Category: Surgical Errors

What is the Safest Time to be admitted to Hospital? Weekend Admissions Carry Higher Risk of Death.

by John McKiggan

Weekends are dangerous in Hospitals

Last week the Canadian Institute for Health Information released a study that examined four million urgent acute care hospital admissions between 2010-2013. The study found that there was a 4% higher risk of death for patients admitted to hospital on a weekend rather than a weekday.

The statistics did not apply across the board. The so called “weekend effect” did not occur in hospital admissions for obstetric, pediatric or mental health patients.

Doctors negligent, but family loses medical malpractice claim: Mangal v. William Osler Health Centre

by John McKiggan

This recent decision from the Ontario Supreme Court highlights the difficulties faced by families who want to pursue a medical malpractice claim for the loss of a loved one.

Sharon Mangal was admitted to the William Olser Hospital on February 16, 2004 to give birth to her second child through caesarean section. Although she ultimately gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Sharon did not survive the procedure.

Sudesh Mangal, Sharon’s husband, along with Vincent and Sarina Mangal, her children, sued the hospital and the doctors alleging their negligence caused Sharon’s death.

Why I Wouldn’t Want Dr. Oz to Operate on Me

by John McKiggan

Pat Malone is a friend of mine and an excellent malpractice lawyer in Washington D.C. He’s also a great source of information about issues pertaining to medical malpractice. That’s why I frequently read his blog and just came across once of his recent posts Should Mehmet Oz Operate on You?

Who is Dr. Oz?

You would have to be living under a rock (or not own a television) not to know that Dr. Oz is an American surgeon who was featured on the Oprah show and now has his own television series – The Dr. Oz Show. His daily program focuses on medical issues.

“My doctor says my baby has Erb’s Palsy. What does that mean?”

by John McKiggan

I was asked this question the other day by a new mom. As a medical malpractice lawyer in Halifax, I frequently get calls from parents throughout Atlantic Canada whose babies have suffered a birth injury.

Usually they want to know how the injury happened or if the injury was caused by anything the doctors or nurses did during the mom’s labour and delivery. Sometimes they just want someone to explain the medical terms the doctors have used.

Erb’s palsy and Brachial plexus injuries

Doctor negligent but patient loses med mal claim: Fowlow v. Gupta

by John McKiggan

As a medical malpractice lawyer I am often faced with explaining the difference between proof of negligence and proof of harm. Clients find it difficult to understand how a doctor may be found to be negligent; but still not be responsible for the patients injury or death.

Fowlow v. Gupta

A perfect example is the case of Fowlow v. Gupta which was recently decided by the Ontario Supreme Court.

Most Hospital Mistakes Never Reported

by John McKiggan

Medical malpractice lawyers know most potential victims of medical malpractice never file a claim. Recently a report by ABC News has confirmed that in the United States more than 80% of hospital errors are not reported by hospital employees.

Hospitals Don’t Learn From Mistakes?

The report analyzed data from hospitalized Medicare patients. Investigators determined even when mistakes were reported hospitals rarely changed their policies or practices to prevent repeated errors. Hospitals usually claimed that errors were not due to “systemic quality problems”.

Court of Appeal Overturns Award to Brain Injured Baby – Ediger v. Johnston

by John McKiggan

The British Columbia Court of Appeal released its reasons last week in the case of Ediger v. Johnston.

The Facts

Cassidy Ediger suffered an acute and severe hypoxia-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) about 20 minutes before her birth. Her injury was caused by a compression of her umbilical cord which cut off oxygen from the placenta to her brain. The asphyxia caused a deceleration in her fetal heart rate which lasted until Cassidy was delivered by emergency caesarean section.

Patient Safety: Sleep Deprived Doctors Making Mistakes

by John McKiggan

Dangers of Deprivation

The Canadian Medical Association Journal has published an editorial that suggests that sleep deprivation in doctors is endangering patient safety.

According to the authors of the editorial, Drs. Noni MacDonald, Paul Hébert, Ken Flegel and Matthew Stanbrook: “The problem may only be getting worse…”

Patient Safety Website Up and Running

by John McKiggan

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute, a non-profit organization, has created a new website designed to provide the public and health care providers with patient safety information from around the world.

The website is located at www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca

The goal of the website is to provide access to safety advisories, alerts and other resources as well as to allow users to share information to help enhance patient care and protection.

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