Navigation Links
New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Recommends Cancer Patients Take Precautionary Steps Before Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Richard Gurfein, regarded as one of the best medical malpractice attorneys in New York, and a former president of The New York State Trial Lawyers Association, urges cancer patients to talk to their doctor about the benefits and risks of radiation therapy before undergoing treatment. Mr. Gurfein offers patients helpful tips on how to evaluate the treatment they are getting, how to discuss the details of their treatment plan with their radiation oncologist and how to learn as much as they can about the quality assurance checks and balances at the clinic, or hospital, where they are being treated.

New York, NY (PRWEB) March 29, 2010 -- More than half of all people with cancer undergo some form of radiation therapy. And while treatment errors are rare -- occurring in only about 50-to-100 times per million courses of treatment -- one New York medical malpractice attorney urges patients to talk with their doctor about the benefits and risks of radiation therapy before beginning treatment.

“As is the case with any medical procedure,” advises Richard Gurfein, senior partner of Gurfein Douglas, a New York personal injury and medical malpractice law firm, “a patient should make themselves knowledgeable in the area in which they are about to undergo treatment.”

While serious radiation injuries are still infrequent, Gurfein said every patient should discuss the details of the treatment plan with their radiation oncologist and learn as much as they can about the quality assurance checks and balances at the clinic, or hospital, where they are being treated.

“Even one error is too many,” he said. “A machine designed to deliver high-powered beams of radiation to specific parts of a patient’s body requires years of education, experience and skill to operate properly to prevent an overdose and other severe radiation-related injuries.”

Further, Gurfein recommends that once the treatment begins, patients should stay actively involved in their therapy -- which is administered 5-to-7 times per week for multiple weeks -- to be sure that doctors, therapists and nurses are conducting regular quality assurance checks to be sure the patient is getting the right treatment.

There are a number of steps, Gurfein explained, that have to take place before radiation therapy for cancer is started. First, a filter must be designed for each individual patient to ensure that radiation prescribed in the treatment plan will indeed hit the intended targets, and block unwanted radiation from reaching other, healthy parts of the patient’s body.”

The New York Times reported recently that 36 cancer patients at a veterans hospital in East Orange, NJ were overradiated, and 20 more received substandard treatment. According to the report, a medical team that lacked experience in using a new complex, computer-controlled machine that the hospital had just purchased caused the errors.

“The risk of operator error increases,” Gurfein said, “as technology becomes more sophisticated.”
While New York State licenses medical physicists to administer radiation, Gurfein said the state does not mandate periodic re-examination.

“Once licensed,” Gurfein said, “a medical physicist need only submit the appropriate fee to renew his or her license. In a field with rapidly changing technologies, I believe the state should require re-examination every five years to maintain the highest level of knowledgeable practitioners.

“There is growing realization among those who work with this technology,” he added, “that some safety procedures are outdated, and that medical societies have been unable to keep up with the rapid pace of technical improvements.”

Gurfein recounted a medical malpractice case he handled recently involving a teenage girl with Hodgkin’s disease who suffered a devastating injury as a result of misdirected radiation.

“Her oncologist,” Gurfein explained, “designed a filter to block radiation from reaching her young ovaries. But the technician who built the filter carelessly omitted the blocks. It wasn’t until ninety percent of the therapy had been administered that her doctors discovered the omission. By then her ovaries were destroyed.”

Gurfein noted that in his almost 40 years in practice as a New York medical malpractice lawyer, approximately 50% of all medical malpractice claims are caused by less then 5% of all doctors.

For this reason, Gurfein recommends, patients should always check their doctor’s references. One good source of information is the New York State Department of Health website, which can be found by entering the following web address: . Patients should also “Google” their doctor’s name and see what comes up. And, of course, the most obvious step is to ask family, friends and neighbors for a referral.
“Although not all doctors who are negligent do so over and over again,” he said. “It is statistically probable that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”


Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2010 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Medical schools partner to tackle barriers to minority participation in cancer clinical trials
2. U.S. Physician Demand for Transradial Access Education on the Rise New Transradial Access Site from Terumo Medical Corporation Supports Educational Need
3. Medical Billers Celebrate Official Day Of Recognition On March 25, 2010 - USA
4. Amistaff Launches RN Medical/Surgical & RN Pharmacology Exams Using New Validation Process Focused on Improving Quality of Patient Care
5. Governor Tim Pawlenty Issues Proclamation Making Thursday, March 25, 2010 Medical Biller's Day
6. Schwartzapfel Truhowsky Marcus P.C. Launches Special Legal Aid To The Victims of Medical Negligence And Occupational Injuries
7. Fresenius Medical Holdings, Inc. Ordered To Pay $19.4 Million For Fraudulent Medicare Claims
8. HCG True Diet – Dr. Robert True Speaks About the Importance of Medical Supervision for HCG Diets
9. Children's National Medical Center Achieves Magnet Designation
10. Central Illinois Electronic Health Records Summit Coming in April; Medical Conference Offered In Three Central Illinois Locations
11. National Medical Association, Health System Reform - From Legislation to Implementation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... are fully customizable inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO ... another unique style. Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics ... proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... recently awarded ... Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear ... a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Battle Creek, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... abuse, joined as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table ... held in honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned ... developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made ... in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WAYNE, Pa. , June 23, 2016 ... provider, will launch its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket ... DIA Meeting held on June 26 – 30, 2016 in ... 6.0, the first electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its ... DIA Booth #715. Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: