Recently in Medical Malpractice Category

August 5, 2014

New Details Emerge in New Mexico Woman's Death During Open Heart Surgery

New details are coming to light about the power failure at the University of New Mexico Hospital on August 11, 2011. The incident resulted in a loss of power in an operating room where a woman was having heart surgery performed. The surgery was aborted, and the woman ultimately died from cardiogenic shock. Last year, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the hospital on the woman's behalf. Now, the hospital has filed suit against three contractors who performed an electrical upgrade on the hospital in 2009.

operation-1389104-m.jpg"No Backup Generator Kicked In"

According to an ABQ Journal report, it was over an hour into Kathleen Williams' coronary bypass surgery at UNMH when the power to the operating room went out. Since the power interruption resulted from a rooftop circuit breaker problem, and not a larger power outage, the hospital's back-up generator did not go into effect, and the lights and most machines supporting Ms. Williams were without power for a full 10 minutes. After the power was restored, the operating team decided to abort the operation and sewed Ms. Williams back up. Unfortunately, the shock of the surgery was too much for Ms. Williams to handle, and she died four days later.

Who is Responsible for Ms. Williams' Death?

Last August, Ms. Williams' family filed a New Mexico malpractice lawsuit against UNMH, alleging that the hospital breached the standard of care that they owed Ms. Williams. The suit alleges that the hospital failed to maintain the systems that are critical for the operating room to function, and this malpractice resulted in Ms. Williams' death. Since the family has filed suit against the hospital, the hospital has filed a separate lawsuit against three contractors that installed an electrical upgrade in 2009. The hospital may divert some responsibility from themselves to the contractors, but whether the contractors or the hospital made the ultimate mistake has no effect on the hospital's duty to Ms. Williams.

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March 13, 2014

Recent New Mexico Appellate Court Decision Harmful to Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs, Increases Importance of Quickly Consulting an Attorney

In a disappointing decision by the New Mexico Court of Appeals in October of last year, a plaintiff's bad drug and medical malpractice claim against his doctor was dismissed because the statute of limitations expired before the suit was filed. The Court's ruling in Chavez v. Delgado, 2014-NMCA-014 (2014), is important because it determined that the three year statute of limitations period for a medical malpractice claim begins when an injured plaintiff is prescribed an allegedly harmful medication, and not when he or she suffers a related injury or dies.

magic-pills-1418156-m.jpgDangerous Drug Interaction May have Caused Man's Death

According to the Court's recitation of the facts, Jose Chavez was prescribed the generic version of Zocor by his doctor on November 11, 2008. When prescribing the medication, Dr. James Delgado failed to notice a dangerous drug interaction between Zocor and another of Mr. Chavez' prescribed medications. On December 3, 2008, Chavez filled the prescription for Zocor and began to take the medication. After consuming the dangerous combination of drugs, he became ill and was hospitalized with drug induced rhabdomyolysis. Within 14 months, Jose Chavez was dead.

The Liability for Mr. Chavez' Death

Mr. Chavez was survived by his wife and multiple children, the plaintiffs in a suit against the doctor and clinic for medical malpractice. The lawsuit alleged that before he prescribed the Zocor, Dr. Delgado had a duty to check for harmful interactions with Chavez' other medications. The family claimed Delgado was liable for Chavez' illness and death, and requested damages as a result of the doctor's negligence. In their defense, Dr. Delgado and the clinic argued that the case be dismissed because it was not filed within three years of the date that Dr. Delgado wrote the prescription for the Zocor.

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December 26, 2013

Another Medical Negligence Jury Verdict Issued Against Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe

file000381741411 morguefile username ronnieb.jpgA Santa Fe jury has issued a $1 million award in yet another medical malpractice lawsuit filed against Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. In Jiron et al. v. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, et al., Zelda Jiron was treated at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for severe abdominal pain in 2010. After Jiron was admitted to the hospital, she was apparently given multiple doses of a powerful narcotic pain reliever. Sometime following administration of the drug, a medical professional employed by the hospital purportedly attempted to examine Jiron. Instead, the hospital employee purportedly left Jiron's room after discovering the patient was sleeping. About 20 minutes later, Jiron's husband, Simon, found her foaming at the mouth, twitching, and turning purple. He called for help and Christus St. Vincent medical staff resuscitated Jiron. Later, the hospital reportedly discovered that Jiron suffered a cardio-pulmonary arrest.

