Tag: pennsylvania

new jersey , philadelphia, nursing home abuse lawyers, attorneysAThe use of chemical restraints is, unfortunately, nothing new. Nursing home abuse lawyers have long known that medication is often used to sedate and restrain residents. ABC News online recently published an article on the detrimental effects of a certain prescription often given to Dementia patients in nursing homes. Most of the time, these prescriptions are dispersed not only to sedate patients so they become more “manageable,” but also to help the nursing home make money from the Medicaid reimbursements they receive for ordering the medication.

Medication Causes Increased Death Risk in Dementia Patients

study of over 75,000 nursing home residents – 65 and older, who suffer from dementia – has found that those that take the anti-psychotic drug Haldol double their risk of death compared to those taking Risperdal. It seems that the risk was highest during the first 40 days of treatment. Krsita Huybrechts, epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, commented on the recent findings:

“The evidence provided in our study reinforces the important risks associated with the use of these drugs and underscores the need to try alternative means of dealing with behavioral problems in older patients with dementia. [The use of Haldol] cannot be justified because of the excess of harm. ”

Conversely, patients taking Seroquel appeared, according to the study, to have a decreased risk of death compared to those taking Risperdal. However, the use of any of the medications seems unneccessary, seeing as their effect on dementia symptoms is quite limited; so much so that the FDA never even approved many of these drugs for use in the treatment of dementia. Nursing homes are being reimbursed by Medicaid for the off-label distribution on anti-psychotics, or chemical restraints.

Dr. Jenny McCleery, consultant psychiatrist with the Oxford Heath NHS Foundation Trust in the U.K., believes that doctors are prescribing these antipsychotic drugs due to a lack of resources for non-drug interventions.

“Clearly, doctors find compelling reasons to prescribe antipsychotics to patients with dementia, reasons that are unlikely to be found in the evidence base alone.”

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Nursing home residents suffering from dementia are indeed a difficult population to care for. That does not, however, condone the use of drugs to sedate patients so they become easier to care for. Nursing homes should provide competent, compassionate, and attentive care to your loved ones living in long term care facilities.

If you believe that the home in charge of your loved one’s care is acting negligently or abusively, contact the nursing home abuse lawyers of Messa & Associates, P.C. Call 1-800-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry. You may also click on the CHAT LIVE icon to the right to speak with a representative immediately.

new jersey nursing home abuse attorneys, philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyersOur nations’ nursing homes are in dire need of help. Every day, nursing home abuse attorneys of Messa & Associates, P.C. are contacted by individuals regarding some form of abuse or negligence that a loved one endured in a nursing home. The importance of patient care seems to have dissipated and its priority replaced by money and business related needs.

However, it seems there is has been a push for betterment in the nursing home industry. Advancing Excellence, NH Quality Campaign – a campaign created to encourage, assist, and empower nursing homes to improve the quality of life, prevent bed sores and pressure ulcers, and care for residents – is prepared to change the nursing homes of America.

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Support goals of Advancing Excellence Campaign

The coalition, which is the first of its kind, is made up of long term care providers, medical professionals, consumers, employees, and state and federal agencies. It has 8 major goals:

  • To minimize staff turnover; a stable workforce will improve patient care.
  • To employ a “Constant Assignment” plan so that patients are regularly cared for by the same caregiver.
  • To reduce the time residents spend restrained. Independence will improve quality of life.
  • To prevent bed sores and pressure ulcers, and to provide appropriate treatment of those that do develop.
  • To prevent unnecessary or prolonged episodes of severe pain.
  • To include residents in advanced care planning prior to the completion of their stay
  • To use assessments of resident and family experience of care to improve future quality of care for patient safety.
  • To use assessment of staff satisfaction of work environment to improve future quality of care.

Many nursing home establishments have joined forces with Advancing Excellence in efforts to improve the quality of care they provide. Obviously, these establishments are aware and agree that they are not providing top notch care. It’s good news to those who have suffered from nursing abuse, neglect, and inadequacy.

All nursing homes in New Jersey are in fact either participants in or charter members of the Advancing Excellence campaign. We should be proud that caregivers in the state are willing to step up and begin providing the kind of care our elderly citizens deserve.

New Jersey and Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

If you are someone who has seen first-hand the effects of nursing home abuse, negligence, and inadequacy, it’s time to contact a nursing home abuse attorney. The team at Messa & Associates is dedicated to earning justice and compensation for those injured or worse by negligence and abuse in nursing homes and long term care facilities.

