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Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Many people suffer from conditions that necessitate monitoring and the assistance of a medical device to maintain and regulate vital body functions. These devices can often save a patient’s life if used correctly and function as intended. Unfortunately, when mistakes happen, the consequences for the patient and their families can be severe.  Few people expect machines, equipment, or tools used by healthcare professionals to cause us undue harm or to exacerbate medical problems.

Medical devices have the potential to save lives. A well-designed and manufactured medical device that is properly sterilized, used, and monitored can be invaluable in assisting doctors in diagnosing and treating patients. However, there is a risk of harm to the patient when defective medical devices are used or negligent care is provided.  Unfortunately, medical device errors can sometimes cause serious harm to patients. You may be able to recover damages if you believe you were injured as a result of a medical device error.  DeFrancisco & Falgiatano’s skilled Upstate New York medical malpractice attorneys can assess your chances of recovering damages through legal action.  We serve clients throughout Upstate New York and have offices in several convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the results we have obtained for our clients.

From basic hospital supplies and lab equipment to advanced technological aids like internal monitors and artificial body parts and organs, medical devices cover it all. According to Consumer Reports, even though tens of millions of patients rely on these types of devices to diagnose, manage, and maintain a variety of health conditions, these products are loosely regulated and frequently lack thorough testing before being released to the public. Because there is little regulation or standardized procedure for reporting potential problems, medical device defects and errors frequently go undetected until a significant number of patients are injured or killed.

Intubation is the technique of placing a tube into a patient’s airway to ensure they obtain enough oxygen when they can’t breathe on their own. While intubation can be a life-saving medical operation and is frequently performed during surgery, it is a difficult process in which even little mistakes can have serious, if not fatal, effects. If you have suffered an airway injury or an intubation error, contact one of the experienced malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano to see if you have a claim for compensation. We help clients throughout Upstate New York, with offices in multiple convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the medical malpractice field is reflected in the results we have achieved for our clients.

Failure to properly place the tracheal tube is a typical intubation mistake. When nurses and anesthesiologists make intubation errors, the airway might be lacerated or not enough oxygen is supplied. Intubation errors and medical carelessness can result in nerve damage, airway injury, and death. Airway injuries are a well-known anesthetic consequence. Many adverse respiratory events have been reported to the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). Laryngeal, pharyngeal, and esophageal injuries are common. In general, intubation allows doctors to study airways or help patients breathe. Complications can include vocal cord damage, infection, fluid buildup, throat injuries, tearing of chest tissues resulting in lung collapse, tooth injury, dental work damage, and aspiration. When a doctor conducts intubation in an emergency, complications are more likely. Yet, intubation is sometimes a life-saving procedure.

When errors occur during the intubation process, they can include the tube not being properly positioned within the esophagus; tubes becoming detached, kinked, bent, or dislodged; tubes becoming overinflated, and tubing puncturing the sensitive tissues of the mouth and airways. When such intubation errors occur, they can cause potentially catastrophic damage to patients. Some of the possible complications include traumatic brain injury when intubation errors cut off people’s supply of vital oxygen, internal bleeding and/or nerve damage when tubing punctures patients’ tissues, irregular heartbeat and/or stroke, severe infections when intubation errors and their resulting complications go unnoticed or untreated.

Urgent Care facilities are also known as Walk-In Care, Quick Care, and Convenient Care Centers. Whichever name they go by, their role and goal are the same: to provide medical treatment to individuals suffering from acute diseases or mild trauma. There is no need for an appointment to see a doctor, and the hours of operation are longer than those of a doctor’s office, particularly at night and on weekends. Patients with significant, life-threatening, or permanently debilitating conditions are not accepted at urgent care centers. Urine tests, pregnancy tests, rapid strep tests to diagnose strep throat, minor headaches, cough or sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, scrapes, bumps, ear or sinus pain, eye irritation, burning with urination, animal bites, and foreign objects in the eye or nose are among the basic services provided at an urgent care center. When necessary, medical personnel can use stitches and sutures to repair wounds. Some facilities can do blood testing and may have X-ray machines. If a break is discovered, emergency room personnel can place patients in casts before referring them to an orthopedist for further treatment. If you were hurt as a result of urgent care malpractice, contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We help clients throughout Upstate New York, with offices in multiple convenient locations.  Our extensive experience in the medical malpractice field is reflected in the results we have achieved for our clients. It is critical to get legal representation as soon as possible after being harmed in order to file a legitimate claim within the applicable statute of limitations.

