New York City Hospitals Defendants in Several Malpractice Lawsuits

New York City Hospitals Pay More for Medical Malpractice LawsuitsSeveral medical malpractice lawsuits have taken place in New York City hospitals in 2011, New York Daily News reports.

In Brooklyn, one man who had suffered a life-threatening stroke reportedly waited hours before a doctor could see him at Kings County Hospital. At the same health center, a 10-year-old girl was allegedly pumped with too much oxygen during an asthma attack that led to her death.

In the year's highest malpractice settlement, a woman was awarded $8 million after physicians at Lincoln Hospital allegedly misdiagnosed a cheek infection that spread, resulting in paralysis.

"The tragedy here is that this could have been avoided," said one local malpractice attorney. "Her complete dependence on others as a result of someone’s negligence is a horribly unfair existence."

The problem began when the 38-year-old woman, who wished to remain anonymous, sought treatment for an abscess in her mouth. After draining the infection, the dentist allegedly sent her home, and reportedly did not send the tissue in for a culture that would have exposed a dangerous infection called MRSA.

According to the National Library of Medicine, MRSA is a fairly common train of staph bacteria that often leads to infections in healthcare settings, and can be allayed with antibiotics if spotted early.

Although the infection can be minor and remain local, it also has the capability to spread to more serious areas, such as the heart, lungs, blood or bone. Such infections are more common in people with immune systems that have been weakened, often in hospital patients.

About ten days after the procedure, the woman returned to the hospital complaining of extreme pain, where physicians determined the infection had spread to her neck and spine, rendering her paralyzed from the neck down.

"Life for her is a daily battle," her lawyer stated.