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Unacceptable Delay Leads to Loss of Limb for Brooklynite at Local Hospitals

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

Delfino Cuautle joined a number of patients victimized and disabled by medical malpractice and mismanagement at New York City hospitals over the last few months. Cuautle was hit by a car after getting off his night shift. EMS responded to the scene within three minutes and rushed Cuautle to Coney Island hospital.

Within an hour of arriving to Coney Island Hospital doctors determined Cuautle had no blood flow in his right leg. Emergency vascular surgery was needed to correct the issue and save the leg. No vascular surgeon was available at Coney Island Hospital.

Kings County Hospital was called to transfer Cuautle but the line was not answered. Several messages were left. Cuautle was finally transferred but without a CT scan. A new CT had to be performed which further delayed surgery by 3 hours. After waiting for 13 hours Cuautle was finally brought to surgery, too late for any hope of saving his leg.

While delayed diagnosis of blockages is the leading cause of amputation in limb-threatening injuries, Cuautle’s injury was diagnosed rather quickly. A delay in treatment however caused him to lose his leg.

The delay in getting Cuautle into surgery was “egregious,” the suit says, adding that under state law the hospital transfer should have taken place within 30 minutes.

Coney Island Hospital was issued six violations by the state Health Department earlier this year.

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