As a result of the incident, Jiron filed a medical negligence lawsuit seeking more than $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Christus St. Vincent in a New Mexico federal court. Her husband also sought damages for loss of consortium that directly resulted from the woman's near death event. At trial, Jiron argued that hospital doctors should have monitored her condition more closely after administering the potent drug. Jiron, who is apparently morbidly obese, also alleged that the drug is known to cause breathing issues in both sleeping and overweight patients. Additionally, Jiron provided testimony that the medical professional who found her sleeping has a history of improperly dosing her patients and that the hospital worker changed information in Jiron's medical chart after she was resuscitated.

Following five days of testimony, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Jiron for $250,000 in compensatory damages and $750,000 in punitive damages. The jurors, however, elected not to award financial compensation for loss of consortium to Jiron's husband.

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December 19, 2013

Santa Fe County Jury Says Hospital Acted Negligently in Connection With 20-Year-Old's Death

file0001300605042 morguefile username click.jpgIn mid-December, a Santa Fe jury issued a $2.25 million wrongful death verdict against Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in connection with the death of a young woman in 2008. In Christopherson v. Christus Health, et al., a 20-year-old woman sought emergency medical treatment for stomach pain that was purportedly related to pancreatitis at the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe. The hospital apparently transferred Mercedes Christopherson to an Albuquerque hospital where she was treated for about one week. Four days after Chistopherson's release from the Albuquerque hospital, she again sought treatment for severe stomach pain at Christus St. Vincent.

After she returned to Christus St. Vincent, Christopherson was treated with a short course of antibiotics. Although the young woman suffered a fever during her hospital stay, she was reportedly discharged without any further antibiotics treatment after only one week. At the time of her discharge, Christopherson's oxygen-saturation levels were apparently dangerously low. In addition, the 20-year-old was released despite that she purportedly tested positive for an inter-abdominal infection.

According to the lawsuit, Christopherson was given a prescription for a pain relief patch when she was discharged from Christus St. Vincent. The drug provided through the patch is a narcotic that may depress a patient's respiratory system. About 18 hours after she was released, Christopherson reportedly became unresponsive. The young woman was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent where she was unfortunately declared brain dead at despite efforts to resuscitate her. Less than two days after her discharge from the medical facility, Christopherson died as an apparent result of septicemia.

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December 6, 2013

New Mexico Court of Appeals Allows Emergency Room Doctor to Provide Expert Testimony in Foot Amputation Case

Thumbnail image for file7331271451604 morguefile username mensatic.jpgThe Court of Appeals of New Mexico has held that an emergency room doctor is qualified to testify as an expert in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Quintana v. Acosta, a diabetic man, Richard Quintana, was treated by Dr. Steven Acosta at a Lovington hospital emergency room for a puncture wound to his left foot. At the hospital, Mr. Quintana's wound was cleaned by a nurse and he was discharged after his physician determined a prescription for prophylactic antibiotics was not necessary. Mr. Quintana was also instructed in writing to follow up with his primary care doctor.

Six days later, Mr. Quintana experienced complications while on a trip to Mexico. He was hospitalized and received intravenous antibiotics at a Mexican hospital before he returned to New Mexico. Upon his return, Mr. Quintana was admitted to the University of New Mexico Hospital where he underwent surgery to amputate his left foot. Following surgery, Mr. Quintana filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Acosta and the hospital where he is employed.

At trial, an emergency room physician, Dr. Robert P. Wahl provided expert testimony regarding Mr. Quintana's emergency room treatment. After reviewing the facts of the case, Dr. Wahl stated Dr. Acosta violated the prevailing standard of care when he failed to prescribe prophylactic antibiotics to Mr. Quintana following his injury. Dr. Acosta responded by filing a motion to exclude Dr. Wahl's opinion. A district court granted Dr. Acosta's motion after concluding "Dr. Wahl was offering scientific opinions based on scientific knowledge." According to the court, Dr. Wahl's testimony did not satisfy the scientific knowledge factors required by Daubert-Alberico. Additionally, the district court held that Dr. Wahl's opinion went "beyond the scope of expertise of the average emergency room physician."

