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By Robert Geimer

The U.S. Government has announced it reached a settlement with a New York Hospital over claims the hospital allowed television crews to violate patient privacy.  According to the announcement, New York Presbyterian Hospital will pay $2.2 million in fines for allowing crews of ABC television series “NY Med” virtually “unfettered access” to private patient information and for filming patients in distress without their consent.  The HHS Office of Civil Rights called the violations “egregious.”  As part of the settlement, the hospital will be monitored for two years to ensure that it fully complies with patient privacy.

By Robert Geimer

According to an analysis by Pro Publica, doctors who receive money, gifts and meals from drug companies write prescriptions for name brand drugs at a higher rate than doctors who do not receive money or gifts.  The highest prescribing percentages went to doctors who received more than $5,000 in money or gifts.  Though doctors have long disputed a connection between drug company payments and prescribing habits, this analysis provides proof.  If this were to happen in a different context, it might be considered bribery or a payoff.  But because of the outsized influence and campaign contributions of pharmaceutical and physician groups, it is just “incentive.”

recalled childrens products, Chicago personal injury lawyerChildren are meant to be protected – parents and caregivers do their best, but are often unaware of the risks/damages which manufacturers are keenly aware of. More should be done to protect children, particularly when it comes to the manufacturing industry. In fact, there was a time when more than 600,000 children visited the emergency room because of injuries caused by dangerous products (the year 2000). Since that time, laws have been passed, tracking and monitoring have taken place, and improvements have been made. But, according to recent data from Kids in Danger (KID), there is still much work to be done.

Injuries and Number of Recalls Decreased

Of the 225 products recalled in 2001, more than half were children’s products (118). On average, that was about two new recalls per week. Linked to 672 child injuries and two deaths that year, toys accounted for 41 percent, 23 percent were nursery items, 14 percent were clothing items, and sports equipment accounted for 23 percent of child product recalls. Totals from 2014 show the industry has made massive improvements, with a 95 percent decrease in injuries since the passing of Danny’s Law in 2008 (36 in 2014). The number of products recalls has also decreased, and only 24 percent of the recalls in 2014 were of products made for children (68 recalls in total) – the lowest since KID began tracking recalls.

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heartburn medication dementia, Chicago personal injury lawyerAll medications come with risks, but some have more than others. Unfortunately, the risks are not adequately researched, or worse, properly disclosed to prescribing physicians and patients. The warnings, in many instances, are inadequate. Such instances involving dangerous or defective drugs can wreak havoc on the lives of unsuspecting victims. Case in point: the recent study that revealed popular heartburn medications may carry an elevated risk of dementia.

Proton Pump Inhibitors and Their Uses

Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, are a class of drugs used to treat certain gastric conditions, including peptic and stomach ulcers, acid reflux, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Available both by prescription and over the counter, they are used by an estimated 15 million Americans. Some who take them claim they are difficult to stop because the condition returns with an increase in severity. But, in light of recent studies, cessation of use may very well be the best course of action, particularly for those who suffer from milder versions of the treated conditions.

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physician removing wrong body part, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerNow considered the third leading cause of death in the United States, preventable medical mistakes are trumped only by cancer and heart disease. Mistakes that cause harm, serious injury, or unnecessary stress are also extremely prevalent. Yet regulations, lawmakers, and even the doctors and hospitals themselves fail to take action or accountability. One woman, who allegedly had the wrong rib removed during a surgery at Yale hospital, had just this sort of an experience when the doctor reportedly tried to cover up his mistake instead of apologizing.

About the Surgery

According to court documents filed in Connecticut Superior Court, the 60-year-old woman had needed surgery to remove her eighth rib because of a precancerous lesion. This rib had reportedly been marked with metal coils and dye to ensure a successful surgery. Unfortunately, the woman’s seventh rib was removed instead and, instead of performing an X-ray immediately after surgery or contacting the patient to apologize when the mistake was discovered, the woman allegedly had to visit the hospital herself when she continued to experience pain.

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