A medical malpractice lawyer is someone most people hope to never need, but with 51,546 adverse reactions in the United States between 2004 and 2014, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration, it is always a possibility looming in the minds of patients. In 2005, the average cost spent on anesthesiologist-related medical malpractice was 174.4 million. In 2013, this number declined to $91.1 million, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank.
While this is good news for many, it is not without a dose of bad news. The claims associated with outpatient anesthesiology have increased and this has caused people to seek the help of a New York medical malpractice lawyer.
“Overall, medical malpractice claims have decreased dramatically since 2005,” said Richard J. Kelly, MD, JD, MPH, FCLM, an Anesthesiologists-Decrease-and-Shift-to-Outpatient-Anesthesia-Services/34847″>anesthesiologist from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. “Due to increased outpatient utilization, the proportion of claims for outpatients has actually increased as compared to inpatients; however, the amount that’s being paid for outpatient claims is still significantly less than inpatient claims.”
The American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting in 2015 had a study that looked at the shift that occurred between 2005 and 2013. They were exploring the characteristics of both outpatient and inpatient malpractice claims, including patient demographics, payment size and clinical outcome.
The researchers used 2,408 anesthesiology-related malpractice payments to collect their data. All of these cases were associated with physician providers. Inpatient versus outpatient was the primary independent variable used in the study. According to the study, of the nine-year period and 2,408 payments made, inpatient events accounted for 76.5 percent (1,841) and outpatient events accounted for 23.5 percent (567).
Over the course of the study, both decreased, however, with inpatient payments decreasing by 45.5 percent and outpatient payments decreasing by 24.3 percent. Comparing the two, the payments paid out on inpatient claims were more expensive. The average inpatient claim was $245,000 and the average outpatient claim was $189,349.
Another report presented at this annual meeting looked at the difference in payment amounts associated with general operating room payments and non-operating room payments. The payments associated with the general operating room were far lower at $285,000. Those associated with non-operating room were a median of $554,000.
These figures are attributed to the fact that there is a rise in outpatient surgery procedures. Many procedures that required a hospital stay years ago are now able to be performed on an outpatient basis. This means more patients are having surgery, a minimal recovery period and then being sent home the next day. This prevents the ability for trained healthcare staff to monitor the patient for the few days after they have surgery.
Now, when looking at the overall spending on claims associated with anesthesiology, the news is good. Overall, there is a 41.4 percent decrease in the overall spending on claims associated with anesthesiology. This means that more is being done to prevent patients from experiencing issues associated with the anesthesiology administered during various surgical procedures. More of the safeguards put into place are working and fewer patients are requiring the help of a New York medical malpractice lawyer.
You do not often hear about a New York medical malpractice lawyer going after a chiropractor for injury or negligence, but this does not mean that chiropractors are immune. In fact, successful suits have been brought against this type of healthcare professional in the past. The primary reason medical malpractice suits against chiropractors are uncommon, is that in most cases, the negligence associated with chiropractors usually does not cause the patient to sustain a serious injury.
Between 2004 and 2014, there were 2,051 medical malpractice payments issued as the result of suits against chiropractors, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration. This is compared to more than 110,000 malpractice payments associated with medical doctors during this same time period.
This does not mean that chiropractors cannot cause damage that warrants a malpractice claim. The issues come in when examining the standard of care provided by a chiropractor compared to a medical doctor. Most chiropractors do not have the training necessary to refer patients to the proper specialist or make an accurate diagnosis. They mostly focus on treated pain associated with the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
The tricky part is knowing what to expect in terms of the chiropractor’s medical knowledge. They do not have the training of a medical doctor, and therefore, are often not held to as high of a standard. This means that a chiropractor missing a diagnosis that is outside of his capabilities is something that a patient will have a hard time suing over.
However, there are two primary categories in which patients bring suits against chiropractors. First, a patient can file a lawsuit if the chiropractor’s treatment caused direct harm to the patient. Secondly, the patient could sue if the chiropractor failed to diagnose a medical condition that required immediate care, resulting in subsequent injury.
Again, however, this can be tricky. When it comes to a treatment causing a patient direct harm, there are times when chiropractor treatment can lead to injuries like neck injuries, herniated discs in the spine and nerve damage. An even bigger problem is that there is the potential for chiropractic-induced stroke. This can occur as a result of a chiropractor manipulating a patient’s neck and causing an artery that serves the brain to become blocked or ruptured.
The artery that is at the most risk is the vertebral artery. The result could be a blood clot cutting over the brain’s oxygen and blood flow. The chiropractic-induced stroke has resulted in a medical malpractice lawyer successfully winning a suit for his patient. In Alabama in 2013, a patient was issued a $577,000 verdict due to this issue. A 42-year-old patient went to a chiropractor for a neck adjustment and after the fourth session, he immediately experienced slurred speech and vomiting. The plaintiff was immediately sent to the hospital and was diagnosed with carotid and vertebral artery tears. The suit alleged that the chiropractic adjustment was responsible for this and the jury sided with the plaintiff in this case.
If you suspect that you suffered injury directly related to negligence from your chiropractor, contact a New York medical malpractice attorney today.