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November 19, 2013

New Mexico Appeals Court Clarifies Medical Malpractice Versus Ordinary Negligence in Richter v. Presbyterian Healthcare Services

file000640497966 morguefile username click.jpgIn Richter v. Presbyterian Healthcare Services, the Court of Appeals of New Mexico addressed the distinction between ordinary negligence and medical malpractice. In the wrongful death case, Ms. Richter was treated at Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS) for cardiac symptoms in 2001. Her doctor ordered related testing for what he suspected was an undiagnosed pheochromocytoma. Although Richter's samples were initially sent to Regional Lab Corporation (RLC), they were later shipped to another laboratory for completion. About five days later and over the course of the weekend, two sets of results demonstrating that Richter in fact suffered from the undiagnosed condition were sent to RLC. On the following Monday, the results were processed by the laboratory. Although the results were electronically transmitted to the hospital, it is unclear whether the results were physically shipped to PHS on Monday or Tuesday.

The same day Richter's results were processed, she was discharged from PHS. It is not apparent whether her physician reviewed Richter's test results prior to her release from the hospital. About four years later, Richter passed away during surgery to remove a tumor on her adrenal gland. Although Richter's surgeon ordered new testing to determine whether the lump was a pheochromocytoma, he apparently performed the surgery before receiving the lab results.

Following Richter's death, her husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit against PHS, RLC, and her surgeons. At trial, RLC argued that the Medical Malpractice Act applied to Mr. Richter's claims. The district court found that RLC's acts were ministerial in nature and subject to the principles of ordinary negligence. The court also granted summary judgment in favor of RLC and PHS. Mr. Richter then appealed.

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September 19, 2013

New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Medical Malpractice Caps Apply to Doctors' Professional Businesses

file0001110988167 morguefile username mensatic.jpgThe New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled in three separate cases that businesses formed by physicians are subject to the same medical malpractice caps as individual doctors. According to the high court, professional corporations and limited liability companies established for business or tax purposes meet the definition of a health care provider under the 1978 Medical Malpractice Act (MMA). The 15-page opinion of the court stated that deciding otherwise would thwart the law's purpose of ensuring that doctors and other medical providers in the state had access to malpractice insurance. Prior to the MMA's enactment, some private insurers reportedly began refusing to write medical malpractice policies in New Mexico.

In 2011, the New Mexico Legislature passed a measure that would have made clear such corporate entities were in fact subject to the provisions of the MMA. Governor Susana Martinez later vetoed the bill that would also have increased medical malpractice damages caps across the state.

In New Mexico, medical malpractice occurs whenever a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care provider fails to adhere to a reasonable standard of care and a patient is harmed. Medical negligence may also arise from a medical provider's failure to take a medically necessary or appropriate action in addition to an intentional or unintentional act. For example, malpractice may occur when a medical professional fails to offer a patient appropriate treatment, improperly diagnoses an illness, or unreasonably delays medical treatment.

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August 26, 2013

Judge Orders Third Trial in Santa Fe Medical Negligence Case

file3291233869663 morguefile username Grafixar.jpgA New Mexico judge has issued an order for a third trial in connection with a medical negligence lawsuit that was filed in 2009 against a Santa Fe hospital. According to the wrongful death complaint, the father of a 20-year-old woman who died after she was released from the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center alleges the young woman received inadequate and negligent care from the hospital. The 20-year-old was purportedly diagnosed with pancreatitis and provided with a prescription for antibiotics at the hospital in late 2008. A physician employed by Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center allegedly ordered that the woman's medication be stopped and released her. The following day, the 20-year-old apparently died as a result of septicemia.

A jury trial in 2012 resulted in a finding of negligence on the part of the hospital, but jurors reportedly could not reach an agreement with regard to damages. A second jury trial was decided in favor of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. In August, State District Judge Raymond Ortiz, who presided over both jury trials, formally ordered a third trial due to alleged misconduct on the part of the hospital's defense attorney. According to his written order, the misconduct warranted extraordinary relief.

In the State of New Mexico, medical malpractice occurs when a health care professional such as a doctor or nurse fails to treat a patient using the prevailing standard of care and the patient sustains an injury as a direct result. Medical negligence can arise from a medical caregiver's failure to take appropriate action as well as by an intentional or unintentional act. For example, medical negligence may occur when a hospital or other medical provider does not offer appropriate treatment, improperly diagnoses a disease, or unreasonably delays medical treatment.

