Numerous people fear what could happen to them when going in for surgery at a hospital. One family’s biggest nightmare came true when their loved one went to Coney Island Hospital for surgery.

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. When the human body is given the wrong type of blood the body automatically attacks the new red bloods cells; this attack results in a violent reaction that has the potential to lead to shock and kidney failure. For example, if a person who has Type B blood is given Type A blood then a violent reaction will occur in the body because the wrong blood type was given.

One hospital professional told the New York Post, “The blood was mislabeled in the lab. It shouldn’t have happened. It’s just carelessness.” He also added that this is a huge problem. Another source told the Post that the error happened in the hospital’s lab on the sixth floor where the blood is screened and typed. Apparently a technician labeled the blood as the wrong type and it was then given to the patient.

Blood for Coney Island Hospital is now being typed by Kings County Hospital. Then Kings County Hospital calls Coney Island Hospital and tells them the blood type. Coney Island Hospital is continuing to maintain its own storage of blood and continuing to perform surgeries. But emergency service patients are being given Type-O blood since that can be used in a universal manner.

A spokesman for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation issued a statement saying, “Our deepest condolences go out to the family… We are working with the state to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.” A source told the Post that state inspectors are will most likely come on Monday to the hospital site.

A thirty-one year old woman who is a patient at Coney Island Hospital told the Post, “Of course I’m worried about a blood transfusion. They’re all so understaffed here. I couldn’t get any attention last week and I overheard someone saying there’s a problem with a patient’s blood transfusion on the fourth floor.” Another woman said, “I fear for my life at this hospital. I wouldn’t put my dog in here.”

The same hospital had a fatal transfusion error in 1995 and a string of nonfatal transfusion mistakes in 1994 according to the New York Post. A state health department report which came out the same year (1995) condemned the hospital for its systemic issues in handling blood.

Even a staffer of the hospital told the New York Post yesterday that “I would go anywhere but Coney Island. Even Kings County is better.” A statement has not been issued yet at this time by the family of the victim. It is unclear whether the family will be filing a case against the hospital.


CONEY ISLAND HOSPITAL is considered a municipal hospital and is under the control and ownership of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. As of today, July 15, 2013, injured victims and their families have only 90 days from the date of any wrongdoing within which to file a notice of claim against New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.

That is the legal entity that controls, operates and maintains Coney Island hospital. Then, an injured victim or their family would have one year and 90 days from the date of any wrongdoing within which to file a lawsuit against New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.

If the initial notice of claim is not timely filed, there is a special process that an injured victim or their family could go through in an attempt to file a late notice of claim.

If you are intent on filing a claim for injuries you sustained at a municipal hospital within the five boroughs of New York, it is critical to know whether your matter is timely. The only way to know for sure where your matter is timely is to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney to determine whether your time limit as described above is currently up to date or whether it has changed.

Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
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