Possible New Liability for Physicians

Operation in ProgressHuh? That was my response when I read a recent article describing a possible new liability. The article detailed a medical device company suing a physician for wrongfully using their product. The doctor implanted a pain pump in a patient’s shoulder to administer pain medication directly into the patient’s shoulder joint. The patient developed chondrolysis. The physician was unaware that the pain pump was not FDA approved for the way he used it. The device company says that he should have read the product’s latest instructions, which included a warning about using the device with certain anesthetics. The physician was unaware that new instructions had been issued since he started using the product.

This new liability is nuts, right? We shall see, as the case is on-going. There’s always something new to worry about in the world of health care liability… That’s what keeps us going here –always trying to stay up on the literature, the trends and the cases –all to make sure that we here at MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com know what our physicians are worried about and the best ways to help our physicians stay protected.

But, this cases raises important questions about a possible new liability –who is responsible for updates to a product or medication? Is it the company’s responsibility to make sure physicians are aware of updates to their products? Or are physicians expected to keep up with the products and medications they use and prescribe? Is this new liability just another form of being expected to “keep up with the literature” and the current practice of medicine?

If the physician loses in this lawsuit, it sets a very scary precedent for physicians and opens up a new liability. We here at MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com will be awaiting the outcome and will keep you posted.

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