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New Jersey Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Personalized Medicine for Screening Mammograms

Photo of Armand Leone

Thumbnail image for images (1).jpgA woman's decision about when to start breast cancer screening mammograms should be a matter of personal choice, not association guidelines. A recent study in Cancer looked at the differences in likely outcomes of various breast cancer screening guidelines. Screening mammography recommendations for early detection of breast cancer still differ between medical associations that advocate annual breast cancer screening starting at age 40, the American College of Radiology and the American Cancer Society, and others that recommend starting biennial screening starting at 50, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force and the American Academy of Family Practice. The screening recommendation a woman receives unfortunately depends on who is giving it rather than the patient. This study provides information that a woman should know when deciding which breast cancer screening strategy is right for her:

Flu Vaccines - Important for Health but Not Without Risk

As fall approaches, flu vaccines are being administered to young and old to avoid the seasonal flu which comes every year. People need to know that although vaccines have eradicated many diseases, they are not without risk. While most will receive their flu vaccine without event, there are those rare occasions where individuals may suffer serious injuries associated with the vaccine. In 1986 Congress enacted the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. It is now called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act (the Program), because it covers adults as well as children to compensate those who suffer serious injuries following the receipt of vaccines as part of preventive care. The flu vaccine is one of the vaccines covered under the program.

Steroid Injections for Osteoarthritis in Knees Don't Work

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A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that intra-articular injections of the corticosteroid, triamcinolone, over 2 years did not decrease knee pain from osteoarthritis any more than injecting saline. In fact, injecting corticosteroid into the knee causes significant cartilage loss. 

Steroid Injections for Osteoarthritis in Knees Don't Work

Photo of Armand Leone

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that intra-articular injections of the corticosteroid, triamcinolone, over 2 years did not decrease knee pain from osteoarthritis any more than injecting saline. In fact, injecting corticosteroid into the knee causes significant cartilage loss. 

Elderly Hip Fracture Repair is Time Sensitive

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In a recent British orthopaedic study, researchers found that mortality from hip fractures increased by 8% if operated on more than 24 hours after admission. The morality rate increased by 20% if operated on more than 48 hours after admission. Over 300,000 elderly people fracture hips each year. This study shows that, if possible, same day repair is best and improve chances of survival.

Characteristics and causes of Erb's Palsy

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Erb's palsy, also called a brachial plexus injury, is an all too frequent birth injury. Out of 1,000 births, one or two children suffer this injury, which causes loss of motion and feeling in the arm.

Generally, infants with Erb's Palsy experience weakness in their arms due to injuries to the brachial plexus nerves (around the shoulder). Some cases of Erb's Palsy will heal after a few weeks or months of exercise and massage. The more severe injuries will result in long term limited movement of the arm and the most severe cases involve permanent paralysis of the arm.

An Ebola Vaccine - But for Whom?

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The push to develop a vaccine against the Ebola virus is on, and vaccination is going to be an important part of controlling this contagious disease. Phase 1 trials are slated to begin soon in the United States. Even if adequate safety and immunogenicity are demonstrated in the phase 1 studies, vaccines will not be available in substantial quantity until the first quarter of 2015 at the earliest. Even if an effective vaccine can be produced, it is not likely to be 100% effective to succeed in stemming the current or future outbreaks. There are different strains and the virus continues to mutate. While I agree that an Ebola vaccine is an important of the global strategy to control the virus, I do not agree that Americans should receive an Ebola vaccine and be subjected to the risk a serious adverse event or death, unless they are traveling to an endemic area. So why are we doing these Phase 1 trials on Americans?

Too Many Women Avoid Cervical Cancer Screening

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More than 12,000 women a year get cervical cancer, yet up to 93% of these cancers are preventable. The Centers for Disease Control reports that up to 8 million American women have not been screened for cervical cancer in the last 5 years, which is approximately 10% of all women who are at risk for the disease. The Papanicoolaou (Pap) test screens for abnormal cells and is a time tested screening method for detecting cervical carcinoma. More recently, testing for HPV infection to identify women at high risk for the disease has also been added to the screening and detection process. HPV vaccination is also another important part of the cervical cancer reduction public health program; however, vaccination does not prevent against all cervical cancers, and screening is critical to early diagnosis. 

Malpractice Crisis is Cost of Proving the Claim

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William Sage, MD, JD recently wrote an editorial in JAMA that malpractice claims are not currently causing disruption of the healthcare system, and the number of claims and average payout for claims is lower today than 10 years ago. Paid claims declined from 18.6 to 9.9 claims per thousand physician, and median payments declined from $218,400 to $195,000. However, statistics show that the number and frequency of medical errors has increased over the same period, with up to 400,000 negligent deaths a year from malpractice not including severely injured patients. The article goes on to discuss the need to compensate injured patients, the use of dispute resolution methods, the Medicare and Medicaid liens that impact settlement costs and the time delay in resolving claims. The article goes on to comment negatively on the significant contingency fee compensation that plaintiff attorneys receive when representing injured patients.

Outpatient Medication Errors Occur Every 8 Minutes in Children

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Parents need to guard against medication errors when treating their children at home with prescription medications. According to an article in Pediatrics, about 70,000 medication errors occur annually in children under 6 years of age, with more than 17,000 occurring in children under 1 year of age. Although most drug administration errors do not result in serious medical injuries, there are approximately 400 serious injuries and an average of 2-3 deaths each year. The most common error was inadvertently giving the medication twice.

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Britcher Leone, LLC

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Glen Rock Law Office

Parsippany
7 Century Road
Parsippany, NJ 07054

Toll Free: 866-713-1795
Toll Free: 877-600-7665
Phone: 201-345-5306
Phone: 973-898-1766
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