Issue: December 2015
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Pneumonia Complications, Hospitalizations, Deaths: Risks and Liabilities

Introduction

Risks in Diagnosing or Treating Pneumonia

Pneumonia results in more than 50,000 deaths in the United States every year, with approximately 3.4% of hospital inpatient deaths being attributable to pneumonia. On a global basis, pneumonia is the leading cause of death for children under five years old.

 

Awards and settlements in malpractice lawsuits involving pneumonia can amount to millions of dollars.

 

Attorneys, physicians, hospitals, employers, insurers, and other potential parties to the litigation should be aware of the types of lawsuits and liability issues that can arise in connection with the diagnosis or treatment of pneumonia.


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

What proof is needed for a claim of lack of informed consent, alone or as part of a medical malpractice or negligence action, related to the treatment of pneumonia? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?

Physicians:

How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for an injury related to the diagnosis or treatment of pneumonia? And, what is a potential strategy for the physician to employ?

Insurers:

Can a payout under a medical malpractice liability policy be avoided by proof that the health provider was not negligent or there was no coverage for the provider’s actions? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?

Employers:

Can an employer be subject to liability for an employee’s pneumonia? And, what is a potential strategy for the employer to use?


Practice the Technique: Checklists

Attorneys:

Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a provider’s liability for malpractice or negligence for a patient’s pneumonia.

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items a physician must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving a patient’s pneumonia.

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of patient injury from pneumonia.

Employers:

Use this checklist to determine if the employee’s pneumonia is “work related” and occurred “in the course of the employment.”

Expert Analysis

What Vaccines and Innovations Are Available To Protect Young Children from Pneumonia?

Devi R. Thomas; Kip Patrick

What Is Important To Know About Treating a Patient’s Pneumonia and the Risk Factors for Drug Resistance?

Christian Sandrock, MD, MPH, FCCP

Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration or mediation may be required by contract or statute, may be mandated by the court or, in some circumstances, may be the appropriate method for a negotiated resolution.  


Reasons To Reach Settlement

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.


Reasons To Go To Trial

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to take the action to trial.


Jury Awards and Settlements

How much have juries awarded and what settlements have been reached recently in cases involving liability for pneumonia care and treatment?



Medical Examples

Pneumonia

This section provides detailed medical information on pneumonia, including an overview, its etiolotgy, prevention through vaccination, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, complications, and the need for hospitalization. Also discussed is the patient’s prognosis. 



Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

Provided is a listing of law and medical resources for further information on pneumonia.


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Pneumonia Complications, Hospitalizations, Deaths: Risks and Liabilities

Table of Contents
Introduction

Expert Analysis
   Devi R. Thomas; Kip Patrick
   Christian Sandrock, MD, MPH, FCCP

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy
   Attorneys
   Physicians and Health Providers
   Insurers
   Employers and Risk Managers

Practice the Technique: Checklists
   Attorney Checklist
   Physician Checklist
   Insurer Checklist
   Employer Checklist

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Reasons To Reach Settlement

Reasons To Go To Trial

Jury Awards and Settlements

Pneumonia

Law and Medicine Resources