Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

A recent story discussed the results of an unapproved cosmetic procedure that led to unexpected – and painful – results. As we have witnessed in Florida far too often, procedures done by undertrained and negligent cosmetic surgeons can result in injury, ungainly scarring, deformation, and even death.

Although this story is unique, it is no less a cautionary tale.

A Los Angeles woman in her late sixties complained to her regular cosmetic surgeon that after undergoing a cosmetic procedure at another clinic months earlier, her right eye had glued itself shut. She also said that every time she opened the eye she felt extreme pain and would hear a “clicking” noise around her eye.

Although he was skeptical at first, the surgeon saw that her eyelid was drooped shut and that the eye was swollen. After seven hours of surgery to investigate the problem, the doctor found small pieces of bone fragments that appeared to be growing in the flesh around her eye.

The clicking sound she had been hearing was bone grinding against bone in her eyelid.

It turns out that the procedure the woman had undergone at the other clinic was a “stem-cell” facelift, in which the doctors extracted adult stem cells from her belly fat, isolated them, and then injected them into her face. According to her doctor, the immature stem cells had the potential to turn into bone, cartilage, or fat.
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A 21-year-old Golden Gate woman, who accidentally smothered her newborn child while the two slept in the same hospital bed, is suing Collier Boulevard Hospital for medical malpractice.

The lawsuit alleges the woman was exhausted and on painkillers after receiving a C-section less than 24 hours earlier. She was given the newborn baby to breastfeed, but dozed off. The infant died on Aug. 9, 2009, but the suit claims the mother didn’t find out the cause of the death until a June 3, 2010 autopsy report revealed that the cause of death was “asphyxia of newborn infant while sharing a bed with mother.”
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Tampa Surgical Malpractice InjuryCiting the deaths of three patients last month at Town & Country Hospital in Tampa, Florida’s Agency of Health Care Administration (AHCA) has issued a temporary order that bars the hospital’s surgical units from admitting new patients.

AHCA said it issued the emergency moratorium because the hospital failed to staff its surgical units with enough registered nurses. The hospital has been accused of assigning licensed practical nurses to fulfill duties normally reserved for more highly skilled and trained registered nurses.

Although the AHCA report did not pinpoint blame for the deaths on the staffing problem, it did say that hospital’s current failure to properly assign nurses in the surgical units puts prospective patients at immediate risk.
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FL Dentist NegligenceUsually, a dentist administers laughing gas (nitrous oxide) to nervous or fearful patients in order to help them get through dental procedures, but in a bizarre juxtaposition of that scenario, the license of a DeBary dentist has been suspended amid allegations that she inhaled laughing gas before performing dental work.

After being accused of inhaling nitrous oxide before performing procedures – sometimes right in front of patients – the dentist entered a drug rehabilitation program at the Vince Carter Sanctuary in Flagler County in June. According to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), she was terminated from the program due to non-compliance in September, which led to the suspension of her license.
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Florida Liposuction InjuryA woman has filed a malpractice suit against a Florida physician, claiming that a botched a liposuction procedure he and his staff performed sent her to the hospital and left her badly scarred.

WTSP looked into the allegations, and came up with some disturbing findings. The woman told WTSP that within hours of having the procedure done at JYB Medical and Wright Clinics of Bush Blvd. in Tampa, she allegedly developed blisters and an infection.

To remedy that situation, the woman claims the clinic then cut away large sections of bad tissue to get to the infection, which left hand-sized scars on her body. However, she alleges that even after going through that, the surgical infection didn’t heal.
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Inspectors for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) are saying that Halifax Health Medical Center didn’t have proper policies and procedures in place to stem a potentially deadly hospital-acquired infection.

The AHCA, which is responsible for ensuring that health providers are in compliance with federal and state regulations, was looking into a series of drug-resistant bacterial infections that occurred at Halifax from July 2010 to May 2012.

According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, AHCA inspectors reported that there had been no “infection control oversight” at the hospital from Jan 26 to Feb. 21 of this year. They also noted that the hospital’s chief medical officer told them there had been a “lack of effective leadership with the problem since 2010.”

Halifax reported 21 cases of Acinetobactor baumannii infection in 2011 and another 17 cases this year. The drug-resistant bug can cause pneumonia and urinary tract problems and is typically associated with intensive care unit infections.
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The 38-year-old Jacksonville widower misses his wife and wonders how he is going to raise his two infant sons without her. He blames two Jacksonville doctors for his grief and his young sons’ loss.

What was supposed to be a routine “mommy make-over” cosmetic surgery procedure ended in tragedy last year after the Jacksonville wife, mother, and civil attorney died as the result of a blood clot three days after her operation.

The husband has filed a medical malpractice suit against his wife’s primary physician and the plastic surgeon, claiming that they were negligent in not taking her off of the birth control Yasmin before the surgery.

Yasmin contains a synthetic progestin called drospirenone, which has been linked to a higher risk of developing blood clots. In April of 2012, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered revised labels on certain birth-control pills, which included Yasmin, to advise of that higher risk.
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Florida Surgical Error InjuryFatigued medical resident errors are entirely preventable. According to a recent report in the Archives of Surgery, surgical residents often feel tired, which places them at a higher risk for committing medical mistakes.

The study looked at orthopedic residents at two of Harvard’s hospitals over a 2-week period. What researchers found was stunning: 27% of the residents said they were impaired by lack of sleep.

The residents reported that they averaged just a little over 5 hours of sleep a day. One author of the study said that the sleep impairment experienced by the doctors-in-training was “as severe as that expected from a blood alcohol level of 0.08%.” The study concluded that the level of fatigue reported by the residents increased the risk of medical error by 22% when compared with well-rested residents.
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Tonsillectomies are supposed to be routine, so it was a shock when a 12-year-old Palm Harbor girl died after having a tonsillectomy at Mease Countryside Hospital’s outpatient facility in Safety Harbor in August of 2010.

Now, the parents of the dead girl have filed a medical negligence lawsuit related to surgery error against the hospital and her doctors, claiming that a dangerous mix of drugs and mistakes led to their daughter’s death.

According to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiners Office, the girl was several minutes into the surgery when she developed a pulmonary edema and went into cardiac arrest.

She died two days later at another hospital.

The examiner’s report stated that complications from the operation led to her death, but went on to blame a “cerebellar vascular anomaly” as a contributing factor also. They concluded that the death was “natural.”
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It was December of 2011 and an involuntarily committed pregnant mental patient with schizophrenia, fearing that she was about to give birth at Florida’s largest mental hospital, repeatedly called 911 from the hospital, complaining that there was nobody in the hospital who could or would help her.

According to The Miami Herald, despite numerous pleas from the patient, the mental hospital caregivers refused to help her and actually refused to believe she was in labor. One supervisor at the hospital, who spoke with a 911 dispatcher the night of the incident allegedly said, “This is a mental hospital. She says she’s going into labor; she’s not going into labor … Can’t send her nowhere now.”

However, she was in labor and hours later she gave birth to a son who had severe brain damage due to labor complications. He is still on a ventilator and will probably always be on one.

These, and other details, were released in an 88-page report from the inspector general of the Department of Children & Families, which looked into how the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoocha – the largest mental hospital in Florida – handled the December 23 incident involving one of their patient’s who had a high risk pregnancy.
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