Call, toll-free, 1-800-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry. If you would like immediate assistance, click the CHAT LIVE icon to the right. A representative is present right now to answer your questions.

A state advocacy group in Michigan is calling for increased oversight of state nursing homes, citing as their motive the growing instances of extreme nursing home abuse. One specific case mentioned a nursing home in Washtenaw County, Michigan where maggots infested one patient’s throat and another patient’s catheter. Clinical corporate staff members instructed the nurse who came upon the catheter infestation to document it as “debridement.” Debridement is a name for dead tissue, not maggots. The second maggot incident took place in an Oakland County care facility. Maggots obstructed the airway of a woman had been coughing. The maggots were discovered when the airway was being cleared.

Maggots Sign of Severe Neglect State Wide?

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers maggot infestationsThe group, a non-profit Michigan Protections and Advocacy Service, cited the maggot infestation cases as evidence of a severe problem concerning treatment in the state’s care facilities. Of course, a representative of the state agency that regulates nursing homes insisted to a Michigan radio DJ that these maggot infestations were isolated incidents and that they, in no way, reflect the treatment that the state’s care facilities provide. Mike Pemble of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said, “I don’t think it’s fair to hold it up and say this is happening in all nursing homes.”

Rhonda Smith, communications specialist with the Michigan Protections and Advocacy Service, did not provided the name of the nursing home involved. A Michigan television station is reporting that the Whitehall Healthcare Center of Ann Arbor was the culprit.

The MPAS reported that the information regarding these horrid incidents of neglect was gathered from surveys performed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. They are also preparing a report they they claim will highlight “numerous examples of abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities in nursing homes throughout the state.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is a resident at a nursing home or long term care facility and you believe that the care they are receiving is negligent or inadequate, contact our professionals for a free case evaluation or consultation. Contact the Mininno Law Office by phone at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys: Does the Law Do Its Job?

It is widely accepted that across the United States of America, many patients at one point or another are injured due to the carelessness of doctors. One study that has illustrated this point is the highly debated “Harvard Study”. That study concluded that in 1984, 99,000 patients in New York State suffered serious injuries while in hospitals.  Thirteen thousand of  those patients lost their lives. Other studies have had similar results regarding the injury of patients while in hospitals. The main issue that medical malpractice attorneys are confronted with each day is whether the law is doing a good enough job to protect these patients. The law, and medical malpractice litigation, is designed to hold negligent doctors accountable while vindicating doctors who could not have done anything to avoid a bad patient outcome.

The Goals of Malpractice Law

new jersey philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys law job harvard studyThe main goal is to determine whether the law is truly holding only negligent doctors liable while finding that on occasion, bad results do occur in the medical profession even when good doctors are providing treatment. Lawyers believe that the possibility of legal resolutions and potential lawsuits should result in doctors using safer procedures, better diagnostic tests, and more extensive fact finding before providing treatment. The law should also urge doctors to follow the “customary practice” standard which would discourage doctors from using untried and dangerous treatments as opposed to what is generally acceptable in the field. Finally, it is the hope of patients and medical malpractice attorneys alike that the possibility of a lengthy litigation process will push doctors to adapt and change with the profession rather than sticking with their old ways when new approaches are readily available.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you or a family member have recently been the victim of medical negligence, it is possible that you would like to speak with our professionals. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

In order to successfully prove a medical negligence case, medical malpractice attorneys must prove that the doctor failed to live up to the appropriate standard of care. Generally, lawyers, on behalf of their clients, must call expert witnesses in order to establish the relevant standard of care that professionals are expected to fulfill. However, in many jurisdictions, plaintiffs may not need to present expert witnesses if the negligence undertaken by the doctor was “so grossly apparent, that a layman would have no difficulty recognizing it”.

