

May Hurt Instead of Help

The irony is that while these drugs are promoted and prescribed to help increase bone strength, new medical evidence indicates that long term use of the medication may actually cause bone loss.

Medical Malpractice Claims can Help Lead to Better Medical care

by John McKiggan

There’s an interesting article in today’s issue of the Wall Street Journal about how medical malpractice lawsuits help provide better medical care.

According to the article:

“Medical professionals are finding lessons in these and other past malpractice cases. By analyzing the breakdowns in care that led to missed, delayed or incorrect diagnoses, insurers and health-care providers are developing programs to avert mistakes. . . . Diagnostic errors are the leading cause of malpractice suits, accounting for as many as 40% of cases and costing insurers an average of $300,000 per case to settle, studies of resolved claims show. Peter Pronovost, a patient-safety researcher at Johns Hopkins University, estimates that diagnostic errors kill 40,000 to 80,000 hospitalized patients annually, based on autopsy studies over the past four decades.”

Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Claims: Supreme Court of Canada Releases Decision

by John McKiggan

Today the Supreme Court of Canada issued a decision refusing to grant leave (permission) to hear the appeal of a case from Alberta dealing with the issue of standard of care in medical malpractice compensation claims.

The Court of Appeal decision in Nattrass v. Webber reminds us that the practice of medicine is constantly evolving and this may affect the issue of the standard of care.

Four Things You Need to Prove

Beware the July Effect:Hospital Deaths Spike in Summertime

by John McKiggan

Summertime is Dangerous in Hospitals

Past studies have shown that teaching hospitals experience higher rates of medical errors. It is referred to as the “July phenomenon” in the U.S. or even more morbidly the “August killing season” in the U.K. The problem has been confirmed to exist in Hospitals in Australia as well.

More Medical Students = More Deaths?

Woman with Terminal Cancer Sues Doctor for Negligence

by John McKiggan

Sylvie Deslongchamps has terminal cervical cancer. She is suing her family doctor for medical malpractice for failing to make a phone call that she says could have saved her life.

Patient Did What She Was Supposed to Do

In 2007 Ms. Delongchamps did what ever careful woman is supposed to do. She went for a checkup and pap-smear with her gynecologist. She says she told her doctor about her family history of cervical cancer. She never heard back from the doctor so she assumed that her test results were fine.

Distractions & Interruptions Lead to Nursing Errors

by John McKiggan

Distractions Cause Nursing Errors
Nurses who are distracted or interrupted during their medical preparation experience higher levels of medical errors.

I have posted before about how overworking causes errors that lead to medical malpractice.

Overworked Nurses Causing Medication Errors

99% Of Potential Medical Malpractice Victims Never File a Claim!

by John McKiggan

Almost 100,000 Medical Mistakes Each Year in Canada

The Canadian Medical Association has determined that over 87,000 patients in Canada suffer an adverse event (medical error or mistake) each year.

The same study determined that more than 24,000 people die each year due to medical errors.