Recently in Medical Malpractice Category

Are Hospitals Doing Enough to Fight Superbug Infections?

May 19, 2013,

Last year, an estimated 14,000 patients in hospitals in the United States died from an infection called Clostridium difficle, or C-diff for short. Unfortunately, according to USA Today, these 14,000 patients were not alone. As many as 100,000 patients die in U.S. hospitals every year as a direct result of deadly infections, many of which are caused by "superbugs." 1158334_nurseii_1.jpg

Our Costa Mesa injury attorneys know that hospitals make billions of dollars as a result of patients developing these dangerous or deadly infections. Unfortunately, this means that hospitals may have a financial incentive not to step up their efforts to try to prevent hospital infections from occurring.

Superbugs Are a Major Risk to Hospital Patients

The risks of developing an infection in a hospital have been well-established for a very long time. Efforts have been made over the years to make sure that surgical instruments are sanitary and that hospital rooms are sterile, all in an effort to fight infection.

Unfortunately, infections don't just spread during surgery. A patient could be exposed to germs anywhere in a hospital, from a contaminated television remote control to the bed rails on the patient's bed. Unless a hospital environment is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to eliminate germs, patients are always going to develop hospital infections.

USA Today indicates that hospitals are making an effort to deal with their dirty little secret, embracing new technologies such as germ-resistant copper bedrails and UV machines that are designed to identify and destroy bacteria and viruses. Yet, making an effort to fight infections costs money while a patient who comes down with an infection can be profitable for a hospital.

Infections Mean Big Dollars in the Healthcare Industry

Hospital Infection.org indicates that hospitals are currently making substantial sums of money as a result of infected patients. When a patient develops an infection, the hospital will make an estimated $15,275 on average to provide treatment for that infection. Since Hospital Infection.org estimates that as many as two million patients a year get sick because of germs in hospitals, hospitals could be making as much as $30.5 billion annually off of their infected patients.

The amount of money that hospitals make may be increasing as well, since infections are becoming more dangerous and difficult to treat. For example, a new "nightmare" bacteria has now been identified in as many as 200 hospitals in the United States. This new bacteria joins a long line of super bugs that are resistant to antibiotics and that are very persistant in making people sick. C-diff is one of these superbugs, as is methicillin-resistant staph infections, or MRSA as it is more commonly known.

With these superbugs finding their way into many hospitals, more patients may find themselves getting sick and hospitals may end up making even more money in treating those infected. It is important that hospitals be given financial incentives not to allow infections but instead to fight very hard to do everything possible to prevent them. This means that medical malpractice claims need to be brought by patients who get sick due to hospital negligence in order to ensure that a hospital doesn't profit from providing sub-standard care.

Continue reading "Are Hospitals Doing Enough to Fight Superbug Infections? " »

Prescription Drug Abuse Up Among Teens & Doctors Could Play A Role

April 29, 2013,

Drug abuse has been a problem among the teenage population for decades. Unfortunately, today many teenagers are not just experimenting with illegal narcotics but are also using prescription drugs in dangerous and illegal ways. A new study indicates that this type of prescription drug abuse among teenagers has increased significantly in recent years. 1418156_magic_pills.jpg

Our Costa Mesa personal injury attorney know that prescription drug abuse is a dangerous and even potentially fatal practice. Unfortunately, there may be doctors and parents who are supporting this type of dangerous behavior, which could help to explain why prescription drug abuse is on the rise.

More Teens Abusing Prescription Drugs

According to Web MD, the United States is currently involved in a "prescription drug abuse crisis among teens." This statement is based on a new survey indicating that around 24 percent of all high school students have abused a prescription medication. This adds up to more than five million high school kids throughout the United States. It is also 33 percent more kids than were abusing prescription drugs last year when the survey was conducted.

Kids use a variety of different kinds of dangerous prescription drugs, but 13 percent reported that they used an ADHD drug such as Ritalin or Adderall. These drugs can act as stimulants similar to speed and are often used by kids who want a competitive edge in their schoolwork. In some cases, parents will condone or support this prescription drug abuse to try to help their kids do well in school. In fact, an estimated 1/3 of parents surveyed indicated a belief that either Ritalin or Adderall could improve their child's performance in school even without an ADHD diagnosis.

Parents and kids can both pressure doctors to provide a prescription for one of these medications that may not be justified, which gets the doctor involved in facilitating prescription drug abuse as well. If something goes wrong, the doctor could potentially be blamed for the consequences of the prescription drug abuse if he was negligent in prescribing the drug and/or if knew that there was no legitimate need for the prescription medication.

ADHD drugs are, of course, not the only prescriptions that kids abuse either. The study indicates that both parents and kids seem to buy into the idea that misusing prescription meds is a safer way to get high than using illegal drugs. Further, 1/3 of the teens who were surveyed indicated that they don't think there's anything wrong with taking a prescription drug for a condition that had never been prescribed.

This is a dangerous trend, especially if the idea that it is OK to abuse prescription drugs becomes more mainstream. Parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing and need to become informed about the impact that different prescription drugs can have. Doctors should also be vigilant about identifying potential drug abuse and must make sure they do not give in to the demands of either a teen or a parent asking for a prescription without a legitimate medical need.

Continue reading "Prescription Drug Abuse Up Among Teens & Doctors Could Play A Role" »

Dangerous Hospital Policy Could Lead to Patient Injuries

April 2, 2013,

According to California Watch, a dozen doctors are accusing the leadership of a Southern California hospital of refusing to notify them when patients are admitted. The doctors allege that the hospital fails to contact them when their patients are admitted to the hospital because the doctors refuse to engage in profit-driven practices like needlessly admitting patients to fill empty beds. 1334533_ambulance.jpg

Our Costa Mesa malpractice attorneys know that hospital policies need to be made in accordance with reasonable industry standards and with a focus on patient safety. If the hospital is failing to notify doctors of patient admissions because the doctors aren't making profit-based decisions, this could be putting patients needlessly at risk.

