Medical Risk Law Weekly News

Week of: July 02, 2012


CDC Study Finds Motorcycle Helmet Laws Increase Helmet Use and Prevent Injury

According to a CDC study universal helmet laws result in cost savings by increasing helmet use among riders and passengers, which reduces crash-related injuries and deaths.


Nearly Half of US Adults Not Receiving Key Preventive Health Services That Could Save Tens of Thousands of Lives

Only about half of U.S. adults received selected preventive services such as screenings, consultations and prescriptions, from a health care professional before 2010, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Expanded Recall of Sigma Spectrum Infusion Pump Due to Risk of Over-Infusion Possibly Resulting in Injury or Deat

The manufacturer has expanded their class 1 recall of the SIGMA Spectrum Infusion Pump Model 35700 to include additional affected units manufactured from January 18, 2005 through November 1, 2010.

Naturalyte Liquid and Granuflo Dry Acid Concentrate for Chronic Renal Failure Hemodialysis Recalled Due to Potential for Cardiopulmonary Arrest

The manufacturer of Fresenius' Naturalyte Liquid and Granuflo Dry Acid Concentrate is cautioning clinicians to be aware of the concentration of acetate or sodium diacetate (acetic acid plus acetate) in the product.


Surgical Complication Resulting from an Otherwise Successful Surgery Found to Warrant “Unsuccessful Outcome” Jury Instruction

A man injured his back at work. An MRI revealed degenerative damage to his spine. The neurosurgeon diagnosed the man with multiple degenerative disc changes and found a hernia of at least one disc. The neurosurgeon suggested either drug treatment or surgery. The man chose surgery, and following the surgery, the man experienced neurological symptoms not present prior to the surgery. The man sued the neurosurgeon for medical malpractice alleging that the surgeon negligently injured his spinal cord. The man also sued the workers’ compensation insurer for breach of the insurance contract for wrongful denial of benefits.

Mechanical Engineer Cannot Provide “Expert Testimony” Establishing Medical Malpractice Standard of Care For Surgeon Attaching Spine Plate With Screws

A surgeon attached a medical device to a woman’s cervical spine using screws. The screws incorrectly protruded through the opposite side of the cervical spine. The protruding screws allegedly perforated the woman’s esophagus. The woman sued the surgeon for medical malpractice for the injuries allegedly caused by the improper installation of the medical device, a metal plate.

Plaintiff’s Medical Expert’s Conclusory Affidavit Insufficient to Overcome Summary Judgment in Malpractice Action

A woman went to an obstetrician because she thought she was pregnant. During the examination the woman said she had previously had an “abdominal pregnancy” and “lost the baby.” Urine tests for pregnancy were negative. The doctor did not order a blood test for pregnancy. The doctor diagnosed her with an infection and prescribed antibiotics, which were safe for pregnant patients.  Nine days later the woman went to the emergency room complaining of acute abdominal pain. A blood test for pregnancy was performed and was positive. An ultrasound was performed but did not show an embryo. It was surmised that the woman was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. Exploratory surgery revealed an ectopic pregnancy where the embryo adhered to the appendix and that the appendix had burst. The woman sued the obstetrician for negligence for failing to diagnose the ectopic pregnancy.