Was Your Misdiagnosis a Case of Malpractice?

We want to believe that diagnosing a disease is straightforward and that physicians are infallible. Neither is true. Diagnosis is made through patient histories, symptoms and tests. Doctors start with a list of possibilities and then eliminate possible ailments until they are left with the most probable diagnosis.

Occasionally something in the process goes awry and a misdiagnosis results. How does misdiagnosis occur in modern medicine and what action is available to victims of it?

Washington Law Protects Both Patient and Physician

A misdiagnosis alone is not enough to file a malpractice suit. Even the most knowledgeable and attentive physician can misdiagnosis someone.

In other instances, however, negligence or malicious intent is the cause of misdiagnosis. In this case, Washington Law protects the victim of misdiagnosis, allowing the victim to file a malpractice suit against the physician or healthcare facility.

According to the Washington statute governing malpractice, RCW 7.70.030, one of these three things must be proved by substantial evidence for an act to be qualified as malpractice: Continue reading

Court Decision Gives Medical Negligence Lawyers Tool to Find the Truth

Washington state supreme court

Victims of medical malpractice are not aware of the secrecy most hospitals use to cover up medical mistakes.  Statutory laws allow doctors and hospitals to hold secret meetings behind closed doors and hide malpractice from patients.  Doctors, nurses, or the hospital’s risk manager can apologize to the patient, but never tell them the whole truth.  The filing of a lawsuit for medical practice is usually the only way a patient or family of someone who suffered a wrongful death from malpractice can find answers.

Today, the Washington State Supreme Court issued an 8-1 decision in Lowy v. Peacehealth –  No. 85697-4, which gives plaintiff medical negligence lawyers another tool to find the truth.  In Lowy, the court examined the scope of the Peer Review and Quality Improvement statutory privilege which allows hospitals a statutory immunity from the discovery of secret records and meetings under RCW 70.41.200.  Quotations from the opinion show that the court gave careful consideration regarding the hospital’s ability to hide the truth behind medical mistakes from patients: Continue reading

The Magic Weight Loss Solution is a Dangerous Fairytale

Summertime is approaching, and with it comes swimsuit season. Around this time of year, Americans who are carrying around even just a few spare pounds may consider drastic measures to shed unwanted inches before they hit the beach.

Being overweight or obese can pose serious health risks. In Washington, 62% of people are overweight or obese, and each year that percentage increases. This trend has serious health implications that far surpass looking good in that bikini. That being said, drugs or drastic diets are not safe ways to go about losing weight, be it 5 or 50 pounds.

Hazardous HCG

In 2010, federal agents searched the Natural Healing Clinic in Port Angeles, Washington, a clinic run by Rick Marschall, NP.

The reason for this search? The illegal possession and sale of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG). Marschall initially claimed to be using the HCG for its FDA approved use as a fertility treatment. After the collection of evidence against him, including his website which promoted the use of HCG as a weight loss drug, Marschall admitted to lying to the FDA and in 2011 pleaded guilty to one count of causing the introduction of misbranded drugs.

No Evidence of Weight Loss Success with HCG

Over the last few years, HCG has become wildly popular as a weight loss supplement. Weight loss clinics “prescribe” it in conjunction with a restricted calorie diet of 500 calories per day. The problem is that there is no evidence that HCG actually promotes weight loss, appetite suppression or changes fat metabolism and distribution, as those who sell it claim. Continue reading

How to Protect Yourself from Medication Error

Everyone says that doctors have the worst handwriting. The fact seems to be part of our cultural knowledge. Have you ever taken a look at your prescription and tried to figure out what medication it says you will be taking for the next two weeks, or perhaps even the rest of your life?

It’s fun to joke about how such an educated and prestigious population has somehow lost the basic handwriting skills we all learn in elementary school – until that quirk becomes a matter of life and death. Medications impact the body in complex ways. Their effects are dose dependent. They interact with one another. They must be taken on a specific schedule. They can save a life, and they can end one just as easily.

No Laughing Matter

Two high profile cases in Washington demonstrate the tragedy that can result from medication errors. Continue reading

Drowning Accident Statistics and Prevention

click here to add infographicIt seems as though summer has come early this year. Now is the time to consider proper pool safety. As we pointed out in, Child Drowning Dangers & How to Prevent Them, June see’s the second to largest number of drowning accidents.

We want you and your family to be safe so we made this infographic to illustrate just how important pool safety is in the coming months and most importantly how to avoid drowning accidents. Click image to see the larger version.

Continue reading

Whooping Cough a Whopping Concern for Washington Parents

As a Washington resident, there is only a slim chance that you have not heard about the 2012 whooping cough outbreak. There have been 1,300 cases reported so far this year, a 10-fold increase of last year’s cases. The increase in cases is so pronounced that it has been declared an epidemic. But are you aware of the danger your family could be in as a result of the whooping cough epidemic

Whooping Cough: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

A stuffy nose, a sore throat, some minor congestion or mild cough: caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, whooping cough initially presents with the same symptoms as a common cold. These seemingly benign irritations, however, are followed 10 to 12 days later by a violent and persistent cough. The name comes from the awful sound of a child trying to breath after a fit of coughing – the forceful inhale often makes a distinct whooping sound.

In adults and older children, the expectation is that the cough will resolve in one to two months. Infants, however, are at a higher risk of whooping cough complications including pneumonia and even death.

Potential complications include: Continue reading