Hospital Policy Could Endanger Patients
Hospitals are required by California law to provide notification to health plans when patients arrive in hospitals and their condition has been stabilized. Hospitals also routinely contact primary care doctors after a patient of that physician has been admitted.

However, the doctors in this case argue that they aren't getting these calls. The hospital, on the other hand, says that there is no law requiring hospitals to contact HMOs or to contact physicians contracted through the HMO. The hospital also says that they do call the primary care doctors if the patient requests them to do so.

Both the dozen doctors and California's biggest health plan are currently engaged in lawsuits arising from similar claims about the absence of notification. The health plan, Kaiser Permanente, has said that the hospital essentially traps patients there by failing to notify Kaiser doctors and failing to let the health plan know the patient has been admitted. The lawsuit by the doctors, however, is the first actually brought by physicians arguing that the hospital is falling short in communicating with doctors.

Unfortunately, if it is true that the hospital is not letting doctors know when patients come in, this could result in harm to the patients. Hospitals may not be aware of the patient's medical history or of the drugs they are on, and they may miss important care information that a doctor could provide. This can result in a patient getting a treatment that is dangerous, in a patient being misdiagnosed, or in a host of other issues for a patient.

If the hospital is indeed motivated by profit only, there is also a risk they are performing unnecessary treatments or tests on a patient. These tests and treatments could, in-and-of-themselves, do harm to a patient. More treatments means more chances of mistake or more chances of an adverse reaction occurring.

The lawsuits by Kaiser and by the doctors remain pending and it will be important to observe the outcome to see if the hospital was found to have done something wrong. Any patient injured by the hospital's policy can also bring their own medical malpractice claim against the hospital and can argue that the hospital acted unreasonably under the circumstances, providing sub-par patient care through their profit-driven policy position.

Continue reading "Dangerous Hospital Policy Could Lead to Patient Injuries" »

Plastic Surgery Malpractice in Los Angeles Increasingly From Face Procedures

February 20, 2013,

The last year marked a sharp shift in the kinds of cosmetic surgery procedures being sought by Americans, with breast and buttocks augmentations receding, while facial lifts, laser and Botox procedures increasing. operation.jpg

Los Angeles Medical Malpractice Lawyer Vincent Howard of HOWARD LAW understands that the primary reason for this is that the average age of cosmetic surgery recipients has increased, more often consisting of baby boomers.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that more than 14.5 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the U.S. last year. That's actually a 5 percent uptick over the previous year, but the number of surgeries was down by about 2 percent. However, the reason the overall numbers are climbing is because we're seeing an increase in those less-invasive procedures, such as injections and laser treatments.

Breast augmentation is still the most popular cosmetic procedure overall, but for the first time ever, the number of women going under the knife for this actually dropped by about 7 percent. That's a pretty significant dip for a single-year timeline. Still, there were nearly 290,000 breast augmentations performed last year, so it's still a substantial number.

Buttocks augmentations as well are down, after a rapid rise between 2006 and 2011. Suddenly, they dropped by more than 35 percent from 2011 to 2012.

Now, the most sought-after cosmetic procedure is facial injections, which the ASPS estimated at over 6 million - an 8 percent spike in a single year. Laser procedures too are up, by about 6 percent, accounting for about 2.2 million sessions last year.

We're also seeing a rise in cheek implants, eyelid lifts and face lifts.

In addition to the rising number of boomers seeking a more youthful appearance, we also know that advancing technology has allowed lasers to become far more effective than in the past. Before, using a laser to remove wrinkles would have meant actually burning off the skin. Not so any more.

However, we should not assume that a less invasive procedure is without risk.

You know that anytime you undergo a surgery - even seemingly routine, elective procedures - there is going to be a risk. Numbness or loss of sensation is reported anywhere from 10 to 70 percent of the time in any procedure. Breast reductions tend to produce the worst results for this, according to the ASPS. For things like tummy tucks, there is the risk of a condition called seroma, which is when fluids pool in the surgery area. Proper drainage should address this, but negligent surgeons might overlook this or conduct it improperly. There is also the risk of hematoma (excessive bleeding), infection or problems with the anesthesia.

But what about those facial procedures? Botox injections, considered relatively safe and providing temporary results, have been associated with severe allergic reactions and botulinum poisoning, which can result in paralysis of the facial muscles or even other muscles in the body, causing vision problems, breathing trouble and even loss of bladder control.

In eyelid procedures, there have been instances of the doctor removing too much tissue from the lid, which in turn prevents the patient's eye from properly closing. That can result in serious damage to the tear ducts, which can result in extremely dry eyes and/or drainage problems.

Getting a rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, puts you at risk for potential breathing problems or asymmetry.

Facelift patients have reported visible scarring, nerve damage, speech problems or even Bell's palsy.

Those who opt for laser resurfacing have reported scars, permanent skin discoloration and numbness.

These outcomes are not acceptable, and likely will entitle you to compensation.

Continue reading "Plastic Surgery Malpractice in Los Angeles Increasingly From Face Procedures" »

Los Angeles County Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Accuses Pomona Hospital of Conducting Experimental Procedure Without Patient's Informed Consent

July 26, 2012,

April Cabana is suing Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center for Los Angeles personal injury. The 35-year-old woman says she continues to experience constant pain because she underwent an experimental procedure that surgeons performed on her without her consent.

Cabana contends that she thought she was undergoing traditional back surgery to treat an injury she sustained in a car accident, but instead, doctors performed a surgery on her that was part of a research project involving OP-1 Putty--a procedure that she claims she never agreed to have done. She is also suing Dr. Ali Mesiwala, who performed the surgery on her, for Los Angeles medical malpractice, and Stryker Biotech, the company that made the device.

Per court documents, this experimental procedure was performed on at least 17 patients at the Pomona Hospital. Cabana's Los Angeles injury legal team claims that Biotech was aware that using OP-1 and Calstrux together can cause human bone to migrate and grow in parts of the body, including nerve channels.

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is denying the allegations.


Los Angeles Medical Malpractice

Doctors and other medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care in that they must provide a standard level of care to each one of them. Anything less than that can jeopardize a patient's health and well-being.

Making sure that a patient's informed is obtained before proceeding with any procedure isn't just about getting him/her to sign a written consent form. The medical professional must clearly communicate what the patient is agreeing to, why this procedure is happening, what the risks involved are, whether there are alternative treatments, and what could happen if the patient decides not to pursue the recommended course of medical action. This should give a patient a chance to ask questions so that he/she can understand the procedure and how it might affect him/her.

A physician definitely cannot perform a medical procedure--let alone an experimental one--on a patient without getting the proper permissions. If a patient isn't capable of giving his/her consent, then the person who has that authority must do so. Also, there are exceptions to informed consent, such as in an emergency scenario when the patient is unable to give consent, or during diagnostic procedures when the level of care doesn't require the patient's consent. Also, if the patient is a minor, then the parents are allowed to consent for him/her. If a physician elects to perform a procedure that a patient didn't want, a battery action may be filed against the doctor.

Unfortunately, there are many ways for a medical professional to commit medical malpractice, and you can read about examples of other incidents that Los Angeles surgical malpractice Vincent Howard and his law firm Howard Law, PC have blogged about on our California Injury Lawyers Blog site.

Lawsuit Claims Pomona Surgeons Performed Experimental Procedures Without Patients' Consent, CBS Local, July 27, 2012

Suit says patient at Pomona Valley hospital underwent experimental procedure without her approval, SGV Tribune, July 26, 2012

More Blog Posts:
Newport Beach Dentist Sued for Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Must Pay Patient Approximately $641,000

Rowland Heights Doctor Accused of Los Angeles Medical Negligence and Murder
, California Injury Lawyers Blog, February 28, 2012

Los Angeles Plastic Surgery Malpractice: Woman Sues Santa Ana Doctor For Botched Breast Implants
, California Injury Lawyers Blog, January 20, 2012

Continue reading "Los Angeles County Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Accuses Pomona Hospital of Conducting Experimental Procedure Without Patient's Informed Consent" »

Newport Beach Dentist Sued for Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Must Pay Patient Approximately $641,000

June 16, 2012,

Dentist to the celebrities Dr. Sherri Lee Worth has been ordered to pay Ingrid Valdez and her husband Barry Cosgrove about $641K for Newport Beach dental malpractice. The couple sought damages from Worth after the dentist placed 22 crowns and veneers in Valdez's mouth and performed gum lasering on her in 2009.

Valdez contended that the procedures left her teeth discolored and her smile "gummy," and, according to her Newport Beach medical malpractice complaint, she experienced extreme pain in her mouth, which became very sensitive to cold, hot, and touch. She also said that the pain worsened and she had to undergo several root canals and emergency surgery to fix the damage. Valdez claimed that other dentists blamed Worth for her dental complications.

Worth, who has appeared on TV, is known for doing dental work on the rich and famous, including Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, Nip/Tuck actress Kelly Carlson, and American Idol performer Ace Young. The plaintiffs say that the dentist's association with the celebrities, which is noted on her professional Web site, caused them to trust her. The procedures that Worth performed on Valdez cost the couple $45,000.

Per the arbitrator, Worth was not cooperative when questioned and her account of the work she performed and the records she kept are nor reliable. The arbitrator accused the dentist of doctoring records and possibly purposely getting rid of evidence.

The $641,000 covers the plaintiffs' pain and suffering, as well as damages for loss of consortium, economic loss, and interest. As of earlier this month, Worth was also involved in three other Orange County, California medical malpractice complaints.

Dental malpractice can cause serious injuries, pain and suffering, health complications, and or cosmetic defects for a patient. It doesn't matter if the dentist is famous or well-respected, mistakes and negligence can happen. Fortunately, state law allows victims to file Orange County, California medical malpractice claims and lawsuits.

"Dentists, like all medical professionals, owe patients a duty of care to provide a certain level of medical service," said Newport Beach personal injury lawyer Vincent Howard. "When breach of that duty causes injury and/or suffering to the patient, this can be grounds for a lawsuit."

In addition to the physical pain, emotional trauma, poor cosmetic outcome, and/or subsequent procedures a patient of Newport Beach dental practice may have to endure, he/she may suffer other damages, such as lost wages, the inability to see to daily obligations and commitments while recovering, medical expenses, and negatively impacted relationships with others and on one's self-esteem.

Newport Beach dentist loses in malpractice suit, Daily Pilot, June 1, 2012

Sherri Worth, Newport Beach Doctor, Loses Malpractice Lawsuit, June 4, 2012

Sherri Lee Worth


More Blog Posts:

Los Angeles Medical Malpractice?: Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeons Linked to 5 Lap-Band Deaths and 1-800-GET-THIN Marketing Campaign, California Injury Lawyers Blog, May 15, 2012

Los Angeles Plastic Surgery Malpractice: Woman Sues Santa Ana Doctor For Botched Breast Implants, California Injury Lawyers Blog, January 20, 2012

Continue reading "Newport Beach Dentist Sued for Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Must Pay Patient Approximately $641,000" »

$3M Medical Malpractice Verdict Awarded to Widow Whose Husband Died During Three-Way Sex

June 12, 2012,

In a medical malpractice story that has recently made national headlines, the widow of a man who had a fatal heart attack while having sex with two other people has been awarded a $3 million wrongful death verdict against his doctor. Police officer William Martinez died on March 12, 2009 from atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.

He reportedly collapsed during a sexual counter at a hotel with a male friend and a woman who was not his wife. Martinez was pronounced dead by EMTs not long after.

