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Updated: Suicidal Patients Without Remedies

On April 28, 2015, the Minnesota Supreme Court granted a petition to review Binkley v. Allina Health System to decide whether hospitals are immune from suit when they choose not to hospitalize suicidal patients. As readers may recall, this case involved the death of Kirk Lloyd, age 17. On May 10, 2010, Kirk tried to commit suicide by wrapping himself in a blanket and setting it on fire. When his mother entered his bedroom, the fire was put out and Kirk assured his mother that the fire was an accident. The next day he admitted to his mother that he had in fact been attempting to commit suicide, and they went to United Hospital in St. Paul to have him admitted to the adolescent psychiatric uni

Endoscopes and Deadly CRE Infections

Over 500,000 patients per year in the U.S. undergo an endoscopic procedure to diagnose and treat certain diseases in the liver, pancreas, and bile ducts. The scopes used in these procedures--the duodenoscope--are routinely cleaned and sterilized for reuse in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, but now we have learned that these scopes can harbor deadly bacteria despite the hospital following the manufacturer's instructions. In early 2015, two patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center died after undergoing an endoscopic procedure and being exposed to carbepenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). In total, the hospital estimated that up to 179 patients may have been exposed to CR

Minnesota Medical Malpractice Cases Require Expert Support Prior to Lawsuit

Although the healthcare and insurance industry is fond of saying that anyone can start a lawsuit, this is not true for Minnesota medical malpractice lawsuits. In 1986, the Minnesota legislature enacted Minn. Stat.145.682, which requires medical malpractice claimants to obtain expert support for the claim prior to commencement of suit. When the suit is commenced, an affidavit from the claimant's attorney must accompany the Summons and Complaint which verifies under oath that a qualified expert holds the opinion that the defendant departed from the accepted standard of care and caused injury to the patient. The only exception to this rule is when expert support could not reasonably be obtained

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Copyright @ 2014, William Maddix