A new board chairwoman has been appointed and a state-ordered infectious disease specialist has been hired in response to a bacterial outbreak that occurred at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

The outbreak occurred in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and as a result four infants contracted an infection caused by the Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria and one infant has died.

Continue Reading Newark Hospital Appointed a New Board Chair after Bacterial Outbreak

A second outbreak of the adenovirus has been reported and confirmed at a long-term care facility for children in Voorhees, New Jersey. This strain of adenovirus has been identified as Type 3, different than the Type 7 strain that has infected 30 patients and killed 10 at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.

The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) announced on November 5th that the adenovirus was found at the Voorhees Pediatric Facility, and four children have contracted the illness. Two inspectors from the DOH’s Division of Health Facility Survey and Field Operations visited the facility on October 30, and their preliminary findings revealed no infection control issues and no citations were issued.

Continue Reading Second Adenovirus Outbreak Confirmed at Voorhees, NJ Facility

The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) has reported that seven children have died and twelve more remain infected as a result of an adenovirus outbreak in a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Wanaque.

The facility is the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, and first notified the DOH of a respiratory illness outbreak on October 9. On October 19, the center sent out letters to parents of children at the facility informing them of the outbreak.

Continue Reading Seven Children Die After Outbreak in New Jersey Facility

A doctor in Philipsburg, New Jersey has lost his license after allegations that the physician had accepted more than $117,000 from the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics, Inc. to prescribe the company’s fentanyl painkiller Subsys to his patients.

Dr. Kenneth P. Sun consented to the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners (NJSBME) decision to revoke his license amid allegations that he had written hundreds of Subsys prescriptions for patients for whom the drug was not designed. Subsys is intended as a treatment for cancer patients over the age of 18 who are already receiving “around-the-clock opioid therapy” for their “persistent cancer pain.”

Continue Reading NJ Doctor Stripped of License Over Hundreds of Opioid Prescriptions for the Drug Subsys

A doctor in Middlesex County has just had his licensed temporarily suspended for allegedly reusing disposable one-use anal catheters on dozens of patients. Dr. Sanjiv K. Patankar, a colon and rectal surgeon, is alleged to have washed and reused the catheters which are inserted in patients during medical procedures.

During the hearing, the state presented documented evidence that although the doctor performed over 80 procedures, which would each require new catheters, between January and November of 2017, only 5 catheters were order in that period of time.

Continue Reading New Jersey Doctor Alleged to Reuse One-Use Anal Catheters on Multiple Patients

A jury in New Jersey awarded $6 million against an advanced life support services provider after it determined that emergency medical technicians negligently treated a patient, leading to her death.

The Mercer County jury deliberated for several hours following a two-week trial before finding that a paramedic employed by Capital Health System Inc. failed to properly intubate the 20-year-old patient.

Continue Reading NJ Jury Awards $6M Against Advanced Life Support Services Provider

Paramjit Singh faces criminal charges for practicing medicine in Warren and Morris counties even though his license was suspended in 2004, announced the Warren County prosecutor. Singh is charged with one count of practicing medicine without a valid license.

Parminderjeet Sandhu, founder of Medical Care Associates, the Warren and Morris county practices where Singh works is charged with one count of aiding or abetting another in practicing medicine without a valid license.

Continue Reading Were You a Patient of This Unlicensed Doctor? Patients Asked to Contact Prosecutor

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a recent study (recent blog post about this topic). The researchers indicated that most medical errors represent systemic problems, including poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, the absence or underuse of safety nets, and other protocols, in addition to unwarranted variation in physician practice patterns. Patient misidentification can also be a contributing factor. When patients have the same or similar names, mix-ups in their medical care, procedures, and medication have occurred. Such a mix-up could lead to misdiagnosis, mistreatment, and unsafe outcomes.

Patients’ electronic health records are maintained in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and urgent care facilities, and it can be difficult to exchange protected health care information among providers. Creating a reliable patient identification system could improve medical care and prevent patient care mix-ups. To that end, New Jersey plans to implement a statewide database designed to improve patient care, reduce medical errors, and ensure that healthcare records are accessible to all of an individual’s healthcare providers. This effort strives to connect physicians, hospitals, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers with better access to patient data. The system, which will also link to public health databases, will help avoid a situation where two patients with the same name and identifying characteristics are confused by providers.

Continue Reading NJ Is Creating A “Master Person Index” to Counter Medical Errors

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a Medical Device Safety Communication update to provide new information about Mycobacterium chimaera infections associated with the use of the LivaNova/Sorin Stöckert 3T Heater-Cooler System during cardiothoracic surgery. The update includes recommendations and additional steps for health care facilities to take in order to mitigate the risk of infection associated with the use of these devices.

Continue Reading Update on Contamination of Heater-Cooler Devices

A recent database study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that the rate of medical malpractice claims paid on behalf of physicians in the United States declined substantially from 1992 to 2014. The study analyzed data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), a centralized database of paid malpractice claims that was created by Congress in 1986. Researchers found an overall drop in the amount of paid claims across all specialties, but the extent of the decline was markedly different by specialty, according to Adam Schaffer, MD, lead author of the paper. The findings are published in the March 27, 2017 issue of the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

Continue Reading Medical Malpractice Claims Paid on Behalf of Physicians Decrease