His wife, Sugeidy Martinez, went on to sue his doctor, Sreenivasulu Gangasani, and the Cardiovascular Group, where the physician is a cardiologist. Sugeidy contends that the heart doctor not only failed to properly diagnose her husband's chest pains, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath but also, Gangasani should have told him to refrain from any type of strenuous activities until more tests could be conducted.

Her attorney even said that after Martinez went to the Cardiovascular Group for a checkup of his heart-related symptoms, Gangasani should have immediately sent the policeman hospital so that a stress test could be conducted. His blocked arteries would then likely have been immediately identified and diagnosed.

The jury agreed with the plaintiff's contention that Gangasani was negligent by not properly diagnosing and providing proper treatment for her husband's heart condition, and she was awarded $5 million. However, because jury members found Martinez 40% responsible for his death, the award amount was lowered to $3 million.

Failure To Diagnose
Failure to diagnose can be grounds for Orange County, California medical malpractice. So can delayed diagnosis and wrong diagnosis. Not correctly and immediately diagnosing a patient's condition can result in serious health complications and may even prove fatal.

"We know how upsetting it can be to discover that a medical condition or illness that could have been treated early and successfully is now a life-threatening ailment because a doctor failed to properly diagnose," said Anaheim failure to diagnose attorney Vincent Howard.

California Medical Malpractice
A California medical malpractice action for wrongful death or personal injury has to be brought within a year from the date that the claimant found out about the negligent act. However, it cannot be submitted more than three years after the date that the injury actually took place. For California medical malpractice injuries to minors, the legal action has to be brought within three years from when the negligent act happened--unless the victim is younger than 6, in which case legal action has to be started before his/her eighth birthday or within the three years.

Widow of Atlanta cop who died during three-way sex is awarded $3 million, MSNBC, July 8, 2012

Jury awards $3 million in man's sex death, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 31, 2012

More Blog Posts:
$635K Newport Wrongful Death Verdict Awarded in Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Case of Woman Who Suffered Anesthesia Complications While Getting Dental Implants, California Injury Lawyers Blog, June 7, 2012

Los Angeles Medical Malpractice?: Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeons Linked to 5 Lap-Band Deaths and 1-800-GET-THIN Marketing Campaign, California Injury Lawyers Blog, May 15, 2012

Rowland Heights Doctor Accused of Los Angeles Medical Negligence and Murder, California Injury Lawyers Blog, February 28, 2012

Continue reading "$3M Medical Malpractice Verdict Awarded to Widow Whose Husband Died During Three-Way Sex" »

$635K Newport Wrongful Death Verdict Awarded in Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Case of Woman Who Suffered Anesthesia Complications While Getting Dental Implants

June 7, 2012,

A California jury has awarded Tanisha Mitchell a $635,000 Orange County, California wrongful death verdict in her Newport Beach dental malpractice lawsuit against Smile Implant Center owner Dr. Thomas Teich and anesthesiologist Barry Friedberg. Mitchell is the daughter of Los Angeles resident Paula Kane, who went into respiratory arrest and became brain dead after undergoing a procedure for dental implants in January 2010.

Dr. Friedberg was the one who gave Kane the drugs so she could be under "oral conscious sedation." Kane, 57, went into respiratory arrest just hours later. The combination of propofol and benzodiazepines apparently shut down her respiratory system.

Anesthesia Complications
It is amazing how easily a routine surgical procedure can turn tragic due to Newport Beach anesthesia malpractice. Simple inattention or an error in judgment by an anesthesiologist can lead to mistakes that may cause a patient to experience severe pain and/or develop brain damage, post-traumatic stress disorder, nerve damage, systemic toxicity, heart problems, lung problems, aspiration hematoma, or infection. An anesthesia mistake may even prove fatal.

Some common causes of anesthesia errors:
• Inadequate monitoring
• Dosage errors
• Poor training
• Inexperience
• Machine failure


Dental Malpractice
One would think that a trip to the dentist whould be a lot safer than a visit to other types of physicians. However, dental malpractice can happen, including:

• Extracting the wrong tooth
• Failure to diagnose oral cancer
• Accidentally cutting the lingual nerve
• Nerve damage because of errors made when inserting dental implants
• Failure to inform patient about different treatments and risks involved
• Causing injury to the jaw
• Errors made when performing root canals or inserting dental bridges or crowns
• Anesthesia mistakes

"Even if a medical professional did not intend to cause harm, if injury or death results, he/she can be held liable for Orange County, California personal injury," said Newport Beach dental malpractice attorney Vincent Howard.

Apparently, at the time of Kane's surgery, Freidberg was not registered for general anesthesia with the Dental Board of California and Teich did not have a permit to perform oral conscious sedation. According to the OC Weekly, Teich is currently involved in 13 other medical malpractice complaints, and he has been charged with this type of negligence twice in California.

"Losing someone you love is always devastating,"said Anaheim wrongful death lawyer Vincent Howard. "While suing for damages won't bring him/her back, it can provide you with some financial relief to cover some of the resulting costs and damages, as well as serve as an acknowledgment of pain and suffering and loss.

The $635,000 awarded to Mitchell is for pain and suffering. However, because of California's non-economic damages cap, the award amount has been lowered to $250,000.

Woman Goes to Smile Implant Center in Newport Beach, Dies; Daughter of Deceased Wins Malpractice Suit, OC Weekly, June 7, 2012


More Blog Posts:
$22M California Medical Malpractice Verdict to Woman Who is Now a Quadriplegic Following Unnecessary Angiogram, California Injury Lawyers Blog, May 22, 2012

Los Angeles Medical Malpractice?: Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeons Linked to 5 Lap-Band Deaths and 1-800-GET-THIN Marketing Campaign, California Injury Lawyers Blog, May 15, 2012

Continue reading "$635K Newport Wrongful Death Verdict Awarded in Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Case of Woman Who Suffered Anesthesia Complications While Getting Dental Implants" »

$22M California Medical Malpractice Verdict to Woman Who is Now a Quadriplegic Following Unnecessary Angiogram

May 22, 2012,

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation must pay a woman a $22 million California medical malpractice verdict after she had a stroke while undergoing an unnecessary angiogram in 2006 and became paralyzed. The plaintiff, Robyn Frankel, now 48, became a quadriplegic.

