The manufacturers of new drugs and medical devices have produced some frightening products over the years. Products aimed at female consumers have a particularly troubling history of being shoddy, ineffective and dangerous. Our firm, Galligan Reid, recently published a SlideShare outlining the problem, including the potential for more deadly products going forward.
Our firm recently published a SlideShare concerning the pressures that lead to patients being injured by unsafe medical products. Learn more about defective medical implants and other devices.
In January 2016, Olympus Corp. decided to voluntarily recall one of its medical products. The TJF-Q180V duodenoscope is a commonly used scope used in a number of procedures. In 2015, the Olympus scope was linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant bacteria, which led to the death of multiple patients. Olympus committed to redesigning the scope to address the risk of infection posed by the product. The company also released new guidelines concerning the proper cleaning of the devices by hospitals and medical staff.
Generally speaking, doctors must gain the informed consent of their patients before pursuing a course of treatment. Informed consent means that the patient agrees to the treatment after having been informed of the potential risks and consequences. The reality of consent in the medical field is often murkier than this definition might imply.
Serious problems often inspire people to seek expert opinions. If an issue is complex, technical or otherwise confusing, we are often left at the mercy of people who have made it their business to address those issues. Doctors are the experts when it comes to medical care. Unfortunately, too many patients assume that their doctor is an expert on whatever is ailing them at the time.
Misdiagnosis is a troubling problem in the medical field. Certain conditions are more frequently misdiagnosed than others. In addition, some groups of patients are more likely to be victimized by misdiagnosis than others. A recent study suggests that one area where the medical field is falling short is in the diagnosis of cervical cancer.
A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control reveals that the current guidelines for disinfecting reusable medical scopes are not effective. The study tracked 20 endoscopes over the course of 7 months. By the end of the study, 12 of the 20 scopes suffered from microbial growth, despite having been cleaned according to current guidelines. In addition, all of the scopes had visible damage and 17 had to be returned to the manufacturer with serious defects. The study calls into question the safety procedures surrounding medical equipment in American hospitals.
A new study conducted by the Hospital for Special Surgery casts doubt on one of the cornerstones of modern healthcare. The study involved an analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results gathered from a number of different facilities. The same patient was sent to 10 facilities to have an MRI done on her lower back. The results of these MRIs varied widely.
A vendor for electronic health records software released a statement earlier this month concerning potential safety risks posed by its products. The announcement listed the various parties associated with the health care process, including doctors, pharmacies, patients and their family members, and indicated that each needed to play a role in preventing the risks posed by the software. While the announcement is a dubious method of warning the public about the dangers of electronic health records software, the recommendations it lays out can help patients avoid potentially deadly medical mistakes.
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.