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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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Among the various types of medical malpractice suffered by hospital patients, misdiagnosis accounts for approximately 10% of patient deaths. In a recent Opinion Page from the New York Times, Sandeep Jauhar, a Long Island cardiologist, wants to Bring Back the Autopsy as a weapon to fight misdiagnosis.

With the evolution of medicine and the proliferation of medical tests, autopsy doesn’t seem as essential these days as it was in the past to determine the cause of death of a patient. Before 1971, community hospitals were required to perform autopsies on 20% of their dead patients to earn their accreditation from the Joint Commission. This requirement was dropped after that date. Furthermore in 1986, Medicare considered autopsies financially draining and stopped paying for them. Now an autopsy is mostly considered by doctors as an educational tool.

Recent studies however have demonstrated that despite the medical technological advances autopsy can be a very effective manner to reduce the rate of hospital misdiagnosis.  In his opinion Sandeep Jauhar suggests that Medicare and private insurers pay for them again so that financial considerations doesn’t limit their use.




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Should primary care doctors be liable for medical malpractice if they fail to discuss the HPV vaccine with parents of teenagers? HPV (human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer.  Because it is related to teenage sexual activity many doctors don’t discuss it with parents to avoid uncomfortable conversations with them.

A recent study published in Pediatrics shows that the HPV vaccine introduced 10 years ago is extremely effective in combating the virus and therefore in fighting cervical cancer. The study indicates that a comparison of the HPV rate between the pre vaccine period and the post vaccine period shows a decrease of two-thirds of HPV cases among girls aged 14 to 17. The decrease  occurred despite a very low immunization rate of 40% among 14 to 17 year old girls and 20% for boys of the same age. The rate of HPV cases among women between 20 and 24 years old also decreased by 34%. Among women older than 25 years the rate of HPV didn’t change.

Every year 14 million people in the US are diagnosed with HPV. According to the CDC there are approximately 100 strains of this type of virus. Around 40 of them can lead to an infection of the genital areas. Most of these 40 strains will turn into benign infections but a few of them can lead to serious conditions. Some HPV  strains such as types 16 and 18 can develop into oncogenic high-risk infections.  These specific infections cause most cervical, penile, vulvar, vaginal, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers and precancers. Other HPV strains such as types 6 and 11 cause genital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.

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Diane HoffmanCan medical malpractice lawsuits help reduce opioid addiction?  In a recent opinion in the New York Times Diane Hoffman  a law professor and the director of the Law and Health Care program at the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law is warning about the consequences of erroneous criminal prosecutions of doctors who treat chronic pain patients. While she agrees that bad actors who are over prescribing drugs for profit should be punished, she worries that good doctors may under threat their patients for fear of being investigated and prosecuted.  While she recognizes that opioid addiction and abuse is a major issue that should be addressed by law enforcement, she also believes that the 100 million American patients who are suffering from serious pain condition shouldn’t be under treated. We agree that doctors who specialize in treating patients for chronic pain should not be subject to criminal prosecution. However, those doctors who run so called prescription mills and write narcotic prescriptions for anyone who walks in the door should be criminally prosecuted. Doctors who have no training in the field of pain medication and over prescribe narcotics resulting in fatal overdoses may be liable for medical malpractice. The fact is that lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice will not bring these cases unless the prescribing doctor blatantly over prescribed without any medical basis. Ms. Lane’s statement that doctors who under prescribe pain medication may be subject to medical malpractice law suits is based on one 15 year old case in which a doctor was found liable for elder abuse for under prescribing pain medication to an elderly man dying of cancer. In reality these types of cases are rarely brought.

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In a recent article, Sandra G. Boodman from the Washington Post writes about the case of a man whose doctors failed to diagnose Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) for months until he consulted with a well traveled gastroenterologist who suspected FMF. FMF is a disorder caused by a gene mutation. this disorder is known to affect Sephardic Jews, whose ancestry is Middle Eastern, as well as non-Jews from the Middle East, Italy and Armenia.