Frankel had been experiencing migraines when doctors at the foundation ordered the angiogram to look at an abnormal vein in her brain. The procedure was performed at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, which has since reached a separate California personal injury settlement with Frankel). According to her attorney, the vein was unrelated to the migraine and the procedure therefore unnecessary.

During the angiogram, after dye was injected into her brain's blood vessels, Frankel had a vasospasm and went into a coma. When she woke up about half a month later, she was paralyzed. She now needs 24-hour care and a wheelchair. She also has problems speaking. After the medical incident, Frankel and her husband got a divorce. They share two kids, ages 16 and 10.

According to the jury, the defendant's negligence contributed substantially to the harm that Frankel suffered. Of the $22 million verdict, approximately $16 million is for economic losses. $6 million is for human suffering. However, per the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975, that smaller amount will be lowered to $250,000.

"When serious injuries result from medical negligence, it is the patient who must suffer after the fact, along with their family," said Anaheim angiogram malpractice attorney Vincent Howard. "A victim shouldn't have to shoulder the burden of medical bills, lost wages, and perhaps even a lifetime of specialized care."


Angiograms
Angiography is a medical procedure that involves that creation of film or images of organs or blood vessels. Contrast dye is injected into the blood stream. Anesthesia is required.

An angiogram is performed by a surgeon and usually takes an hour. Although considered a low-risk procedure, it is still a surgery and complications can result, including blood vessel damage, allergic reactions to the dye, infection, X-ray radiation complications, stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, brain damage, heart attack, blood clots, artery damage, paralysis, and death. Some of these complications can occur because of Orange County, California medical mistakes, including surgical errors, inadequate pre-op or post-op care, anesthesia errors, or other acts of negligence.

While Orange County, California medical mistakes impact the victim the most, loved ones must also grapple with the pain and struggles of seeing their family member suffer and the losses and changes to their relationship that they must contend with. "You need to work with an experienced injury attorney that understands everything that you and your relatives are coping with during this challenging time," said Anaheim injury attorney Vincent Howard.

Unfortunately, medical mistakes happen all the time. Nursing negligence, surgical malpractice, medication mistakes, gynecological malpractice, dental malpractice, failure to diagnose, wrong diagnosis, failure to obtain informed consent, and other types of medical errors cause serious injuries and claim lives every year. Sometimes the incident is an honest mistake caused by inadequate training, inexperience, or poor systems and procedures that have been implemented. Other instances may be a result of medical carelessness.

Howard Law and Attorney Vincent Howard represent California medical malpractice clients in Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and Los Angeles County.

Menlo Park woman receives $22 million medical malpractice verdict, Mercury News, March 21, 2012

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation


More Blog Posts:
Rowland Heights Doctor Accused of Los Angeles Medical Negligence and Murder, California Injury Lawyers Blog, February 28, 2012

Los Angeles Plastic Surgery Malpractice: Woman Sues Santa Ana Doctor For Botched Breast Implants, California Injury Lawyers Blog, January 20, 2012

Orange County, California Medical Malpractice: Hospital Delirium Can Be Prevented with Proper Medical Care, California Injury Lawyers Blog, January 19, 2012

Los Angeles Medical Malpractice?: Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeons Linked to 5 Lap-Band Deaths and 1-800-GET-THIN Marketing Campaign

May 15, 2012,

Two Beverly Hills brothers, Michael and Julian Omidi, and their plastic surgery business have come under fire over the five deaths of patients who underwent procedures to get a lap-band implanted in their stomachs. Thousands of people reportedly signed up for the procedures at the siblings' California clinics after seeing or hearing the 1-800-GET-THIN ads that they are accused of conceptualizing. The Omidis are now defendants in a number of Los Angeles and Orange County, California surgical malpractice lawsuits claiming wrongful death.

The victims that died include:
• Laura Faitro, who went home after the procedure in great pain and later died. Per the coroner, her liver had been lacerated. Her husband believes she was the victim of Los Angeles surgical malpractice.

• Ana Rantaria, who died 10 days after undergoing Lap-Band surgery. Her death was a result of laparoscopic gastric band placement complications, diabetes, and hernia repair.

• Tamara Walter, who died three days after her Lap-Band procedure at one of the brothers' clinics.

• Willie Brooks, whose cause of death was listed by the coroner as peritonitis from Lap-Band procedure as a result of obesity. He died three days after his surgery.

• Paula Rojeski who died while her lap-band procedure was still under way. Homicide detectives are investigating her death.

The ABC news program 20/20 recently took a closer look at the allegations surrounding the two brothers, who reportedly did not perform any of the lap-band surgeries. Michael has been on probation as a doctor for thee years--he was reinstated last year--while Julian lost his medical license over an incident allegedly involving dishonesty. The two of them became minor celebrities after they were featured on the cable television show "Dr. 90210."

"Surgeons owe a duty of care to their patients. This includes making sure that a patient is provided with a certain level of care before, during, and after surgery," said Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney Vincent Howard. "Patients should know of the risks involved in any procedure they agree to undertake and it is the medical professional's responsibility to provide this information."

The 1-800-GET-THIN marketing campaign that blitzed its way through Southern California is now on its way out. In December, the Food and Drug Administration put out a warning to clinics that the advertisements, on billboards, radio, TV, and the Internet, were misleading because they failed to provide a warning about the health risks involved. A couple of months later, Allergan, the leading maker of lap-bands, announced the decision to stop selling this medical device to clinics affiliated with 1-800-GET-THIN.

