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Gerry Oginski's New York Medical Malpractice Blog

Welcome to my blog!

This blog is designed to educate and inform you about interesting things in the world of medicine and law and how they intersect. I offer news items, commentary and opinion on my blog. I welcome your comments and thoughts. To learn more about how medical malpractice, accident cases and wrongful death cases work in New York, I encourage you to explore my popular website here. As always, if you have legal questions, I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by email at [email protected] I welcome your call!

Gerry


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12/29/2015
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Surprising New Brain Cancer Info

The study focuses on gliomas, which are the most common type of brain tumor in adults today. Glioblastomas, are the most aggressive type of gliomas

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6/29/2015
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New Test to Detect Pancreatic Cancer

This is not the 1st time that experts have tried to find a protein that could test for pancreatic cancer. Researchers have unsuccessfully tried, to find marker

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6/29/2015
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Study Links More Sex to Less Prostate Cancer Risk

A new study found that regular sex, specifically ejaculation, was associated with a statistically significant lower risk of prostate cancer.

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1/19/2015
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New Genetic Insight into Fragile X Syndrome

Researchers have furthered their knowledge of the fragile X syndrome. This advancement was possible thanks to a patient with a mutation in a specific gene

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1/19/2015
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With Health Coverage Fewer Struggle With Medical Costs

Since President Barack Obama’s health care law expanded coverage, not only do more Americans have health insurance, but the number struggling with medical costs

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1/13/2015
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Can Eating Fiber Extend Your Life?

Experts say people can get their extra fiber by consuming two servings of whole grains (such as cereal) and two servings of fruit or veggies. Cereal is said to

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11/20/2014
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Does a Second Risk of Breast Cancer Increase Over Time?

Reuters reports that with gene mutations a second breast cancer risk rises over time. Are women who are genetically susceptible to breast cancer and have it in

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8/9/2014
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CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP...A TASTE OF YOUR SENSES...A short story

While on vacation in St. Maarten, I wanted to create a short story that used all five of our senses. While waiting for my family, here's what I came up with...

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6/22/2011
Gerry Oginski
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Pharmacty Error: Family Claims Wrong Prescription Caused Death of 12 Year Old

The New York Post this week reported on a tragic medical error that is now on its way to court. 12-year-old Phillipe Galette died on April 2, 2010 because of a

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6/6/2011
Gerry Oginski
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Handicapped Chasidic Jew Sues NYC Businesses That Are Not Handicap Accessible

Zoltan Hirsch, a double amputee in a wheelchair, goes around the five boroughs of New York looking for stores that do not allow handicapped access. When he

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11/8/2010
Gerry Oginski
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An article in today's Newsday describes a recent study done by the government that cost $250 million to determine whether CT scans are a reliable and effective method of screening for early detection of lung cancer.The government project showed a 20% reduction in mortality through spiral or helical CT scanning. As of yet, private insurers do not cover CT scans for routine lung cancer screening according to Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute, a sponsor of the CT scanning research.

As with any new diagnostic test that is expensive, many medical policy skeptics decry the use of diagnostic imaging based on ever-increasing health care costs. The Newsday article says that some medical policy experts have questioned the cost of cancer screenings of all kinds, citing false positives. I have written extensively on this topic before, and whenever medical policy experts get involved, you must always ask what their hidden agenda is. Typically it involves trying to reduce healthcare costs associated with diagnostic tests and treatments. Many of the so-called “policy experts” believe diagnostic tests and treatments are “unnecessary.”

The next time somebody tells you that you may have the early stages of a fatal disease, ask them what they would do if there was a test available that would detect this at an early-stage. Ask them whether they are willing to forgo early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer in order to save an insurance company from paying $500-$1000 for diagnostic test. According to this government study, a CT scan is effective in diagnosing early lung cancers.

Dr. Harry Raftopoulos, a medical oncologist at North Shore-LIJ's Monti Cancer Center was quoted as saying there are no screening standards currently. The only ones in use are the ones created for this project to determine which patients would be right for this study. Interestingly, he asked a pressing question: "What are doctors  supposed to do when they diagnose an abnormal finding? He said there may also be a risk of exposing patients to unnecessary biopsies as a result of abnormal findings. However, both experts noted above predicted that their hospitals would eventually develop CT screening criteria that would allow patients to undergo this lung cancer screening test.

The article also quoted Dr. Jeff Schneider, director of lung cancer program at Winthrop University Medical Center saying that this study is groundbreaking. Hopefully, with early detection, patients can receive early diagnosis and treatment, which is exactly the goal for both doctor and patient.