When Would a Layman Recognize Medical Malpractice?

new jersey philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys common knowledge layman recognitionExpert testimony is not necessary to prove a plaintiff’s case when the negligent conduct of the doctor was a matter of common knowledge. One example that constitutes a “matter of common knowledge” is all too frequent in medical treatment today. This example involves a surgeon who negligently leaves a foreign object inside of a patient, such as a sponge, following a medical procedure. Expert testimony is not necessary to prove that the doctor breached his duty to the patient when he began the procedure. A layperson does not need advanced medical schooling and degrees to recognize that a foreign object should not be left inside of a patient following a procedure. Therefore, a jury can easily see for themselves that there was a breach of a duty resulting in medical malpractice, without the unnecessary parade of highly educated doctors at trial.
One final example came about in the Texas case of Schneider v. Haws. In that case, no expert testimony was necessary to prove medical negligence when a patient was not provided an escort or mechanism to safely return her to the waiting room. The patient ended up hitting her head due to the lack of assistance and supervision following a meeting with the doctor.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you or a family member have recently been the victim of medical negligence, it is possible that you would like to speak with our professionals. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

While pregnant, women need to be especially careful about what foods and medications that they put into their bodies. Early in the first trimester, while many women are not even aware that they are pregnant, the baby is at a heightened risk for birth defects due to medications being ingested by their mother. Our birth defects attorneys have been writing for months about the drug Topamax and its connection to cleft lip and palate birth defects.

Mothers Taking Active Ingredient in Topamax Three Times More Likely to have Children with Birth Defects

new jersey philadelphia birth defects attorneys topamax topiramate studiesA recent study called Comparative Safety of Topiramate During Pregnancy, performed by researchers from Harvard University, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, and Loyola University in Chicago, has come to the conclusion that topiramate increases chances of birth defects. According to the study, women who take the active ingredient in the medication Topamax during their first trimester of pregnancy increase the risk of their children being born with major oral birth defects. The study analyzed statistics of 6,456 pregnant women and “compared the frequency of adverse pregnancy outcomes for those who had used topiramate during their first trimester to a control group.” The results were that the children whose mothers took topiramate were almost three times more likely to be born with a birth defect, 3.8 %, than the mothers who did not, 1.3 %.

Birth Defects Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you are a pregnant and currently taking Topamax or any drug containing topiramate, speak with your doctor as soon as possible about other, safer options. If you are a parent who has recently given birth to a child who suffers from a birth defect that you believe can be attributed to a prescription drug, contact the Mininno Law Office to speak with birth defects lawyers and discuss your legal rights. You may also call for a free case evaluation and consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Recently, there has been much debate over medical malpractice lawsuits and the potential need for tort reform across the United States. Although some experts are quick to “poo-poo” medical negligence cases as attacks on medical professionals, lawyers maintain that an individual’s right to sue is part of their bigger right to compensation for losses at the hands of others. Medical malpractice attorneys will point to certain social goals that are achieved by bringing these cases, while others may counter by pointing to the increased costs, strain on the court systems, and the high prices paid by doctors for some sort of defensive insurance.

Important Social Goals of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

new jersey philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys examine pros cons litigation One major benefit of medical malpractice lawsuits is that they force healthcare providers to maintain acceptable standards of care. Doctors and nurses will be less likely to implement unsafe practices if they face a potential of being hauled into court and forced to pay for the results of their negligence. With certain reform systems suggesting a cap for damages, the maximum amount that lawsuits would be worth may not be enough to deter healthcare providers from engaging in unsafe behavior.

A second benefit is that verdicts and settlements also serve as a form of punishment. Negligent physicians should be reprimanded for their actions, but without sufficient punitive cost, no punishment is really handed down. Considering that most victims of medical malpractice will never attempt to bring a case against their doctor, negligent doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers should be forced to answer for their behavior in the event they are called on to do so.

Finally, a third social goal is the compensation of patients who have been injured by negligence. These victims are often left in worse shape after sustaining injuries due to malpractice and it is important for medical malpractice attorneys to seek the compensation necessary to make the lives of their clients as normal and fulfilling as possible.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you or a family member have recently been the victim of medical negligence, you should speak to our professionals about your legal rights. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

As nursing home abuse lawyers, we write about the many different forms of nursing home abuse in order to bring awareness to this serious issue. Most nursing home abuse cases are about abuse of power, whether that is through physical or mental terrorizing or stealing money from the patients or the facility.

