Medical Risk Law Weekly News

Week of: November 26, 2018

IN THE NEWS


Risk of Pain Medications Not Approved for Use with Implanted Pumps

On November 14, 2018, the FDA alerted health care providers and patients about the serious complications that can occur when using medications not approved for use with implanted pumps that deliver medication into the spinal fluid to treat or manage pain. Complications may include dosing errors, pump failure, opioid withdrawal, infection, pain, fever, vomiting, muscle spasms, cognitive changes, weakness, and cardiac or respiratory distress. Click title to continue reading...


 
MEDICAL ALERTS


First-Line Treatment for Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma

On November 16, 2018, the FDA granted Seattle Genetics expanded approval to market Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) injection in combination with chemotherapy for adult patients with certain types of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). This is the first FDA approval for treatment of newly diagnosed PTCL. The FDA used a new review program to complete the approval more quickly. Click title to continue reading...



New Drug to Treat Travelers’ Diarrhea

On November 16, 2018, the FDA authorized Cosmo Technologies, Ltd., to market Aemcolo (rifamycin), an antibacterial drug indicated for the treatment of adult patients with travelers’ diarrhea caused by noninvasive strains of Escherichia coli(E. coli), not complicated by fever or blood in the stool. Click title to continue reading...



Record Number of Tickborne Diseases in U.S. in 2017

On November 14, 2018, the CDC published new data that showed state and local health departments reported a record number of cases of tickborne disease to the CDC in 2017. Cases of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis (including Rocky Mountain spotted fever), babesiosis, tularemia, and Powassan virus disease all increased—from 48,610 cases in 2016 to 59,349 cases in 2017. These 2017 data captured only a fraction of the number of people with tickborne illnesses. Under-reporting of all tickborne diseases is common, so the number of people actually infected is much higher. Click title to continue reading...


  CASE ALERTS


ER Nurses Failed to Document Patient’s History of Brittle Bone Disease

A patient presented to the emergency room (ER) complaining of chest and back pain. The ER physician administered two EKGs. Both EKGs returned normal results. No spinal evaluation was conducted. The medical history taken in the ER failed to note that the patient suffered from osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), commonly known as brittle bone disease. The patient was discharged with instructions to follow up with a cardiologist. Click title to continue reading...



Pelvic Floor Reconstruction Complications

A patient sought care from a surgeon for ongoing stomach pain and incontinence. The surgeon diagnosed the patient with a fallen bladder. The surgeon performed pelvic floor reconstruction. Click title to continue reading...



Hospital Sues Medicaid Insurer for Failure to Reimburse ER Costs

On November 1, 2011, the Kentucky Medicaid program transitioned from a traditional fee-for-service model to a managed care model. An insurer successfully bid to be one of three managed-care organizations (MCOs) and entered into a contract with Kentucky to manage care for Kentucky Medicaid beneficiaries. Administered jointly by the federal and state governments, the Medicaid program provides health care benefits to low income individuals and families. To receive Medicaid funding, participating states must comply with federal statutory and regulatory requirements. Click title to continue reading...


FEATURE


Interrogatory Checklist: Excessive Prescribing of Opioids for Migraine

As a special feature for our Premium subscribers, we have included this checklist to be used by counsel for a defendant physician in drafting interrogatories in connection with a medical malpractice action alleging excessive prescribing of opioid medications for a migraine sufferer. In this illustrative situation, a woman suffering severe headaches, nausea, and dizziness consulted a physician. The physician diagnosed the woman with a migraine headache and prescribed opioid medication for the pain. One month later, the woman returned to the physician because the migraine pain was still impacting her ability to work. The physician increased the opioid medication dosage. The physician did not examine the woman again, but continued to renew the opioid prescription, including another dosage increase, for three years. During that time, the woman developed an opioid addiction that led to the loss of the woman’s job, estrangement of the woman from family, bankruptcy, and additional medical problems, such as low blood pressure. The woman sued the physician for malpractice. Party identifying information has been redacted to protect privacy. Click title to continue reading...