Articles Posted in Infections

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A recent case out of Illinois alleges that a husband’s disabling injury was caused by a neck injection. According to the complaint, on March 20, 2015, Bill Blechinger came under the care of a doctor for an undisclosed ailment. A day later, the plaintiff entered the emergency department at St. Joseph’s Hospital – again for an undisclosed ailment – during which time an injection was administered to his neck.

According to court documents, the injection was negligently and carelessly administered in the absence of a sterile environment, causing an infection. Among other claims, the plaintiff asserts that he has become been crippled, permanently disabled, and suffers great pain, mental anguish and disfigurement. Plaintiff further asserts that he has been permanently prevented from attending his usual duties, and has lost wages, income, and has incurred large amounts of medical expenses.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Leone, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict all types of medical malpractice cases. Victims of medical complications due to the negligence error of the administering physician could be entitled to monetary compensation. Do not hesitate to contact us to speak with someone about a potential malpractice claim.

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According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), between October of 2008 and June of 2010, more than 11,000 Medicare-eligible patients received care and treatment at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York.

During that time period, at least two patients experienced a 100% preventable surgical complication known as a gossypiboma or textiloma, which is when an object like a sponge, pad, or gauze are accidentally left inside a patient after the incision is closed. For this adverse incident category, Crouse’s rate per discharge of 0.609 was more than six times the national rate per discharge of 0.09.

“CMS’ report is significant because it lifts the veil of secrecy surrounding medical mistakes at area hospitals,” said Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer Michael A. Bottar, of Bottar Leone, LLC. “These statistics do not include errors affecting non-Medicare-eligible patients.”

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At the forefront of the current New York State budget debate is whether or not non-economic damages in New York medical malpractice lawsuits should be capped at $250,000.00. Non-economic damages are those damages awarded by a jury for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

According to hospitals and doctors around the State, medical malpractice lawsuits are universally “frivolous.” In response, we ask New York doctors to comment on what just happened to 2 year old Malyia Jeffers. Specifically, we welcome their thoughts on whether this is a case of emergency room malpractice.

A short time ago, Malyia woke up with a fever. When the fever began to rise and Malyia began to show bruising on her cheeks, her parents rushed her to Sacramento’s Methodist Hospital emergency room. According to a CNN report entitled “Harmed In The Hospital? Should You Sue?”, Malyia sat in the emergency room for nearly five (5) hours before she was examined by a physician. By the time emergency room personnel diagnosed her with sepsis (i.e., a blood infection), it was too late. The infection was advanced and, to save her life, doctors had to amputate her left hand, most of her right hand, and both of her legs. Sepsis is typically treated with intravenous antibiotics. “And time matters,” said Michael A. Bottar, of Bottar Leone, PLLC. “It is well known that for every hour of delay in the administration of antibiotic therapy for sepsis, there is an associated 7% rise in mortality.”

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Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer Anthony S. Bottar, managing partner of Bottar Leone, PLLC, one of Upstate New York’s oldest law firms with a practice limited to medical malpractice, wrongful death, birth injuries, work injuries, brain injuries, and product/premises liability, was elected president of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, an organization dedicated to protecting, preserving and enhancing the civil justice system.

The New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers boasts a membership of more than 1400 judges, law clerks, law firms, lawyers, paralegals and law students, including: Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers handling cases concerning stroke misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose cancer and failure to prevent a heart attack; Syracuse work injury lawyers handling cases concerning construction site accidents, scaffolding accidents and injuries caused by a fall from a height; Syracuse birth injury lawyers handling cases concerning fetal hypoxia and ischemia, cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy; Utica brain injury lawyers handling cases concerning concussions, post-concussion symdrome and TBI; Watertown medical malpractice lawyers handling cases concerning Samaritan Medical Center negligence and Fort Drum physician mistakes; and Watertown injury lawyers handling New York State Thruway accidents.

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With Spring comes more sunshine and more time outdoors for Central New York residents, including children living in Syracuse, Ithaca, Oswego, Utica, Rome, Herkimer, Watertown and Binghamton. At the same time, more time outdoors means more exposure to Lyme Disease. Syracuse New York Lyme Disease lawyers Bottar Leone, PLLC, warn residents to check their arms and legs for ticks!

Lyme Disease is a largely tick-borne disease that is passed to humans through a bug bite, which is usually followed by a rash and/or bulls eye shaped red mark. Additional signs and symptoms include a flu-like feeling, fever, chest congestion, headache, nausea, and joint pain. Unfortunately, a Lyme Disease rash is often misdiagnosed as poison ivy or ringworm. Other symptoms are commonly confused with the flu or a musculoskeletal injury.

The failure to diagnose Lyme Disease can have devastating consequences, including brain damage due to meningitis, heart damage due to infective endocarditis, Lyme arthritis and Bells’ Palsy. Generally, Lyme Disease is diagnosed by a blood test and, if positive, is treated with either oral or intravenous amoxicillin (depending upon the stage of the disease).
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Children’s Hospital researchers recently announced that a procalcitonin test may help identify serious bacterial infections in children without the need for hospitalization, invasive testing (such as a spinal tap), or medication.

According to Syracuse, New York infection lawyers Bottar Leone, PLLC, one of the most significant signs of an ongoing disease process in children is a fever. Most infant visits to an emergency room are for fever. As many as 20% of fevers have no identifiable cause. While a fever may be a symptom of something as minor as a cold or the flu, a fever may also be a sign of a very serious infection, such as meningitis, bacteremia, pneumonia or urinary tract infection. The failure to diagnose meningitis can result in brain damage or death.

As many as 12% of “well-appearing” children in the emergency room are very ill. Emergency room doctors should not rely solely upon whether a child has a fever to determine whether a baby is sick, especially in children under the age of 3 months. In turn, most order a battery of tests, including analysis of blood, urine and spinal fluid. Performing a procalcitonin test may allow emergency room personnel to quickly identify whether a child is at low-risk for a serious bacterial infection.
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In the March edition of Consumer Reports, two Central New York hospitals will share the spotlight for having no central line bloodstream infections. A central line is a large diameter tube or catheter, usually inserted into a vein in the neck, chest or groin. Once in place, a central line can be used to deliver intravenous drugs and nutrition to patients. Without proper placement and maintenance, central lines are prone to infections. Central line bloodstream infections can lead to sepsis and death. As many at 15% of all hospital infections concern a central line.

Consumer Reports surveyed more than 100 hospitals nationwide. Of the hospitals surveyed, there were no reports of central line infections at Community General Hospital in Syracuse, New York. Likewise, there were no reports of central line infections at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, New York.

In order to avoid hospital infections, both Community General Hospital and Cayuga Medical Center have developed protocols to decrease the possibility of contamination by, e.g., instructing staff to wear gowns, gloves and masks, draping the patient, and limiting the number of times that the central line is handled. Further, both hospitals attempt to limit how long a central line is in place because the longer a line is in place, the greater the risk for infection.

In addition to hospitals without infections, the report also highlighted New York hospitals with higher-than-average infection rates. One Syracuse hospital with a higher-than-average surgery infection rate was Upstate University Hospital. Crouse Hospital was noted to have below average colon-surgery site infections.
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