Scalpel Weekly News

Week of: September 05, 2016

IN THE NEWS


Computerized Tests of Cognitive Skills after Head Injury Approved

On August 22, 2016, the FDA permitted marketing of two new devices to assess a patient’s cognitive function immediately after a suspected brain injury or concussion. The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) and ImPACT Pediatric are the first medical devices permitted for marketing that are intended to assess cognitive function following a possible concussion. They are intended as part of the medical evaluation that doctors perform to assess signs and symptoms of a head injury. Click title to continue reading...


 
MEDICAL ALERTS


Programmable Syringe Pump Fluid Flow Problems at Low Infusion Rates

The FDA informed health care professionals on August 25, 2016, that when using programmable syringe pumps to infuse therapies at low rates (e.g., less than 5 mL per hour, and especially at flow rates of less than 0.5 mL per hour), a lack of flow continuity (i.e., inconsistent rate of delivery) can result in serious clinical consequences, including delay of therapy, over-infusion or under-infusion. While lack of flow continuity can occur with other types of infusion pumps, this issue is particularly relevant to programmable syringe pumps that infuse therapies at low rates. Click title to continue reading...



Eyewash Recall; Microbial Contamination; Possible Sight Injury

On August 19, 2016, Honeywell voluntarily recalled one production lot of 32-ounce bottles of Eyesaline Eyewash solution, which is used for emergency eye rinsing after an injury. Click title to continue reading...



Saving Patients from Sepsis Requires Quick Intervention

Sepsis is a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection. It can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis requires rapid intervention. It begins outside of the hospital for nearly 80 percent of patients. According to a report released August 23, 2016, by the CDC, about seven in ten patients with sepsis had used health care services recently or had chronic diseases that required frequent medical care. These represent opportunities for healthcare providers to prevent, recognize, and treat sepsis long before it can cause life-threatening illness or death. Click title to continue reading...


  CASE ALERTS


Expert on Patient Death from Cardiac Arrest and Certified Nurse Anesthetist’s Shoulder Care

 An orthopedic surgeon performed a non-surgical manipulation of a man’s shoulder. Prior to the procedure, a cardiologist had determined that the man would need to be closely monitored due to his history of coronary artery disease. The procedure was performed at a hospital under anesthesia administered by a certified nurse anesthetist (CNA). After the procedure, the man exhibited tachycardia. The man was discharged home where he suffered a cardiac arrest. The man was cared for by emergency personnel and transported to another medical facility where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that he died from severe coronary atherosclerosis. Click title to continue reading...



Woman Dies on Operating Table; Hospital Gets Summary Judgment

A woman presented to the emergency room (ER) with a severe stomachache, nausea, and decreased appetite. Upon entry to the ER, she signed a Special Notice form and a Certification and Authorization form. Click title to continue reading...



Plan Administrator Abused Discretion; Denied LTD; Mental Limits Not Considered

A man was a participant in his employer’s insurance plan. The plan provided that a participant was disabled and eligible for LTD benefits if, during the elimination period and the first 12 months after the employee completed the elimination period, the employee could not perform the important duties of his or her regular job with the employer because of a sickness or injury. After expiration of that 12 month period, disabled means that, because of a sickness or injury, the employee cannot perform the important duties of any other gainful occupation for which the employee was reasonably fit by education, training, or experience. Click title to continue reading...


FEATURE


Complaint: Breast Reconstruction Insurance

As a special feature for our Premium subscribers we have included this feature containing an illustrative Complaint: Breach of Insurance Contract against an insurer for denial of coverage for breast reconstruction surgery after a cancer patient’s mastectomy. The insurer claimed there was coverage for the right breast reconstruction, but reconstruction of the left breast was not covered as this form of treatment was “experimental or investigational.” Click title to continue reading...