3 More Things to Know When Dealing with Hospitals

This is Part 2 in our 2 part series on NEED TO KNOW: Hospitals. Here is the first entry: http://gunzburglaw.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/10-hospital-mistakes-to-watch-for/

11. … and a regular room-cleaning
Typically, a room is completely washed down between patients, but if you’re there for a few days, ask that frequently touched areas be disinfected. It’s not always done but should be, says Lisa McGiffert, director of Consumer Union’s Safe Patient Project. “Everything in the room could potentially spread infection,” she says.

12. Avoid these two surprising germ magnets
The elevator: It’s a favorite shot on Grey’s Anatomy–but ever notice how no one washes her hands before pressing the buttons? When you’re up again, use a tissue when handling publicly pawed buttons and knobs.
The Healthiest Time To do Everything
Your doctor’s tie or necklace: Doctors may come into contact with all kinds of deadly germs and can spread them to you. In a 2004 study, 20 out of 40 doctors’ ties were found to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria. And a separate Emory University study found harmful staph bacteria on 17 out of 84 stethoscopes. Ask physicians to tuck dangling ties or necklaces into their coats, and have alcohol wipes at the ready to disinfect anything (like pens or medical instruments) that’s touched by many hands and may be contaminated with health hazards.

13. Prevent dangerous falls
Up to 30% of falls result in serious injury–and in hospitals, they often occur when you’re en route to the bathroom. Call for help if you’re unsteady on your feet. And even if you’re not, skidproof socks help on slippery hospital floors. Bring your own or ask an aide for a pair.

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Do Doctors Fall Asleep During Surgery?

An interesting article was published by CNN entitled “Why doctors fall asleep while treating you” – yes, this actually happens. Here’s an excerpt:

Confession: I’ve fallen asleep while operating on patients. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
No, I’ve never passed out and face-planted into a patient’s open belly. Nor have I fallen asleep in the operating room as a plastic surgeon in practice. But as a resident, I performed the dreaded head-bob several times. Here is a typical scenario:
The OR is silent, except for the rhythmic beep from the anesthesia machine. My surgical scrubs feel warm, like a pair of comfy pajamas. I sit, holding two tiny retractors, while the hand surgeon meticulously dissects the patient’s carpal tunnel. It’s a surgery I’ve assisted on dozens of times before.
I blink and try to remember what day it is. It seems like forever ago that I arrived at the hospital. In fact, it’s been more than 32 hours since my shift started. During this past day and a half, I’ve logged more than 15 hours in the OR and exactly zero minutes of sleep.

Dr. Anthony Youn is a plastic surgeon in metro Detroit.
My eyelids feel heavy, as if being pulled down by an invisible force. I begin shaking my knee up and down, an attempt to keep myself awake.
“Stay still!” the attending surgeon growls.
My knee stops.
25 shocking medical mistakes countdown
Heaviness returns to my eyelids. I’m dancing on the edge of sleep. Five minutes later, I lose the battle. My head briefly bobs down, then back up.
I immediately look around. Has anyone noticed? Apparently not the surgeon.
I look at the scrub technician, sitting to my right. She nods her head at me, knowingly. Then she digs her heel into my foot. Hard.
I suppress a yelp.
I’m awake now.

Does this shock you? Let us know what you think!

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10 Hospital Mistakes To Watch For

Here are 10 things to watch out for when dealing with hospitals! Knowledge is power!

1. If you have a choice of hospitals, ask if your doctor knows your options’ infection rates, which are measured using “catheter days,” meaning every 24 hours that a tube is inserted in a patient’s blood vessels. “The best hospitals’ rates have been zero in one thousand catheter days for a year or more,” says Dr. Pronovost. “If it’s risen above three, I’d be worried.”

2. Check your doctor’s experience
The more often a doctor has performed a procedure, the more familiar she is with its variations and complications and the higher her success rate is likely to be. Confirm that your physician is board certified in her specialty (check the American Board of Medical Specialties at abms.org), but also ask her how many times she’s treated your condition.
Secrets Your Doctor Keeps From You

3. Say no to Fridays and weekends
Weekends, nights, and holidays are not the optimal times for operations. Even the lead-up to the weekend can be problematic: “For elective surgery, avoid a Friday afternoon operation slot if possible,” advises a surgeon in a busy Midwestern hospital who asked not to be named. “The operating room staff may be fatigued and less able to concentrate then.”
It gets worse on the weekend. Stroke patients treated in hospitals on Saturday and Sunday were 16% more likely to die than those treated on weekdays, found a recent study from the University of Toronto. Staffing tends to be lighter then; getting lab results takes longer; and on-call docs have to drive in from home.
When you’re scheduling surgery, time of day matters: Ask for the second or third slot of the morning. “Any kinks in the team’s coordination or machinery are worked out, and the staff’s still well-rested,” explains Matthew Buchanan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Falls Church, VA.

