New York Medical Malpractice
In Parnell v Montefiore Med. Ctr. decided June 23, 2009, The New York Appellate Division, First Department, reinstated the complaint in a Medical Malpractice Case against the defendant hospital which had been dismissed by the New york Supreme Court, Bronx County. While affirming the dismissal of the complaint against the defendant doctor the Court held as to the hospital;
“However, we find that there is an issue of fact as to the hospital’s negligence. It was the hospital’s duty to monitor the patient postoperatively, including monitoring the chest tube and the Pleurovac closed drainage system and all its component parts. The drainage system provided continuous suction to assist in drawing air and fluids out of the pleural space. The assertion of the hospital’s expert that there was no evidence that the chest tube became detached from the suction is contrary to the record. Dr. Lonner testified that he noticed that the chest tube connection, specifically the connection between the patient and the canister attached in turn to the wall suction, was detached, and that he immediately re-attached the connection and proceeded with the resuscitation. Dr. Lonner also testified that if the tube became detached, air could go back into the pleural space and create a pneumothorax. This testimony alone, that an integral part of the drainage system had become detached and increased the risk of a pneumothorax, the very harm that befell the infant plaintiff, raises an issue of fact as to the hospital’s negligence.
Further, plaintiffs’ expert averred that it was good and accepted medical practice to check all the component parts of the chest tube and canister every time the patient was seen, at least once every hour, and that had the tube been properly monitored, it would not have become dislodged and the infant plaintiff would not have suffered a pneumothorax. He took issue with the conclusion of the hospital’s expert that a mucus plug occasioned the infant plaintiff’s respiratory arrest, pointing out that while there was evidence that the tube was dislodged when Dr.Lonner found the infant plaintiff, the medical record contains no evidence of a mucus plug.”