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November 2016 Archives

What did happen?

After a medical malpractice incident, those who have been injured, or in the worst cases, died, should be owed a simple explanation. One doctor, who is also a lawyer, suggests that if patients are owed information regarding what could happen during a procedure or treatment in order for informed consent to be "informed," should they not receive an explanation of what did actually happen when something goes wrong?

Can hospitals reduce diagnostic medical errors?

The medical industry has begun to pay more attention to reducing hospital acquired infection rates. The focus on this form of medical malpractice may be coming at the expense of other common errors that harm patients. Misdiagnosis is a common problem that can have serious, even fatal consequences. A recent study analyzed the process of diagnosing patients and found where errors were likely to be introduced each step of the way. The study could pave the way for improvements in patient safety.

IT companies work to develop medical diagnostic algorithms

Some Iowa residents may recall an IBM computer called Watson beating several former champions on the popular game show 'Jeopardy!" in 2011, but they may not know that a modified version of Watson was unable to replicate this success when it went up against a group of doctors the following year. Technology experts have long predicted that algorithms will one day replace human judgement in the area of medical diagnoses, but recent studies indicate that machines are not yet ready to take on these duties.

The power of personal injury lawsuits

At Galligan & Reid, P.C., our attorneys believe in fighting for a safer Iowa. We recently published a SlideShare demonstrating the ways in which personal injury lawsuits have advanced the cause of safety. Learn more about the power of personal injury lawsuits and how they work to make all our lives better.

Children and medication safety

When Iowa parents have a sick child, their first priority is working to get that child well. They trust medical professionals to do the right thing for their children and to be particularly cautious when prescribing treatments and medications. Unfortunately, sometimes things can go awry, and children may suffer as a result.

What is a human life worth?

The idea behind compensation for personal injuries or a wrongful death is that money can somehow make up for the pain and loss suffered by victims and their families. It might seem crass to suggest that a parent who has lost a child or a wife who has lost her husband can be made whole by money. The truth is that no amount of money can make up for losing a loved one, but it is the best that can be done to help victims and their families through a tragedy. Once that premise is accepted, the goal is to find the proper amount of money to award someone whose loss was the result of negligence. In other words, how much is the life lost worth, in the eyes of the law?

Medical malpractice insurance premiums unchanged for more than a decade

For years, doctors and hospitals have fought for ways to reduce or eliminate the rights of injured patients to receive compensation. Massive lobbying helped them implement "tort reform" in a number of jurisdictions. These groups argued that spurious litigation and runaway insurance premiums were driving the sharp rise in the cost of health care. Those groups continued their lobbying efforts when the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare, was being discussed. Medical professionals claimed that lawsuits would spike and costs would rise under the ACA. A recent survey indicates that the Act has not made any difference in medical malpractice premiums.

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