Category: Standard of Care

Nova Scotia Medical Errors: C- difficile Infections kill 4 in Cape Breton Hospitals

by John McKiggan

Cape Breton District Health Authority has stated that 21 patients in two Cape Breton Hospitals have tested positive for the bacteria C. difficile. Four people have died as a result of the infections.

Hospital Acquired Infections a Deadly Problem

Nosocomial infections (Hospital acquired infections) are the fourth largest killer in Canada.

Doctors Warn Against Using Internet to Self-Diagnose Illness

by John McKiggan

There is an old saying that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.

But what do you call a patient who diagnoses himself? “Dangerous.” At least according to Dr. Ross Upshur, a University of Toronto scientist and Canada Research Chair in primary-care research.

Self Diagnosis Dangerous
More and more patients are turning to Google and the internet to diagnose, and even treat, their injuries and illnesses. Doctors are warning people about the dangers of relying on unproven or inaccurate information that can be found while surfing the web.

Busy Doctors Do Not Have a Lower Standard of Care: Ontario Supreme Court

by John McKiggan

Reasons for judgement were released recently in the case of McLintock v. Alidina.

The plaintiff, Ann McLintock alleged negligence on the part of her family physician, Dr. Alidina, because Alidina hd failed to advise the plaintiff of the results of mammogram testing. McLintock had to undergo a course of 25 radiation treatments and surgical intervention as a result of the alleged delay.

Different Standards for Different Doctors?

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