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Jeff Krawitz is a Shareholder and member of Stark & Stark’s Accident & Personal Injury Group.

With summer being officially over, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has received the August reports of nursing home inspections. These inspection reports include information on patient care and building inspections. If a facility is not following regulations during the inspection, the facility will be cited. The facility must then submit a plan of action in order to correct the issues that were found during the inspection, including a completion date of the corrections. The Department of Health will then conduct a surprise follow-up inspection to ensure the issues have been resolved. The inspection reports are posted to the Department of Health’s website 41 days after they are completed.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania Department of Health August Report Provides Insight on Nursing Home Updates

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has reported that a Beaver County, PA rehabilitation facility gave the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine to more than 200 of its residents without approval from the Department of Health.

Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, in Brighton, PA, has had one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the state. Reports state that due to Covid-19, Brighton has had more than 300 resident cases, over 100 staff cases, and 73 resident deaths. In a wrongful death lawsuit filed earlier this year, the family of a Brighton staff member who died of Covid-19 alleged that the virus had spread through the facility unchecked.


Continue Reading Pennsylvania Rehab Facility with Covid-19 Outbreak Gave Residents Hydroxychloroquine Without Approval

COVID-19 is causing more than public health and economic issues in the United States.

A July 16, 2020 report in the Wall-Street Journal reported on new proposed legislation that would address liability issues in COVID-19 patient care. As cases continue to spike across the country, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) are working on a measure that would give federal courts jurisdiction over personal injury and medical liability claims due to COVID-19.


Continue Reading Senate Aims for Federal Jurisdiction Over COVID-Related Personal Injury and Medical Liability Claims

The birth of a child is an opportunity for joy and excitement, as well as a little anxiety for new parents. After all, the birth process can be scary, especially given the rising maternal mortality rate in the United States. Although no parents want to deal with a medical malpractice suit as part of their post-birth plan, it is sometimes necessary to bring them the closure they deserve when the mother or baby suffers harm.

Continue Reading FTCA, Minority Tolling, and the Challenges of the Statute of Limitations

One of the great responsibilities entrusted to doctors is the ability to prescribe medications to patients. These medications range from relatively benign controlled substances, such as Ambien, to ones that carry major risks for patients if misused, such as Oxycodone.

This responsibility is one that should be wielded carefully by doctors, especially considering the ongoing opioid addiction epidemic across the United States. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths in 2016. Of those deaths, an estimated 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid.


Continue Reading Doctor Fraud: False Claims and Controlled Substances an Ongoing Problem for the Medical Industry

The ER is a daunting place – and lately, the anxiety of an unexpected health problem has been compounded by the hazards associated with overcrowding. ER visits across the country reached a 10-year high in 2015, and in 2016, there were 145.6 million ER visits, with 12.6 million of them leading to hospital admission. These numbers have a significant impact on quality of care – and the resulting mistakes and lack of adequate attention are putting patients at risk.

Continue Reading Hospital and ER Overcrowding Leads to Increased Patient Risk

The June 2017 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control included a report from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) which described 23 infants in their intensive care unit (ICU) who contracted eye infections after eye examinations. In the report, CHOP attributed the cause of the outbreak to some medical staff not wearing gloves, and a “lack of standard cleaning practices” of equipment used in the exams.

This outbreak occurred in August 2016, and a recent lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a family who alleges their premature baby died as a result of her contracted infection at CHOP in September 2016. The premature infant had been transferred to CHOP in July, and by mid-August had tested positive for infection with an adenovirus and was suffering from respiratory symptoms. She eventually developed a bacterial infection on top of the viral illness, and died on September 11, 2016.


Continue Reading 23 Infants Contracted Infections at CHOP

Winter is coming – and with it comes snow, sleet, and freezing rain. In the Philadelphia area, the average yearly snowfall is 22.4 inches.

Winter driving is dangerous. According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 116,000 Americans are injured and over 1,300 are killed on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement every winter. Pennsylvania is one of the top five deadliest states for wintertime car accidents, often caused, at least in part, by poor visibility and road conditions. Be careful out there!

Another hazard, a preventable hazard, is also part of winter driving. While viewed by many as a harmless prank, PennDot cautions against throwing snowballs at cars due to the risk of causing an accident. A snowball thrown at a car can break a car’s windshield or cause a car accident by distracting the driver or causing the driver to swerve into adjacent or oncoming vehicles, or even pedestrians.


Continue Reading Don’t Throw Snowballs (or Rocks) at Cars!

The FDA has issued a safety alert to consumers involving several dietary supplements including Rhino 7, Papa Zen, Fifty Shades, and Grande X. The safety alert warns consumers that the products may include undeclared active prescription drug ingredients.

The products are labeled as a dietary supplement and each is packaged as a blister pack capsule. Product names and lot numbers are available in the FDA’s safety alert.

Voluntary Recall of Dietary Supplements

Gadget Island, Inc. is voluntarily recalling the dietary supplements at the consumer level. The products have been found to contain undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients – sildenafil, desmethyl carbodenafil, and tadalafil.


Continue Reading FDA Issues Warning About Dietary Supplements Containing Active Drug Ingredients

After the sudden deaths of five people following the placement of inflated silicone balloons in their stomachs to treat obesity, the Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to health care providers on August 10, 2017, warning of potential risks associated with the intragastric balloons. All five reported deaths happened within one month of the procedure, with three of the five people dying one to three days after the procedure. The agency said two more death reports happened within the same time frame and may be related to complications from the balloon treatment. The agency has not yet determined whether any of the deaths were directly related to either the devices or the insertion procedures.

Potential Risks of Intragastric Balloons

One risk is over-inflation. Overinflation may occur when the intragastric balloon inflates with more fluid or with air after placement in the patient’s stomach. Overinflation symptoms include abdominal swelling, severe abdominal pain, breathing problems, and vomiting. Acute pancreatitis is a separate type of risk, caused when the balloons compress other gastrointestinal structures. Symptoms include back and abdominal pain.

Both types of complications can happen within days of the procedure and may require doctors to remove the devices.


Continue Reading FDA Issues Warning Letter Concerning Stomach Balloons Used to Treat Obesity