Maryland Injury Attorney Blog

Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Many Maryland medical malpractice lawsuits stem from cases of medical error, surgical error, or medical negligence that occur in a hospital or ambulatory surgery setting.

But now a news report suggests that complications resulting from medical procedures performed in doctors’ offices may in fact occur more frequently than is reported. An estimated 83,000 procedures are performed in U.S. doctor’s offices every year. A news report out of Boston states that “the number of complications that occur secondary to these procedures is unknown.”

The report states that in a recent study, 886 patients who underwent procedures to treat their basal or squamous cell cancers were asked if they experienced any type of problem. Twenty-seven percent of patients surveyed reported they did have a problem during or after the treatment, with 14 percent reporting medical problems such as bleeding, infection, pain, swelling, poor wound healing, or allergic reactions to the bandage or antibiotics. However complications were noted by doctors in only 3 percent of the patients’ charts.

Patients put their trust in their doctors to not only treat their ailments and preserve their health — but to maintain patient privacy at all times. When a patient enters a doctor’s office in Baltimore, Maryland or anywhere else, they expect to be treated with respect. They expect their confidentiality and privacy to be upheld. It’s an understanding that makes going to the doctor a little bit easier.

This is why the criminal investigation into alleged medical misconduct by a Johns Hopkins Hospital gynecologist is so shocking and difficult to understand. The story broke earlier this month. Baltimore media reported that a hospital employee had tipped off officials that an OB GYN doctor was allegedly taking unauthorized photos and videos of patients — possibly with his own photographic equipment — and storing them electronically.

Here at The Law Offices of Butschky & Butschky, LLC, we have begun consulting to patients and others who are concerned their privacy may have been violated by the OB-GYN doctor under investigation at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. These are serious and disturbing allegations, and our clients have justifiable concerns about whether their privacy may have been breached.

A doctor from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland is leading a national panel examining ways to increase screenings and prevent colon and rectal cancer deaths.

Though colorectal cancers are the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States (lung cancer is no. 1), barriers to getting life-saving screening tests remain. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened a panel earlier this month chaired by Dr. Donald Steinwachs, a Johns Hopkins University professor and head of the Health Services Research and Development Center.

Dr. Steinwachs is quoted in an NCI press release as saying that some people find tests such as colonoscopy “…to be unpleasant and time-consuming. However, we also know that recommended screening strategies reduce colorectal cancer deaths.” The panel convened earlier in February to discuss ways to eliminate the main barriers to getting screened for colon and rectal cancers — namely health insurance obstacles, having to pay for tests out of pocket, and not having a regular health care provider.

After many years of doctors advising women to start getting routine yearly breast cancer screening mammograms at age 40 — a new study comes out recommending women wait until age 50 for a first mammogram, then get one every two years after that. The study was released in Nov. ’09 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (see link below).

News of the study quickly reverberated through the national and Maryland medical communities, with many doctors decrying the results and patients wondering what to do. Some hospitals reported that on the day the study results were released, patients cancelled their mammograms in record numbers.

As Baltimore injury and wrongful death attorneys who have assisted families with Maryland medical malpractice lawsuits, we are left to wonder how these new guidelines might affect medical care and cancer prevention.

During the course of our work as Maryland and Baltimore County injury lawyers over the last two decades and counting, we’ve met so many nice families and individuals who needed our legal help to get through some very difficult situations. Often it’s because they went out one day and through no fault of their own, they got injured — or killed — in a traffic accident.

Other times, the cause of their injuries, or even their death, is due to medical malpractice. And in those types of personal injury cases, the cause is often not as clear cut as in auto accident or Maryland work accident cases. It is not always a single event that caused their injuries, disabilities, or wrongful death.

Medical malpractice or negligence often occurs as the result of the poor judgments and/or ill actions of more than one professional, over time, possibly at more than one institution. It can be a complex sequence of events leading up to a patient not being cured or helped, but instead, being permanently harmed. It can involve prescription error, surgical error, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, and failure to provide standard levels of care.