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9/25/2010
Gerry Oginski
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Pregnancies and the birthing process can take a heavy toll on a woman’s body.  As a result, many women undergo one or more operations after bearing children to help them recover their appearance from before having kids.  Women undergo these operations to have a better future but mistakes made by plastic surgeons can mean that these women have no future at all.

That is what happened to a 36 year old woman in Virginia Beach, California, who had a breast lift, tummy tuck, and liposuction to help return her appearance to the way it was before she had four children.  Within forty hours of having the operation, the woman was dead.  After an autopsy, it was revealed that the woman suffered from aspiration pneumonia after contents of her stomach went up her esophagus and then went down into her lungs. Aspiration pneumonia is mostly seen in anesthesia cases where the anesthesiologist fails to recognize that the patient has vomited during surgery and then the stomach contents are inhaled into their lungs. The stomach contents are highly acidic and when they go into the lungs, can have a devastating and deadly effect.

Before leaving the hospital, the woman reported having shortness of breath and the attorney who represented the woman’s estate claimed she was “whisked out the door” by the hospital.  A jury returned a $1.9 million dollar verdict.
   
To learn more about how medical malpractice cases work here in New York, I encourage you to explore my website http://www.oginski-law.com. If you have legal questions, and I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] I welcome your call.

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11/14/2009
Gerry Oginski
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How to Choose a New York Lawyer From a TV Commercial

You need to find an attorney. You're watching TV and see 5 different lawyer ads. How do you choose which law firm is right for you? Read the article to find out.

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7/6/2009
Gerry Oginski
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July 4, 2009

At 7 PM on July 4, in Fort Myers airport, Florida my family and I were walking toward the boarding gate of our JetBlue flight 138 heading back home to New York. As we approached the boarding gate, we saw a gate attendant kneeling on the floor next to an elderly man who was clearly unresponsive. The gate attendant had his finger on the man’s carotid artery, checking for a pulse. My son immediately dropped his laptop ran over to the man on the floor, announced that he was a first responder and a firefighter and also checked for a pulse. Having found no pulse and that he was not breathing, my son directed that they immediately begin CPR and advised the gate attendant to begin chest compressions.

A few moments later, a Port Authority policeman arrived and my son requested a mask to ventilate his lungs.

Together, the gate attendant and my son worked as a team to perform CPR on this cardiac arrest victim. If you’ve ever performed CPR it is physically taxing. Your adrenaline is pumping and you’re focused on reviving the patient. 

Chest compressions and ventilation continued for minutes until the pilot of our plane and another Port Authority police officer arrived with an automatic external defibrillator. Two large electrodes strips were placed on this man’s body and the defibrilator was activated.

If you’ve never seen an automatic defibrillator in action, it’s fascinating to watch and to hear. It announces that it is evaluating the patient’s heart rate and once it has finished assessing heart rate, it immediately recommends action and whether or not to shock the patient in an attempt to restore the normal heart rhythm.

After the first assessment was made by the automatic defibrilator, it recommended that the patient be shocked immediately. Once you press the button to administer the shock, the automatic defibrilator advises that everyone should stand back away from the patient. If you’ve ever seen someone shocked using defibrillator paddles on TV, it is the same as watching it in real life. A tremendous jolt of electricity is sent throughout the patient’s body to try and restore the heart rhythm or to get the heart rhythm reverted back to normal.

In this case, after the shock had been administered, my son and the gate attendant continued CPR until the automatic defibrilator advised to momentarily stop so it could check for a heart rate. At this point, there was still no heart rate or respirations. The defibrillator again recommended shocking the patient, and after the patient was shocked for the second time, the patient regained a pulse and respirations. My son together with an EMS attendant and the gate attendant turned the patient onto his side in order to prevent him from inhaling any fluids into his lungs (known as aspiration), now that he was breathing again. 

By this time, two other emergency medical crews arrived and took over where my son had left off.

My son is 17 years old and is a volunteer firefighter with the Vigilant Fire Department here in Great Neck. Watching my son take control of this medical emergency  and selflessly run to help this man in distress gave me the greatest feeling I could ever have as a parent. All of his training with the fire department effortlessly kicked into gear and I’m proud to say that my son helped save a life on July 4, 2009, Independence Day.

On the plane ride home to New York, my son told me this was his 15th time performing CPR. Looking at him, I could see the sparkle in his eye knowing that he did something good for someone else. Even though we were unaware of this man’s fate, I couldn’t help but think what a great person my son turned out to be.



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