4. Ask about your electronic records
Often, in a busy hospital, complicated medication orders are dictated quickly to harried staffs, so they can frequently be a source of error. If possible, use a hospital with electronic records, which can reduce prescription slipups sevenfold, according to a recent Weill Cornell Medical College study. When information is entered, the computer alerts staff to potential problems by beeping, freezing, and/or flashing a warning message to prevent improper dosages, incorrectly filled prescriptions, and dangerous drug interactions. Only 17% of hospitals have such a system for medications, but it’s worth checking for: After the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford in Palo Alto, CA, adopted one, its death rates dropped by 20%.

5. Bring your own bottles
The bottles we mean are strictly Rx. Doctors suggest you bring your actual prescriptions to the hospital–don’t just write down the names. “You cut chances of blunders such as missed doses and interactions when the staff sees what you’re taking,” says Tanya Froelich, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
6. Request a blood-clot screening
One in 100 patients admitted to a hospital dies of venous thromboembolism–a potentially deadly blood clot that forms in a vein–but half of those lives could have been saved with simple preventive measures available everywhere. When you’re admitted to the hospital, you should be screened–particularly if you’ll be recovering from cancer, heart disease, or any other major illness, says Frederick Anderson Jr., PhD, who wrote about the topic in the American Journal of Medicine. But half of at-risk patients don’t get basic clot-prevention help, such as compression stockings or heparin therapy–so double-check with your doctor that your risk has been adequately assessed and the appropriate measures taken.

7. Don’t go it alone
When you’re a patient in the hospital, you’re likely to be worried, stressed out, and under sedation at times, so it’s helpful to have your relatives and friends with you to act as your advocates. “I love it when someone close to the patient is there,” comments Ralph Brindis, MD, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “They can ask questions the patient hasn’t thought of, and–because they know their loved one–they understand what she’d be anxious or unclear about.” By acting as extra eyes and ears for you, this team can keep track of your treatment and may prevent errors that would otherwise go unnoticed.

8. Get the surgery plan (before you go under)
Your surgeon should call a time-out before your procedure so the operating team can make sure everyone knows who you are, why you’re there, and the correct site of the procedure. Things can still go wrong, however, when a surgery requires multiple incision sites or if the team skips procedural steps during an emergency. To be safe, ask your surgeon to draw the proposed incisions right on the body part that will be operated on so you can see them while you’re still awake, recommends Dr. Buchanan.

9. Don’t get shortchanged by shift changes
The chance of medical mishaps shoots up during shift changes, says Arthur Aaron Levin, MPH, director of the Center for Medical Consumers. Before your current nurse leaves, request time to review your chart and what treatment you’re supposed to get next. And meet with your new nurse, too, to ask any questions you have, advises Caitlin Brennan, RN, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

10. Demand a hand-wash
Potential for infection lurks everywhere in a hospital, so ask everyone to wash their hands before touching you. Sanitary gel dispensers should be available just outside or inside your room, but if you’re not sure they’ve been used, keep your own gel by your bedside, rub some on before shaking hands, and offer it to visitors, says Lawrence C. Chao, MD, an ophthalmologist in Irvine, CA.

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Testimonial

The mission of our New York City personal injury law firm is simple, we go the extra distance for you, above and beyond the law, to ensure that you get the answers and results you deserve. We are passionate about what we do, and we are with you every step of the way. No matter how hard defendants, their attorneys, and insurance carriers try to denigrate and destroy your claim, our New York City personal injury lawyers will stand by you all the way to the end. That’s why we’re so proud of our customer testimonials, like this one:

Early childhood is a beautiful time, but it can also be fragile. I found this out when my 2-year-old daughter tripped, fell, and broke her leg on an exposed water drainage hole located in the middle of our building’s playground. This danger was something that could have and should have been easily repaired, but management decided to ignore it. Some people would say that bumps and bruises in a playground are normal, but no mother should have to see her child suffer and go through the agony that I saw mine go through. I don’t wish that on anyone.

