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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf 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.

Articles Tagged with medical malpractice

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photo__2573607_christopher_conadio_pp-1Our partner, Christopher Donadio will be one of three Distinguished Panel Members at the “How to Effectively use a Neurosurgeon in the Courtroom” CLE program organized by The New York City Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) & The Defense Association of New York tomorrow from 5:00pm to 7:00 pm EST via ZOOM.

Christopher will speak about the Plaintiff’s Perspective while the second panel member, Jenine Gerrard, a defense attorney with Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP will speak about the Defense Perspective. The other member of the panel is Dr. Christopher Allyn Lycette, a Board Certified Neurosurgeon. The program will be moderated by Sean Dugan, an attorney with Martin Clearwater & Bell LLP.

Suitable for both  experienced and newly admitted attorneys, the panel fulfills 2 CLE skills credits. It is not too late to subscribe for this 2-hour Zoom Program that will start tomorrow, Tuesday November 12 at 5:00pm. Click here to subscribe or download the PDF

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Drive_Thru_DrugsDispensing errors occur when a pharmacy commits a medication error and patients receive a different drug, a different dosage or a different drug quantity than their doctor prescribed. Sometimes when the doctor prescribed several medications, the pharmacy might also miss one. While most patients realize when the pharmacy did not give them the proper medication, some don’t. Medication errors by pharmacies can result in more harm to a patients and even death in some cases.

As doctors, pharmacies and patients are adapting to new safety guidelines related to Covid-19, pharmacies should also create new protocols to prevent the risk of medication errors.

The increase in phone prescriptions as well as not delivering the medication at the counter but offering curbside pick-up, drive-through window, home delivery, or mailing the medication can lead to an increase in medication errors if the pharmacy doesn’t take extra safety steps to prevent them.

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New York Personal Injury Attorney Marijo AdimeyIn a 2nd Department decision decided June 24, 2020, (see decision here), the Court reversed a trial court’s reduction of a $2.5 million jury verdict in a medical malpractice action involving a perforated intestine during an upper endoscopy.  When conservative treatment failed, Mrs. Garzon required an exploratory laparotomy to resect a perforated diverticulum, as well as a feeding jejunostomy, during a nine-day hospital stay.  Due to presence of intra-abdominal scarring and adhesions from the surgery, Ms. Garzon is at an increased risk of developing a bowel obstruction in the future.

At the trial, our partner NY Medical Malpractice Attorney Marijo C. Adimey obtained a unanimous verdict of $2,500,000 on behalf of her client, Elsa Garzon, from a Queens County jury.  The verdict awarded Mrs. Garzon $1,500,000 for past pain and suffering and $1,000,000 for future pain and suffering (see our previous post for full case details).

Defendant filed a post-trial motion pursuant to CPLR 4404(a) to set aside the jury verdict as excessive and against the weight of the evidence.   In granting defendant’s motion, the trial court reduced the award for past pain and suffering to $550,000 and reduced the future pain and suffering award to $100,000. The court held that the award for future pain and suffering was speculative and against the weight of the evidence.

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pregnant woman700 women die from medical complications related to child birth on average every year in the US. 60% of these fatalities are preventable. Maternal health was ranked the number two patient safety concern in the Top 10 Patient Safety Concern 2020 recently released by the ECRI Institute.
The CDC recently released alarming data related to the maternal mortality rate in the US. Non-Hispanic black women are 3 to 4 times more at risk of dying from child birth complications than non-Hispanic white women.  The rate of mortality also increases as women giving birth get older. Women who get pregnant after 40 year old are 7.7 times more at risk of dying from child birth complications than women under 25.

The lack of standardized care is a significant contribution factor in maternal mortality

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doctor-and-x-rayMissed and delayed diagnoses are common medical errors that can lead to serious injury and death. This morning the Daily Mail wrote about an 11 year old boy who died from severe bowel obstruction after a doctor misdiagnosed him with constipation and sent him back home. The doctor neglected to send him for an X-ray despite symptoms consistent with bowel obstruction.
Failure to diagnose or delay to diagnose a medical condition occur so often that the ECRI institute ranked this type of medical malpractice its number one concern out of its Top 10 Patients Safety Concern in 2020.

