Photo of Michael C. Ksiazek

Mike Ksiazek is a Shareholder and member Stark & Stark’s Accident & Personal Injury Department. Mike concentrates his practice on catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims, including those caused by medical malpractice, premises liability and products liability. Mike has litigated complex cases throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey in both state and federal courts.

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

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

A new study published by the medical journal The Lancet, has revealed that sepsis accounts for 1 in 5 deaths globally. Additionally, sepsis is the most common cause of deaths in the hospital in the United States. According to the study, it is estimated that there were 48.9 million cases of sepsis in 2017, resulting in 11 million deaths. The study also found that highest incidence of sepsis occurred in children and the elderly. This is concerning because sepsis is most dangerous for these populations.

Continue Reading Sepsis Accounts for 1 in 5 Deaths, Leading Cause of Death in Hospitals

Hospital safety grades have been released for Pennsylvania Hospitals. The grades are handed out by The Leapfrog Group. The Leapfrog Group is a national non-profit organization that collects and reports hospital performance data. The organization’s mission is to improve safety, quality, and affordability of health care in the U.S.

The Leapfrog grading system rates hospitals based on incidence of infections, problems with surgeries, incidence of falls, incidence of bed sores, quality of medical staff, among other safety issues.


Continue Reading Safety Grades Released for Pennsylvania Hospitals

Stated simply, medical malpractice, or medical negligence, is medical care or treatment that falls below the accepted standard of care and causes actual harm to a patient. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the law places the burden on the patient to prove that a medical provider deviated from the standard of care and caused harm. The first part of the test, establishing the medical provider deviated from the acceptable standard of care, can be fairly straightforward and is often the easier question to analyze and answer.

Continue Reading In Medical Malpractice, “Causation” is Often the Most Difficult Element to Prove

Currently in Pennsylvania, a medical malpractice lawsuit may only be filed in the county where the alleged malpractice occurred. This more restrictive than the venue rule for other types of civil cases, which provides more flexibility and gives plaintiffs more control over where their lawsuit is filed.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Committee Considers Change to Med Mal Venue Rule

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

Telemedicine” or “Telehealth” are the terms most often used when referring to clinical diagnosis and monitoring that is delivered by technology. Telemedicine encompasses healthcare provided via real time two-way video conferencing; file sharing, including transmission of health history, x-rays, films, or photos; remote patient monitoring; and consumer mobile health apps on smart phones, tablets, and devices that collect data and transmit it to a healthcare provider. Telemedicine is increasingly being used for everything from diagnosing common viruses to monitoring patients with serious long-term health issues.

The American Telemedicine Association reports that majority of hospitals now use some form of telemedicine. Two years ago, there were approximately 20 million telemedicine video consultations; that number is expected to increase to about 160 million by 2020. An estimated one-third of employer group plans already cover some type of telehealth.


Continue Reading Telemedicine – Are There Increased Risks With Virtual Doctor Visits?

Vehicle Safety Recalls Are Often Ignored

A recent study by Carfax indicated that more than 63 million vehicles in the United States (one in four vehicles on the road) are being driven with unfixed safety recalls. J.D. Power and Associates estimated the number to be 45 million vehicles, while acknowledging the total could be higher due to older recalls that are difficult to track.

Why Are Vehicle Safety Recalls Often Ignored?

When vehicle safety recalls are delivered, many people put off addressing the issue or ignore it altogether due to inconvenience, lack of time, or perhaps not realizing the danger associated with some recalls. If they don’t own the car anymore, some prior owners just discard the notice.


Continue Reading Don’t Ignore Vehicle Safety Recalls

In the 1980s, journalists used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain data on individual cardiac surgeons’ surgical outcomes from the New York State Department of Health. A recent JAMA article discusses that type of data and takes the position that despite its limitations, the data should be publicly reported.

Debate Surrounding Reporting of Individual Surgeons’ Outcomes

The debate centers on whether data should be reported on the hospital level only or also reported as to individual surgeons.

According to the article, several objections to reporting data relating to individual surgeons have been raised.

First, an individual surgeon may perform a low number of procedures, possibly leading to an unreliable measure of performance. However, the author notes that performance can be aggregated across multiple years or a surgeon’s performance across a range of procedures can be used. Also, the data can be presented in a way that highlights the statistical limitations.


Continue Reading Should Surgical Outcomes for Individual Surgeons Be Available to the Public?