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April 26, 2013

Santa Fe Man Arrested for Allegedly Injuring Patients While Practicing Dentistry Without a License

1169209_daily_job_brush_those_teeth sxchu.jpgAccording to police in Santa Fe, a number of area residents were recently victimized by a man who was practicing dentistry without a license and out of his car. In April, 36-year-old Eliver Kestler was charged with conspiracy to practice dentistry without a license, practicing dentistry without a license, and distributing a controlled substance. Following his arrest, Santa Fe police reportedly found dentures and dirty dental tools in the man's vehicle.

Kestler is accused of charging a 45-year-old woman $400 to extract four teeth in January. Following the extraction, the woman allegedly contracted a severe infection. In addition, she claims Kestler failed to return with replacement teeth as he apparently promised. As a result, she purportedly filed a complaint with the Santa Fe Police Department. Since the woman filed her police report, at least five additional victims have allegedly come forward.

A representative for the New Mexico Dental Association stated patients are often placed at risk when an individual chooses to practice dentistry without a license. For example, infection, hepatitis, and HIV control measures are rarely utilized by such individuals. In addition, the Dental Association stated patients may receive inadequate dental care. The organization has advised all dental patients to ensure that anyone who provides them with dental care is licensed by the appropriate authorities.

Although the man accused in this case was not actually licensed to practice dentistry, a license in and of itself does not necessarily mean a dental or other patient will receive proper care. In New Mexico, medical malpractice can result whenever a health care provider such as a physician or dentist does not adhere to a reasonable standard of care and a patient suffers injury. Regrettably, medical malpractice cases that arise in New Mexico may be tough to prove. Whether your doctor or other medical provider is a member of the New Mexico Patient Compensation Fund can affect your ability to recover for your harm following a medical professional's negligence. If you were injured by a doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, or another person who was tasked with providing your health care, you are advised to contact a quality New Mexico medical malpractice attorney as soon as you are able.

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December 16, 2012

Study Finds State of New Mexico May be Liable for $120 Million in Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Case

1100587_hospital_hand%20sxchu%20username%20Egilshay.jpgThe State of New Mexico may be on the hook for up to $120 million in connection with a potential class action lawsuit against the University of New Mexico Hospital and a former child cancer specialist, Dr. Marilyn Duncan. The 101 medical malpractice lawsuits reportedly arose in 1998 after university hospital officials disclosed that many pediatric oncology patients were likely not provided with the newest or most effective treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia during a seven-year period. Plaintiffs also allege the hospital dissuaded them from obtaining a second opinion regarding their child’s medical care.

The University of New Mexico Hospital is a self-insured institution which means that taxpayers throughout the state foot the bill for any potential medical malpractice liability. Although New Mexico has paid about $45 million in settlements to 118 families since the disclosure, a new actuarial study allegedly found that the potential class action lawsuit was likely to have an unfavorable outcome for the hospital. A previous study estimated the state’s remaining potential liability at less than $20 million. Still, State General Services Department Secretary Ed Burckle claims no additional funds are expected to be requested from the New Mexico Legislature in the next term.

In New Mexico, tort claims such as medical negligence are subject to a damages cap. Burckle stated the new projected liability for the potential class action lawsuit was based upon a maximum possible award per outstanding claim. Although the medical malpractice lawsuits were filed in 2001, a class certification hearing is scheduled to be held in 2013 in Albuquerque. Thus far, not one of the malpractice lawsuits filed has made it to trial. Still, Dr. Duncan retired from the hospital in 1998 and later surrendered her medical license in New Mexico.

Medical malpractice occurs when a health care professional fails to treat each patient pursuant to the prevailing standard of care and the patient is injured as a result. Medical negligence may arise from a medical provider’s failure to take a medically necessary or appropriate action in addition to his or her intentional or unintentional act. Malpractice may occur when a hospital, doctor, pharmacy, nurse, dentist, or other medical provider fails to offer appropriate treatment, improperly diagnoses a disease, or unreasonably delays medical treatment. If you were injured or a loved one was killed by the negligent act or omission of a health care provider in New Mexico, you may be entitled to receive monetary damages. Because the amount of time during which you have to file your medical negligence claim is limited, you are advised to contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as you are able.

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September 25, 2012

Wrongful Death Case Filed Against Two Santa Fe Mental Health Professionals

1238683_untitled%20sxchu%20username%20Leonardini.jpgThe mother of a man who hanged himself two years ago has filed a New Mexico wrongful death lawsuit against two Santa Fe mental health professionals who reportedly cared for him prior to his death. According to his mother’s lawsuit, 24-year-old Dylan Ravenfox sought treatment from psychiatrist Dr. George Greer and licensed psychologist Robert Weisz for depression and suicidal thoughts in July 2010. Dylan committed suicide on August 7, 2010.