Aside from the allegations of improper marketing, there have been problems reportedly with the lap-band after its been implanted in a patient, including slippage in the stomach, which may prevent food from properly passing through the body erosion, breakage, and deflation. When inserted properly, the band, which is inflatable, is supposed to lessen or increase a stomach's capacity to help to help facilitate weight loss.

"If a medical device proves unreasonably unsafe and these hazards lead to complications, infection, or death, a manufacturer can be held liable for California products liability," said Anaheim defective medical device attorney Vincent Howard.

1-800-Get-Thin Under Fire for Lap-Band Surgery Deaths, ABC News, May 11, 2012

Inside GET-THIN, Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2012

FDA issues Warning Letters for misleading advertising of Lap-Band, FDA, December 13, 2011


More Blog Posts:
Los Angeles County Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Claims Lap-Band Surgery Caused Wife's Wrongful Death, California Injury Lawyers Blog, March 9, 2011

Los Angeles Medical Malpractice?: California Medical Board Investigates Surgeon Following Lawndale Woman's Death After Lap-Band Procedure, California Injury Lawyers Blog, February 4, 2011

Family of Lawndale Woman to Pursue Los Angeles Surgery Malpractice Action Over Her California Wrongful Death from Lap-Band Surgery, California Injury Lawyers Blog, April 27, 2011

Rowland Heights Doctor Accused of Los Angeles Medical Negligence and Murder, California Injury Lawyers Blog, February 28, 2012

Continue reading "Los Angeles Medical Malpractice?: Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeons Linked to 5 Lap-Band Deaths and 1-800-GET-THIN Marketing Campaign" »

Rowland Heights Doctor Accused of Los Angeles Medical Negligence and Murder

February 28, 2012,

Dr. Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng has been charged with second-degree murder in the Los Angeles County overdose death of three patients. The Rowland Heights physician allegedly prescribed certain powerful drugs to patients even though they didn't need the medications. (Tseng is also charged with 20 counts of prescribing meds to people despite a lack of medical need.)

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been investigating Tseng for some time now. In 2010, authorities raided her office because they suspected she might be illegally selling prescription drugs to patients and that this practice may have resulted in at least one suicide and eight overdose deaths. The medications in those deaths had either been directly prescribed by Tseng or came through a dealer from her

At the time, the general osteopath denied any wrongdoing and she wasn't charged with any crime. However, the DEA did take away her ability to prescribe medications that were addictive, contending that Tseng had written more than 27,000 prescriptions in three year and, in many instances, had failed to conduct examinations. Now, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California is taking action to take away her license.

"Doctors must exercise care that they don't overprescribe, under prescribe, or prescribe the wrong medication to a patient," said Howard Law, PC Partner and Los Angeles Medical Malpractice Attorney Vincent Howard. "Whether the prescription-related medical negligence was accidental or an intentional way to make a profit, the medical professional should be held liable."

Unfortunately, there are doctors that their position of authority by prescribing drugs that they shouldn't be giving to patients. Just recently, the California Medical Board recently disciplined Fullerton doctor Jeffrey Dell for allegedly improperly prescribing a "dangerous" drug to a patient with whom he was sexually involved.

Dell is accused of sexual misconduct with someone that he first had sex with two months after he prescribed the drug Xanax for her. At the time, she was going through the dissolution of her marriage. According to legal documents from the board, Dell continued to prescribe "controlled substances" and "dangerous drugs" to her and lied when she submitted a written complaint about him by claiming that he'd never engaged "non-professional physical contact with her."

If you believe that medical misconduct or mistakes by your physician, nurse, or other medical professional caused you to sustain serious Los Angeles County injury or a loved one's death, you may have grounds for a civil lawsuit. Due to the nature of the work that they do, medical personnel will often have intimate access to a patient's body or mind, and it is their responsibility to provide a certain level of care and refrain from abusing that access and/or profiting from it.

"Our personal injury law firm is experienced in proving medical negligence and holding negligent parties liable via settlement or through the courts," said Los Angeles Medical Malpractice Attorney Vincent Howard.

Doctor charged in fatal prescription overdoses, Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2012

Doctor disciplined after accusations of sex with patient, Orange County Register, February 29, 2012


More Blog Posts:

Los Angeles Plastic Surgery Malpractice: Woman Sues Santa Ana Doctor For Botched Breast Implants, California Injury Lawyers Blog, January 20, 2012

Doctor Accused of Irvine, California Medical Negligence for Overprescribing Medicine Loses His License, California Injury Lawyers Blog, January 12, 2012

Fullerton and Mission Viejo Hospitals Fined For Morphine Overdose and Surgical Error, California Injury Lawyers Blog, December 9, 2011


Continue reading "Rowland Heights Doctor Accused of Los Angeles Medical Negligence and Murder" »

Los Angeles Plastic Surgery Malpractice: Woman Sues Santa Ana Doctor For Botched Breast Implants

January 20, 2012,

Mark Anthony Knight, the Santa Ana plastic surgeon who was forced to give up his medical license after he was accused of having sex with a patient, is now the defendant of a Los Angeles, California medical malpractice lawsuit. The plaintiff is a woman who says that he gave her breast implants that were too big.

Elisa Geraci claims she initially wanted a breast lift but that Knight suggested that she get breast implants. Geraci contends that she agreed to C cup implants but when she woke up her breasts were so big they caused her to "look like a monster." She accuses Knight of refusing to remedy the medical error. Gerasi has since gone to another plastic surgeon and had the implants taken out.

Knight lost his license in 2010 to settle the sexual misconduct allegations. Earlier that year the California Medical Board accused him of having inappropriate sexual contact with two patients. He allegedly had sex with one patient while her spouse and kids were in the waiting room. He also allegedly kissed another patient even though she rebuffed his advances.

