When people in New York City hear about lawsuits filed against hospitals, their first thoughts may be that such action is simply an attempted “cash grab” on the part of disgruntled patients. Most may accept the fact that doctors, nurses and other clinical personnel are human, and thus subject to mistakes. What may not be understood is that those looking to hold hospitals accountable for their errors through legal action have the same understanding. They may feel, however, that negligence rather than human errors were responsible for the pains they were subjected to. Their motivation for their actions may actually be to promote changes that may help ensure that others are not required to go through the same suffering they were forced to endure.
When you present to an ER in New York City, you likely do so only because you believe you need immediate care. In such a potentially stressful situation, it may be difficult to hear that you have to wait to be seen. Just how long should you expect to wait, and when should you start to be concerned to you may be getting overlooked?
Despite the reasons behind one being admitted to a hospital in Queens, most would likely say that while there, they feel relatively safe. Yet many of those that we at Futterman, Sirotkin, and Seinfeld, LLP have worked with have personally discovered that errors can happen even in a clinical setting. If you have ever had to stay in a hospital for an extended period of time, then you have likely noticed the constant changing of nurses and other providers that were assigned to care for you. It has been shown that it is during this transfer of care between providers that many hospital errors occur.
Given the high cost of healthcare, some in Queens may choose to avoid seeking medical treatment altogether. You may share this same attitude, especially if you do not have health insurance. Yet what if you are left with no choice? When an emergency situation arises and you need immediate treatment, are you expected to avoid seeking it simply because you are uninsured? Perhaps a better question is whether a hospital is allowed to refuse you emergency care if it fears you are unable to pay for your service.
When receiving medical care, some patients in New York, and elsewhere, may require central catheters. Also known as central lines, these catheters are typically placed into large veins in the arm, chest, groin or neck. Much like the more common IV catheters, central lines are generally used to administer medications and fluids, as well as to draw blood. Unfortunately, some patients may develop central line-associated bloodstream infections if proper care is not taken when inserting and maintaining central catheters.
When people in New York think about medical malpractice, they often think about things like getting a wrong diagnosis or having a serious condition not even diagnosed at all. Other common examples that come to mind include having an object left inside a body after a surgery or a doctor not taking appropriate action during the labor and delivery of a patient. While these are some types of medical errors, other errors involving prescription medications may also result in serious injuries or even death to patients.
Nurse fatigue occurs when nurses work prolonged shifts with little to no rest and make errors in their performance as a result. Due to the sensitive nature of a nurse's responsibilities, this can have a life-or-death impact on patient health and safety. Unfortunately, this is a problem that has been around since the profession began, and healthcare workers and hospitals are still trying to determine how to effectively and efficiently eliminate the issue to ensure that patients receive the proper standard of care.
When New York residents seek medical attention at a hospital, they reasonably expect to receive at least a minimum standard of care. However, this is not always the case. According to a study in the Journal of Patient Safety, as many as 440,000 patients die after being harmed while at U.S. hospitals each year. This figure includes instances where medical staff directly cause harm to patients, such as when a sponge is left inside someone during surgery, as well as when doctors fail to properly provide treatment to those who seek their help.
Hospitals use a wide array of alarm systems to help alert healthcare workers to potential problems with patients. These can include heart rate monitors, ventilators, and blood oxygen monitors. Unfortunately, these systems come with an exaggerated sensitivity, and often activate when patients are not in distress. This has created a disturbing trend in hospital care that experts in the industry call alarm fatigue.
If you believe you have been injured by the negligent acts of a hospital employee in New York, you may wonder how a lawsuit against the hospital might proceed. While every case is different, your case is likely to follow the same guidelines that govern other medical malpractice matters in the state.