Children Harmed by Drug Errors in Hospitals

From the NY Times:

Medicine mix-ups, accidental overdoses and bad drug reactions harm roughly one out of 15 hospitalized children, according to the first scientific test of a new detection method.

That number is far higher than earlier estimates and bolsters concerns already heightened by well publicized cases like the accidental drug overdose of actor Dennis Quaid’s newborn twins last November.

The Law: Trial Lawyers Tell All

From Physicians Practice:

Why do patients sue?

Because they perceive malpractice, says Manhattan plaintiff’s attorney Jeff Kimmel.

A patient’s perception may be influenced by actual medical facts, but his relationship with you and your staff and how well he thinks you’ve handled a negative medical outcome weighs very heavily in his decision to sue. “Almost everyone says that ‘If the doc had only apologized or been nice to me, or [if] he would’ve come to me,’” the lawsuit could’ve been averted, says Kimmel, a partner in the law firm of Salenger, Sack, Schwartz & Kimmel. “‘But he tried to cover it up, or ignored it, or had been arrogant about it. Now it’s war.’”

Of course, a bad treatment outcome does not usually mean malpractice. People sometimes die during procedures. Complications do occur. Whose fault is it? Sometimes it is the doctor’s; more often, it’s not. That’s why Kimmel and other plaintiff’s lawyers are very selective in the cases they’ll take (and still lose more often than they win, on average). Here’s one of their secrets: They’re not looking merely for cases of physician error; they’re also looking for unsympathetic defendants — for physicians who seem unfeeling. Take steps now to protect yourself. Here’s how, straight from the ones on the other side of the courtroom.