Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

November 20, 2013

Medical Malpractice Prevention: new toolkit to help reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections

Clabsi%20Toolkit.jpgCentral Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI) are often the result of medical malpractice. An estimated 250,000 CLABSIs occur every year in the US with 800,000 of them happening in the emergency room. More than 30,000 people die from CLABSI in the US every year. The CDC estimates that the yearly cost related to CLABSI is $1 billion.

To prevent these infections, the Joint Commission Today released a very useful toolkit to supplement a previously published monograph entitled "Preventing Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections – A Global Challenge, A Global Perspective" . This document provides best practices and guidelines for healthcare professionals who insert and care for intravascular catheters and who are responsible for the surveillance, prevention, and control of infections in all healthcare settings.

November 18, 2013

Nursing home medication errors often lead to hospitalization and death

Medication errors in nursing homes are one of the most common types of medical malpractice. Lack of Physician involvement, lack of adequate staff and training are often the reason why significant medication errors are all too common in nursing homes.
Here is an link to an article and a video about medical errors in Michigan nursing homes but there is little doubt that this problem exists at a national level as well.

November 18, 2013

Failure to diagnose a condition or misdiagnosis are the most common types of medical malpractice and healthcare providers are looking at new solutions to prevent them

Misdiagnosis is the leading cause of medical malpractice claims. 160,000 patients suffer serious personal injury or wrongful death because of diagnostic errors every year. In her recent article "The Biggest Mistake Doctors Make" Laura Landro from the Wall Street Journal looks at solutions that are being developed by healthcare providers and various organizations to reduce misdiagnosis.

New technologies as well a change of culture among doctors are part of the solution. The new healthcare law requiring multiple providers to coordinate care should also help in making sure patients receive a proper follow up. Additional studies such as the one undertaken by the institute of Medicine (See previous blog) or the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine should also contribute to curb this alarming trend.

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Source: Wall Street Journal

November 16, 2013

7 pedestrians died after being struck by cars last week in New York

In New York lately pedestrians have been killed in car accidents on an almost daily basis. Last week another 7 people were killed in traffic accidents, most of them because of driver error.
On Friday 66 year old Maria Montalvo was struck in a crosswalk by a reckless driver making a left turn. Maria is the 29th senior person killed by a car in 2013.
On Monday 3 other people were killed on New York sidewalks: in Queens a young driver jumped the curb and killed Man Chit Cheng, 59, and Muang Lin, 41 and in East Harlem a woman was killed by a cab driver who lost control of his vehicle after he struck a truck.
Tuesday, 47 year old Brian Novell died after being hit by two cars in College Point, Queens. Brian Novell is the third pedestrian to be fatally struck by a car in two months in this precinct.
Wednesday Sangho Kim, 57 was crossing the Horace Harding Expressway at 108th Street about 8:30 p.m. in Corona when he was hit by a car. He died at the Hospital.
On Thursday, a 23 old man trying to cross the Cross Bronx Expressway was the victim of a hit and run. He died at the Hospital. It wasn't clear why he tried to cross the busy highway.

November 15, 2013

New York Wrongful Death: Nursing Home Ambulette Driver charged with criminally negligent homicide

An ambulette driver was charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with the death of an 86-year-old nursing home resident.

Juan Garcia who was transporting 86 year old Theresa Massagli in a wheelchair failed to buckle her seat belt. When he made a sudden stop, she flew out of her wheelchair and landed on her hip. Even though she was crying and moaning because of the pain, the driver dropped her back at the Goldcrest nursing home instead of bringing her to nearby Jacobi Hospital. She was then examine by a doctor and a nurse on duty at the nursing home and put to bed. After her children were informed of the incident they took their mother to the Westchester Square hospital where she was diagnosed with a broken left hip and pelvis. She died after few weeks of excruciating pain.

Read More in the New York Daily News

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A Family photo from Theresa Massagli

November 14, 2013

Medical Malpractice: Can doctors burnout affect patient safety

Even though a lot of tactics are available now for doctors to avoid medical errors the fear of them happening and constant worry about patients can push doctors to the edge. Physicians burnout is a widespread problem.

