California doctor attends Zoom court hearing during surgery: ‘I’m in an operating room right now’
Unbelievable. www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/03/01/california-doctor-zoom-court-surgery/ (Click link to access article)
The Power of Informed Consent
“The Power of Informed Consent,” by Peter Mullenix and Patrick Malone, Trial magazine, December 2020. Download the PDF Version Here – The... Read More
The Doctor Won’t See You Now: Death by Waiting
People with chest pain and trouble breathing need to see a doctor within minutes to determine whether the issue is life threatening.... Read More
Washington Advocates for Patient Safety just helped get a law passed that will help protect patients from becoming victims of sexual abuse by their doctors.
I got to do something cool on Friday (April 19, 2019): watch a bill I helped propose get signed into law by... Read More
If you’re considering sinus surgery, you should read this. (But you’ll probably still wish you didn’t.)
As you read this excellent writeup of what it’s like to experience “Empty Nose Syndrome,” I bet you’ll take note of your... Read More
Why Can’t I Find a Lawyer to Take My Medical Malpractice Case?
Patients assume that, if they are harmed by a medical error, two things will occur. First, their medical professionals will rally around... Read More
Call to Action: Share your story with author Rachel Brummert
I met Rachel Brummert at the initial PSAN meetings at Consumer Reports last year. She is writing a book (I’ve contributed a... Read More
Why “I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean Much When It Comes from a Doctor in Washington State
“Any good apology has 3 parts: 1) I’m sorry 2) It’s my fault 3) What can I do to make it right?... Read More
Urgent: The FDA is trying to wreck the MAUDE.
The FDA has proposed a change that will seriously limit the usefulness of the online database that is supposed to collect and... Read More
Introducing the Patient Safety Action Network
Back in October, I went to Yonkers, NY, the headquarters of Consumer Reports, to join a group of patient safety advocates nationwide... Read More
Time to Fix the Wrongful Death Law in Washington
Some of our firm’s clients were featured on this story about an issue currently being debated by the Washington legislature. It’s a... Read More
Study shows hysterectomy linked with obesity, heart disease. And further thoughts on underappreciated dangers.
I took to twitter today to get the word out on a recent Mayo Clinic study that looks at the correlation between... Read More
Peek Behind the Curtain: Why Was There a $1 Billion Hip Verdict Against DuPuy?
Two reporters in Los Angeles — Lisa Bartley (@tweetiela) and Jovana Lara (@abc7jovana) — have put together the best summary of the... Read More
12 Questions to Ask Before Taking a New Medication
A patient advocate friend, who I met at the PSAN Summit, has made an excellent list of questions to ask about new... Read More
12 Things to Ask When Your Doctor Wants Your Consent to Use a Medical Device
Not every patient wants to be fully informed about his or her medical options. For the rest of us, the problem is sifting through the... Read More
Who does juror bias favor in medical malpractice cases? Not the patient.
I stumbled today onto a great article from 2009 that tried to look empirically at the issue of whether jurors should be... Read More
Bravo to Tacoma for Joining Everett in Fight Against Opioid Makers
I think it’s the only way to make these companies pay attention: confront them with the *true* scope of the harm they... Read More
Why did doctors in California block the law requiring them to disclose misconduct to patients?
An editorial in the LA Times last Thursday needs you to read it. It explains the demise of a recent bill that... Read More
Financial disclosure rules for researchers are awesome, and not enough.
Since I started representing people injured by medical devices, one of the most useful tools I’ve found is the Open Payments website.... Read More
My take on the House’s newest (slightly less horrible) version of Medical Malpractice “reform.”
A friend of mine on twitter asked me today what I think of the House republicans’ latest version of “fixing” medical malpractice... Read More
The Broken Bones of Tube-Fed Kids: The Problem of Neocate
Some kids have very little luck, and I recently met the moms of three such kids. All three kids have “trach” (tracheostomy)... Read More
What 5 things does Consumer Reports say patients should ask before EVERY test, treatment, or procedure?