43 year old Jeffrey Sank suffered from recurrent abdominal pain for nearly a year. At the beginning attacks were intermittent but after several months the pain increased in severity and intensity. Jeffrey visited with multiple doctors including two gastroenterologists, a kidney specialist and an infectious-disease physician.  The infectious-disease specialist suspected he had FMF but but did not pursue it after Sank told him he wasn’t of Middle Eastern descent. The last gastroenterologist he saw also suspected it was FMF and even though Sank again denied any Middle Eastern descent again, he decided to prescribe him colchicine, a mainstay therapy for FMF. The drug worked immediately and the abdominal attacks almost stopped. Later on genetic tests demonstrated that Sank had indeed inherited mutated genes from both his parents.


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Failure to diagnose or to treat priapism, a medical condition of prolonged penile erection that is unrelated to sexual stimulation, can result in serious complications such as permanent erectile dysfunction or disfigurement of the penis.  Priapism is not very common but as a result of the use of erectile dysfunction medication the potential for serious complications from Priapism is on the rise. Other medications such as intracavernosal agents, some antihypertensive agents , some psychotropic drugs, anticoagulants, cocaine, certain hormones, and ginkgo Biloba are also known to cause priapism. Diseases such as sickle cell disease can also cause this painful medical condition.

When a patient suffers from priapism it is crucial that the doctor determines if it is a case of ischemic or nonischemic priapism. Ischemic priapism is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Usually the patient will receive an intracavernous injection of an alpha-adrenergic sympathomimetic agent followed by a surgical shunting procedure if necessary. Nonischemic priapism is not considered an emergency and will usually resolve by itself without treatment.

In its “Case of the Month” the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants looks at the case of a middle aged patient who was diagnosed with ischemic priapism associated with trazodone use. Read the complete article here


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imageFailure to diagnose or delay to treat herpes simplex in the eye area can result in serious personal injury such as episcleritis, keratopathy, iritis, blepharitis, conjunctivitis, uveitis, keratitis, retinitis, optic neuritis, glaucoma, proptosis, cicatricial lid retractions, and extraocular muscle palsies. In “case of the month: a lesion near the eye”, the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants looks at the case of a 19-year-old man  who visited his healthcare provider with erythema and irritation of the skin adjacent to his right eye. The patient  noted the irritation for the first time after a military exercise in a sandy environment. Read the case here 


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imageHospital medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in this country, behind heart disease and cancer.

In a recent article in the New York Times, a retired transplant surgeon explains how an unresponsive medical staff left him no other choice but to break into  into the crash cart, a box on wheels containing equipment hospitals use to resuscitate patients and pull out two liters of saline solution which he ran into his daughter’s IV Line to prevent her from dying.

Unfortunately most patients and their families don’t have the medical knowledge and the means to make things different if the staff is negligent or a medical error is being committed. Here are the reactions of some of the readers to this article.


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Jeffrey BloomOur Partner Jeffrey Bloom will be a speaker at the “Mount Sinai Update: Breast Imaging Conference” to be held at The New York Academy of Medicine  on October 12, 2015 .  Jeff will speak from 10:15 AM to  11:15 AM and his presentation will cover the plaintiff’s attorney’s perspective on breast imaging malpractice.  After the presentation Jeff will also participate on a Medico-legal Issues Panel. To register click here.

At the completion of this course, the participants should be able to:

  • Discuss the new ACR BI-RADS 5th Edition terminology for breast imaging findings on mammography, ultrasound and MRI.
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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is proud to announce that 10 of their New York Personal Injury Lawyers were listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016.

Marijo AdimeyJeffrey B. Bloom, Seymour Boyers, Anthony H. Gair, Howard S. Hershenhorn, Stephen H. Mackauf, Ben B. Rubinowitz, Christopher Sallay and Richard M. Steigman were selected in the following practice areas:

Marijo Adimey, listed in Best Lawyers since 215

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Face InjectionsThe FDA is warning that in rare cases  unintentional injections of soft tissue fillers into blood vessels in the face can block blood vessels and restrict blood supply to tissues and in the worst cases result in embolization. The filler could travel to another part of the body and could cause vision impairment, blindness, stroke and damage and/or death of the skin (necrosis) and underlying facial structures.

Soft tissue fillers are mostly use by dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons to reduce the appearance of wrinkles or to augment cheeks or lips. Ophthalmologists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons also use them for other medical procedures.

If you are considering injecting soft tissue fillers in your face, make sure that your health care provider is board certified, has appropriate training and experience and is knowledgeable about the anatomy at and around the injection site.