Medical Technology and the Law

on August 27, 2015

superbug

Every year countless Americans undergo some type of medical procedure. Procedures are now less invasive and recovery time has been drastically reduced. This change can be attributed, in part, to advances in medical technology, including the increased utilization of medical devices. Technology is becoming “smarter” and devices used in surgery and other procedures are designed with outstanding intricacy. Sophisticated as this technology may be, the possibility for fault remains.

The recent outbreaks of a highly resistant bacteria in hospitals around the country has been blamed on a single medical device, a scope used in procedures to diagnose diseases of the liver, the bile duct, and the pancreas. The bacteria, Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE, is called a “superbug” because of its difficulty to treat and high fatality rate.

The duodenoscope in question is designed in such a way that a thorough cleaning is difficult, if not, impossible. The highly resistant bacteria involved in the most recent outbreaks, it is said, was allowed to harbor in hard to reach areas inside the scope. Bacteria that is harbored can be transmitted during endoscopic procedures. Various manufacturers produce the same device. Criticism has been aimed not only at Olympus but at regulators including the Federal Drug Administration {FDA} for failure to act more promptly when warnings surfaced about this and other questionable medical instruments.

Some lawmakers have questioned the FDA’s regulatory practice. In a startling admission the FDA confirmed that this particular model has been on the market since 2010 without government approval. It is not uncommon for Medical devices such as the aforementioned scope to reach the market stage without first undergoing the type of in depth scrutiny that would likely detect inherent design flaws or other problems with a device.

It appears that efficacy is being put ahead of safety. Numerous other faulty medical devices have caused substantial harm, even death, to many. Power morcellators, used for fibroid removal and hysterectomies, have been implicated in the spread of uterine cancer. Subsequent to reports of this, the FDA issued a warning against the use of the device, and many hospitals, including Temple University in Philadelphia, have outright banned the instrument.

The Journal of the American Medical Association {JAMA} Oncology claims that women who undergo morcellation for hysterectomies have increased risk for undetected cancer than women who undergo fibroid removal. Morcellators shred fibroid tissue, and the shredded tissue is disseminated throughout the body, potentially spreading cancer.

Implants have also been implicated in a number of cases. An expansive recall of artificial knee implants was prompted when it was discovered that the implants were flawed. A recent 9.2 million-dollar verdict was awarded to a man who suffered permanent injury due to a faulty hip implant. Argument in this case reiterated that more adequate testing would have exposed the faulty design that caused such an injury.

If part of the aim of medical innovation is to produce more expeditious results, the safety and well being of the patient must not be compromised in the process. Along with faulty medical devices, improperly administered medications can be harmful, if not, fatal. Albert Einstein noted the danger of technology when technology exceeds our humanity. The benefit of mankind should always be the goal of technology and the goal of medicine. Once this aim is relinquished, the fault is availed to others to remedy. The Law and its noble representatives have always answered the call of the injured and harmed. The efforts of lawyers whose clients have been harmed by faulty medical products and medical negligence will be the spark that brings about the change that will protect others from future harm.

Call Pasquale E. Bianculli, Esquire PC personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia at (215) 339-5222 for a free confidential consultation.

Visit my website www.pebesq.com for additional information.

 

 

adminpebMedical Technology and the Law

Breaking the Silence of an Epidemic

on August 13, 2015

The rash of retirements that shook up the N.F.L. last year brought the topic of concussions and brain injury into the public’s attention. Many of these players were still in the prime of their careers and their decisions were preemptive. A link between football related head injury and brain damage has been actively debated for years. As much as the subject has been in the news and discussed, most people, however, are either misinformed or have only a cursory understanding of brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an external force disrupts brain functioning. TBI can occur after a single incident or as a result of repetitive trauma, as is the case, it is believed, with football players and other athletes. Although TBI has been frequently associated with athletic sports, particularly football, the highest incidence of TBI occurs outside of sports. Injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents, especially whiplash, as well as slip and falls in the workplace account for the majority of TBI cases.