Fortunately, Michael Gunzburg, P.C., an experienced New York City child accident lawyer, agreed with me. Before I even hired him, he was kind enough to meet me at my local orthopedic’s office where I was bringing my daughter to have her leg, then in a cast, re-examined. I was anxious before our first meeting. Between the physical and emotional suffering both my child and I had been through since her accident, I was concerned that I would have to divert some of my attention away from helping her heal to dealing with my case’s legal proceedings. You can imagine my relief, therefore, when Michael Gunzburg, P.C., reassured me that he would take care of everything. And that he did: he took care of all the negotiations with the management company, their insurance company, and their lawyers. I was immediately impressed with his knowledge of the legal process, the court system, and how insurance carriers function. His support and focus in dealing with all of the legal matters gave me the resolve to concentrate on my daughter’s recovery. In hindsight, I am so glad I hired Michael Gunzburg, P.C.; I do not think I could have found another lawyer who would have treated me and my daughter with the same passion and legal expertise as he did.

Throughout our experience working with him, Michael Gunzburg, P.C. kept me informed about what was happening with our case, taking time out of his busy schedule to explain updates to us with patience and full disclosure. With Michael Gunzburg, P.C., I felt that I was treated like a human being. He always took my concerns to heart, and he was always willing to talk with me about them. In particular, when we were ultimately required to meet before a judge in order to resolve our case, Michael Gunzburg, P.C. turned a potentially scary experience for my little girl into a quick and painless proceeding. I was so glad that Michael Gunzburg, P.C. was looking out for us, and I’m happy with the way things turned out.

In the end, all of the settlement money is now secured for my daughter’s future, and for that I remain thankful to Michael Gunzburg, P.C. I recommend Michael Gunzburg, P.C. to any parent looking for representation for their children. As an experienced New York City Child Accident Lawyer, he will handle the law and your case while you concentrate on your child’s recovery.

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Testimonial

The mission of our New York City personal injury law firm is simple, we go the extra distance for you, above and beyond the law, to ensure that you get the answers and results you deserve. We are passionate about what we do, and we are with you every step of the way. No matter how hard defendants, their attorneys, and insurance carriers try to denigrate and destroy your claim, our New York City personal injury lawyers will stand by you all the way to the end.   That’s why we’re so proud of our customer testimonials, like this one:

When my wife got into a car accident, I thought that was bad enough. But watching her struggle through her recovery was even worse. She just wasn’t the same person afterwards. As a result of her physical injuries, she was forced to undergo multiple surgeries, procedures which limited her already compromised mobility. She couldn’t go to work, do her household chores, or engage in her normal social activities. These are things she loved to do. Soon after the accident, she grappled with night terrors, panic attacks, and insomnia. Then she fell into a deep depression, and even became suicidal. She was taking several medications a day and going to physical therapy. She also received psychiatric counseling several times a week. Our relationship began to suffer, and she withdrew from me, our family, and our friends. Worst of all, we had no idea how we were going to get our lives back.

Fortunately, during her recovery, our lawyer referred us to MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C. . At first, we were scared, as we never had a lawsuit before this one, and we were both born in the “old country.” But when we went to MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C., he made everything very simple for us to understand.

From the moment we met him, we felt comfortable with MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C. and trusted him with our case. He came to our home and spent the time needed to properly prepare us and the case for trial. He explained everything to us, including our chances of winning and losing. He was very sympathetic to our situation and never tried to mislead us or give us false hopes. He gave us his honest assessment on where our case stood, where we were going, and how he was going to get us there. Looking back, it was his honesty that was one of the most reassuring parts of the entire process.

When we went to court, we were initially terrified. But after the first day in trial, we waited everyday in anticipation as to what the next day was going to bring. The trial was like what you see on TV, but even more exciting. MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C. made a harrowing experience a lot less stressful and really championed our case into a multi-million dollar jury verdict. The most important thing to us is that my wife got her life back. That to me was worth it all. In reviewing our time together, I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience with MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C. He is a very special person to us, and we were glad he represented us in this case. We strongly recommend him to you.

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Testimonial:

The mission of our New York City personal injury law firm is simple, we go the extra distance for you, above and beyond the law, to ensure that you get the answers and results you deserve. We are passionate about what we do, and we are with you every step of the way. No matter how hard defendants, their attorneys, and insurance carriers try to denigrate and destroy your claim, our New York City personal injury lawyers will stand by you all the way to the end.   That’s why we’re so proud of our customer testimonials, like this one:

After I slipped on an unmarked wet floor, injured my knee, and underwent various repair surgeries, I thought that my case was easy to understand and should, therefore, require little effort to win from my lawyers and me. Well, a slip-and-fall case may have been easily resolvable in the past, but the same cannot be said today. Fortunately, MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C., a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer, was there both to explain to me the many complexities of my situation and to develop a strategy to fight and win my lawsuit.