In the US it is estimated that 12 million adults or 1 out of 20 patients are misdiagnosed every year

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Operating-roomThis week, both Northwell Health of New York and Massachusetts General Hospital agreed to pay millions of dollars to settle medical malpractice cases related to concurrent surgery. Double-booked surgery also called simultaneous surgery or concurrent surgery is a recently new practice implemented by hospitals all over the country during which a surgeon is involved in two or more surgeries in different operating rooms at the same time.  While some medical studies have been backing this practice other studies have pointed out the resulting complications and inherent safety risks to patients. Last year in their Trial Advocacy Column in the New York Law Journal, Ben Rubinowitz and and Evan Torgan raised the alarm about this practice.

Deadly negligence and fraud

The case settled by Northwell Health of New York claimed that Dr David Samadi, urologist at Lenox Hill Hospital who raised to fame after performing several prostate surgeries on celebrities was allowing urologist residents to perform conventional surgical procedures in a room while performing high risk complex robot-assisted surgeries in another room. The surgeon would shuttle back and forth between the operating rooms during the simultaneous procedures.  The  hospital would then bill Medicare for the procedures performed by the unsupervised trainees. The practice of upping Dr Samadi’s salary for referring more patients to Medicare is illegal. It violates the federal Stark Law.  Dr Samadi was one of the highest paid surgeon in the US. In 2017 his salary was estimated at $6.8 million. Several patients died after undergoing surgery with him and many others suffered post surgery complications.

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Heart_transplant-wikipediaTo boost transplant patient survival rates, Dr Mark Zucker and his team have allegedly been keeping vegetative patients on life support for an entire year without family consent according to a recent investigation by ProPublica.  For hospitals that have organ transplant programs, the patient survival rate is the most important number tracked by the US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. If a hospital has a “one year survival rate” falling bellow an expected number calculated by an algorithm, an audit might be launched by the agency. If the audit uncovers serious problems, the transplant program can potentially loose its Medicare certification. As a result the hospital would loose the procedures paid by Medicare and by some medicaid and private insurance plans that only reimburse for transplants at Medicare approved transplant programs. A hospital charges around 1.4 million for a heart transplant.

Newark Beth Israel advertises itself as one of the best heart and lung transplant hospitals in the country. For 30 years, Dr Mark Zucker has been leading the heart and lung transplant program. His heart transplant surgeon, Dr. Margarita Camacho, has been performing most of the heart surgeries since 2005. She developed a strong and successful reputation as a heart transplant surgeon,  travelling in person to donors hospitals to inspect the facility and the donor’s heart before traveling back to Beth Israel with the organ.

Very unethical decisions made by the hospital to game the system

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One-and-Only-campaignSince 2001 more than 150,000 patients in the US have been notified by their healthcare providers that they might have been potentially exposed to bloodborne pathogens  such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after a health provider committed medical malpractice by failing to observe standard injection safety protocols.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is worried that too many healthcare providers are failing to observe what is considered basic infection control when injecting patients. A recent “One and Only” campaign seeks to raise awareness among healthcare providers and patients about safe injection practices.

These practices might seem obvious but incidents happen quite commonly and the consequences can be deadly.

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Medical Malpractice Briefing BookThe Center for Justice and Democracy recently released the 2019 edition of their Medical Malpractice Briefing Book. This very popular publication was updated with the most recent studies, statistics and general healthcare information and comes with links to the original material.

In addition to the usual sections, this new edition contains several new sections, including: sexual assault by doctors; misdiagnoses (the most prevalent and costly type of medical error); childbirth errors; plastic surgery; resident “hand-offs;” physician stress and burnout; and the real cause of insurance spikes for doctors.

Among the many findings, here are some of the most interesting:

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Top 10 patient safety concern in 2019As medicine evolves so do the risks for medical malpractice. Here are the top main risks according to  the 2019 Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns recently published by the ECRI Institute:

  1. Improper use of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) can be medical malpractice that can cause severe harm and sometimes death.  Diagnoses that are not proprely communicated or followed up are the number one concern when it comes to patient safety in 2019.  Too often, the 3 main components of the EHR, The diagnosis, the treatment plan and the follow up plan are inaccurate or missing. As a result, the risk of diagnostic error increases.
  2. The second biggest cause of concern for patient safety is the over prescription of antibiotics to patients that increases their antibiotic resistance and as a result limits their future treatment options. The over prescription of antibiotics affect particularly seniors who believe antibiotics can help them to feel better in almost any type of situation and doctors who are handing them out like candies.