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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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Dan-and-ElisaA faulty medical determination of child abuse or neglect can destroy the life of a child and its family. “Measure twice, cut once,” is a great rule for carpenters; it’s also an important lesson for Child Protective Services. 

In a recent article, Daniel Pollack, an attorney and professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City, and Elisa Reiter, a Board Certified Attorney in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, look at the recent House Bill 2536  that was recently passed in Texas.   The bill allows parents who are accused of child abuse or neglect to ask for a second medical opinion before CPS terminates their parental rights. The bill especially seeks to protect parents of special needs children.

The bill was created after the family of Drake Pardo, a special needs child,  went through an unjustified ordeal with CPS.  The drama started when the Pardo family filed a complaint against a hospital that did not take care of them proprely. In a retaliation move, a doctor at the hospital filed a complaint with Child Protective Services based on a faulty medical report. As a result, Child Services showed up at the Pardo’s door in April 2019 and immediately removed 4 year old Drake from his parents. The parents had to fight an intense legal battle and were not allowed to take their child back until October 2019.

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The off-label use of Acellular Dermal Matrix (ADM) products in implant-based breast reconstruction can result in post surgical complications and problems for patients up to two years after the surgery according to a recent analysis by the FDA.

Off-label use not approved by FDA

Accellular Dermal Matrix is a type of surgical mesh that is developed from human or animal skin.  It has been approved by the FDA for specific use such as hernia surgery and more recently many surgeons specializing in breast reconstruction after a mastectomy have been using the product off-label.  The off-label use of ADM for breast reconstruction has never been approved by the FDA and a recent analysis found that some patients suffered complications up to two years after the surgery.

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top 10 patient safety concern ECRIEvery year, ECRI publishes a list of the top 10 patients safety concerns. This year the number one safety concern is the disparity of treatments based on races and ethnicities. The maternal mortality for example is 3.3 times higher for black mothers than white ones.  The Covid19 crisis also highlighted this concern with a much higher number of black and Latino Americans dying from the disease.  While looking at Covid19 deaths in the US, 32.5% of the victims are from Hispanic descent while Hispanics represent 18.5 % of the US population. Race disparities are also significant while looking at deaths from strokes. While black adults are 50% more likely to have a stroke than white adults,  black men are 60 % more likely to die from it than white men and black women 30% more than white women. Health organizations must incorporate health equality in their strategic planning.

The top 2 patient safety concern identified by ECRI is the emergency preparedness and response in aging services. The covid19 pandemic and previous hurricane situations have shown that aging services such as nursing homes and other elderly facilities are not well prepared for emergency situations.  Plans must be developed and communicated to all parties from resident, to staff, families, public and emergency responders.

The top 3 patient safety concerns that were uncovered during the actual pandemic is that, globally, the US Health system was absolutely not ready for a pandemic. From the inability to triage and plan patients flow, under capacities, inadequate supplies of medical equipment, mortuary mismanagement and the mishandling of infection prevention and control, the crisis showed that pandemic preparedness across the health system is a major patient safety concern.

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endoscopic surgeryInappropriate cleaning of medical devices especially the cleaning of flexible endoscopes continue to be a significant cause of deaths and serious injuries to patients.

Not adequately processed reusable devices are a main conduit for healthcare associated infections which according to previous reports have caused at least 2 million infections and the death of 90,000 patients.

A  previous study at 3 large American hospitals and published in the American Journal of Infection Control found that more that 70% of reusable medical scopes ready for use on patients tested positive for bacteria.

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280px-Patient_receiving_dialysis_03The corporate dialysis industry is resorting to unethical tactics and medical malpractice to prevent patients getting the kidney transplant they need to survive and to keep them on dialysis for years. As a result, many patients who had to go to dialysis centers several times a week during the pandemic, caught Covid19 and died. In a recent investigation, ProPublica describes the multiple obstacles that JaMarcus had to go through to be able to get on the list for a kidney transplant before the covid19 pandemic hit and he ultimately died from contracting the virus at a dialysis center.

In the US, two companies, DaVita and and Fresenius, control 70% of the dialysis market

Patients who require dialysis are mostly patients who suffer form diabetes and who develop end stage kidney failure. While many of these patients could be saved by receiving a kidney transplant, two corporate dialysis companies are spending millions in heavy lobbying so they can continue to get multi billion dollar revenues from mostly Medicare patients who are getting dialysis multiple times a week instead of receiving the transplant they need. According to a recent article in Kaiser Health News, over the last 4 years DaVita and Frenesius spent $212 million just in California to influence voters and politicians and fight a ballot initiative that would have capped their profits.

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metal in mask MRIThe FDA recently received a complaint from a patient whose face was burned after wearing a facemask with metal during a MRI. The patient was undergoing a 3 TESLA MRI scan of the neck. The burns were consistent with the shape of the mask.

It is clearly negligent to allow a patient to enter an MRI without checking for metal in a face mask. Anyone who is being scheduled for a MRI procedure must be checked for metal placed in or on their body including in their face mask.

Typically, patients undergoing an MRI are submitted to a metal checklist during which they are asked if they are wearing electronic devices, had metal in their eyes, have implants, had previous surgery on their head or ears or are wearing items such as jewelry, hearing aids, medication patches and obviously these days, a mask that doesn’t contain metal.

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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