Last night I got to see a presentation at the Mercer Island Public Library in Washington state. The presentation was jointly put... Read More
Medtronic Issues Two Recalls Related to Its “HeartWare” Ventricular Assist Device
Medtronic Mechanical Circulatory Support is recalling its HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device (HVAD), a device that helps the heart deliver blood to the... Read More
“Half of U.S. doctors paid by drug, device industries”
Another great article on the topic of doctors getting money from drug and device companies. Here’s the part that rings most true... Read More
FDA Issues Class I Recall for Newport HT70 and HT70 Plus Ventilators
The FDA recently issued a Class I recall, the highest level of a recall, on the Newport HT70 and HT70 Plus ventilators.... Read More
My Take on the Recent JAMA Study about Sales Reps and Docs’ Prescription Decisions
One of the great myths of medicine is that our physicians are uniquely resistant to attempts by drug and device sales reps... Read More
Get the Word Out: Recall on Mislabeled Drug Used to Treat Seizures in Kids
Phenobarbital is a drug used to treat seizures in kids with epilepsy. One supplier of the drug is recalling one lot of... Read More
Does a surgeon have to tell you if she’s never performed this surgery before?
This is a topic I’ve been wanting to write about for a while. Then, the other day, I learned I don’t have... Read More
Declassified Documents Tell Story of Intuitive Surgical’s Recklessness with da Vinci Instruments
Our firm has brought several cases against the maker of the da Vinci robot: Intuitive Surgical, Inc. The cases I have... Read More
FDA Issues Urgent Recall for Lifesaving Defibrillators Kept in Homes and Workplaces
Physio-Control Inc. recently recalled its LIFEPAK 1000 Defibrillator after the company discovered an electrical problem could stop the device from working. The... Read More
Very Bad MedMal Law Part 2: Shrinking the Statute of Limitations
As I wrote earlier, your congress is currently considering a very bad bill, which would drastically remove patients’ ability to be compensated... Read More
Your Congress is considering a very bad law.
Your congress is currently considering House Bill 1215, which is a really terrible proposal related to medical malpractice cases. The most important things... Read More
Under 50 colon cancer rates are increasing while over 50 are decreasing, and we don’t know why.
There is a fantastic story from our local public radio station (KNKX.org) about a confounding trend in the rates of colon cancer for... Read More
Over 3,600 Shoulder Replacement Devices Recalled
Zimmer Biomet is recalling its “Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder” hardware, which is used in shoulder replacements. According to the FDA, the shoulder pieces... Read More
What is “QI Privilege,” and why does it make people injured in hospitals want to tear their hair out?
Imagine your lawyer failed to get you a necessary expert, and your case got thrown out of court. You’re horribly injured, but... Read More
Washington Supreme Court orders new trial in our wrongful death suit against Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci robot.
In 2013, our firm teamed up with Otorowski Johnston to hold Intuitive Surgical accountable for the death of Fred Taylor. Our lawsuit chronicled... Read More
Tip #3 for preventing medical device injury: “Who all will be in the operating room?”
Here is Tip #3 protecting yourself from harm caused by medical devices in operating rooms. (See video below for context on what... Read More
Why do we force our newest doctors to work in intolerable conditions and then lament about medical errors?
We lament about medical errors in hospitals, but we force our newest doctors to work in intolerable conditions: sleep deprived and hungry.... Read More
Drug and device companies fear Trump, but none of the changes they fear will make patients more safe.
Whenever I see medical device and drug companies oppose something, my default setting is to support that thing. That’s because, as I’ve noted... Read More
Surgical instrument “caked with old blood and brown ooze” delivered as “sterile” for pediatric surgery
Kudos to the Detroit News, which has continued to expose the use of dirty surgical instruments at Detroit Medical Center. For context,... Read More
When a City Takes on a Drug Manufacturer
I call this great news. The City of Everett, Washington (not far from Seattle) is considering filing its own lawsuit against Purdue... Read More
One firm’s solution to the PTFE guidewire crisis
We’ve been watching the recalls on the PTFE guidewires closely, as set out previously. The problem, in broad summary, is that the PTFE... Read More
Why don’t doctors think should tell us that when they aren’t very good?