Pleadings filed by Caroline Ravenfox in a New Mexico District Court allege her son Dylan visited with Weisz five times in the month immediately preceding his death. Caroline claims she alerted Weisz that she was worried about her son’s well-being and that Dylan had placed a belt around his neck at one point. According to Caroline, Weisz told her he was unaware Dylan was suicidal. In her lawsuit, Caroline alleges Weisz ignored signs that Dylan’s mental health was quickly deteriorating and made no attempt to intervene or treat the young man. She also alleges the psychologist breached his duty of care by failing to refer Dylan for additional mental health treatment.

The lawsuit also alleges Dr. Greer committed medical negligence by failing to schedule a follow-up appointment with Dylan within an appropriate time-frame. Dr. Greer reportedly prescribed a number of anti-depressants and other drugs to Dylan and only increased the dosage after the young man allegedly told the psychiatrist he was thinking of jumping off of a bridge. According to Caroline, Dr. Greer should have visited with Dylan more frequently and erroneously stated the young man’s mental state had improved considerably prior to his suicide.

In the lawsuit, Caroline has asked the New Mexico court to award her unspecified damages. According to Dylan’s mother, the two mental health professionals failed to notice a number of signs that her son was likely to take his own life and failed to properly treat him.

Medical malpractice can result whenever a health care provider in New Mexico does not adhere to a reasonable standard of care and a patient is hurt. Unfortunately, medical malpractice cases in our state can be tough to prove. Whether your medical provider is a member of the New Mexico Patient Compensation Fund can also have an effect your ability to recover for medical malpractice. If you were hurt by a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, dentist, or another individual who was tasked with providing your health care, you should contact an experienced New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you are able.

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September 6, 2012

Testimony Begins in Medical Malpractice Case Against Santa Fe Hospital

1114174_red_plaster%20sxchu%20username%20barky.jpgA medical malpractice case against Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center is currently under way in Santa Fe. Testimony regarding the May 2008 back surgery performed on Matt McCann began on Tuesday. 35-year-old McCann and his former wife, Stephanie, filed a lawsuit against the hospital in December 2010 alleging Matt sustained internal bleeding as a result of a physician’s error. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Hal Hankinson negligently cut too deeply when he removed a herniated disc from McCann’s back. The cut allegedly resulted in damage to two of McCann’s arteries which required emergency surgery as well as two additional surgeries. McCann reportedly bled internally for 36 hours and suffered a cardiac arrest before the alleged medical error was discovered.

In his lawsuit, McCann alleges he sustained a neurological injury that has placed him at risk for additional complications in the future. The injury also reportedly strained McCann’s relationship with his wife and ultimately led to the couple’s divorce. Prior to commencement of testimony, District Court Judge Sarah Singleton issued an order granting the injured patient and his now ex-wife summary judgment against Dr. Hankinson, finding that the physician was negligent when he performed McCann’s back surgery and also caused the injuries to McCann’s arteries. The jury in the case will be tasked with determining the level of damages Mc0Cann suffered as a result of the physician’s negligence. Additionally, the jury must determine whether the actions of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center’s employees during and immediately following McCann’s surgery demonstrated “corporate disregard” for patient safety. If the jury answers that question in the affirmative, punitive damages may be awarded to the McCanns.

Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center has reportedly preserved its right to appeal Judge Singleton’s ruling regarding Dr. Hankinson’s negligence in performing the surgery. According to the hospital, the blame for McCann’s injuries should rest solely on the surgeon. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center has maintained that none of McCann’s injuries resulted from the negligence of its employees or his treatment following the initial surgery.

Medical malpractice occurs whenever a health care professional fails to adhere to a reasonable standard of care and a patient is injured. In the State of New Mexico, medical malpractice cases are often difficult to prove. In addition, whether or not your health care provider is a member of the New Mexico Patient Compensation Fund can have an effect on your ability to file a malpractice claim. If you were hurt by a doctor, nurse, physician’s assistant, dentist, pharmacist, or someone else tasked with providing medical care, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

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July 18, 2012

Albuquerque Veterans Affairs Hospital Physicians Not Always Subject to New Mexico Medical Board Review

1219484_caduceus%20sxchu%20username%20kikashi.jpgA doctor whose license to practice medicine was temporarily suspended in another state is reportedly working at an Albuquerque hospital. Dr. Frank Allen Zimba was hired by the local Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital last summer despite that disciplinary proceedings were ongoing against him in the State of Oklahoma. The 57-year-old board certified neurological surgeon was accused of operating on the wrong side of an Oklahoma patient’s spine prior to joining the VA hospital staff. He was also accused of committing the same error on two different patients several years previously in New York. As a result of the alleged botched operation, Dr. Zimba’s license to practice medicine was suspended in Oklahoma for six months.