In a very interesting blog Dr Diane Shanon explains that she was worn down by over worrying about medical errors such as incorrect orders, intravenous catheter left in too long and leading to infection, care providers forgetting to wash his or her hands and spreading dangerous infections from one patient to the other or misread EKGs or X-rays. She suffered such a terrible burn-out that she decided to walk away from her career as a physician.

November 14, 2013

Product Liability: defective electronic and drive-system flaws prompt Volkswagen to recall 2.64 million cars worldwide

Volkswagen.jpg Volkswagen is recalling several popular models for the the following reasons:

- In order to prevent electric malfunctions 1.6 million VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat models with dual-clutch gearbox need to have their Synthetic Oil Lubricant replaced with Mineral Oil Lubricant

- 800,000 Tiguan SUV are being recalled to fix a potential defective lighting system

- 239,000 Amarok pickups are also recalled to be fixed for fuel leaks

Read more in Bloomberg

November 12, 2013

Product Liability: Some Body Building, Weight Loss and Sexual Enhancement dietary supplements can cause serious personal injury and death

Because Dietary supplements are available in health stores without prescriptions most consumers believe they are safe. But Some Body Building, Weight Loss and Sexual Enhancement dietary supplements contains hidden ingredients that can cause serious personal injury and sometimes lead to death.

Last week after 56 six cases of liver injuries and one death case were linked to the use of OxyElite Pro Dietary Supplements, the manufacturer USPlabs recalled all products containing Aegeline and VERSA -1, two illegal ingredients. (for more see USA Today)

The production of the sport supplement "Craze" was suspended by the manufacturer Driven Sports at the end of last month after tests conducted by the Harvard Medical School revealed the supplement contains potentially dangerous amounts of methamphetamine analog. The owner of Driven Sports, Matt Cahill was convicted in 2005 of felony charges for the sale of the weight-loss pills made from a highly toxic chemical pesticide banned from human consumption. He served two years in prison. (see Boston Globe)

Other products recently withdrawn from the market or under the watch of the FDA include:

- Vega One Nutritional Shakes and Vega Sport Performance Protein Product Due to Traces of the Antibiotic Chloramphenicol Contact a prescription drug commonly used to treat typhoid fever and eye infection
- Jimpness Beauty Fat Loss Capsules because they contain sibutramine, phenolphthalein, and sildenafil.
Vitalikor Fast Acting because it contains tadalafil and vardenafil, the active ingredients in the FDA approved prescription drugs Cialis and Levitra,

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Photo: Alison Young, USA Today

November 12, 2013

Patient injury resulting from medication use or Adverse Drug Event (ADE) is the most common non surgical medical malpractice occuring in hospitals

Many adverse drug events are preventable and constitute Medical Malpractice. An adverse drug event occurs when a patient suffers injury resulting from medication use. Adverse drug events are the results of medication errors or of known side effects that may happen even if the medication is taken correctly.

According to a recent report from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and led by Audrey J. Weiss, Ph.D. and Anne Elixhauser, Ph.D. , 380,000 to 450,000 hospitalized patients suffer preventable adverse drug events every year.

According to the most recent statistics, in 2011, the most common causes of ADE during hospital stays were Steroids, Antibiotics, Opiates, Narcotics and Anticoagulants with 8 out of 1000 adults over 65 experiencing one of them while hospitalized.

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Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), State Inpatient Databases (SID) for 32 States, 2011

The study also shows that Medicare-covered patients are the most at risk to be injured by an adverse drug event while Medicaid patients have the lowest risk.

When looking at ADEs by hospital ownership, public hospitals have a much lower rate of ADEs than private hospitals. The highest rate of ADEs was recorded in private, not for profit hospitals.

The study also show that hospitals in the Midwest have a much higher rate of adverse drug events than those in other regions of the Unites Sates.

November 11, 2013

New York Subway Accident: 73 out of 92 lawsuits related to people hit by trains were resolved in favor of the MTA

The MTA is rarely interested in settling man-under cases before trial and if it loses it will keep fighting through appeals. Out of the 92 lawsuits filed in the last five years, the MTA won 73 of them. For nine cases the payments were on average $40,000. Only five big cases resulted in total payouts of $33 million.

Read more in the New York Daily News.

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Source: Craig Warga/Daily News