Archives for April 2014

Preventable Deaths from Medical Negligence

In a September 2013 article, the Journal of Patient Safety reported that patient deaths as a result of medical errors are on the rise. The article estimates that the range of annual premature deaths that are associated with preventable harm in hospitals is between 210,000 and 400,000. This estimate represents a significant increase from the reported range in the 1999 article To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, which estimated the annual range of premature deaths to be between 44,000 and 98,000.

39169436These articles and the research behind them point to a harsh and unfortunate reality: our health care system is not safer and is failing to take necessary steps to prevent death and serious injury resulting from medical mistakes. In fact, the problem has gotten much worse. An increase of between 400 and 500 percent in 15 years in the number of preventable deaths from human error is totally unacceptable. In 1999, the authors of To Err Is Human outlined several steps recommended by the Quality of Healthcare in America Committee of the Institute of Medicine to improve safety and help decrease the number of preventable deaths and injuries. Some of these suggestions seem obvious, such as implementing better hygiene and patient safety protocols for the delivery of care to reduce mistakes such as preventable infections and medication errors. Apparently, either these suggestions have not been implemented industry-wide or they have been ineffectively implemented.

Perhaps the health care industry as a whole should revisit the original strategy for the improvement of care proposed by the Institute of Medicine.  That proposal included a four-tiered approach, which included:

  • Establishing a national focus to create leadership, research, tools, and protocols to enhance the knowledge base about safety.
  • Identifying and learning from errors by developing a nationwide public mandatory reporting system and by encouraging health care organizations and practitioners to develop and participate in voluntary reporting systems.
  • Raising performance standards and expectations for improvements in safety through the actions of oversight organizations, professional groups, and group purchasers of health care.
  • Implementing safety systems in health care organizations to ensure safe practices at the delivery level.

For the victims of medical mistakes and their families, the devastating losses associated with these errors such as overdosing patients and other medication errors, surgical mistakes, and acting on incomplete or incorrect patient health histories, do not make sense. How does one come to accept that their loved one’s death was the result of an error? How does one recover from such a devastating and preventable loss?

Atlanta law firm, Brownstein and Nguyen, has first hand knowledge and experience in working with families who have suffered tragic losses from preventable deaths and serious injuries due to medical mistakes. We are dedicated to advocating for families and loved ones who suffer. For more information about medical malpractice and negligence cases, click here. Contact us today for a free consultation and case review.

Immigration: Reform or Not, We are Here to Help

For the past several years, immigration reform has been a hot topic in our country as evidenced by frequent news headlines and reports about the many individuals and families caught in the middle. The general consensus seems to be that changes to current immigration policy and laws are needed. Some reforms – including a path to citizenship for those who entered or stayed in the United States illegally but have become productive members of society – even have broad support. Unfortunately, however, the political stalemate in Washington has prevented legislation from being enacted. For the countless immigrants seeking to become citizens or who are facing possible deportation, change cannot come soon enough.

Immigration Law-AtlantaImmigration laws and procedures are not simple, but rather are extremely complicated. For those needing relief, the U.S. immigration system is daunting and should not be faced alone. At Brownstein & Nguyen, our attorneys are intimately familiar with the many complex aspects of immigration law and the legal process involved. Even within the current system, that can seem overwhelming and often leads to harsh and unintended results, we can make a difference for clients. While we may not be able to effect broader changes in policy or the law, over the years we have successfully helped thousands of clients to fulfill their dreams of living and prospering in our great nation.

For example, we have helped individuals and families seeking to enter or stay in the United States by obtaining the appropriate type of visa. Visas mean all the difference in the world for so many, as families can be reunited, students can gain college educations, and gainful employment can be legally obtained.

An opinion piece in USA today gave a Last Call for Obama on Immigration Reform. At Brownstein and Nguyen, we are here to help those in need to navigate an immigration system waiting for change, so they can improve the quality of their lives and their families’ futures.

For more information on immigration issues, please feel free to read through the information found in our Immigration Practice pages. If you or someone you know is experiencing an immigration problem or has an immigration question, please do not hesitate to contact our Atlanta immigration specialists at Brownstein and Nguyen.

Healthcare-Associated Infections

Hospital care is often required for those who are ill or injured. However, there are unseen dangers involved in our healthcare system according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This report detailed the prevalence of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) that can be contracted during the course of hospital care.

Hospital infections and medical malpracticeIt is amazing that in 2014 it is still possible to contract an infection as a result of a lack of hand washing. However, the numbers reported in recent studies show that healthcare-associated infection is more than just a possibility – it is a danger all hospital patients face. According to CDC Director Tom Freyden, more than 200 Americans will die each day as a result of an infection contracted during a hospital stay. Freyden goes on to state: “The most advanced medical care won’t work if clinicians don’t prevent infections through basic things such as regular hand hygiene. Health care workers want the best for their patents; following standard infection control practices every time will help ensure their patient’s safety.”

The Multistate Point-Prevalence Survey of Healthcare-associated Infections, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reports the most common infections related to hospitalization. These include pneumonia, surgical site infections, gastrointestinal infections, urinary tract infections, and bloodstream infections. While not all of these infections result in death, it is certain that these infections make recovery from surgery, illness, or other reasons involving hospitalization, more difficult.

Infections that result from a lack of hand washing and other preventive measures or safety issues such as unsterilized equipment, unsafe handling of blood and other substances, etc. may fall in the category of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice claims in Georgia are difficult to pursue, but the attorneys at Brownstein and Nguyen in Atlanta have extensive experience in litigating these types of cases. If you or someone you know has suffered from a serious infection as a result of medical malpractice or negligence, contact our Georgia malpractice attorneys for a free consultation today.

What is Removal?

Removal, formerly known as deportation, refers to the removing of a non-U.S. citizen from the United States and their return to their home country.

Why might an individual be removed from the United States?

An individual may be removed from the United States for several different reasons. These reasons include a person illegally entering the United States, legally entering the United States but staying beyond the allowable time stated on a visa, or if an individual committed a crime or crimes that would be grounds for removal.

 Removal and Deportation Law Specialists in AtlantaHow is removal determined?

Removal is determined in part through removal proceedings. Removal proceedings are now used in place of deportation proceedings. Removal proceedings are started when a respondent (the person involved in the removal proceeding) is contacted with a Notice to Appear. A Notice to Appear contains a list of numbered allegations that are factual against the respondent. A typical Notice to Appear my include statements such as:

1.  You are not a citizen or resident of the United States

2.  You are a citizen and national of [respondent’s alleged home country]

3.  On [date], you pled guilty to [citation to criminal statute or statutes] or

You were admitted to the United States on [month], [day] [year] as a B visitor for a period not to exceed 180 days.

4.  Under Section 238 of the Immigration & Nationality Act, you committed an aggravated felony rendering you removable, or you remained in the United States beyond your term of admission.

Removal proceedings are typically initiated upon the arrest or detention by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) of someone with an outstanding immigration hold or who is suspected by the government of being removable.

What should I do if I am detained by ICE or receive a Notice to Appear?

If you, a family member or loved one receive a Notice to Appear or are detained by ICE for removal proceedings, you should contact Atlanta, Georgia immigration lawyers at Brownstein and Nguyen. With over 20 years of experience in immigration law, we are knowledgeable and can aggressively represent clients in removal proceedings and all other aspects of immigration law.