Medical Risk Law Weekly News

Week of: June 04, 2012


Posthumously Conceived Children Not Entitled to Social Security Benefits

Eighteen months after her husband’s death of cancer, a woman gave birth to twins conceived via in vitro fertilization from her husband’s frozen sperm, which he had banked prior to undergoing chemotherapy treatment. The mother applied for Social Security survivor’s benefits for the twins. The Social Security Administration (SSA) denied the application.


Intravenous Administration Sets Recalled Due To Possible Health Risk

A recall for certain lots of Curlin Intravenous Administration Sets has been issued by Moog Medical Devices Group (MMDG). Use of the affected sets may cause desanguination (blood loss), an under-delivery of prescribed medication/fluid, or a potential delay in therapy. Continued use of the affected administration sets may cause a potential risk of serious injury or death. ??

FDA to Study Reports of Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Death from Zithromax

The FDA notified healthcare professionals that it is aware of the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reporting a small increase in cardiovascular deaths, and in the risk of death from any cause, in persons treated with a five-day course of azithromycin (Zithromax) compared to persons treated with amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, or no drug. The FDA is reviewing the results from this study and will communicate any new information on azithromycin and this study or the potential risk of QT interval prolongation after the agency has completed its review.

FDA Expands Use for Panel Used to Detect Viral and Bacterial Causes of Respiratory Infection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the use for the FilmArray Respiratory Panel, the first test that can simultaneously detect both viral and bacterial causes of respiratory infection from a single sample. The expanded use of the panel adds the bacteria Bordetella pertussis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydophila pneumoniae.


Claim of Nursing Home Employee Stabbed by Resident That Employer Failed to Warn of Danger Not Subject to Malpractice Statute of Limitation

A nurse working at a nursing home was stabbed repeatedly by a resident, resulting in multiple injuries. Five years later she sued various administrators of the nursing home, alleging breach of a personal duty of care by, among other things, allowing the plaintiff to care for the resident without providing proper safeguards and failing to warn the plaintiff of the resident’s violent history and dangerous nature.

Hospital Not Liable to Intoxicated Patient Hit by a Car After Leaving Without Being Discharged

An intoxicated patient came to a hospital voluntarily seeking entry into an alcohol detoxification program. The patient left the hospital several hours later without being formally discharged. Subsequently, while attempting to cross a street, the patient was hit by a car and injured. The patient sued the hospital and examining physician, alleging that they were negligent in not involuntarily detaining him.

Evidence That Prompt Diagnosis of Post-Surgical Complication Would Have Prevented Permanent Injury Sufficient to Prove Malpractice

Immediately after spinal fusion surgery, a patient began experiencing the signs of cauda equine syndrome (CES), a compressive neuropathy involving multiple nerve roots affecting motor, sensory, bowel, bladder, and sexual function. The surgeon did not examine the patient following the surgery and did nothing for ten days, at which point a second surgery was performed. The second surgery did not provide relief. The patient was permanently disabled due to nerve damage. He sued the surgeon for malpractice, alleging, among other things, negligent post-operative care.