Women’s Health and Medical Malpractice
A Concerning Trend In Preventable Medical Errors
According to research published by Johns Hopkins University (2016), more than 250,000 people across the United States die annually as a result of what were deemed to be preventable medical errors.
How serious is this revelation? Deaths due to medical malpractice or preventable errors have risen to become the THIRD leading cause of death across the United States, coming in just behind heart disease and cancer.
Medical Malpractice and Women’s Health
What Is Medical Malpractice?
By legal definition, medical malpractice is a form of negligence marked by omissions, efforts, delayed or incorrect diagnosis, and/or a systemic breakdown of medical care or protocol that results in patient injury or death.
Affected individuals and/or families may file civil lawsuits seeking compensation for medical expenses (now and in the future), pain and suffering, financial loss and more.
Why Are Women at High Risk of Medical Malpractice?
Women are, unfortunately, at a higher risk of medical malpractice across a wide range of clinical settings.
Gender Bias Against Women
Despite good intentions, the healthcare system in the USA has a gender bias problem, ranging from diagnosis to treatment and even device manufacturers rushing unsafe devices to market.
The Public Library of Science, in 2015, found that women are more likely to experience a longer waiting period for diagnosis than their male counterparts. The same study revealed that the duration between onset of symptoms and an official diagnosis for 6 of 11 common cancers was statistically longer for women than men, indicating that women’s symptoms are more often overlooked by doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Several other studies reveal similarly troubling results. Consider an article in Social Science & Medicine that found “depression may be misdiagnosed in 30 to 50 percent of female patients.”
Medical Malpractice Related to Pregnancy
It may come as a surprise that maternal morbidity and death rates remain shockingly high across the USA. In 2018, the Commonwealth Fund found that out of the highest eleven countries in terms of income rates, US women had the greatest risk of dying from complications related to pregnancy.
Another study released by the Illinois Department of Public Health looked at data between 2008-2016 and found that an average of 73 women died within one year of pregnancy. The study further found that 72% of these deaths were considered preventable. These stats are similar across the United States, ringing alarm bells for those impacted.
Unsafe Devices and Medications
The multibillion-dollar health products and medical device industry for women are driven as much by corporate profits as it is by medicine and care. This sometimes results in faulty or unsafe products making it to market, making women increasingly susceptible to injury and death as a result of medical care.
According to the American Association for Justice, women “have suffered disproportionately from the effects of dangerous and defective drugs” throughout modern history.
Transvaginal Mesh Cases
To date, more than 107,000 lawsuits have been filed in US courts, alleging that transvaginal mesh is responsible for causing a myriad of medical complications including but not limited to infection, bleeding, pain, autoimmune issues and organ perforation.
To date, one of the largest settlements in a class action involving 20,000 cases was reached for $830 million.
Although the FDA halted sales of transvaginal mesh in 2019, many women are still experiencing complications to this day. Once a heralded treatment for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, transvaginal mesh implants quickly became a headline, causing a wide range of problems for women across the country.
Claims made against manufacturers assert that those companies producing the mesh devices “had a legal duty to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their pelvic mesh products” but instead provided patients with “false and misleading information” regarding the safety and efficacy of these devices.
If you or a loved one have experienced any type of complication as a result of using transvaginal mesh, reach out to our law firm today for a free consultation to see if you have a claim we can pursue. If your case is a good fit, we’ll do what we do best; hold big pharma and medical companies responsible. You deserve to have your story heard, and compensation for your injuries.
Talcum Powder Cases
Claims made against talcum powder manufacturers claim that these manufacturers had knowledge that their products were contaminated with asbestos and that this posed an increased risk for ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
To date, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson as well as other manufacturers.
The onslaught began when a news story broke on Reuters, late 2018. This report alleged that J&J knew for decades that its talcum powder-based baby powder product line was contaminated by asbestos, but failed to publicly disclose this.
Although J&J issued a ‘voluntary’ recall in 2019, the damage they left in light of these new revelations spanned lifetimes.
To date, thousands of claimants have won significant verdicts into the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars. The largest single verdict on record is for $4.7 billion awarded to 22 women who claimed that J&J’s talc powder directly contributed to and caused their ovarian cancer.
If you or a loved one used talcum powder daily or routinely, and have developed cancer or other illnesses, reach out to our firm for a free initial consultation and to see if you too may be owed compensation for damages.
Breast Cancer: False Positives and False Negatives with dire consequences
The delayed diagnosis of breast cancer is a devastating mistake that often results in the death of patients who may have otherwise had hope for remission and recovery.
According to the CDC, cancer ranks as the second leading cause of death in the USA, with breast cancer ranking as the second most common cancer among women.
Despite it’s prevalence, screening is often inadequate, and diagnosis prolonged. According to a U.S. News report, an estimated 13% of conventional mammogram screenings in the USA inaccurately diagnosed breast cancer. This leads to a greater number of both false negatives as well as false positives, both of which can have dire consequences.
False positives can put undue psychological stress on the patient while subjecting them to unnecessary, risky and invasive diagnostic procedures, while false negatives can delay critical treatment.
Misinterpretation of Cervical Cancer
According to the American Cancer Association, each year more than 4,200 women across the United States die from cervical cancer. However, many claims have been made as to the number of mistakes that are made with regards to diagnosis, raising concerns and putting patients at risk.
Medical Malpractice: Fighting “Big Pharma” and “Big Medical”
Taking on big healthcare or pharmaceutical corporations can be a daunting thought and a hurdle that takes significant resources to overcome.
This is why our team takes on cases on a ‘contingency’ basis, meaning that our clients are able to leverage the full weight and resources of our entire law firm, without paying a dime unless and until we win them a verdict or settlement.
If a woman in your life has been impacted by medical malpractice, don’t let them fight this alone. Our caring and compassionate personal injury attorneys are ready to fight hard for the justice and compensation they deserve.
Call today for a free initial consultation and to learn more about the options you may have to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.