Articles Posted in Information

When folks in Sacramento get sick they visit a doctor. The doctor will recommend a plan of health which usually includes a prescription of pharmaceutical medications. For those with chronic issues, the doctor’s visits are frequent and repetitive. However, medical negligence can turn this common occurrence into a nightmare.

A patient getting the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage can experience severe complications and even death. Unfortunately, this occurrence happens all too often. News reports show medication errors cause upwards of 200,000 deaths a year and up to 1.5 million health issues and complications. American Health and Drug Benefits, a peer reviewed medical journal, reported in 2012 that preventable adverse drug events (ADEs) or medication errors associated with injectable meds harm over one million people a year and cost hospitals over $600,000 in damages each year.

Injectable medicines and errors that are associated with them are quickly becoming more frequent. These types of mistakes are a prominent cost of the entire healthcare industry and growing rapidly. They are called preventable adverse drug events (ADEs) because due diligence would have most often prevented the mistake from occurring.

Thirty states now employ a very specific set of rules to testimony by expert medical witnesses in medical malpractices cases. In the vast majority of these states, the expert medical witness must be of the same or comparable medical background and the defendant in the case.

Here’s where it gets tricky. Not only are the criteria for “similar” defined differently from state to state but also court to court. Many of these definitions are not favorable to the defendants. These loose definitions from court to court have allowed for some weak cases to progress. Maryland recently progressed in courts that ruled a vascular surgeon was able to testify on the standard of care of an orthopedic surgeon, a pharmacist was ruled able to testify against a doctor in an informed consent case, and a nephrologist was deemed as qualified to testify for the plaintiff against a urologist.

The legal world and the medical world are far apart. It is not common knowledge that all doctors are not knowledgeable on every subject. It is completely plausible that one type of doctor can have no working knowledge of another’s area of expertise, including treatments, protocol and aftercare.

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