Jaroslawicz & Jaros, PLLC
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212-227-2780 800-269-2780
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Jaroslawicz & Jaros, PLLC
Call or email to schedule a FREE consultation.
212-227-2780 800-269-2780
Free transportation can be provided.
Jaroslawicz & Jaros, PLLC

Serious Consequences From Misuse of Medical Devices in Kidney Surgery

Kidney donor surgery is considered to be very safe, statistically. For example, more than 6,000 individuals donated kidneys in 2010, and none died within 30 days of surgery. However, a case in Texas has brought increased concern and scrutiny over the safety of kidney donors whose surgeons misuse a specific medical device known as an arterial clip. When a kidney is removed, the surgeon must sever the renal artery and then close it to prevent fatal bleeding. Though there are many ways to close the artery, some doctors use arterial clips. These clips were never intended to be used on kidney donors, though they frequently are. And in a few cases, this medical malpractice has resulted in death. A case in point occurred in 2011 when a 41-year-old woman donated a kidney to her sister. The surgery was successful, but something went horribly wrong in recovery. The donor was rushed back to the operating table where surgeons found a pool of blood in her abdomen. Floating in that pool were the clips intended to prevent the deadly bleed. The clips had slipped from the artery stumps, and the woman never recovered. Use of the clips has long drawn scrutiny from medical professionals who believe they are unsafe for kidney donors. Even the packaging for the clips has a warning symbol directing surgeons to review instructions and warnings prior to using the clips. The instructions clearly state that the arterial clips are not to be used on kidney donors. Unfortunately, the clips themselves carry no such warning. Further, the instructions are not included with the clips. Rather, the instructions come with a separate tool and are often not even kept in operating rooms for physician reference. Recognizing the danger of clips used for kidney patients, in 2006 the manufacturer of the clips sent at least three warning letters to hospitals alerting them of the potential harm to patients. Tragically, many of those letters never even reached the physicians who needed to see them. Rather, they were filed or tossed and forgotten. In situations where kidney donors suffer harm or death from the use of arterial clips, they may have the right to pursue legal action against the hospitals and medical systems that failed to properly warn surgeons of the dangers. Further, the physicians themselves may bear responsibility for improperly using a medical device for unintended purposes. The sad fact is, however, that even if a financial settlement is reached for wrongful death or medical malpractice, it will never repair or replace the damage caused by careless actions. Source: CNN Health, "Kidney-donor deaths linked to surgical clips raise issues of alerts, warnings," John Bonifield and Elizabeth Cohen, June 21, 2012.

Elizabeth Eilender Represents NBA Star Tony Parker in Lawsuit Against NYC Nightclub

Attorney Elizabeth Eilender, of counsel to our law firm, is representing Tony Parker in a $20 million lawsuit against a New York City nightclub. Parker filed the lawsuit in Manhattan's State Supreme Court after sustaining an eye laceration due to a brawl between Chris Brown and Drake at the W.i.P. club. Parker is currently recovering from eye surgery in Paris and is hoping to be fully recovered in a month in time for the Olympics. Parker is poised to suit up for his home country of France. In an exclusive interview with E! News, Eilender explained that due to failed security measures and additional negligence on behalf of the nightclub, Parker was unnecessarily injured. The lawsuit accuses the club of negligence on the grounds of "failing to adequately secure the premises, failing to call the police in a timely manner and failing to monitor activity on its premises." Eilender explained in the interview that the particular area of the club that Parker was in the night he got injured was dangerous and should have had extra security. According to Eilender, "This area of the annexed club was supposed to be even more exclusive...so you would think if they were touting it as an even more exclusive club experience, you have to expect that the people there would be people who would require additional security." Eilender continued that Chris Brown and Drake shouldn't have even been allowed in the club, let alone be sat close to each other, as the two are notorious for being hostile with each other. According to witness accounts of the night, Drake and his entourage and Chris Brown and his entourage were sitting at tables close to each other in the exclusive section of the W.i.P club. At some point, an altercation between the two tables broke out. Allegedly, people started throwing bottles, throwing fists and there are even reports that gunshots were fired. The lawsuit alleges that in addition to failed security measures and negligently sitting the two entourages at tables next to each other, the club should also be held liable for serving alcohol to individuals who were already visibly intoxicated. In fact, W.i.P club has been the location of a number of other violent altercations that resulted in it being denied a liquor license. In sum, the club should have known that sitting the foes next to each other, serving them an excess of alcohol and providing minimal security wouldn't have ended well.

New York Hospital Gets Low Marks for Patient Safety

Despite being well-known, hospitals like New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic, scored poorly on patient safety in a recent analysis. The hospitals, however, are questioning the validity of the report. The analysis was conducted by the Leapfrog group, a group focused on health-care quality formed by large employers over ten years ago. Patient safety experts from institutions such as Johns Hopkins and Harvard scored 2,600 hospitals nationwide on an A through F scale. The scores were based on factors such as medication errors, preventable infections, bedsores and other potentially fatal yet preventable medical mistakes. Hospitals that received C grades included: New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic. Mount Sinai officials questioned the group's methodology. In a statement provided to the Wall Street Journal they explained, "It is an incomplete and imperfect snapshot, and much of the analysis is based on outdated information from disparate sources." The statement continued, "Leapfrog's analysis is simply not indicative of the quality of care patients receive at Mount Sinai." Some hospitals also questioned whether their low grades stemmed from electing not to participate in Leapfrog's surveys, but Leapfrog maintains that declining to participate in their surveys had no bearing on the grades hospitals received. The board of Leapfrog says they have been very frustrated with the lack of improvement in patient safety despite major efforts by hospitals over the past ten years. Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Big Hospitals Get- and Dispute- Patient Safety Grades from Leapfrog," Laura Landro, June 7, 2012.

NTSB Finds Fatal New York Bus Accident Caused by Driver Fatigue

After a night at the casino, a group of people loaded on a curbside tour bus and headed back to New York's Chinatown via Interstate 95. At 5:38 a.m. on the morning of March 12, 2011, the trip came to an abrupt end. The bus veered off the road and along a highway guardrail before toppling over and crashing into a highway sign support pole. The motor coach accident claimed the lives of 15 passengers and injured 17 others. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched an investigation of the accident and released its findings on June 5, 2012. In a unanimous vote, the NTSB found the cause of the deadly New York bus crash was driver fatigue. During the investigation, the NTSB discovered the motor coach driver had no sleep in the three days prior to the accident except for naps he took on the bus while his passengers were gambling in the casino. At the time of the accident, the driver was cruising at 78 miles per hour in a 50-miles-per-hour zone. Crash evidence indicates the driver made no attempt to apply the brake or even to steer the bus back onto the road when it hit the guardrail. Investigators believed his performance was indicative of driver fatigue. According to the NTSB, driver fatigue is a leading cause in motor coach accidents. In fact, bus driver fatigue was a factor in more than 30 percent of motor coach accidents the Board has investigated. The motor coach industry is a major player in moving passengers from place to place. Estimates indicated more than 700 million passengers travel via bus each year, a number that rivals domestic airline travel. To protect these millions of passengers and to prevent additional injury-causing or fatal bus crashes, the NTSB has made recommendations to increase safety protocols, including expanded driving record checks and required speed limiting devices. Source: Syracuse.com "NTSB: Fatigued driver caused deadly New York bus crash," June 5, 2012.

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