I subscribe to several medical ethics feeds on twitter. Since doing so, I’ve often been surprised at how easy some of the... Read More
For the second time in its history, FDA bans a medical device (powdered gloves)
Once, in 1983, the FDA banned a medical device: prosthetic hair fibers. Since then despite all of the recalls, lawsuits, deaths, and... Read More
Class 1 Recall for Catheters Used to Sample Blood
FDA announced a Class 1 Recall (the most serious kind) today for for “single lumen” catheters made by Centurion Medical Products. Over... Read More
Great Freakonomics Series on Myths in Medicine
It’s always nice when you can get your patient safety information with your entertainment. The folks at Freakonomics have given us a... Read More
What Has Changed Since We Learned That We Suffer Enough Medical Error Deaths Each Week to Fill Four Jumbo Jets
In 2012, Johns Hopkins surgeon Marty Makary wrote an essay in the Wall Street Journal about “the disturbing closed-door culture of American medicine.”... Read More
*Another* Class 1 Recall: What’s going on with PTFE coating?
For the second time in as many weeks, a manufacturer is issuing a Class 1 recall — the most serious kind —... Read More
Tip #2 for protecting yourself from harm from a medical device: Know the Learning Curve
Here is Tip #2 in for protecting yourself from the Five Dangers most people don’t know about medical devices. Today’s danger is... Read More
FindrWIRZ Guidewire system recalled: “may cause serious injuries or death”
Today the FDA announced a Class 1 recall — the most serious kind of recall — for a catheter guidance tool called... Read More
What will Trump and the Republican Congress mean for the FDA?
This article by Stat News takes on the question I’ve been wondering about since 11/8: are the already-thin protections offered by the... Read More
Tip #1 for protecting yourself from harm from a medical device: Ask MAUDE
(This is the first tip for protecting yourselves from the medical device dangers described in our recent animated “Five Dangers” video. The... Read More
Video: 5 Things to Know About Medical Devices Before Your Surgery
Here are five medical device dangers all patients should think about before their surgeries. In upcoming posts, we’ll also share five tips... Read More
Off Label: Should device makers be allowed to sell doctors on untested uses?
When the FDA allows a drug or device on the market, it is only for certain kinds uses that have been (to... Read More
17,000 Heart Patients Warned: Bacteria Possibly Sprayed into Open Chest Cavity
According to Consumer Reports, the Mayo Clinic has warned 17,000 of its patients about potentially serious bacteria they may... Read More
Chilling Account of a Doctor Watching His Mother Die Due to Substandard Care
Jonathan Welch was a 33 year old ER doctor in Boston when he got the call from an ER doctor in Wisconsin... Read More
Your doctor’s politics matter to your treatment.
According to a new study out of Yale and published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the advice you... Read More
What if we recorded our informed consent conversations so we’d have them later?
I’ve been thinking lately about ideas to give patients to help themselves avoid becoming some lawyer’s client someday. Better information is always... Read More
Willy Rusch Tracheostomy Tube Recalled
As if the parents of kids who need tracheostomy tubes don’t have enough to worry about. According to the FDA, device maker... Read More
What is your surgeon’s complication rate?
Information about complication rates of surgeons is only really useful to you before you have the surgery. One way to find that... Read More
Robotic Surgical Instruments ‘Virtually Impossible to Clean’
Our firm has four filed cases against Intuitive Surgical, the maker of the da Vinci surgical robot. But the revelation in this... Read More
Minnesota Newspaper uncovers Adverse Event dumping practice by medical device makers
Kudos to the Minnesota Star Tribune. The paper has uncovered a hidden practice that allows device companies to distort true number of... Read More
Introducing Safe Patient Advocate
Despite technological advances and increased efforts and coordination by government and patient advocacy groups, in some ways it is scarier to go... Read More