Facility Administrator Received Money for False Transport Claims

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers employee arrested sugar land texasKelvin Washington, 47, who works as an administrator at a Sugar Land nursing home in Texas, was arrested on August 4, 2011 and is being charged with conspiracy, health care fraud and violations of the anti-kickback statute. He is being accused of creating a plan where he billed federal health care programs for ambulance transport and received payments totaling approximately $20,000 for referring the dialysis patients to a Houston ambulance transport service between 2003 and 2007. He allegedly conspired to have unknowing doctors sign transport prescriptions for patients who were never even admitted to the nursing home. Medicare and Medicaid were billed almost $1 million in false health care claims. The maximum penalties for a violation of the health care fraud statue in Texas is a maximum of 10 years in prison. The maximum sentence for a violation of the conspiracy statue or the anti-kickback statute is five years. Each of the 10 counts charged also carry a maximum $250,000 fine as punishment upon conviction.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you have witnessed any questionable or abusive behavior in a nursing home, directed towards your loved one or even another resident, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Medical Malpractice AttorneysRan Zhuang and her husband Zhiru Guo settled with their former doctors, nurse practitioner, and genetic counselor for 7 million dollars. The chinese couple’s medical malpractice attorneys brought the lawsuit as a result of their three year old child’s mental and physical disabilities which were the result of a birth defect. The young girl, Annie Guo, suffers from cri-du-chat (also referred to as cat cry syndrome). Frederic N. Halstrom (the plaintiff’s attorney), and many other medical malpractice attorneys in similar cases, look to bring justice to a family who faces many challenges in the years to come.

Chromosomal Abnormality was not properly Detected

Through a diagnostic process called amniocentesis, Annie Guo’s chromosomal abnormality should have been recognized. Had the abnormality been defined, the parents of the child would have been able to reflect and make a decision for their best interests in the future. The mother was not given adequate prenatal genetic counseling during her pregnancy which should be provided to all pregnant women. Had the proper tests been completed and performed properly, the parents would have been told about the potential dangers and hardships that would face the young child throughout her entire life. Armed with this information, the parents would have been in a better position to decide whether or not to terminate the pregnancy before birth, a protected liberty available to pregnant women in this country. Since the dangers were not properly recognized, the seven million dollar settlement will go towards the treatment and care of the young girl who will likely need constant medical attention for life. Medical malpractice lawyers are faced with an important challenge in these types of cases because all expectant mothers deserve to have full knowledge of their child’s health so that they can make informed decisions in everyone’s best interest.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you have recently given birth to a child who suffers from birth defects which you believe can be attributed to medical malpractice, it is likely that you have some questions. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at 856-833-0600 in New Jersey, or 215-567-2380 in Philadelphia.

The medical malpractice attorneys at the Mininno Law Office are dedicated to earning victims of medical negligence the compensation they need and deserve.

Nursing home abuse can begin as early as the hiring process. Not all states require background checks for those applying for jobs in nursing homes, and for that reason, people with criminal convictions do not have a hard time gaining employment at a nursing home or similar care facility. People with a history of assault, criminal negligence, or theft would be high risks as employees in a nursing home.

Overwhelming Frequency of Nursing Home Employees with Criminal Convictions

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers hiring employees criminal convictionAccording to the Department of Health and Human Services, over 90 percent of nursing homes in this country hire employees with criminal convictions, a huge problem in the fight against nursing home neglect. The report looked at the employees of 260 nursing homes employed on June 9, 2009 and found that 92 percent of the facilities had hired at least one employee with a criminal conviction. In fact, nearly half of the nursing homes had 5 or more employees with criminal convictions ranging from burglary to sex offenses. Forty-three states require background checks but only 10 states require both a state and FBI background check. This is necessary to find convictions in multiple states and under different names. New Jersey and Pennsylvania only require the statewide check.

This type of disregard in the hiring process leads to the hiring of inadequate and often dangerous employees in nursing homes across the country. These are often the people that are in charge of the daily needs of one of our most vulnerable populations. Do we expect a sex offender or other convicted criminal left in charge of the care of multiple patients to handle bed sores, accidents and other safety issues properly? Nursing homes are paid a lot of money to care for your loved ones, but they often hire employees that have shown a clear disregard for the rules of society. Bed sores and pressure ulcers, accidents, and other abuses such as restraints, lack of proper nutrition, and over or under-medicating are all issues in many nursing homes. Without a proper background check into possible nursing home hires, we are allowing dangerous people to care for our loved ones.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

It is important that you are a frequent and attentive visitor in order to protect your loved one from neglect and abuse, especially when the nursing home is hiring convicted criminals and charging them with your loved one’s care. Lawmakers need to pass bills to make the background checks mandatory nationwide so that the vulnerable patients are protected.
If you believe your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other long term care facility, please contact the Mininno Law Office for free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.