It’s simple to see why urgent care clinics are popular alternatives to hospital emergency rooms when it comes to treating burns, abrasions, muscle sprains and strains, broken bones, doing medical imaging and other tests, and more. Because of their growing popularity, you are likely to find several within a short drive of your home. That can be beneficial if you find yourself in need of medical assistance with shorter wait times and a lower financial outlay than standard ER care. Due to the lack of appointment requirements and longer hours of operation, some people prefer urgent care medical clinics to primary care physicians or packed emergency departments. Urgent care clinics are becoming so popular that they are exceeding traditional emergency rooms in terms of patient use.

Urgent care clinics have revolutionized the way many Americans seek medical attention, but the greater accessibility of healthcare is not without concerns that are particular to the urgent care environment. Most medical personnel in urgent care centers treat individuals without the patient’s complete medical histories. During each visit, the patient must supply information about their allergies, chronic diseases, and medications. If the urgent care facility operates independently of nearby hospitals or medical facilities, it may have limited access to patient medical records. There is no ongoing physician-patient interaction. Individuals who are seen and diagnosed at an urgent care clinic are recommended to see their primary care physician or a specialist for follow-up. Urgent care centers are not intended to replace primary care physicians.

Chiropractic care has become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to traditional medical treatments. While many chiropractors provide excellent care to their patients, there are instances where their actions can cause harm. Chiropractic malpractice occurs when a chiropractor fails to provide the appropriate standard of care, resulting in injury or harm to the patient.  However, a chiropractor’s negligence could lead to serious injuries or even wrongful death. If you have suffered an injury due to chiropractor malpractice, the lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano are here for you. We help clients throughout the Upstate New York area with offices in multiple convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the medical malpractice field is reflected in the results we have achieved for our clients.

Millions of people see a chiropractor every year for help treating chronic conditions. Like all healthcare providers, chiropractors are obligated to adhere to the accepted standards of care within the medical community. Their failure to do so can result in liability for any injuries that are sustained as a result.  The chiropractic profession has its own standard of care, which holds chiropractors responsible for injuries at a higher level than a non-chiropractor.  The standard of care does require competency in the field. The standard of care looks at the chiropractor’s knowledge at the time of treatment. For example, if you have osteoporosis and do not tell your chiropractor, you cannot hold the chiropractor responsible for injuries resulting from the treatment.

Chiropractic misdiagnosis occurs when a chiropractor fails to correctly identify a patient’s condition or misinterprets the symptoms, leading to an incorrect diagnosis. This can result in ineffective or harmful treatment, as the chiropractor may be treating a condition that the patient does not have or may not be addressing the underlying issue. Misdiagnosis can occur for a variety of reasons, including a lack of training, inadequate patient history, or misinterpretation of imaging tests. The consequences of misdiagnosis can be serious for patients. They may receive unnecessary or inappropriate treatments for their condition, which can lead to prolonged pain, disability, and even further harm. In some cases, misdiagnosis can be life-threatening.  If chiropractic treatment was provided for a headache when a patient actually had peripheral artery disease and should have been referred to a medical specialist, and he died as a result of a heart attack during treatment, there may be chiropractic malpractice and wrongful death claim.

