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Articles Posted in Hospital Negligence

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A diagnosis delayed by a too long wait time in an emergency room can be medical malpractice and can be deadly. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, patients checking in at the ER of the Brooklyn Interfaith Hospital wait an average of 125 minutes before they can be seen by a doctor. The hospital recently added more staff but it has financial struggles. Most of its ER patients are uninsured.

The Brooklyn Hospital has the worst ER waiting time in New York State and 4 times the national average according to an article in the New York Daily News.

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Hospital%20Patient.jpgRecently more and more hospital patients have been receiving bills with hefty charges from unexpected out of network doctors or other medical service providers such as labs or Radiologists. Services that used to be included in the daily hospital rate now comes as additional costs because they are provided by out of network contractors. Many emergency rooms, for example, are now staffed by out-of-network doctors who bill separately.

Out-of-network doctor charges are not negotiable and can reach phenomenal amounts. For example a patient requiring a skin graft would pay $1,781 to an in-network doctor while an out-of-network doctor would potentially charge $150,500. In a recent article in the New York Times, Elisabeth Rosenthal exposes this practice.

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US%20ARMY%20MEDICAL.jpgSharon LaFraniere and Andrew W. Lerhen from the New York Times continue to investigate Medical Malpractice in military hospitals. The two reporters who last June provided an in-depth analysis of the flaws of the military hospital system (see “In Military Care, a Pattern of Errors but Not Scrutiny” ) recently published a new article focusing on the high risk of medical malpractice in small military hospitals. Military hospitals with a turnover of 10 to 30 patients a day are often staffed with inexperienced doctors and nurses who are not busy enough to keep their skills sharp. Most of them are poorly managed and run by untrained and inexperienced physicians with a culture of complacency that threatens patients safety.
Most of these small military hospitals are being considered for closing or transforming into outpatient facilities by the Pentagon as part of its plan to scale back costs but political obstacles are preventing streamlining the system.

Read the complete article here

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tubing%20misconnections.jpgTubing misconnection error is medical malpractice mostly caused by nursing or hospital negligence that can result in severe personal injury or death of the patient. Misconnections errors have a high risk to happen not only because most patients checking into a hospital are likely to receive at least an IV but also because tubes with different functions can too easily be connected together. Gardiner Harris from the New York Times raised the alarm on this problem in 2010 in the article “U.S. Inaction Lets Look-Alike Tubes Kill Patients”.

To address this issue and prevent these types of medical errors, tubing connector standards have recently been developed through a collaboration of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), clinicians, manufacturers and regulators, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

New connectors are going to start to reach the market during the fourth quarter of 2014 and the transition phase is expected to continue through 2015.

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Brooksdale%20Hospital.jpgIn 2012 there were more than 100 open lawsuits against the hospital including a dozen alleging patients died due to medical malpractice or negligence. The hospital has financial problems and struggles to stay open. The latest report from the federal Labor Department indicates that some employees have been the victims of extremely violent attacks by patients. A 70 year old nurse required brain surgery after a patient repeatedly stomped on her head while beating her and a staffer was punched in the back by a patient. OSHA fined the hospital $78K and recommended the installation of panick buttons and alarm systems at workstations as well as video systems.
Read the complete OSHA News Relase
Read the article in the NY Daily News

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RIVA%20system.jpgTo reduce IV medication errors and possible contamination, the Belmont’s St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, NYC, just acquired a high-tech medication machine that uses robots to fill syringes, sanitize intravenous medications and make sure that patients receive the proper medication.

When an error occurs with intravenous medication, harmful effects to the patient may happen faster and be more severe than errors with oral medications, due the direct administration into the bloodstream.

The RIVA system acquired by the hospital is a fully automated IV compounding system used by hospital pharmacies to prepare intravenous medication (syringes and IV bags) for general hospital needs, chemotherapy and pediatric needs.

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CLABSI can be medical malpractice. Most infections occur when medical devices are not properly sanitized or when hospital employees are negligent of patients safety regulations.

One hospital recently demonstrated that CLABSI can be prevented. The White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles implemented a training program that resulted in zero iatrogenic pneumothorax hospital wide and zero CLABSI in the ICU. See video below.

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Hospital%20Sign.pngWhen a water emergency happens, hospitals have to be ready. They need to plan ahead how to deal with the loss of water for consumption, equipment sterilization, laundry and dialysis. Hospitals in West Virginia faced that emergency recently. The Joint Commission staff met with representatives of 7 of the affected hospitals to discuss how they handle this situation and subsequently released a paper about the lessons that can be learned from the week long water emergency that resulted from the chemical spill of the Elk River.

Read the paper from the Joint Commission here

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Montefiore%20-%20wikipedia.jpgExcessive waiting time in an emergency room can be medical malpractice. Patients who are coming to an hospital ER with serious personal injury or disease and who have too wait an excessive time have a higher risk to suffer from permanent injuries or to die. At the Montefiore Weiler/Einstein Hospital the average waiting time for the Emergency Room is of 107 minutes. According to Propublica this is the second worst in the entire state of New York. The average wait time in New York is 37 minutes and nationnaly it’s 28 minutes.
Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benedetto will hold a conference Thursday outside the center to push the Montefiore-operated hospital to provide answers to the community.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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Blood%20transfusion.jpgHospital-associated infection can be medical malpractice. 5% of hospital inpatients develop an infection during their stay. As a result patients who develop an infection usually have to extend their stay in the hospital. Hospital acquired infection if not diagnosed and treated properly can also lead to the death of the patient. .

Blood transfusion is a very common hospital procedure during which the patient has a risk of developing an infection.

Hospitals have different strategies as to when a blood transfusion is required. Some have a liberal strategy which means that they will administer red blood cells to a patient when the patient’s hemoglobin level falls below 10 g/dL and some have a more restrictive strategy and will give a blood transfusion to the patient once the level of hemoglobin is below 8 or 7 g/dL.