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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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To administer non sterile products intended for training to patients is medical malpractice that can have very dangerous consequences. Recently Wallcur, a company that sells medical products intended for training purposes only, received reports that some of its training Sodium Chloride IV Bags had been used outside of their intended use and administered to patients. These bags are not sterile and are for simulation purposes only. To prevent these products from being injected in humans or animals, the company recently issued a product recall and is intending to improve the labels before to continue the distribution of these products..


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medication%20error.jpgMedication error in psychiatric practice can be medical malpractice. In a recent study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and funds from the Recovery Act, researchers found that patients between the age of 15 and 40 years old who suffered a first-episode psychosis were not prescribed a medication treatment complying with the recommended guidelines for their condition. According to the guidelines, patients with a first episode of psychosis should be treated differently than those with recurrent episodes.

Researchers are calling for more prescriber education after they studied 404 individuals suffering from an initial schizophrenia episode and found that 159 of them were not prescribed an appropriate treatment. Among these 159 people, 8.8 percent were prescribed higher-than-recommended doses of antipsychotics; 23.3 percent were prescribed more than one antipsychotic; 36.5 percent were prescribed an antipsychotic and an antidepressant without a clear need for the antidepressant; 10.1 percent were prescribed psychotropic medications without an antipsychotic medication; and 1.2 percent were prescribed stimulants. In addition, 32.1 percent were prescribed olanzapine, a medication not recommended for first-episode patients. Some of the 159 fell into multiple categories.

Read more in the press release of the National Institutes of Health

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Health%20tech.jpgDevice-related hazards can lead to medical malpractice. In its 2015 top 10 Health Technology hazards, ECRI Institute lists 10 safety topics deemed crucial for hospitals to address. Here is the list of the top 10 technology hazards;

1. Alarm hazard: inadequate alarm configuration policies and practice 2. Data integrity: incorrect or missing data in EHR’s and other Health IT Systems 3. Mix-Up of IV lines leading to misadministration of drugs and and solutions 4. Inadequate reprocessing of endoscopes and surgical instruments 5. Ventilator disconnections not caught because of mis-set or missed alarms 6. Patient-handling device use errors and device failures 7. “Dose Creep”: unnoticed variations in diagnostic radiation exposures 8. Robotic surgery: complications due to insufficient training 9. Cyber security: insufficient protections for medical devices and systems 10. Overwhelmed recall and safety-alert management program

In future blogs we will look at each of these medical technology hazards in detail.

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Failure to diagnose Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) can be medical malpractice that can result in bloating, abdominal distention, abdominal pain and discomfort, diarrhea, fatigue and weakness. Complications of SIBO range from mild, including diarrhea and minimal vitamin deficiencies, to severe, including malabsorption and neuropathies due to fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies.

In a recent article in the Washington Post, Sandra G. Boodman, tells the story of a woman who struggled for more than 40 years with this condition. For years she was misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome until she was referred to Gina Sam a gastroenterologist at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and a specialist in motility disorders, problems that occur as food passes through the digestive tract. Because the woman didn’t suffer any pain which is a prominent symptom of Irritated Bowel Symptom, Dr. Sam suspected her patient was suffering from another condition. The doctor was able to properly diagnose her patient with SIBO, a condition that has received new attention as gastroenterologists have focused on the importance of the microbiome, the stew of bacteria and other microorganisms that comprises the gut’s ecosystem and is affected by diet.

Read the complete article here

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A wheelchair-bound resident of a Long Island nursing home suffered serious personal injury after a nurse committed a medical error and injected him with morphine instead of a prescribed muscle relaxant and then attempted to cover up her error by falsifying documents. The nursing home resident overdosed and had to be admitted to a hospital where Narcan, a medication to counter the effects of an opiate overdose was administered. The nurse, Vicki Price, was charged recently with one count of endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, or an incompetent or physically disabled person, in the second degree, a class E felony; one count of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, a class A misdemeanor; one count of willful violation of the public health laws, an unclassified misdemeanor; and two counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, a class E felony. She faces up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison if convicted.

Read more in the Press Release

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Steigman%20and%20Sallay.pngA settlement in the amount of $1,750,000 was obtained by our partners New York Medical Malpractice Attorneys Ernie Steigman and Chris Sallay for the Wrongful Death of a 41-year old pregnant woman due to the Medical Malpractice of her Obstetrician and his office staff.

In this case, the decedent, who was about 10 weeks pregnant with triplets, had called her doctor’s office complaining of pain in her leg and shortness of breath on a Saturday. The nurse she spoke with advised her to come into the office on Monday. When she arrived on Monday, the doctor examined her but failed to take a Doppler study to determine the source of her leg pain. She was sent home and the next day she died from an undiagnosed venous thrombosis. She left behind her husband. The matter settled shortly after the start of the lawsuit for nearly all the available insurance proceeds.

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Until recently when a patient with prostate cancer was developing resistance to drugs that block testosterone, the hormone that fuels the cancer growth, his urologist would refer him to an oncologist who would start chemotherapy. The situation recently changed with the arrival on the market of new drugs such as sipuleucel-T, radium 223, enzalutamide, abiraterone, and cabazitaxel. These new drugs target so-called “castrate-resistant” patients and can be prescribed by either the urologist or the oncologist.

As of Today there is a lot of confusion about these new drugs. Urologists and oncologists are not clear on whether patients should be treated similarly or which drug should be used and in what order to be the most effective. The lack of communication between specialists as well as the financial incentive in keeping a patient as long as possible may be detrimental to the patient and may lead to medical malpractice.

In an article published Today in the Journal Urologic Oncology, urologist Ralph de Vere White and medical oncologist Primo Lara, Jr. of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center provide an in depth look at the situation and demonstrate that better guidelines and coordination between specialists are necessary to deliver cost effective and efficient care to patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

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Many adverse drug events are preventable and constitute Medical Malpractice. An adverse drug event occurs when a patient suffers injury resulting from medication use. Adverse drug events are the results of medication errors or of known side effects that may happen even if the medication is taken correctly.

According to a recent report from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and led by Audrey J. Weiss, Ph.D. and Anne Elixhauser, Ph.D. , 380,000 to 450,000 hospitalized patients suffer preventable adverse drug events every year.

According to the most recent statistics, in 2011, the most common causes of ADE during hospital stays were Steroids, Antibiotics, Opiates, Narcotics and Anticoagulants with 8 out of 1000 adults over 65 experiencing one of them while hospitalized.

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Retained%20Surgical%20Items.jpgThe unintended retention of foreign objects (URFOs) is medical malpractice that can cause serious personal injury or death. It happens when a surgical team leaves any item or foreign object related to the surgery inside a patient. Most common objects left behind are sponges and towels, small device components or fragments, needles and malleable retractors. The risk of URFOs is higher for patients with high body mass index, during emergency procedures or when an unanticipated change happens during the surgery.

In a recent sentinel event alert The Joint Commission looked at the causes of these surgical errors and recommend strategies for improvement.

According to the Commission previous studies show that the risk of URFOs can be greatly reduced by the creation and the adoption by the surgical team of a highly reliable and standardized counting system. Effective communication including team briefings and debriefings as well as appropriate documentation and safe technology are also factors that can reduce this type of medical malpractice.

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medical_device_alarm_safety_infographic.jpgHere is the 2014 top 10 Health Technology Hazards just released by the ECRI Institute. This list is developed every year and highlights the health technology safety topics that the ECRI Institute’s Health Devices Group believes warrant the most attention for the coming year.


1. Alarm Hazards (click on infographic to enlarge)