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Coroner Inquests 21-May-2014 At Malcomson Law we have extensive experience in representing bereaved families at Coroner's Inquests following the untimely death of a loved one About InquestsThe purpose of an inquest is to establish the facts surrounding sudden, unexplained or unnatural deaths death and to place those facts on the public record. An Inquest is an official public inquiry presided over by the. Coroner which takes place after the post-mortem has been carried out and written, statements have been taken from all witnesses regarding the circumstances surrounding the death, Post-mortems are carried out by a pathologist, who acts as the Coroner's agent for the purpose of the post-mortem.   The Coroner decides which witnesses are necessaryWitnesses will be requested to submit a written statement and to attend the inquest to give their testimony regarding the circumstances surrounding the death. Doctors must attend if they are requested to and are also required to furnish a copy of medical records, medical reports and any other relevant notes. The evidence of witnesses is presented at the Inquest in a logical sequence of events relevant to the circumstances of the death.Inquests are held in public and reporters/media are entitled to attend.   The Role of the CoronerThe Coroner is an independent, government appointed official with a legal responsibility for investigating sudden, unexplained or unnatural deaths.The key concern of the Coroner's inquiry is to establish whether or not death was due to natural causes. In summary the Coroner establishes the "who, when and where" of an inexplicable death. The Coroner will make findings on the identification of the-deceased, the date and place of death, and the cause of death. Coroner's do not examine either criminal or civil liability. The range of verdicts open to a coroner or jury include accidental death, misadventure, suicide, open verdict, natural causes (if so found at inquest), and in certain circumstances, unlawful killing.   A Coroner may be a barrister, solicitor or medical practitioner who has been registered for at least 5 years.   Our Expertise and Track RecordAt Malcomson Law we have extensive experience in representing families at inquests and indeed in getting as many answers as possible within the legal framework of an Inquest.   Our specialist team of medical negligence and personal injury Solicitors are frequently untimely death of a loved one. We have represented families at Inquests following the death of a loved one arising from:   Medical accidents in hospitalsAccidents at workRoad traffic accidentsConsultant's / Doctors' negligence   As part of that process, we endeavor to explore the circumstances and the issues leading to the death to the best of our ability within the constraints of the Inquest process. Whilst no allegations concerning liability can be made, crucial information can be obtained nonetheless.If any family is contemplating instructing us to represent their interests at an Inquest, we would encourage early instruction so that sufficient time is given to allow us investigate the circumstances of the death that has occurred, take up medical records where relevant, obtain witness statements and the opinion of Medical Experts. Some families are concerned about the cost of legal representation at an Inquest. In circumstances where the death has been shown to be due to the wrongful act of another, it is possible in the majority of cases to recover the costs of legal representation at an Inquest in a subsequent civil case, see the Judgment of O'Neill J. in the High Court case of Courtney V Our Lady's Hospital Limited IYA Our Lady's Hospital Crumlin, Murray, and Walsh [2008/1225P].   In January 2014, Malcomson Law Solicitors represented the family of the late John Comerford at an inquest in Kilkenny. Mr Comerford, a 68-year old man, from Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, died on 18th March 2011, two days after being discharged from St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny, following a hernia operation.   Coroner Tim Kiely returned a verdict of medical misadventure.   After the inquest, Mr Comerford's daughter, Karen Brown, stated to RTE Media that the family were relieved to have some clarity about what happened but were devastated about the loss of her father. Read further http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/0123/499739-john-comerford/ and http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/medical-misadventure-verdict-on-man-who-died-after-hernia-1.1665954
Recall of Stryker Spine Plate 04-October-2013 What is the Stryker Spine Plate? The Stryker Spine Plate is part of the OASYS Occipito-Cervico-Thoracic System used by orthpaedic surgeons in cervical spine fusion surgery. The system consists of hooks, polyaxial screws and rods as well as plates and bone screws.  What’s the Problem? FDA Class I Medical Device Recalls are the most serious type of recall and involve circumstances where there is a reasonable probability that the use of a particular medical device will cause serious adverse health consequences or death. The problem with the Stryker spine plate is that Stryker have received reports that there has been post-operative fractures of the pin that connects the tulip head to the plate body. This may cause serious adverse health consequences including blood loss, nerve injury, and the need for revision surgery to replace the fractured implant.   A recent field safety notice issued by Stryker UK highlighted the potential hazards after they received reports from customers that the pin that connects the tulip head to the plate body had indications of post-operative fracture. Reports included fatigue fracture as a consequence of excess repetitive and acute load being applied to the pin causing the pin to fracture.  Stryker advises that it has not received any reports of harm apart from revision surgery for patients who have experienced such a pin fracture. Stryker have also advised that in order to minimize potential risks to patients while they carry out investigations they are removing the spine implant device off the market.  Have You a Stryker Spine Plate Implant? Stryker recommend that anyone who has had this type of spine implant should have routine clinical and radiographic evaluation for two years after the surgery. Review of complaints indicates that the risk of a pin fracture before bone fusion has developed is higher than after fusion. The spine plate implants are temporary internal fixation devices. There purpose is to secure the operative site during the normal healing process. When healing is complete the implant serves no functional purpose.  At the present time, Malcomson Law are accepting instructions associated with Stryker Spine Plate issues for the purposes of investigating as to whether If a stateable court action can be advanced arising out of these issues. Please phone 01 87 444 22 or email us at help@mlaw.ie 
Faulty Cancer Test Kits - What Are The… 11-September-2013 Prostate Cancer Test Kit Review & Recall  What’s the Problem with the Defective Prostate Cancer Test Kit?   In the US the Federal Drug Administration has issued a Class 2 Recall of the Siemens  Immulite diagnostic kit which is used in the measurement of men’s PSA levels (Prostate Specific Antigen). The problem with the testing kit is that it was giving false positive readings of up to 23%. Potentially this could have led to a situation where men have had unnecessary biopsies with consequential medical complications including death. PSA is a protein that is manufactured by the prostate gland. The PSA test is essentially a blood test which measures PSA levels, with elevated levels being an indication of the presence of prostate cancer. However it is important to note that there are also other reasons why you may have elevated PSA levels. Common causes include prostate enlargement and an infection in the prostate. There is increasing controversy around prostate cancer screening using the PSA test with concerns that the potentials risks outweigh the benefits.    What are the Consequences of an Unnecessary Prostate Biopsy? Most recently at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting a paper was presented which analyzed the 120 day death rate of men who took part in a prostate cancer screening trial. The end result was not very comforting. The death rate was 3.5 per 1000 biopsies in men whose biopsies tested positive for cancer and 1.3 per 1000 in men whose biopsies showed no cancer.  The risk with prostate biopsies is that complications as a consequence of the procedure, whether the patient has cancer and or not can lead to urinary tract infections, inflammation of the prostate, septicemia and death. The Irish Examiner exclusively disclosed the problem of the faulty diagnostic kit in an article on September 9th. They have also revealed that it is now believed that there are over 13,000 men whose tests will now have to be reviewed.  The fact that the diagnostic test was giving false positive readings raises the issue of how many people underwent unnecessary prostate biopsies? What anguish and stress have they been through and were there any complications as a consequence of their prostate biopsy?    If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article please phone 01 87 444 22 or email help@mlaw.ie References & Useful Articles FDA Recall Notice Mortality Risk with Prostate Biopsy Raises Concern. Medscape. Jun 17, 2013 Mortality at 120 days following prostatic biopsy: Analysis of data in the PLCO study

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