The Report Cards are in on New Jersey Hospitals: Where to Go and Where to Avoid

By JW Law

Although you may always be able to choose a specific doctor for treatment, in many situations you are not able to select the hospital. Emergencies causes us to go to the closest hospital or where the ambulance chooses to take you. It is very important to learn which hospital is the safest.

The Leapfrog Group, a non-profit healthcare watchdog organization, recently released a report, ranking every hospital in New Jersey as to where you are likely to develop an infection or get the wrong medication or have an avoidable fall. In New Jersey of the 68 hospitals evaluated, 27 earned an A and 20 earned a B which is an improvement over the last year’s evaluation. Although there were seven fewer Cs there were three D’s which is something that everyone needs to know.
hospital safety report
Just as important as the hospitals that received an A, the hospitals that received a D were:

Memorial Hospital of Salem County
St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark
University Hospital in Newark.

“This information is essential to all residents in choosing where they and their loved ones go to the hospital” said Eric Kahn managing partner of Javerbaum Wurgaft. This was confirmed by Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of the Health Care Quality Institute of New Jersey who indicated “we see again and again that hospitals that adopt the leapfrog survey as a quality improvement tool truly make safety a priority” and certainly that is what all consumers are concerned with when going to a hospital safety.

If you or a loved one believes that you have been injured at a hospital, call Javerbaum Wurgaft’s experienced medical malpractice lawyers, we are here to help.

Verdicts and Settlements - Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, P.C. | New Jersey Certified Trial Attorneys

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM GOVERNMENT BAN ON LAWSUITS AND DAMAGES

Responsibility and accountability – even for the powerful – are rooted into the core of our legal system. This country’s founders knew that a democracy needs a court system that empowers people to protect themselves by holding the powerful to account. That’s why the Constitution guarantees each person the right to a trial by jury. The founders feared unaccountable power in the form of the King of England against his “subjects.” 21st Century America may not have a king, but it does have billion dollar corporations touching every part of every person’s life. These corporations now seek the kind of unaccountable power our founders sought to protect against, and they’re seeking that power by destroying your constitutional right to a trial by jury.

Politicians who are in the pockets of large corporations and insurance companies have devised a plan specifically aimed at destroying our right to hold those in power accountable for their misdeeds. Their plain is to enact laws that will all but destroy your right to use the judicial system to protect yourself. They have introduced bills which, if passed, will enact arbitrary changes to courts all across the country, including:

  • Limiting compensation for injuries caused by medical professionals, including doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and medical device manufacturers,

to $250,000.00, regardless of how much that injury devastated your life

or the extent of malfeasance by the medical professional or company.

  • Eliminating class-action law suits, which would essentially destroy the ability to bring the kinds of cases that keep us safe
  • Eliminate Individual States Law regarding lawsuits and forcing all cases to Federal Court
  • Allowing insurance companies to make “payments” rather than paying full compensation.

 

We must tell our government to put people first and stop trampling on our rights. Javerbaum Wurgaft has been protecting citizens of New Jersey and New York by demanding that everyone is treated fairly, regardless of gender, race, or economic status. Please join us in demanding that Congress do the same. We must ban together and contact our representatives to demand they say NO to these outrageous attacks on our rights. Go to each link below and tell them NO!

THE RISKS OF MODERN ANESTHESIA REDUCED DUE TO PULSE OXIMETER

As many people realize, undergoing surgery with anesthesia can be a truly dangerous event. However, modern medicine has come a long way to eradicate much of the previous danger. All too commonly a patient would be on the operating table and the first warning of impending disaster was the doctors and nurses realizing that the patient had turned blue, indicating a serious lack of oxygen. They then had only seconds to react before the patient’s heart would stop, and the chances of the patient’s surviving were slim.

Then the pulse oximeter came into use. A small sensor was invented that could easily be attached to the patient’s finger or toe that could measure how many red blood cells were actually carrying oxygen by sensing a certain wavelength of light and then a computer could translate that into a percentage. The pulse oximeter reading will start to drop minutes before the patient turns blue. Thereby, becoming the early-warning system allowing the anesthesiologist to react quicker and saving tens of thousands of lives in the last few decades.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/02/pulse-oximeter/516510/

As with most lifesaving inventions, they are only as good as the practitioners using them. Patients can still get into trouble with anesthesia when the heath care provider is not paying attention. Frank Rodriguez, partner in the JW Medical Malpractice group, advises that “Inappropriate things can be done, like the alarms on the pulse oximeter and other monitors being turned off or turned down, lifesaving medications not being immediately available next to the anesthesiologist for immediate use, lifesaving equipment not being available for immediate use, and the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist leaving the room while the surgery is going on and hence leaving the patient unmonitored.”

