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Gerry Oginski's New York Legal Blog

This blog is designed to educate and inform you about recent news and how it may impact your legal case in New York. I have provided commentary and opinion and welcome your comments to keep the conversation going.

If you have urgent legal questions or need a lawyer, please pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 today.


10/2/2014
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Did The U.S. Ebola Victim Originally Go Unnoticed?

How is it possible that the ebola virus has made it's way to the United States? Did it get on a plane? Was it transmitted in the ocean? No. Someone dropped

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

7/15/2013
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Man Dies at Coney Island Hospital after Blood Transfusion Error

A man died at Coney Island Hospital last week after receiving the wrong type of blood during a blood transfusion. He was only forty years old.

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3/28/2013
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Why Some New York Doctors Get Away with Medical Malpractice & Don't Have to Pay a Dime in Compensation

If a doctor screws up and causes you harm, do you think he's going to come right out and tell you he screwed up? Do you think he's going to tell you "Mrs. Jones, I just want you to know

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

11/17/2012
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Patient Dies of Sepsis When Feeding Tube Put Back in Wrong Place

The feeding tube was removed and cleaned out. Unfortunately for this patient, when the tube was reinserted, it was not put back into the correct position.

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

3/4/2012
Gerry Oginski
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Informed Consent; "How Much Do You Know Before Your Surgery?"

John was having significant belly pain. He was doubled over. He couldn't go to the bathroom, thinking it was gas. His pain was getting worse. Still he thought it was gas pain. Finally, he decided it was wise to go to the emergency room. He was going to drive himself but realized that would be impossible.

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

6/11/2011
Gerry Oginski
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Why do Upstate Doctors Pay Less for Medical Malpractice Insurance Than Do Downstate Doctors?

A new study by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has released a report that pegs liability insurance costs for doctors in the New York City area are 3.5 times

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

5/9/2011
Gerry Oginski
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$7 Million Awarded to Massachusets Family for Bungled Pre-Birth Diagnosis: News Report

Last Friday, a Massachusetts couple was awarded $7 million because their baby girl was born "with a rare genetic disorder known as cri-du-chat syndrome." Had th

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

3/16/2011
Gerry Oginski
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Hospital bigwigs earn big bucks while your health insurance premiums skyrocket

Do you think there's any correlation between your ever-increasing health insurance premiums and the fact that hospital administrators are earning millions of do

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

2/16/2011
Gerry Oginski
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Surgical Instruments (plural) Left Inside Patient During Surgery

These were not small instruments. These surgical instruments were no supposed to be left inside the patient. Yet for some unknown reason, SIX surgical forceps (clamps) were left INSIDE this hapless patient. A Phillipino man had been a gunshot victim during a robbery in the Phillipines and underwent corrective surgery. He survived and was left with an open wound that was being monitored. Two days later, he was dead.

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

11/22/2010
Gerry Oginski
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1 out of 7 Medicare Patients Harmed in Hospital

Newsday reported about a new report confimring that 1 out of 7 Medicare patients suffer injury in hospitals. That is an astounding number. Medicare's new chief has called for improving patient safety following that report. In fact, the article reported that 15,000 people per month suffered a complication that contributed to their death, according to the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

10/1/2010
Gerry Oginski
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Is this the end of medical malpractice lawsuits in New York?

Today, Renal and Urology News reported that five hospitals in New York city would be participating in a $3 million dollar, federally funded program to reduce medical malpractice errors. That's a good start. Here are some of the details. Beth Israel Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, and Montefiore Medical Center will focus their efforts on reducing errors in obstetrics. The fifth hospital, New York Presbyterian Hospital, will focus on the prevention of surgical errors.

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9/28/2010
Gerry Oginski
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MRSA Infections-Are They a Big Deal?

There’s lots of recent hype about infections with MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus). The media uses that hype to sell ad space, but for the medical profession it’s old news. Here’s a reality check: Many of us are infected with MRSA already and don’t know it. Blame your friends, blame your family, but it ain’t always the doctor’s fault. As a medical student many years ago, one of my tasks was doing cultures on my patients. Lots of germs would grow, some bad, some common and innocuous. Out of curiosity one morning at Harborview Hospital in Seattle, I decided to culture the floor of the nurses station. Picking an area near the baseboard where I thought germs would likely be lurking, I did a swab and submitted it to the microbiology lab. Expecting to find a veritable menagerie of single-celled killer bacteria, I was surprised a few days later to find that the only things growing were 3 colonies of common staph. Is the hospital really a bastion of infection? Or is the housekeeping staff that good?

