Was Joan Rivers a Victim of Medical Malpractice?

UPDATE: On Thursday, a report from the medical examiner listed Joan Rivers’ cause of death as “therapeutic complications,” specifically spasms in her vocal cords during the procedure that blocked her airway. She subsequently went into cardiac arrest. It is still unclear whether Rivers consented to the procedure that ultimately led to her death, CNN reported.

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people-joanriversWhether you were a fan or not, everyone who watched would agree that Joan Rivers looked a healthy 81-year-old as she wielded her sharp-witted comic criticisms recently on E!’s program Fashion Police. She grabbed social media attention walking out of interviews, promoting a new book and appearing on David Letterman’s show. E! described her as lively and “sharp as she’s ever been.”

News spread fast that Joan Rivers suffered cardiac arrest on Aug. 28 during a minor throat procedure and was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she died on Sept. 4.

What Happened?

Subsequent news reports claim that doctors performed an unscheduled biopsy on Rivers during an endoscopy procedure. There are allegations that the procedure was not supposed to be performed at that facility. Further casting the medical staff in a potentially bad light are reports that a doctor took a “selfie” with an unconscious Rivers shortly before the procedure that killed her. The doctor in question has denied these claims. Continue reading

Understanding Informed Consent

Our country is founded on the importance of allowing individuals to make decisions for themselves. When it comes to your health, this principle should be no different.

doctors talking with patientHowever, the issue becomes more thorny in certain health cases. Victims of traumatic brain injuries, for example, are sometimes rendered incapable of response for weeks or months. In many cases, the elderly suffer a precipitous slide into dementia, which leaves a formerly capable person helpless to understand important issues about his or her health.

The fact is that, while we all recognize the importance of having a contingency plan for our health care, most injuries come in unexpected forms at unexpected times.

At the Perey Law Group, we have decades of experience representing victims in a variety of medical cases. One type of case we encounter is the malpractice case resulting from a lack of informed consent. Continue reading

Real-Life Stories of Tragedy and Triumph

Family walking on the beachAt Perey Law, our proudest moments come when we see a client’s patience and perseverance rewarded with justice. In cases of birth injury and resulting defects, however, this pride comes with profound sorrow.

Despite the sorrow, it is still a tremendous privilege to stand by these brave clients and help them fight for the resources to recover and move forward with their lives.

On our Verdicts page, you can read about the successful cases we have fought on behalf of our clients. Here are just a few. Continue reading

Are There Birth Defect Warning Signs?

Many expectant mothers experience anxiety about the health of their unborn child, and they wonder fearfully about the possibility of a birth defect. For roughly three out of 100 pregnancies, those fears are realized in some way. One in a 100 suffers a major defect, such as cleft palate, mental disability or congenital heart defect.

Rather than worry incessantly about Happy mother with newborn babytheir baby’s odds of suffering from a birth defect, some expectant parents bury their heads in the sand, refusing to learn more or investigate the possibility. For many, the wondering ends in a sigh of relief with a healthy birth. For those who don’t, the heartache is deepened by wondering what might have happened if they had done more to prepare. Continue reading

Pool Chemicals and Your Health

As we enter Labor Day weekend, it’s probably the last time many of us will use our swimming pools for the year. It’s important that we keep safety in the front of our minds.

Of course, we mean the safety of swimmers – especially young children – but it goes deeper than that.

Did you know thousands of people are treated in an emergency room every year for injuries caused by pool chemicals?

As we head toward the colder part of the year and Washington residents begin to close up the pools in their backyards, here’s a lesson on pH levels and chlorine – and how they affect the safety of everyone who uses your pool.

photo (1)1.  Store chemicals safely.

This no-brainer tip could spare us most of the thousands of injuries every year caused by pool chemicals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a wealth of tips on how to properly store these chemicals.

2.  Understand chlorine.
Simply put, chlorine is what keeps dangerous bacteria from thriving in your pool. Chlorine kills E. coli, hepatitis, giardia and other unwanted germs. To be effective, chlorine levels should stay between 1 to 3 parts per million, according to the CDC.

Check chlorine levels regularly, and be sure you understand how the correspond with the next item…

Continue reading

CDC Says Northwest E. Coli Outbreak is Over

Washington health foodies can rest a little easier — the sprouts on your sandwich are now E. coli-free, according to the federal government.

Back in May, reports cropped up in Washington of E. coli poisoning from raw clover sprouts consumed at several popular restaurants. E. coli went on to infect a total of 19 people, 11 of them in Washington, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Earlier this month, the CDC said that the outbreak appears to be over. The agency pinpointed the source of the outbreak: an Idaho company named Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC. Continue reading

Perey Law Group Files Lawsuit Against Sheriff’s Deputy and His Daughter After Crash

The Perey Law Group filed a lawsuit today against a 22-year-old woman who seriously injured a man last November when she drove the wrong way on I-5. The driver, Vallen Brewer, was intoxicated and talking via Bluetooth at the time.

She is the daughter of a King County deputy sheriff who has spoken publicly about the case. The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court.

Continue reading

Fighting Back Against SSRI Manufacturers

Stories are piling up against the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor anti-depressants for treating anxiety and depression. From tragic tales of increased incidence of suicide to those trapped in a hopeless spiral into brain fog, lowered libido and poor quality of life, the use of SSRI antidepressants for many seems to only worsen the condition these drugs are meant to alleviate.

Fighter

Here at Perey Law, we are particularly well-acquainted with the link of SSRI drugs to an increased risk of birth defects. These kinds of drugs are associated with all kinds of defect affecting the heart, spine, skeleton and more. They are also linked to all kinds of conditions in growing children, from cleft palate to autism to suicidal behavior.

Continue reading

Let’s Talk About SSRIs

The causes of birth defects are numerous and varied. Many of them are still shrouded in mystery, leaving some pregnancies harmed in the midst of perfectly healthy ones. But in the past several years, one factor has risen to the surface as having devastating potential for birth defects.

Multiple cases have emerged showing that SSRI anti-depressants significantly heighten the risk of ventricular heart defects, brain and spinal cord defects and major cardiovascular anomalies.

blog_7_22SSRI stands for selective serontonin reuptake inhibitor. They are used to treat social anxiety, chronic panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, along with depression. SSRIs work by stopping the brain’s nerve cells from re-absorbing serotonin (commonly thought of as the “feel-good hormone”), which it usually does after releasing serotonin into the body. When the serotonin is allowed to hang out longer in the gaps between nerve cells, it’s easier for the brain to regulate mood.

That is the theory, anyway. In practice, SSRIs have proved very controversial. Continue reading

Spotlight on: Birth Defect Research for Children

perey7_8_2The birth of a baby should be a joyful time full of wonder and amazement, welcoming a new life that has just emerged to grow, learn and take full advantage of all the world has to offer.

This is what all parents, whether new to the role or well-seasoned in raising children, look forward to with the birth of a baby. It’s this expectation that makes birth defects doubly tragic. Along with impairing a baby’s health, life expectancy and ability to thrive and achieve his or her potential, the occurrence of a birth defect sends hopeful new parents crashing to the ground.

Parents of babies born with birth defects can feel guilty, ashamed and anxious. Sometimes they struggle with feelings of responsibility, believing they ought to have been able to prevent it or somehow mitigate its result. Sometimes they have trouble bonding with their new child, and experience corresponding feelings of guilt. Nearly all of them feel deeply troubled for their child’s future, wondering where they can find help to guide them on this journey of raising a child with unexpected or unusual needs, or if there is any hope at all. Continue reading