(Ghost blogged for Gayle R. Lewis)
One of my tasks as a newly appointed Assistant Attorney General (1978) for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was to draft proposals for regulations providing newborn infants with guaranteed health insurance from birth through the first 31 days of life.
Pennsylvania was one of the first States in the U.S. to make newborn coverage mandatory. Imagine my joy, 30 years later, that national health insurance for all children will, finally, become a reality for all Americans. American Families may begin to lead better lives with the arrival of true universal health care.
Progress is slow sometimes but I take heart with each and every new step forward. Just as everyday we continue to fight for our babies and young children. Committed and world-renowned pediatric cardiologists, pediatric anesthesiologists, obstetricians and high risk maternal fetal medicine experts carefully examine the impact of medical negligence on our young clients.
Nothing provides us with greater joy than successfully completing a civil action on behalf of a disabled or severely damaged child which “guarantees the best level of care” for the remainder of their innocent lives and alleviates the financial, but never completely the emotional, burden upon their families.
The Lewis Law Firm has initiated several cases involving catastrophic birth injuries this past year alone. Major discovery efforts are forthcoming in 2009 and 2010. Gathering all of the medical records, including fetal monitoring strips are a priority as they are scientifically reliable pieces of evidence which support our cases. We put all of these pieces of the “puzzle” together, based upon our familiarity with the law and applicable medicine and the assistance of our medical experts to determine exactly what went wrong and where.
Trials to be scheduled this Spring and Summer will focus upon representing the 5 children who survive their 35 year old mother who died prematurely from negligent hospital care. Our Trial calendar also includes a 44 year old mother and wife whose diagnosis of breast cancer was critically delayed as a result of negligent primary and radiology care. Pending placement on our Trial calendar is a 54 year old wife whose primary cancer site was missed as a result of negligent surgical and oncologic care causing overwhelming metastasis and numerous cycles of chemotherapy and additional surgeries.
While women and children have been our emphasis we have numerous past and pending cases involving men, such as the 59 year old Veteran whose diagnosis of prostate cancer was significantly delayed as a result of infrequent testing and monitoring and the recent, and significant settlement of the case of a 39 year old husband and father of 2 who died as a result of pulmonary embolism, the obvious symptoms of which, were completely ignored by the Emergency Room Physician who discharged him.
We at the Lewis Law Firm care about and are committed to helping you, your children, your spouses, parents and family members through your medical tragedies. At the Lewis Law Firm we strive to give every case we accept the personal and professional attention that only a small boutique medical malpractice litigation firm can provide.
Sydney, Zurich,Tel Aviv and Idaho. What do these places have in common?
Let’s take a walk, or in this case a drive, into your local hospital (after 9 p.m.). You arrive having just fallen on ice, your ankle now sufficiently doubled in size. There is a strong likelihood that your “films” are being read, remotely, via an internet connection by a Radiologist in one of these locations. What’s that? There is no actual Radiologist in the hospital looking at the study and making a preliminary interpretation? Exactly.
In addition to one of the larger corporate radiology groups (which oddly shares its name with a bird of prey) there are a number of “remote” radiology services being provided around the country and, literally, around the globe. Typically these services cover the 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. shift.
Now before you luddites storm your local hospital with torches and pitchforks, bear in mind that imaging technology is far superior than the early days of film x-rays. Most imaging today is performed, and in some cases interpreted, with the direct aid of computers (CT, CAT, MRI, etc.). And blazing internet connection speeds combined with HD monitors can make the virtual experience no different from the actual. The majority of these remote radiology services advertise that their Radiologists are eminently qualified and certified and that their reading is subject to quality assurances. Do I know?
Presumably, the Radiologist in Jakarta isn’t simultaneously looking at internet porn while reviewing your ankle images. Presumably. As an added measure of Peer Review, the majority of hospitals require that a staff Radiologist review the night time remote interpretation to see if they concur with their opinions. . .the following morning.
In theory, this is wonderful. However, consider whether a simple mistake in interpretation could mean the difference between sending you home in the middle of the night or immediately admitting you to the hospital. Oh, and instead of a broken ankle, let’s say you came in with a ruptured appendix?
posted by David Marc Schwadron, Esq.
Our Case:*Mrs. C, a young woman in her late 40′s, found a lump in her right breast during self-examination.
Relying upon her doctor, Dr. A, an “expert” in breast surgery and diagnosis of breast cancer, she underwent examination and mammography. Dr. A informed Mrs. C that mammography and examination did not show a lump. He additionally recommended a biopsy (surgically extracting a swollen lymph node) to test it for cancer.
Months passed before the biopsy was finally scheduled during which time Mrs. C felt and reported swelling under her right armpit. Unknown to Mrs. C, Dr. A extracted a single lymph node for pathology. That node was reported as benign (non-cancerous). Despite continued pain and swelling no additional biopsies were performed by Dr. A.
A year passed with continued complaints of pain and swelling under her arm before additional testing was ordered. Mrs. C was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer which had metastasized (spread) from her right breast to her lymph nodes and neck. Dr. A never informed Mrs. C that he extracted the smallest of several lymph nodes in the original biopsy. In fact, Dr. A fraudulently concealed the size and description of the lymph node in his operative report.
Following failed medical treatment, consisting of 2 trials of chemotherapy, Mrs. C died, in pain, within 2 years of her late diagnosis.
Why the Defendant was Negligent: Inadequate testing and improper biopsy resulted in a medically significant delay in the diagnosis of breast cancer for Mrs. C. The standard of care required Dr. A to remove the largest lymph node present in order to rule out cancer in the remaining smaller lymph nodes.
The Verdict: The Lewis Law firm recovered a large monetary award for the family of Mrs. C.
*names have been changed for privacy