Trashed Kidney Leads to Suit Against UTMC

A part-time nurse from a university hospital threw away a kidney earmarked for transplant to a 24-year-old patient, prompting a medical malpractice suit against the hospital.

Donating a kidney to someone with end-stage renal disease is tantamount to giving the recipient a new lease in life, especially if it is a perfect match. This was what was supposed to happen to siblings Paul and Sarah Fudacz from Ohio. Sarah, 24 years old, was supposed to get a kidney from her brother to get her off the dialysis machine, but by some horrible oversight the newly-removed kidney was thrown out with the contents of a slush machine used during the extraction procedure at the University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC). The nurse has since resigned.

The Fudacz family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against UTMC, citing the pain and suffering the family had to go through from the wasted sacrifice and pain of Paul, the continued ill-health of Sarah, and the uncertainty of the family finding a suitable replacement kidney in time to save Sarah’s life. UTMC admits the error but maintains that the hospital did not have a substandard quality of medical care. There is some question whether the family has a legal basis for the claim under Ohio law.

UTMC has since stepped up the quality of health care and level of patient safety.

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Dangerous Drug Interactions

Medications, whether they’re over-the-counter or prescription, can be lethal if combined incorrectly. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are at risk of death because they are unaware of the dangerous drug interactions they may be exposing themselves to. This is why it’s important not only for pharmacists to explain these dangers, but for patients to understand and avoid them.

The most common example of a deadly prescription interaction involves SSRI antidepressants and pain killers. Mixing SSRIs and prescription pain medicine can cause a reaction called serotonin syndrome. Its symptoms include euphoria, restlessness, delirium, shivering, and diarrhea. If serotonin syndrome goes undetected and untreated for too long, it is lethal. Considering around 27 million Americans take SSRIs, the chances that a deadly interaction could happen are extremely high if patients are not educated about their prescription.

According to the Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis, $144 million out of the $3.6 billion dollars in malpractice payouts in 2012 were medication related. Pharmacies and pharmacists are held to a certain duty of care to ensure that patients receive the correct prescription and information about how to use their medication. Despite this duty of care, an estimated 51 million prescription errors are made each year. The most common types of pharmaceutical error, as cited on the website of Scudder and Hendrick, involve:

  • Dispensing the incorrect medication strength or dosage
  • Dispensing the wrong drug
  • Confusing prescriptions between customers
  • Failing to give proper utilization instructions
  • Failing to warn against dangerous drug interactions

It is important to educate yourself about your prescription medication in order to avoid becoming a victim of malpractice. Always talk to your pharmacist about the side effects of a new medication, as well as what to avoid while taking that medication in order to ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk.

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Dog Bite First Aid

It is said that they are man’s best friend, but dogs are still animals that can cause severe injuries once they attack. With a biting force of 420 pounds of pressure on average, they can inflict serious injuries such as puncture wounds, avulsions, lacerations and others. Being attacked by a dog can also cause trauma to the victims, and considering that the majority of the victims are mostly boys between the ages of 5-9 years old, dog bites is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. When these types of attacks happen, it’s important that the owner is held responsible. He or she should’ve trained the dog better, always having the safety of others in mind.

Children are more open to dog attacks because of their small stature and lack of awareness to danger. Generally, they are attacked in the neck and head because it is an easy place for the dog to reach, and often these injuries can be fatal if not treated quickly or properly. Once a dog feels threatened or has been disturbed, it will attack even its own owners.

Dogs were actually bred to be man’s companion – to help in the hunting, herding, and guarding of human’s possessions. However, lately people have been breeding them to fight, and thus they have been more aggressive. Every year about 4 million Americans suffer from dog bites, and 1 in every 5 people bitten require serious medical attention. In cases where you have been bitten by a dog, here are some things to do:

  • Makes sure to cover the bitten area with a clean towel or sheet of cloth so that the bleeding will stop
  • Keep the bitten area elevated
  • Using soap and water, carefully wash the bitten area
  • Put a sterile bandage over the bitten area
  • Make sure to apply antibiotic to the wound everyday to ward of infections

Dogs, especially those being kept as pets, are usually inoculated against rabies. However, being bitten may still require immunization, if not for rabies, then for tetanus. Dog bites can also cause zoonotic diseases, cases where animal diseases transmit to humans. Go to the doctor to ensure how serious the injury is. Make sure every injury is addressed, even the trauma that the dog bite has caused.

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Who Is Responsible for Maintaining the Roads?

It is the driver’s responsibility to drive safely, but his safe driving can only go so far. Outside factors such as weather, vehicle defects, and road defects can all be causes of serious accidents that even a safe and defensive driver can’t avoid or control. According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, if roadside safety is not maintained, then even the safest driver can be in danger of getting into an accident.

Road defects such as potholes, defective traffic lights, lack of guardrails and many others can all count as factors that can endanger the lives of motorists and pedestrians alike. It is the government’s task to uphold and maintain these road safety measures, and if they don’t do this job they can held liable for any accident that occur in their area. Competent management of the road safety features saves lives; guardrails, for example, play a vital role in maintaining proper roadside safety. They serve as:

1.Prevention from going over the edge of an elevated area of the road
2.Protection from skidding onto a body of water on the side of the road
3.Absorber of the force of impact during an accident
4.Redirecting vehicles to the right side of the road
5.Avoiding roll-over accidents

Installing guardrails is something the government should always be keen to look into; however, installing the wrong type of guardrail is just as dangerous as not installing them at all. There are certain types or models of guardrails that can cause more harm than good, and some states are even banning in using them on their roads.

Guardrails are barriers that need to be maintained and posted in places where they are most needed. In high-speed roads such as the freeways, these barriers help vehicles from veering off the road. They help prevent or stop a small accident from becoming a major incident. Guardrails, together with proper road signs (or lights) are the things that keep traffic flowing safely and freely.

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