The prevalence of TBI outside of sports is inarguably a glaring fact, and one that should be soundly heeded. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention every year approximately 1.5 million people in the United States suffer a brain injury. The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair determined that brain injury is the leading cause of death/ disability for people under 45 years old and that a brain injury occurs every 15 seconds. Approximately 5.5 million people are struggling every day with a disability caused by TBI.

Also, part of the complexity of TBI is its elusive nature. Symptoms, after an accident, an injury, or exposure to noxious chemicals may not surface until days, even weeks, after the incident. Additionally, the injured person in light of his/ her injury may be impaired in their thinking and unable to adequately assess their own health. This makes it imperative for the injured person’s caregiver/ loved-one to be cognizant of symptoms indicative of TBI. The symptoms include, but are not limited to, dizziness and confusion, clumsiness, fatigue, changes in mood or personality, heightened emotions, sadness and depression.

The sooner the diagnosis the better will be chances of a full recovery. Not all the test that are generally administered subsequent to an accident or injury are able to survey the full extent of the brain. The right tests need to be given at the right time. When the brain is involved, any and all delay is consequential. TBI is medically complex and its proper care and treatment demands a medical specialist who is intimately familiar with this type of injury/ condition.

If a TBI is the result of negligence of any kind, a lawsuit and/ or legal proceedings will follow. A lawsuit involving TBI demands a legal professional who is conversant with the issue and who will obtain maximum success while safeguarding the physical and emotional well being of his or her client. Once an injury to you or a loved one occurs the most prudent response is to contact a physician who specializes in this area of medicine. Also, for all your legal needs, it’s imperative to contact an attorney who possesses both the knowledge and compassion to guide you through this very difficult process.

Visit my website www.pebesq.com for additional information.

Call Pasquale E. Bianculli, Esquire PC personal injury law firm in Philadelphia at (215) 339-5222 for a free confidential consultation.

(Photo from Associated Press)

 

 

 

adminpebBreaking the Silence of an Epidemic

Pasquale E. Bianculli Esquire, PC launches in 2015

on July 6, 2015

Dear Friends,

I have been an attorney for over 23 years. I am licensed in both Pennsylvania and NewJersey. My law firm, Pasquale E. Bianculli Esq., PC focuses on construction and workplace accidents, wrongful deaths, slip, trip and fall accidents, electrical accidents,motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and social security disability.

Prior to becoming an attorney I worked in the construction industry for 18 years in various capacities. While working during the day, I attended law school at night. I have served as an attorney for the Supervising Judge of the Family Court and Administrative Judge of Civil Trial Division in the First Judicial District. As Director of Jury Operations for Administrative Judge of Civil Division I spearheaded an effort to reconceptualize the functions of the Jury system and the experiences of the juror.

Since 2003 I have served as counsel for IBEW Local 98. The experiences I have accumulated working in the construction industry and in the capacity as an attorney has given me an intimate knowledge of workplace safety and the keen perspicacity to determine negligence in all areas of personal injury matters.

My collaboration with the personal injury law firm Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky has resulted in the recovery of millions of dollars including a recent precedent setting settlement in Philadelphia.

In an effort to expeditiously provide thorough legal services to Unions and the Members,I cofounded Union Services Access {USA} and presently serve as Vice President. In 2014, I received the Peggy Browning Award in recognition of my achievements as an attorney.

I am always available to help you with your legal needs and make sure your rights are protected.

Please visit my website to learn more: http://www.pebesq.com

adminpebPasquale E. Bianculli Esquire, PC launches in 2015

Pat Bianculli obtains landmark $17 million settlement for family of electrician killed in crane hook accident

on August 11, 2014

Pasquale Bianculli recently achieved a $17,000,000 settlement for the family of an electrician who was tragically killed on the job. This was the largest reported settlement of a wrongful-death case in Philadelphia County history.

To learn more, read this featured article from The Legal Intelligencer.

Legal Intelligencer Article 3

adminpebPat Bianculli obtains landmark $17 million settlement for family of electrician killed in crane hook accident