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New York City Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Medical Malpractice in Adult Daycares? Maybe, But the Chance for Fraud is Greater.

Adult daycare programs in New York are appearing on the radar screens of advocates for the elderly.  Such centers do not require licenses, they are not inspected or reviewed by any government agency, and more of them are eligible to receive Medicaid funds. Some say that these centers are highly vulnerable to fraud and abuse, if not medical malpractice, because of the lax oversight.

Prevent medical malpractice -- Be your own advocate, Part 2

In our previous blog, we reviewed some statistics regarding the extent of ppreventable medical errors in the U.S. hospital industry. In this post, we list some of the steps patients can take to protect themselves from the consequences of medical malpractice while in the hospital. 

Prevent medical malpractice -- Be your own advocate, Part 1

If four fully-loaded jumbo jets crashed each week, the number of fatalities would be equal to deaths from preventable medical malpractice. If the aviation industry had this kind of track record, the flying public would be up in arms. Although hospitals and doctors talk about fixing the problem of preventable medical errors, going to the hospital is still a very risky business.

Fewer work hours could increase physician errors

Conventional wisdom dictates that fewer hours on the job for a physician means fewer errors because of less stress and more rest. A recent survey of health care providers, however, has reached the startling conclusion that the opposite may be true. Fewer work hours for hospital residents has led to more medical mistakes and more surgical errors.

A 1984 case of an 18-year-old girl who was taken to a New York hospital for convulsions and fever became one of the landmark cases that drove medical institutions to cut back on the hours that first-year residents were expected to spend on the job. After treating the girl for high fever, resident physicians had so many other patients to attend to and were getting so little rest that a follow-up evaluation came hours later. The girl's condition had worsened and she died not long after.

Early C-section may cause complications, possible birth injury

One of every three children is delivered via Cesarean section in the United States today, making a C-section one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the country. Lately, there has been a growing trend of C-section deliveries performed earlier than at the recommended birthing time. Many people do not understand that this procedure could result in a birth injury and possibly cause irreparable damage to both the child and the mother.

Mothers and health care providers in New York should pay close attention to a recent recommendation of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG recommends that providers deny requests for early C-sections before 39 weeks of pregnancy. Babies continually mature and develop up until the 40th week; children delivered before the 39th week of gestation are more likely to have developmental delays and respiratory ailments. They are also more likely to end up in intensive care.

Failure to diagnose rabies-infected organ leads to death

A patient who receives an organ donation is given a new lease on life. Yet, given the many compatibility issues and the long line-up of people waiting for replacement organs, transplants are complicated procedures done under time pressure. Recipients or their kin need to be kept in the loop regarding possible post-op side effects and complications. The failure to diagnose an infected donated organ can deny someone the chance for a new life.

Medical practitioners and patients in New York can learn from an incident in which a man died after receiving a rabies-infected kidney 16 months ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Doctors were aware that the donor had encephalitis, a brain swelling that can be attributed to rabies, among other causes. Three other organ recipients from the same donor were given antirabies shots.

Antibacterial drug may lead to arrhythmias and death

Many drugs - on the market under hundreds of brand names - can be prescribed for any given disease. That's why patients depend on medical practitioners to prescribe the correct medication. Nevertheless, medical practitioners make mistakes, and one misguided prescription may lead to fatal side effects.

Patients and physicians, in New York and around the country, should take note of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning against an antibacterial that, if incorrectly prescribed, can lead to an irregular heartbeat and eventually death. The drug is known generically as azithromycin; its brand name is Zithromax or Zmax.

Could new medical robots lessen surgical errors?

Surgery using medical robots-"health care's hottest technology"-is gaining momentum lately. Even questions as to whether robots truly end surgical malpractice do not seem to slow down the manufacturers' stock.

New York hospitals are well-known for being among the most medically advanced in the country. So New Yorkers who are considering the robot option in surgery should be aware that U.S. regulators are keeping a close eye on these surgeries in order to verify their safety.

New study claims minor hits may result in brain injuries

A recent study claims that even minor hits to the head can, over time, result in debilitating long-term effects. New York sports fans should be interested in this latest study asserting that repeated minor trauma, such as minor hits sustained during a football or soccer game, can result in head trauma, and ultimately in memory and thinking problems.

Previous studies have revealed that football and soccer players sustain 70 to 100 minor head shots in just one game. Recently, a New York medical center collected blood samples from 67 football players both before and after a game. Although no one suffered a concussion, the findings showed that those who took more hits during the game had higher levels of a protein that leaked from their brains to their bloodstreams.

New anemia medication causes allergic reactions and deaths

People undergoing dialysis treatment are more sensitive to medication than other people. They are more prone to infections and diseases. New Yorkers undergoing dialysis treatment should consult their doctors and check for any adverse effects. A simple mistake, like not checking for allergies, could lead to allergic reactions, having dire consequences for a patient.

Recently, suppliers of a new anemia drug for dialysis patients decided to recall the product, and contacted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for further posting after patients exhibited severe allergic reactions within 30 minutes of intravenous administration. There were also reported deaths. Pharmaceutical companies that issue medications found to have side effects that are detrimental to patients' health can be held criminally liable.

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