Clinical labs are staffed by medical doctors, assistants, phlebotomists, and technicians who take the samples, run the tests and analyze the results. They send reports to physicians and other medical professionals. Laboratory technicians are responsible for the collecting, handling, and testing of samples, then interpreting, recording, and reporting test results. Results from lab tests are used to diagnose, treat, and monitor disease states in patients. The results of these tests must be accurate, understandable, and delivered promptly. However, a doctor may be held liable for laboratory malpractice if he or she fails to order the correct test for a patient.  If you were harmed by improper procedures or interpretation of lab results, you should call the seasoned Rochester medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers.

Lab technicians and physicians work together to diagnose diseases and illnesses, prescribe medications, and plan treatment for individuals.  The outcome of lab results is critical to a patient’s well-being. Healthcare providers are required to appropriately order, administer, interpret, and provide lab results to patients. Unfortunately, these providers sometimes depart from the professional standard of care.  The medical standard of care refers to the type of care that a reasonably skilled and competent medical provider with a similar level of education within the same area would have provided to a patient under the same treatment circumstances in which the alleged malpractice occurred. In other words, the accepted standard of care would be the care that you might expect to receive from an average doctor in the same field of practice under the same circumstances. The doctor’s medical knowledge and specialty are taken into account when determining the standard of care that should have been applied.

There are thousands of medical laboratories around the country, many of them in-house at hospitals and medical centers, and patients rely on their expertise and accuracy in times of need. Medical labs serve a crucial purpose and receiving proper diagnostic tests can be the difference between an accurate, timely diagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, or a misdiagnosis.  Regardless of whether it is a hospital lab or a third-party outsourced lab, medical professionals and hospitals must provide correct information to patients.

In a country where doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are well-educated and trained, we don’t expect them to make mistakes. Unfortunately, pharmacists are just as likely to make errors at their job as anyone else.  Research shows that up to 10% of prescriptions are filled erroneously. Whether the error is filling the wrong prescription, inaccurately filling a prescription, or failing to provide patients with the necessary information, these errors can be detrimental to patients.  Of the hundreds of prescriptions pharmacists fill every day, it’s no surprise that mistakes happen.  Pharmacy malpractice happens frequently in the United States. Between 1 and 1.5 million Americans are injured from medication errors each year. Close to 50% of Americans take prescription medication at least once a month. This means that around 1 in 100 prescriptions will cause an injury. Elderly persons and those with limited access to healthcare may be affected by pharmacy malpractice injuries at higher rates. The most common cause of pharmacy malpractice is distraction, accounting for an estimated 75% of cases. Medication malpractice leads to an additional $3.5 billion in additional medical costs each year. 100% of those injured by pharmacist errors can reach out to a pharmacy malpractice lawyer for help. The seasoned Syracuse and Rochester area attorneys at  DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can review your case to see if you may have a valid claim against the pharmacy/pharmacist for dispensing the incorrect medication.

Individuals place great trust in pharmacists to properly mix and dispense medications. A pharmacist is also responsible for double-checking medications which are prepared by technicians, who can be inexperienced and low-paid employees. Pharmacists are specialists and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with a reasonable person with similar education and training. They must exercise judgment concerning a patient’s use of medications, drug interactions, and refills.

Shockingly, every day people receive incorrect prescriptions from their local pharmacy. The errors usually occur when the wrong medicine is prescribed, the pharmacy fills the prescription with the incorrect medication, or the wrong dosage of the correct prescription is dispensed. Many times, the effects of the wrong medication are minor, unfortunately, many incorrect prescriptions result in injuries that are not so benign. Some situations end in the patient dying from the medication error.

Many medical facilities in New York are public corporations. They bear the same obligations to their patients as private facilities, however, and if they breach their obligations, they can be held liable for medical malpractice. There are additional procedural requirements imposed on plaintiffs pursuing claims against public corporations, though, and if they fail to abide by them, it may result in the dismissal of their claims. In some instances, though, the court will excuse such oversights, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice case. If you were injured by the recklessness of a physician, it is advisable to consult a Rochester medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your possible claims.

