Welcome and thank you for joining me.  I'm Gerry Oginski a New York Medical malpractice and personal injury trial lawyer practicing law here in the State of New York. 

Today's tip is is about a man who bled to death after undergoing dialysis.  This man had been receiving dialysis for about a year or two.  And in the week before the fateful day he had been complaining to the nurse and the technician who set up the dialysis equipment that he was having pain in his arm where the equipment would be attached.

Dialysis patients have something called an AV shunt, which is a connection between the artery and the vein that resides in the arm.  And the nurse or the technician attaches the needle into that shunt in order to filter the patient's blood.

Now, about a week before the fateful day the patient had been complaining about pain in his arm and had told the nurse each time.  The nurse pooh-poohed it and didn't really give it much thought and never bothered to call a doctor over to take a look at it.  Why is that important?  Well, it's important because on the day that the patient left dialysis he went home.  And what happened was his wife came home from lunch that day, and as she proceeded to walk toward the front door she noticed that there was blood on the front steps.  As she opened her front door she continued to follow the trail of blood.  That trail led her directly her first floor bathroom.  When she opened the bathroom what she saw looked like a murder scene. 

Her husband was collapsed on the floor in a pool of blood.  There was blood on the ceiling.  There was blood on the walls.  There was blood everywhere.  There were open packages of bandages that had been opened and were on the floor.

The New York City Medical Examiner determined that he had attempted to apply pressure to stop the bleeding and by the time he got into the bathroom and was furiously trying to rip open bandages to apply pressure to his arm that was insufficient.  And the medical examiner also determined that it took this man about five minutes to bleed to death.  The fact is that this man died as a result of a shunt that ruptured, that was never diagnosed correctly and never treated.  Because if a doctor had correctly recognized the infection in the shunt, he could have been treated with antibiotics and he could have had surgery to remove that shunt and put it in a different location. 

It's clear from the New York City Medical Examiner's investigation that there was carelessness on the part of the dialysis center for not taking a look at the patient's shunt, especially when he had complained of it. 

That's it for today's tip.  I want to thank you for joining me.  I'm Gerry Oginski.  Have a great day. 

Gerry Oginski
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Raj Ramajandran 05/10/2011 06:14 PM
The state of healthcare in this country sickens me. This was easily preventable.
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