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New York City Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Nursing home aide facing charges of neglect

On April 11, the New York State Attorney General made the announcement that a certified nurse's aide was taken into custody and charged with neglecting and endangering a nursing home resident. The nurse's aide allegedly caused a serious head injury to a quadriplegic patient when she tried to move the patient from a wheelchair to a bed with a mechanical lift by herself.

The incident occurred on the morning of Aug. 23, 2012. The aide transferred the patient with a mechanical lift but without the help of another staff member, a violation of the patient's care plan. The patient fell to the floor during the transfer and suffered multiple injuries including a significant laceration to her head. The aide allegedly denied having moved the resident by herself and later wrote on the patient's record that she had followed the care plan. According to the patient's care plan, two staff members were required to move the patient. Further neglect occurred when the aide failed to seek help for the patient.

Nurse pleads guilty for neglecting patient with Alzheimer's

A 47-year-old practical nurse, who was employed at a New York nursing home, recently pleaded guilty to neglecting an elderly blind resident. According to the report, he was accused of failing to administer medication to the 73-year-old man who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

The report stated that on Feb. 12, 2013, he was assigned to care for the 73-year-old. The man had a gastronomy tube due to having difficulties with swallowing. The nurse admitted to failing to provide the man with his medication even though it had been prescribed by the resident's doctor.

GM Continues to Face Legal Backlash

In an update from an earlier post regarding the General Motors most recent ignition switch recall, more lawsuits are continung to spring up against the American motor giant. The lawsuits, occurring nationwide, are alleging that the ignition in their GM vehicles are going out, cauding the vehicle to become uncontrollable.

Boxer's family files lawsuit against several defendants

A boxing match last November in New York resulted in serious brain injuries to a Russian heavyweight boxer. The boxer's family recently filed a lawsuit against several parties, including five doctors from the New York State Athletic Commission. The family believes that several medical errors, including not transporting him to a hospital after the fight, contributed to the serious nature of his injuries.

Instead of being transported by an ambulance, the boxer ended up being taken by taxi from Madison Square Garden to Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital. Three hours after the fight ended, the boxer underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. However, he suffered several strokes and remained in a coma for a week. A doctor at the hospital says that, while the boxer has regained some movement, he remains bedridden and may never recover the ability to walk or speak.

Doctor Failed to Recognize Cancer Symptoms Leading to Plaintiff Verdict

In February, 2011 the Plaintiff decedent presented to an internist with claims that she was suffering from symptoms that included a buildup of gastrointestinal gas, impairment of her audition and respiration, and pain that stemmed from her abdomen. After a series of tests, the internist could not diagnose the symptoms. Plaintiff was referred to a pulmonologist, who similarly, could not identify or determine the cause of any impairment in plaintiff's respiration.

Stryker settles through mediation; more cases are expected to be determined

By Maria Markou, Esq.

Honorable Judge Brian Martinotti supervises in a multi-county litigation (MCL) in Bergen County, where more than half of the nearly 1,500 lawsuits have been filed against Stryker Orthopaedics ("Stryker"). Judge Martinotti recently strengthened the role of mediation, as a peaceful way of disputes' settlement, conflicts' prevention and resolution. Specifically, he called for mediation ten Stryker cases regarding lawsuits involving the product sold under the name of the Rejuvenate System, a metal-on-metal hip replacement system, which was recalled along with ABG II hip implants in July 2012, because of the crucial health problems that patients were experiencing. One case was delayed, and out of the remaining nine, eight have been settled. Ten more cases are expected to be settled through this thriving process. A settlement through mediation can alleviate some of the pain and suffering, which patients suffer as they seek resolution to a traumatic and distressing hip problem. Fortunately, two Plaintiffs from our firm were selected to participate in this mediation process. Judge Martinotti will have a Case Management Conference on Tuesday April 1, 2014 where both Plaintiffs and Defense counsel will have an opportunity to discuss the status of the litigation and mediations.

Hospital Acquired Infections Increase Injuries and Healthcare Costs

By Madonna Stack

The results of two studies on Healthcare acquired infections were released by the CDC on March 25, 2014. These studies document that patients who are admitted to healthcare facilities in the United States have a 1 in 25 chance of developing significant infections while a patient. Health care associated infections are defined as infections not present and without evidence of incubation at the time of the admission to the health care facility. Infections that become clinically evident after 48 hours in the healthcare facility are considered to be acquired in the facility. Infections that occur after the patient is discharged from the facility can be considered healthcare associated if the organisms were acquired while in the hospital.

Woman sues doctor over botched sterilization

New York residents may be interested in an Illinois woman who sued her doctor for "wrongful pregnancy" after a procedure meant to sterilize her failed. The medical malpractice suit claims that the woman's tubal ligation procedure in 2008 was botched. She became pregnant about six months after the surgery. The child was born with sickle cell disease, which is caused by genes that both the woman and her husband carry. She says she had wanted the procedure in part to prevent having another child with the disease after her second oldest son was born with the condition.

Experts say it is possible in rare instances for women to become pregnant after having their tubes tied. However, the woman's attorney says this case is different because the woman only has one ovary. Her right ovary was removed in a medical procedure when she was 12 years old. As a result, the doctor only needed to tie her left Fallopian tube. The suit claims that he tied the right tube instead.

Study connects nurse education to patient safety

In a study with implications for hospital patients in New York, the number of nurses and the quality of their training could affect the chances of death after even the most basic operation. A nurse with a bachelor's degree and the number of patients they are responsible for could mean an increase of as much as 30 percent in deaths. The head researcher observed that the differences were still drastic even in developed countries. The goal of the study was to work toward reducing patient deaths and improving safety. She feels that focusing on nursing is one way to cut down on the preventable errors.

Results showed that an increase of 10 percent in degreed staff nurses meant a 7 percent reduction in patient deaths. On the other hand, even an increase of one patient per nurse could result in an increase in deaths of 7 percent. The European study across nine nations compared 300 hospitals where nurses cared for six patients and those where nurses cared for eight patients. The rate of bachelor's degrees was 60 percent to 30 percent, respectively. The patients underwent simple operations, such as knee replacement, gallbladder removal or an appendectomy, which needed a hospital stay but weren't particularly life-threatening. Additionally, the team took more serious illnesses and preexisting conditions into account, such as cancer, AIDS and kidney disease.

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