By Attorney Antonio Ponvert III
Jeff Rossen, in his Today Show segment The Rossen Reports, reported that a recent government study shows that at least 100,000 doctors (or 1 in 10 doctors currently working) are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. And according the non-profit group Consume Watchdog, 18 percent of doctors have an addiction problem at some point during their career. Some of these doctors have managed to perform their duties while upholding their Hippocratic Oath to "do no harm." Unfortunately for some patients and their families, this has not been the case with some of the other doctors.
Griffin Hospital officials announced on Friday that more than 3,000 hospitalized patients may have been exposed to a blood-borne disease due to misuse of insulin injection devices.
A recent study using the National Inpatient Sample database for 2008 found that there was a "weekend effect" for patients admitted with atrial fibrillation. Previously, the "weekend effect" has been seen with stroke, myocardial infarction, gastrointestinal bleeding, and hospitalized patients with a wide variety of conditions. The "weekend effect" is a documented theory that states that patients admitted to hospitals on the weekend will not get the same level of care they would get on the weekdays, which results in higher weekend mortality rates.
The recent flurry of national activity surrounding same-sex marriages brings to mind a recent case of ours. Margaret Mueller ("Marge") and her longtime partner Charlotte Stacey came to our firm several years ago. Marge had been treating for ovarian cancer for about 2½ years when she found out that she did not actually have ovarian cancer, but rather appendix cancer that had spread to her ovaries. The treatment for the two cancers was entirely different, and Marge lost the opportunity to treat her appendix cancer properly as a result of the botched diagnosis. Unfortunately, while the case was pending, Marge died.
Patients are often harmed by medical negligence and errors that are the result of systemic problems in the delivery of healthcare. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the treatment of minorities and the poor. Government studies have consistently shown that access to medical care, and the quality of medical care, differs greatly depending on the color, ethnicity and financial abilities of the patient.
A few weeks ago, my partner, Kathleen Nastri and I concluded a case involving cerebral palsy from a birth injury where the jury returned a verdict of more than $58 million. This is the largest medical malpractice verdict in Connecticut history.