Case History

It is reported that the plaintiff gave birth to her child at the defendant’s hospital. Shortly after his birth, the child was diagnosed with Erbs palsy. Further, the plaintiff was directed to follow up with a neurologist due to the fact that the child had a brachial plexus injury caused by birth trauma, demonstrated by asymmetric Moro reflex and decreased movement of the right arm, and suspected right brachial plexus palsy.

Allegedly, the plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant and a motion for leave to file a late notice of claim. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint due to late notice. The court denied the defendant’s motion, and the defendant appealed. Continue Reading ›

People aggrieved by incompetent medical care have the right to pursue medical malpractice claims against their providers. Broadly speaking, they have the right to choose where to file such claims. There are limitations to the general rule, however, and if a court determines it lacks jurisdiction over a medical malpractice lawsuit, it may dismiss the case. Recently, a district court sitting in New York explained when federal courts have jurisdiction over medical malpractice claims, in a matter in which it ultimately determined the case must be dismissed. If you suffered harm because of a negligent doctor, you could be owed damages, and you should speak with a Rochester medical malpractice attorney about your rights.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant, a county sheriff’s department, placed the plaintiff in a jail cell. While she was in the jail cell, the defendant’s doctor examined the plaintiff. He neglected to order that the plaintiff be taken to the hospital or to conduct any tests, which plaintiff asserted resulted in a sickle cell crisis. As such, she filed a pro se lawsuit against the defendant in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.

Reportedly, the plaintiff asserted one claim of negligence in her complaint, and filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis. The court granted her motion but ultimately dismissed her complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Continue Reading ›

Mental healthcare professionals that treat patients for depression and suicidal ideation will often correspond with other healthcare providers that treat their patients. The failure to engage in such communications does not necessarily constitute malpractice if a patient subsequently dies by suicide, however. This was demonstrated in a recent New York case in which the court ruled that the plaintiff failed to show that a lack of communication proximately caused a patient’s death. If you lost a loved one due to inadequate medical care, it is in your best interest to talk to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent treated with a psychiatrist for several years. In 2016, he began treating with the defendant, who administered the decedent Ketamine treatments in an attempt to cure his depression. During the first session, the decedent expressly forbid the defendant from contacting his psychiatrist. In January 2017, the decedent requested an emergency appointment with the defendant; during the session, he reported suicidal ideation.

Allegedly, by the end of the appointment, the defendant did not believe the decedent was at imminent risk of self-harm. The decedent died by suicide two days later. His husband subsequently brought medical malpractice claims against the defendant, arguing that his failure to communicate with the decedent’s psychiatrist proximately caused the decedent’s death. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court granted his motion. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

People that live with mental illness sadly often harbor ideations of self-harm. If a mental health provider treating a patient with depression or anxiety fails to prevent their death by suicide, the patient’s family members can pursue medical malpractice claims against the provider. In order to institute a medical malpractice lawsuit, a plaintiff merely needs to set forth a complaint with allegations sufficient to support their assertions. In other words, they do not need to offer evidence in support of their claims, as explained by a New York court in a recent case. If you sustained losses because of a negligent healthcare provider, it is advisable to meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your rights.

The Factual and Procedural Background

It is alleged that the decedent had a history of mental illnesses, including depression and schizoaffective disorder. During confinement in a state facility, she was placed on suicide watch before being moved to the general population. The defendant provided mental health services to the decedent and made the decision to move her to the general population.

Reportedly, the decedent began to exhibit signs of increased depression and anxiety after she was moved to the general population. She hanged herself, and due to the facility’s failure to conduct a complete inspection of the decedent’s floor, she was not discovered for over 20 minutes. She ultimately died from her injuries. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting, inter alia, a medical malpractice claim. The defendant moved to dismiss the medical malpractice claim on the grounds that the plaintiff did not allege the standard of care the defendant allegedly violated. Continue Reading ›

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