"Plastic surgery, like any other surgery, is a procedure to be taken seriously--even done when for cosmetic purposes," says Howard Law, PC partner and Anaheim medical malpractice attorney Vincent Howard. "It is important that plastic surgeons don't make any mistakes that cause serious injury, problems patient's physical appearance, or any health complications."

In Southern California, where the pressure to maintain a beautiful physical appearance is high, it is not uncommon for both men and women to undergo plastic surgery. It is important that the doctor who performs your procedure is experienced in this field of medicine and has the skills to do a proper job.

Risks associated with getting breast implants:
• Infection
• Wrong implant size
• Toxic shock syndrome
• Breast pain
• Chest pain
• Leaks
• Ruptures
• Deflated implants
• Scarring
• Asymmetry
• Rippling
• Nipple numbness

Breast implant procedures are costly enough to begin with, but add the expenses of corrective surgery and additional treatments and the medical bills can really start to skyrocket. These damages don't even include the complications that can arise from these serious risks if any of them do manifest.

"You want to make sure that you work with a Los Angeles personal injury law firm that knows how to determine who should be held responsible" said Anaheim plastic surgery malpractice attorney Vincent Howard.

Dangerous Drug Lawsuit Seeks Blames Children's Tylenol for Toddler's Death, California Injury Lawyers Blog, January 6, 2012

Birth Injuries Can Be Grounds for an Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Case, California Injury Lawyers Blog, December 16, 2011

Fullerton and Mission Viejo Hospitals Fined For Morphine Overdose and Surgical Error, California Injury Lawyers Blog, December 9, 2011

Continue reading "Los Angeles Plastic Surgery Malpractice: Woman Sues Santa Ana Doctor For Botched Breast Implants " »

Orange County, California Medical Malpractice: Hospital Delirium Can Be Prevented with Proper Medical Care

January 19, 2012,

According to the New York Times, many cases of hospital delirium involving elderly patients can be prevented if only the proper medical steps are taken. Also, not only does this condition often go undiagnosed and, therefore, is not treated properly, but also, delirium can later to lead to other mental complications while potentially increasing the risk of death. Our Anaheim medical malpractice lawyers at Howard Law, PC wants to remind you that if you or someone you love suffered health complications that could have been prevented by a medical professional, you may have grounds for an Orange County, California personal injury case.

Hospital delirium is a brain dysfunction that is one of the more common complications that elderly patients can face. Common causes of hospital delirium include:
• Prescribing certain medications (including certain sleeping pills, sedatives, painkillers, allergy meds, incontinence medications, and blood pressure drugs.
• Anesthesia
• Immobilizing a patient
• Surgery
• Infection
• Pneumonia
• Catheter insertions

Of the 11.8 million elderly patients that are hospitalized annually, 20% of them will experience hospital delirium. Per the American Geriatrics Society, many of these patients had been treated in the ICU or underwent surgery.

Even if the delirium is short-lived, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine professor Dr. E. Wesley Ely reports that the consequences may be long-term. Image scans of patients that suffered from delirium showed a change in brain size. Not only can delirium cause mental impairment and long-term memory loss, but also the risk of death may rise threefold.

Yet despite the fact that hospital delirium is not uncommon, Harvard Medical School Professor and Aging Brain Center at Hebrew Senior Life director Dr. Sharon K. Inouye says that many doctors, especially those belonging to the older generations, are still not aware that 30-40% of incidents of hospital delirium are preventable.

"Proper diagnosis, treatment, and supervision are integral when providing medical care to hospital patients," says Howard Law, PC founder and Anaheim personal injury attorney Vincent Howard. "Over the years, we've talked to too many people whose condition deteriorated or suffered health complications due to medical negligence or ignorance."

Possible Signs of hospital delirium:
• Disorientation
• Problems focusing
• Inattention
• Confusion
• Illogical thinking
• Difficulty paying attention
• Agitation
• Aggressiveness
• Anxiety
• Lethargy
• Problems making eye contact
• Muddled thinking
• Confusion
• Inability to answer basic questions

The New York Times notes that it is also important that medical professionals be able to tell the difference between delirium and dementia.

Some ways to treat hospital delirium:
• Proper fluids and nutrition
• Reorientation techniques to help the person get grounded in reality again
• Creating a familiar, quiet environment so the patient can recover
• Correcting sensory deficits with hearing aids and glasses
• Avoiding physical restraints
• Close observation and supervision
• Psychiatric counseling

That said, treating delirium can be costly and may lead to extended hospital stays, an increased chance of later developing dementia, and additional care at a nursing home or rehab center.

"It is essential that people know about hospital delirium and understand that this condition can be prevented," said Anaheim personal injury lawyer Vincent Howard. "One way of doing this is holding that party or parties that caused such health complications accountable for Orange County, California medical malpractice so that they don't make the same mistakes in the future."

Another Hospital Hazard for the Elderly, New York Times, November 2, 2011

Delirium treatment and management, Medscape

Hospital delirium is common and often goes unrecognized, reports Harvard Women's Health Watch, Harvard Health Publications


More Blog Posts:
Fullerton and Mission Viejo Hospitals Fined For Morphine Overdose and Surgical Error, California Injury Lawyers Blog, December 9, 2011

Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter, Dr. Conrad Murray Still Faces Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Michael Jackson's Fatal Overdose, California Injury Lawyers Blog, November 8, 2011

$10M California Medical Malpractice Settlement Awarded to Family of Toddler Who Underwent Amputations Following 5 Hour ER Delay, California Injury Lawyers Blog, October 29, 2011

Continue reading "Orange County, California Medical Malpractice: Hospital Delirium Can Be Prevented with Proper Medical Care " »

Doctor Accused of Irvine, California Medical Negligence for Overprescribing Medicine Loses His License

January 12, 2012,

Dr. Dariush Javanshir's license has been revoked because he overprescribed medication to a patient a month before the latter died from a painkiller overdose in 2007. According to records from the Medical Board of California, the Irvine doctor provided the patient, a man in his 60's suffering from depression, with an unacceptable level of medical care, was negligent on multiple occasions, and failed to keep solid medical records.