Among other things, I am grateful to MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C. for giving me the opportunity to directly participate in and learn from the legal process of my case. “It was a learning experience…. Mr. Gunzburg truly valued my input throughout the case…, and it was very important to him for me to understand everything.” MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C., kept me informed every step of the way, thereby enabling me to be a real part of the case as it progressed and made its way through the court system. I’m sure other lawyers might have just pushed me aside and developed my case without consulting me, except for asking me a few initial questions. With MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C., it was totally different; I felt a strong measure of control over my case and, by extension, my future welfare.

And then there was MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C,’s legal expertise as experienced slip and fall lawyers. He really has a lot of experience which he parlayed into setting the case up for the trial before the jury. He made a great presentation at trial and he bested the defense from beginning to end. There were a few critical turning points at trial, but by the time the jury began deliberations, it was clear where they were going to end up. The only question became how much.

Looking back on my experience with MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C., and the multimillion-dollar jury award that he won, I really appreciate all the hard work that MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C. put into my case.  Winning a lawsuit does not happen overnight; any case requires profound commitment on the part of both the client and the lawyer.  You really have to act as a team.  Luckily, MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C. was always there for me; he was my team, from beginning to end. MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C., will help clear all the smoke away and will work to see justice done, just like he did in my case. Therefore, to anyone needing legal assistance, I highly recommend MICHAEL GUNZBURG, P.C., to handle your case,. In the end, I couldn’t have done any better; “…you will end up furthest ahead with Mr. Gunzburg.”

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Testimonial:

The mission of our New York City personal injury law firm is simple, we go the extra distance for you, above and beyond the law, to ensure that you get the answers and results you deserve. We are passionate about what we do, and we are with you every step of the way. No matter how hard defendants, their attorneys, and insurance carriers try to denigrate and destroy your claim, our New York City personal injury lawyers will stand by you all the way to the end.   That’s why we’re so proud of our customer testimonials, like this one:

When working construction jobs, you resign yourself even partially to the fact that anything can happen at the job site. All you can do is hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. Even then, no matter what you do, you can never really anticipate what life is going to throw at you.

When I reached for a 200-lb. bucket my co-worker let fall from a hoist, I never thought that I was going to fall off the building and incur the injuries that I did. Fortunately, my safety harness saved my life, but after a sudden and violent deceleration, I sustained injuries to my back, neck, spine, and brain. I was a mess after my accident. Physically, I required surgery and was forced to rely on countless painkillers, injections, and physical therapy sessions just to get through my day. I was also unemployed and confined to home, and my marriage started to fall apart. Emotionally, I was exhausted, depressed, and angered by my circumstances.

Confused and frustrated, I turned to New York City Construction Accident Lawyer, Michael Gunzburg, P.C. for help. Boy, am I glad I did! From the beginning, Michael Gunzburg, P.C. helped me understand my case. He was thoroughly familiar with the Labor Laws, and he told me from the onset that my case was unique in that it could lead to the making of a new law. I had no idea what to expect; before my case, I had never been involved in any sort of legal matters. However, Michael Gunzburg, P.C. sat down with me and patiently explained the legal proceedings so that I could understand everything. As a result, throughout my time working with him, I never felt neglected or ignored. On the contrary, I participated in and was informed of my case because Michael Gunzburg, P.C., took great pains to keep me involved every step of the way. I’m deeply grateful for the efforts he made to communicate with me.

Best of all, Michael Gunzburg, P.C., was there for me during the good times and the bad. When my case was initially dismissed and thrown out of court by the judge, Michael Gunzburg, P.C., balanced compassion with unrelenting determination to keep my spirits high and see that justice was done. The appeal process added an extra two years to my case, and although I felt discouraged at times, Michael Gunzburg, P.C., worked with me through it all, sharing every triumph and setback. Ultimately, his hard work paid off: we won the case on appeal, went to trial before a jury on my damages, and received a multimillion-dollar settlement from the Court.

Life is unpredictable, but fortunately, with Michael Gunzburg, P.C. on my side, it wasn’t one-sided. Although I experienced a devastating accident, I survived and was able to move on with my life because I had an attorney who didn’t give up on me or my case. Even after my case was initially thrown out, Michael Gunzburg, P.C. fought back and won me the damages I deserved. Looking back, I do not think I could have found another lawyer who would have represented me with the same compassion, conviction, and determination as he did. Someone was looking out for me up there when I found New York City Construction Accident Lawyer, Michael Gunzburg, P.C., and for that I’m thankful.

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