Although it is unknown whether Dr. Zimba has made similar errors at the VA hospital, the New Mexico Medical Board cannot investigate his performance. Under federal law, because Dr. Zimba works at a VA hospital he is only required to hold a medical license in one of the nation’s 50 states. He is currently licensed in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and New York. Consequently, although most of the 7,500 doctors in New Mexico are subject to state review, Dr. Zimba was able to practice medicine in Albuquerque throughout his suspension.

According to New Mexico Medical Board spokesperson J.J. Walker, any malpractice complaints regarding a VA doctor would need to be filed in a state where the physician is licensed. Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General Libby Scott stated the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision would likely refuse to investigate a complaint made by a resident of another state because the Board was created to protect the health and safety of state residents. If the same is true for other states, such a system could potentially leave some injured VA hospital patients feeling as if they fell through the cracks.

The Albuquerque VA hospital spokesperson, Sonja Brown, stated hospital supervisors are tasked with investigating and reporting any substantiated patient complaints. Additionally, she said federal law requires the hospital to report any doctor who significantly fails to provide an acceptable level of patient care to the medical board of any state in which the physician is licensed. According to Walker, no one at the New Mexico Medical Board can recall ever receiving such a complaint from any VA hospital.

Following two of his three alleged surgery mistakes, Dr. Zimba reportedly failed to notify the patients regarding the errors. The other patient is currently suing Dr. Zimba for injuries he allegedly suffered as a result of the physician’s purported negligence. The physician’s Oklahoma license is up for renewal this fall.

Medical malpractice may occur any time a health care provider fails to adhere to a reasonable standard of care and injury to a patient results. In New Mexico, medical malpractice cases can be difficult to prove. Additionally, whether your health care provider is a member of the New Mexico Patient Compensation Fund can affect your ability to file a claim. If you were hurt by a physician, nurse, pharmacist, dentist, or someone else tasked with your care, you need a skilled attorney on your side.

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December 10, 2010

New Mexico Perscription and Medication Errors

Prescription medication injuries and death are often times related to inappropriate medications being given or, appropriate medications being given with inappropriate dosages. However, there are also many New Mexico medication injuries caused not by inappropriate prescriptions, but rather the way in which the prescriptions are filled by a pharmacy.

It is not difficult to understand how these cases can arise. A doctor, while visiting with the patient, may order numerous prescriptions for the patient to fill. As is common, these prescription orders are often scratched into the paper and with an illegible series of symbols. It is then up to the pharmacist to correctly interpret a prescription and fill it in the way it was intended.

There are many ways in which a pharmacist or technician can fill a prescription inappropriately. Whether the medication is misread, or mistakes are made regarding strength of the medication, dosage, and frequency of use, the results can be devastating to the unsuspecting patient.

Our New Mexico prescription error lawyers have seen numerous such cases and are aware that often times it is crucial to compare the physician orders with the pharmacy records. Typically any such inconsistencies will result in a possible case against the pharmacist and his or her employer.

November 19, 2010

Airborn Hospital Infections - Change is in the Air

New Mexico hospitals are where you want to be when injured or sick, however, they are also capable not of helping heal you, but rather causing an infection. Many infections, are called a risk-of-the-procedure, meaning there may be no legal basis to pursue a case. However, some hospital infections are different an entirely preventable.

Considering such hospital infections are a top 10 cause of death in America, preventing future infections is a true development in medicine. By the same token, it means that infections should no longer be the risks they used to be and that hospital infections should no longer benefit for legal loopholes as they have in the past.

The New Mexico Health Department has recently joined a movement to track infections with a goal of minimizing patient risks. Simultaneously, a recent advisory committee is recommending New Mexico Hospitals be required to report infection rates. Local hospitals that have expressed a level of participation in the movement include: University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, as well as Lovelace in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.