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New Jersey Medical Malpractice and Product Liability Law Blog

Report: 325,000 people die every year due to medical errors

If someone were to walk up to you on the street and ask "how many people die every year as a result of medical errors in the United States?," what would be your answer? Would you guess somewhere in the thousands? Maybe in the tens of thousands? As it turns out, those guesses would be well below the figure that a report back in April uncovered. According to that report, 325,000 people die every year as the result of medical errors.

This bit of news is not meant to scare you into resisting medical treatment -- far from it. Instead, it is merely meant as a way of getting you to realize the scope of the medical error problem. Medical mistakes are inherent to the medical system. No matter how much training a doctor or surgeon receives, he or she will always be susceptible to making a mistake.

Study finds droppers, not spoons, should be used for medicine

Imagine you are in the hospital being treated for a fairly serious illness. It's treatable, and you will eventually feel better once a proper medication course is completed -- but in the meantime, you're dealing with some serious symptoms. Over the next few days, you're continually fed little cups of medicine to help you deal with the sickness. They come out in a tray that is filled with 30 or 40 such cups because the nurse is distributing the medicine to numerous patients.

After a week or two, you feel better. You dealt with some side effects from the medicine, but you're healthy again, so what's the big deal?

Camera system teaches surgeons when their mistakes happens

While the following story doesn't originate from the United States, it still provides critical information about medical mistakes and surgical mishaps that could happen in any country and under any circumstances. This story is about a series of cameras and microphones being setup in an operating room to track the surgical team's movements, communication and, ultimately, errors.

It is being dubbed a "black box" for surgeries, but of course that isn't exactly accurate. Instead, the system is meant to be a training and learning guide for medical staff to see the mistakes they have made -- however minute they may be -- so that they can improve and protect patients from potential harm. As our source article put it, it is very difficult for surgeons to notice the tiny mistakes they make during surgery. During the procedure they are so focused that they likely think they have done everything correctly.

Study paints curious picture about care provided by obstetricians

You entrust your life with your doctor. When you go while you're feeling sick, or if you suffer an injury, or if need emergency care, that doctor and those medical personnel figuratively and, sometimes literally, have your life in their hands. When it comes to a pregnant woman, the obstetricians and other medical personnel involved aren't just looking out for one patient. They need to ensure that the mother and her unborn child get through their nine months as healthy as possible.

But a new study doesn't make this seem like the reality. According to the study, many obstetricians avoid talking about tricky environmental risks that could harm the pregnant woman and/or her unborn child.

Prison negligence blamed for New Jersey inmate's violent death

Prisons assume control over everything inmates do. For that reason, New Jersey correctional facilities also are responsible for the health and welfare of prisoners, no matter what reason an inmate is incarcerated. A prison may be guilty of negligence for failing to prevent conditions that put prisoners' health or lives at risk.

Mercer County is named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by family members of an inmate, who died in October at the county prison. A criminal complaint alleges the man was attacked by a violent cell mate while sleeping at Mercer County Correction Center. The 19-year-old alleged murderer had been in and out of a psychiatric hospital from the time he was taken into custody on a carjacking charge at age 17.

Household product that sickened toothpaste customer was toxic

The expression "You get what you pay for" implies all inexpensively priced products lack quality, but many Woodland Park shoppers probably would disagree. Why pay more for a product that accomplishes the same task as a more expensive brand? Manufacturers are responsible for making and selling products that are safe whether or not items are sold at a discount.

A woman in a neighboring state bought a tube of toothpaste at a discount store. The label said "Colgate," but what was inside was nothing like the brand she assumed it was. The shopper used the product and was hospitalized several days for treatment of inflammation of her esophagus, gastrointestinal tract and colon among other health problems.

Left-turn motorcycle crash fatally injures New Jersey officer

Reckless drivers don't play favorites. Anyone, from a novice to the most experienced motorist, can become the victim of a Passaic County driver who ignores the safety of others. Criminal punishments and civil penalties do not make up for the loss of a loved one in a senseless crash, but they can ease some hardships for families struggling with grief and financial difficulties.

A Brick Township man was killed in a motorcycle accident authorities said was caused by a reckless Jackson driver. The man blamed for fatally injuring the motorcyclist turned left into the path of the victim's bike. The 28-year-old victim, a Watchung police officer, later died at a hospital.

Psychological symptoms, treatment of traumatic brain injuries

Passaic County doctors are learning a great deal about the effects of blows to the head on the brain. Concussions are categorized as mild traumatic brain injuries, but don't let the description fool you. A mild TBI can be deadly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported mild TBIs make up about three-fourths of all TBIs that contribute to U.S. deaths by injury. One-third of all injury fatalities have a connection to traumatic brain injuries. The federal agency estimated there were about 2.5 million TBIs nationwide in 2010; nearly 500,000 victims treated annually are 14 or younger.

Liability lawsuit: Bayer kept dangerous product details hidden

Over-the-counter drugs at Woodland Park stores claim to quiet coughs and alleviate pain, among a host of other promises. As consumers, we assume non-prescription drugs are safe, barring any mistakes while taking the medication or known side effects. The search for symptom relief isn't supposed to hurt you.

A woman developed mouth blisters in January 2013, after taking Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough Formula two nights in a row. Pain and illness from the blisters grew pronounced the day after the last dose, while the woman was taking a flight for a weekend getaway. The woman sought help the following day from a local clinic at her destination.

$900,000 settlement resolves New Jersey teen suicide claim

Liability claims may parallel legal actions in a criminal court, but no charges of wrongdoing or convictions are necessary for a Woodland Park civil lawsuit to be filed or pursued. The courts work independently of one another. However, evidence from a criminal case can be used to support a plaintiff in a civil complaint.

A Belmar high school junior committed suicide by leaping in front of a train in 2008. The 18-year-old was one of a dozen other students preparing to testify against a school baseball coach accused of sexual wrongdoing. The 50-year-old coach later was convicted of child endangerment and sentenced to prison for 18 years.

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