So far this year, the city has awarded nearly $135 million to those who have been injured at public hospitals.
Medical malpractice lawyers in Queens understand that the claims run the gamut, from severe birth injuries to life-threatening brain hemorrhages that health care providers overlooked.
The New York Daily News reports that these incidents were spread out across the city’s 11 public hospitals, and is drawing the attention of city officials, who are calling for greater oversight and improved safety measures.
One example cited was a woman who was pregnant with her first child and began having contractions. She saw a doctor around 9:30 a.m., who prescribed Pitocin, which is a drug that is intended to intensify contractions and speed the birth process. No doctor visited her between 11:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., at which point the baby’s heart beat dropped to a precariously low level, reducing vital oxygen to his brain.
But doctors refused to proceed with a C-section, instead compelling her to push for several hours, causing the baby’s heartbeat to shoot up to more than 200 beats per minute. Those overseeing the delivery were actually pushing on her stomach to get the child out. He was seizing. His brain was bleeding and he suffered a skull fracture. He now has permanent disabilities that include difficulty walking and talking.
Following a medical malpractice suit, the city awarded his mother $5.3 million, with about half of that going directly to a fund for his medical care.
Now some people look at an award like this and think it’s outrageous. But consider recent findings by the University of Washington in St. Louis: At-home nurses can cost about $220,000 a year. That doesn’t include costs for medication, doctor visits or therapy sessions. New York ranks fourth in the nation in terms of out-of-pocket expenses to care for a child with special needs.
What’s more, this is a mother who was looking forward to the birth of a healthy child. This was a child who had a bright future, until the hospital erred.
This was just one of the 270 medical malpractice cases that were brought against the city prior to the fiscal year’s end June 30.
Another case involved a 44-year-old woman who was raced to a Bronx hospital with a severe headache. Doctors sent the Queens woman home a few days later. What they failed to recognize was that she was actually suffering from an aneurysm, or a brain bleed.
She collapsed on a sidewalk several days later and has been in a vegetative state ever since. She now lives in a nursing home.
Yet another case involved a pregnant woman who was diagnosed with preeclampsia, which is a serious childbirth complication that can only be treated by delivering the infant. Doctors induced labor, but when she gave birth several hours later, there was no doctor or proper equipment required to resuscitate the child, who weighed just under four pounds.
He suffered severe and permanent disabilities as a result.
These are cases that require an attorney with extensive experience in medical malpractice litigation. We can’t undo the damage, but we work to make the arduous journey ahead easier to bear.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations. Call 1-877-313-7673.
Medical malpractice lawsuits cost city $134 million, range from babies crushed to missed brain bleeding, Aug. 27, 2012, By Reuven Blau, New York Daily News
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