"Orange County, California medical negligence can have fatal consequences," said Howard Law, PC partner and Anaheim medical malpractice attorney Vincent Howard. "Medical professionals that fail to provide a patient with the standard of level of care can be held liable if serious injury or death results."

The patient, whom Javanshir began treating in 2002, was suffering from suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, sleeping problems, low back pain, diabetes, panic attacks, and drug addiction. Between November 2006 through April 2007 Javanshir prescribed 1,120 lorazepam pills, 90 Valium tablets, 180 Ambien tablets, and 2,245 propoxyphene tablets. The reason that the doctor provided for authorizing the meds is that the patient was going to Afghanistan. However, Javanshir's medical records show that he, in fact, was aware that his patient was planning on sending the medication to friends and family there. Regardless of whether the extra medicine was for the patient or for others, both reasons are not acceptable for why a doctor would prescribe opiates to someone.

Irvine Medical Negligence
Prescription errors are a serious matter, even when the medication isn't a heavy-duty drug. Depending on the drug, the dose administered/taken, whether/not the person is taking other medications, and/or how it impacts the patient, the outcome could prove deadly or result in serious health complications. (Some other possible common effects of medication mistakes include fatal overdose, kidney damage, internal bleeding, brain injury, hypertensia, liver damage, permanent disability, chemical burns, bleed outs and coma.)

"For a doctor to purposely prescribe the wrong dose whether to enable a patient or for personal profit is Irvine medical negligence," said Orange County, California medical malpractice attorney Vincent Howard.

This is not the first time that Javanshir has been accused of medical negligence. In 1995, he allegedly overprescribed meds to someone without conducting a proper physical. He was later disciplined for failing for prescribing medications to patients for conditions they weren't suffering from and for failing to conduct a proper exam on one person who was experiencing headaches and stomach pain.

Irvine doctor loses medical license after patient dies of overdose, Los Angeles Times, January 8, 2012

Medical board: Doctor was negligent, Daily Pilot, January 7, 2012


More Blog Posts:

Dangerous Drug Lawsuit Seeks Blames Children's Tylenol for Toddler's Death, California Injury Lawyers Blog, January 6, 2012

Birth Injuries Can Be Grounds for an Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Case, California Injury Lawyers Blog, December 16, 2011

Fullerton and Mission Viejo Hospitals Fined For Morphine Overdose and Surgical Error, California Injury Lawyers Blog, December 9, 2011

Continue reading "Doctor Accused of Irvine, California Medical Negligence for Overprescribing Medicine Loses His License" »

Birth Injuries Can Be Grounds for an Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Case

December 16, 2011,

At Howard Law, PC, we understand the devastation that comes with seeing your child's future irrevocably altered before his/her life has even started. It can be hard to grasp that Orange County, California birthing errors made either before, during, or immediately after delivery caused your son/daughter serious and debilitating injuries.

Examples of medical mistakes that could be grounds for an Anaheim birthing malpractice case should serious injury or death result:
• Not monitoring the baby's vitals
• Inadequate prenatal care
• Not testing for fetal abnormalities
• Waiting too long to perform a C-section
• Delivering the baby sooner than necessary for no medical reason
• Anesthesia mistakes
• Failure to identify when the baby is in fetal distress
• Failure to properly monitor the mother's vitals
• Poor post-delivery care


Birthing negligence can cause:
• Wrongful death
• Brain injury
• Vacuum injuries
• Hypoxia
• Forceps-related injuries
• Developmental problems
• Hypoxia
• Cerebral palsy
• Shoulder dystocia
• Erb's palsy

Mothers who are injured as a result of medical negligence may also have grounds for an Orange County, California birthing malpractice case.

"For some families, an injury to a child during birth is not just the end of a dream but it changes the course of all of their lives," said Anaheim medical malpractice attorney Vincent Howard. "The emotional, financial, and physical toll that a birth defect can have on a child and his loved ones is irrationally high."

Fortunately, the legal system allows parents to sue for damages, which can help alleviate the cost of full-time nursing care and any other medical services that a child with a severe birth defect may need for life. (In certain instances, at least one parent may have to stop working in order to care for the son or daughter and families are left wondering what could have been if only a surgeon, obstetrician, anesthesiologist, or nurse hadn't made a medical mistake that should have been prevented.)

"No amount of money can make up for what happened to you and your family, but it can provide some financial relief," said Anaheim birthing malpractice lawyer Vincent Howard. "It can also allow you to hold the responsible parties accountable for the harm that has been suffered.

Earlier this year, a jury awarded one couple on the East Coast $58 million because delays in performing a C-section left their son brain damaged and suffering from cerebral palsy. The parents also contend that when the doctor did finally perform the procedure, two days too late, incisions were made in the wrong area.

The boy, now 8, cannot talk or walk. The money will pay for his care for life.

$58 Million Awarded To Connecticut Couple In Delayed C-Section Case, CBS New York, May 26, 2011

Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy, Nolo

Is 'Wrongful Birth' Malpractice?, CBS News, February 11, 2009

More Blog Posts:
Fullerton and Mission Viejo Hospitals Fined For Morphine Overdose and Surgical Error, California Injury Lawyers Blog, December 9, 2011


Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter, Dr. Conrad Murray Still Faces Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Michael Jackson's Fatal Overdose, California Injury Lawyers Blog, November 8, 2011

$10M California Medical Malpractice Settlement Awarded to Family of Toddler Who Underwent Amputations Following 5 Hour ER Delay, California Injury Lawyers Blog, October 29, 2011

Continue reading "Birth Injuries Can Be Grounds for an Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Case" »