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

9/24/2010
Gerry Oginski
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A Morphine Cocktail Gone Wrong

Newborns come into the world in a fragile state. Even a simple mistake in medical treatment can mean life or death for a baby. That is why it is so shocking to hear about incidents in which a hospital makes careless errors in infant care. That is what happened to a newborn when a nurse mixed up the baby’s intravenous line with that of its mother. The result was that the baby received 400 times the recommended amount of morphine for a baby. The baby stopped breathing and had to be revived. The baby was able to survive but only with the help of a feeding tube.

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9/7/2010
Gerry Oginski
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Spinal Injection Causes Paralysis

One of the few comforts that a patient can rely on when undergoing a major procedure is that they usually get to meet and talk to the doctor who will be performing their operation. When that trust is betrayed, patients have a right to be upset. For example, a man was admitted to a hospital to receive an acrylic injection to his spinal column. The procedure was supposed to help the man with his back pain. The man decided to undergo the procedure after discussing the risks with his doctor. After the procedure, the patient was paralyzed. Apparently the injection was performed incorrectly and the inserted fluid spread to inappropriate parts of the spine. Additionally, the patient found out that the doctor who performed the operation was not the one that he consulted with.

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6/5/2010
Gerry Oginski
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Kidney Cancer-Losing a case you should have won

There are few things more frustrating to a trial attorney than losing a case he should have won. Obviously, there are never any guarantees when taking a case to trial. However, in the recent case involving a failure to timely diagnose kidney cancer resulting in death of a 60-year-old man in Queens County this is exactly what happened. Mr. Liew needed a kidney transplant. The kidney he received had unknowingly had cancer.

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

4/23/2010
Gerry Oginski
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Physical Therapy You Can Expect to Receive After a Car Accident

An automobile accident is a traumatic experience, one that brings on various mixed feelings. On the one hand you’re grateful to be alive, but on the other you’re wondering how you’re going to cope with the injuries the mishap has left you with. Different accidents give rise to different kinds of mishaps, so your treatment needs tend to vary accordingly. In general, if you suffer broken bones and sprained muscles, you may need surgical care first before moving on to physiotherapy.

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

11/14/2009
Gerry Oginski
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How to Ask Your Treating Doctor to Be Your Expert in Your Medical Malpractice Case

Learn why your treating doctor may be your best expert in a medical malpractice case.

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

11/14/2009
Gerry Oginski
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How to Start a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in New York

Ever wonder how exactly a medical malpractice case gets started in New York? Reading this article will take you through the different steps an attorney needs to evaluate once you walk into their office. Take a look.

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

8/30/2009
Gerry Oginski
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An out-of-work chef was told he needed his gallbladder taken out. It was going to be done laparoscopically. It was "routine." The healing time was minimal and there was no need for an extended hospital stay. The doctors call this procedure a 'laparoscopic cholescystectomy'.

Shortly after the surgery my client started having significant abdominal pain. Calls to the surgeon's office brushed off the his complaints as 'normal post-operative pain'. After two weeks of unremitting belly pain, the patient was told to go to the closest emergency room. An MRI and CT scan revealed the patient needed emergency surgery right away to explore what was going on in his belly.

After surgery at a different hospital, the surgeon told the patient that his common bile duct had been clipped off during the original surgery. As a result, bile continued to back up causing significant pain. During the emergency surgery, the patient required a 12 inch massive abdominal incision so the doctors could explore his entire belly. He also required drains for more than six months sticking out of his abdomen.

The common bile duct should never have been clippped off during the gallbladder removal. The fact that the surgeon failed to recognize it, is a departure from good medical practice. If he had recognized the misplacement during surgery, the clip could have been removed and properly placed.

This surgeon's carelessness resulted in significant pain and the need for emergency surgery for this patient and almost a year of recuperation. 

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

7/27/2009
Gerry Oginski
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New York Daily News blows the lid on cover-ups at New York City municipal hospitals including Bellevue hospital, Coney Island hospitalElmhurst hospital, Harlem hospital, Jacobi hospital, Kings County hospital, Lincoln hospital, Metropolitan hospital, North Central Bronx hospital, Queens General hospital and Woodhull hospital.

"City-run hospitals faked records and covered up dozens of botched operations, deadly accidents, malpractice and other medical screwups, a Daily News investigation has found.

The coverups hid a trail of human suffering among patients who were maimed and relatives who were never told the truth about how their loved ones died or were injured unnecessarily."

Read the full article here

Category: Keyword Search: hospital

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.



Category: Keyword Search: hospital