Tag Archives | Health

Lessons from Medical Litigation of Dentists

Back in June of 2013, I discussed in the post Lessons from Medical litigation in oral surgery practice several lessons that can be learned upon exploring lawsuits occurring in an oral surgery setting. An interesting post on the same topic but applied to dentists as a whole was just written earlier today in DrBicuspid, titled “When a dentist becomes the defendant,” by Meghan Guthman (October 7, 2013, source: http://www.drbicuspid.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=pmt&pag=dis&ItemID=314397&wf=1660“) Apparently this article was already written in the American Student Dental Association in their summer 2013 issue and was just a reprint. The article discusses some data gathered by Medical Protective which is a malpractice insurance company. Their data shows that the average payment to a plaintiff in a dental malpractice lawsuit is $65,000. Around 20% of their dental malpractice cases between 2003 and 2012 involved a tooth extraction with the average compensation to the patient reported at $48,600. A case study of an extraction related dental malpractice case is provided where a dentist failed to obtain adequate radiographs showing the entire tooth and it’s bulbous root. The article provides a figure by Medical Protective which shows that dental implant malpractice cases have the highest payouts with the average compensation being over […]

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Upcoming Changes to JOMS and AAOMS in 2014

I wanted to update readers on some of the upcoming changes which will be taking place in the world of oral and maxillofacial surgery in 2014. The first change has to deal with JOMS (Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery). These updates are addressed in the editorial in the September 2013, JOMS, by  James Hupp titled, “The Journal’s Performance and Upcoming New Features” (J Oral Maxillofac Surg., vol. 71, pp. 1481-1483, 2013). In brief, JOMS has managed to decrease the time it takes to get accepted in the journal from 12 to 18 months to just 3 to 6 months. This improves the time for new updates to permeate throughout the field. Furthermore, when articles are accepted they are available rapidly for viewing online (although editing still has to occur). Several interesting developments are occurring: A) Soon, AAOMS Press Releases will be developed for selected articles in JOMS. A press release will be written by AAOMS staff and allow for wider dissemination of ideas to the general public. B) A new perspectives section will be included “It will offer essays written on topics of interest to our specialty, including health policy, clinical controversies, and education and research matters, as examples.” […]

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Unsafe Injection Practices Plaque U.S. Outpatient Facilities

In a post last year I discussed how an Oral Surgeon Investigated for Reusing Needles and Syringes. In a recent article in JAMA titled “Unsafe Injection Practices Plague US Outpatient Facilities, Harm Patients,” Bridget M. Kuehn discusses many problems with injection practices (December 26, 2012,Vol 308, No. 24, pp. 2551-2552). She describes how hepatitis C virus was contracted by 2 patients who received an epidural injection from a pain management clinic. “During the visit, they observed the physician who treated both patients withdrawing medication from a multiple-dose vial with a previously used syringe topped with a new needle, a breach of safe injection practices that may have contaminated the vial and exposed subsequent patients to potential blood-borne infections.” This led to 8,000 patients who were treated at the clinic to be tested and 8 additional cases of hepatis C to be found. A few large studies have explored the issue of lapses in infection control and have showed that they happen in more than 40% of all surgery clinics.  The article states “Michael Bell, MD, associate director for infection control in the CDC’s [US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] division of health care quality promotion, was frank in his […]

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The Immune System in Critically Ill Children with Influenza

An interesting article discussed the results of a study looking at the immune system in critically ill children. The article describes a study published in early 2013 in the January issue of Critical Care Medicine. Recent evidence indicates that the suppression of innate immune system function can occur in critically ill patients. In this study patients with innate immune suppression produced reduced amounts of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α  when their blood is stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The article states “Results indicated that despite high levels of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines, critically ill children with influenza demonstrated lower TNFα production capacity compared with healthy control subjects. Further, children who died from influenza had markedly lower TNFα production capacity compared with survivors.” Hence this study suggests that the reduction of immune function in these children who are critically ill may make them more prone to death. Hence, this suggest that therapies developed to target the immune system could potentially be an effective treatment for individuals who are critically ill. Investigators from 15 different children medical centers helped conduct this study. Typically the immune function is not measured in patients with influenza. Source: “Study: Monitoring of Immune Function in Critically Ill Children with Influenza Reveals […]

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Systematic Review of Prophylactic Extraction of Third Molars: From Brazil

Many reviews have been conducted in recent years to determine if healthy third molars (known as wisdom teeth) should be prophylacticly extracted as in removed before causing problems. A new study by Moacir Guilherme da Costa and four other researchers titled “Is there justification for prophylactic extraction of third molars? A systematic review,” appears in Braz Oral Res., (São Paulo) 2013 Mar-Apr;27(2):183-8. The article discusses how in the United States roughly 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted from around 5 million individuals each year. The article discuss how several reasons are usually given for extracting wisdom teeth pericoronitis periodontal defects in the distal region of the second molar caries in the third or second molars different types of odontogenic cysts and tumors crowding of the lower incisors indications for orthodontic, prosthetic or restorative purposes The authors state how the majority of dental surgeons feel when there is clinical, radiological or laboratorial evidence of acute or chronic periodontitis, caries, pericoronitis, harmful effects on second molars or disease the removal of third molars is justified. The authors mentioned how several controversies arise surrounding removing healthy asymptomatic wisdom teeth including inadequate study designs small sample size insufficient monitoring time methodological flaws Hence the […]

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