Furr & Henshaw
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Doctor Errors Archives

Jury holds that doctor negligence caused delayed cancer diagnosis

Most residents of South Carolina have probably seen a medical professional at some point in their lives, and every one of those people knows that when receiving medical care, there is a certain amount of trust that has to be placed in the judgment or decisions of a chosen medical professional. After all, medicine and health can be complex topics and there is a reason that we are willing to pay the often high cost that medical professionals charge.

Surgeon pleads guilty to defrauding government in insurance case

South Carolina residents concerned about medical malpractice may have heard of the recent sentencing of a New York surgeon who admitted to performing thousands of surgeries improperly from 2007 to 2011 and defrauding the federal government. The surgeon pled guilty to one count of health care fraud and was sentenced to four and a half years in federal prison. He was also ordered to pay $5 million in restitution to the government for fraudulent Medicare claims and had his medical license suspended.

Doctor sued for medical malpractice during surgery

South Carolina patients may have heard that a surgeon is being sued for allegedly leaving surgery to attend a luncheon meeting. The surgery that left a 72-year-old man in a vegetative state may have involved negligence, according to the lawsuit. According to an unnamed source who contacted the family one year after the procedure took place, the doctor, a cardiac surgeon, left the man on the operating table without closing the man's chest cavity. The surgeon left this to the physician's assistant, who was not qualified to finish the procedure. The state health department was reviewing the incident, the caller said, but neither the doctor nor the patient's name was made public.

Even routine surgeries can carry risks, potential for error

Surgeries in South Carolina, while remaining safe in many cases, carry a significant risk, even for procedures that are commonplace. A patient might have a problem with the anesthesia, or a tiny nick from the surgeon's scalpel could endanger the patient's life. Every patient has a unique combination of factors that can negatively influence a surgery. Doctor errors, negligence and mistakes can also cause permanent disability or death.

Why doctors don't disclose others' medical mistakes

South Carolina patients will be interested to know that a recent report revealed that many medical errors have gone unreported by doctors who are aware of another doctor's medical malpractice. Despite the code of ethics that mandates medical error disclosure, many patients have been released from hospitals without being informed about their impending health danger.

"July effect" may exist for high-risk patients, study says

A new study of patients at risk for heart attacks shows that the so-called "July effect," once thought to be nothing more than urban legend, may actually exist in hospitals in South Carolina and nationwide. The phenomenon dictates that the month of July, typically the month when new medical school graduates take positions on teaching-hospital floors, can be deadlier than any other month of the year.

Physicians in South Carolina urged to report mistakes

It is estimated that more than 440,000 people die each year in hospitals as a result of preventable errors on the part of doctors and hospital staff. Whether this is due to medical malpractice or negligence, avoidable mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the Untied States, only surpassed by cancer and heart disease. Part of the reason for the frequency of mistakes is likely due to the fact that doctors are sometimes more likely to hide an error that they see than report it, even if they were not the one who erred.

Shouldn't doctors be drug tested?

Readers in South Carolina may be interested in some research that shows substance abuse among doctors is 18 percent higher than it is in the general population. Yet, unlike other professions, such as teachers, athletes and even bus drivers, doctors aren't required to take urine tests that look for the presence of illegal drugs. Another statistic indicates that almost two out of every 10 doctors abuse alcohol and drugs. It is an issue that may impact a patient's standard of care.

South Carolina whistleblower loses medical malpractice case

A South Carolina orthopedic surgeon, whose whistle-blowing led to a federal lawsuit against a healthcare provider, was himself censured by a jury recently. The doctor was found liable in a medical malpractice case arising from a 2010 operation he performed on a patient's knee.

Heart disease deaths decline, but improvement is needed

South Carolina residents may be happy to hear that preventable deaths due to cardiovascular disease are declining, but the CDC still believes that there is a lot of room for improvement. Not every one of these deaths was related to medical malpractice, but there is still a lot that the medical community can do to reduce their number. While there was a 29 percent decline in the number of avoidable deaths due to heart and hypertensive diseases and stroke before the age of 75 between 2001 and 2010, more than 50 percent of these deaths occurred in people under the age of 65.

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Myrtle Beach Office
1900 Oak Street
PO Box 2909
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578

Phone: 843-213-6737
Fax: 843-448-6445
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Columbia Office
1534 Blanding Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Phone: 803-250-6829
Fax: 803-254-7513
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