Similarly, once the patient gets out of surgery, they go to a recovery room, often called a post-anesthesia care unit, where they should be carefully monitored for signs that their circulation and respiration is being compromised. If this monitoring isn’t done carefully, the patient can once again stop breathing and lose their life.

http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/malpractice-report-2015/anesthesiology#page=4

If you or a loved one have been injured as the result of problems with anesthesia, please contact the medical malpractice team at Javerbaum Wurgaft. Our firm has been representing injury victims for more than 50 years, we are here to help.

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OVERPRESCRIBING PAIN MEDICATIONS: A VIOLATION OF THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH

Nearly everyone knows someone affected by opioid addiction. The Center for Disease Control has called the opioid epidemic one the most pressing public health issues in the United States today. “Last year, more Americans died from drug overdoses than car crashes.”  https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/t0315-prescribing-opioids-guidelines.html

Opioids are natural or synthetic chemicals that reduce feelings of pain. Common prescription opioid pain relievers include:

Hydrocodone (Vicodin)

Oxycodone (OxyContin)

Oxymorphone (Opana)

Methadone

Fentanyl

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/prescribing/patients.html

Prescription opioids are often used effectively to manage post operative surgical pain on a short term basis. They can also relieve the suffering in patients with chronic pain syndrome whose pain cannot be adequately managed with conservative methods, or who have cancer or other end of life conditions. When prescribed for long periods of time opioids carry serious side effects in that they are highly addictive and increase the risk for unintentional overdose and death.

The unfortunate reality is that opioid addiction is often caused by doctors who prescribe hundreds of pills without justification for the sole purpose of making money. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the opioid epidemic is “doctor driven.” https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/t0315-prescribing-opioids-guidelines.html

Officials are targeting doctors who liberally hand out pain medication prescriptions without justification. In California, a physician sold Xanax and oxycodone to a college student from her office in a strip mall in Los Angeles, who died after mixing the drugs with alcohol. The Doctor was sentenced to 30 years to life for the overdose deaths by three patients, including the  20 year old college student. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-doctor-murder-overdose-drugs-sentencing-20160205-story.html

There are legitimate Board Certified Pain Management Specialists who carefully evaluate patients and weigh the risks and benefits of prescribing opioid medications before doing so. On the flip side however, there are many doctors whose specialty is not pain management who freely prescribe pain medications so as to keep their patients coming back for more.

 

According to Christina Ctorides, partner in the medical malpractice department of Javerbaum Wurgaft https://www.javerbaumwurgaft.com/christina-ctorides/ the public should be mindful of the following:

  1. If you or a family member needs long term pain medications for a chronic medical condition seek help from a Board Certified Pain Management Doctor.
  2. Do not seek or accept treatment from a doctor who does limited examinations and who works mostly for cash payments.
  3. Exhaust all other methods of pain relief before accepting a prescription for opioids. (Physical therapy, exercise, nerve blocks, stimulators)
  4. Do not accept a prescription for pain medications from a doctor who does not fully explain the significant risks associated with the long term use of opioids.
  5. There is no evidence to show that opioids can control chronic pain effectively over the long term.
  6. When patients receive narcotics for long periods, they can become more sensitive to pain, a condition called hyperalgesia. (J. David Haddox, the vice president of health policy at Purdue Pharma – the manufacturer of OxyContin – acknowledged “opioid analgesics have sometimes been associated with diminished pain relief in the face of increasing doses.”) http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/who-is-responsible-for-the-pain-pill-epidemic

When doctors unnecessarily prescribe narcotic pain medications solely for financial gain, not only do they commit medical malpractice, but they also violate the Hippocratic Oath which says “First, do no harm.” If you, or a loved one has become addicted to pain medications because of a negligent doctor, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Javerbaum Wurgaft, we are here to help.

https://www.javerbaumwurgaft.com/medical-malpractice/