A 26-year-old mother, who tweeted on April 17 about wanting to write an expose on a Bronx hospital as she dealt “with incompetent doctors” while pregnant with her first child, died less than four days after that post following an emergency caesarean section (C-section) surgery. According to a report in The Guardian, the woman died alone as the city was battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Her partner said the victim, a black, Puerto Rican New Yorker, was ignored by staff at the Montefiore Medical Center, even as she reached out to them during her final weeks of pregnancy. The woman died after switching Montefiore facilities because “she felt mistreated at her original branch,” her family members said.
Allegations of Neglect
As early as February, the woman knew her platelet levels, which help blood clot – had begun to drop, based on the news report. But, because of the coronavirus pandemic, her routine doctor’s visits were done via Zoom where she answered a few screening questions and checked her blood pressure. She got updated blood work because she wanted to hire a midwife for an at-home delivery partially because she felt neglected by the system, an advocate said. She was considered a high-risk case. She died April 21, after being induced more than a month early, and then, rushed into an emergency C-section. Her assigned surgeon wasn’t present at the time.
Health equity advocates say that in New York City, black women are disproportionately at risk when it comes to maternal health issues and are eight times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy-related issues than white women. Latinas in the city, especially Puerto Ricans, also face higher risks of life-threatening complications during childbirth. As COVID-19 continues to rage in New York City, these problems are beginning to worsen, advocates say. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that nearly 60% of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.
Race and Medical Malpractice
Data and studies have repeatedly shown that people of different racial backgrounds get treated differently at our hospitals. A Johns Hopkins study found that minorities who appeared at an emergency room with stroke symptoms were about 20 to 30% more likely than white patients to be misdiagnosed. Black patients with chest pains are also less likely to be referred for advanced cardiac care.
Also, a 2003 study found that minority individuals receive fewer procedures, diagnostic tests, and lower quality medical care than white individuals. Racially biased treatment of patients can lead to medical mistakes and a failure to properly diagnose and treat medical conditions. Healthcare professionals are required to adhere to appropriate standards of care, irrespective of a patient’s race or ethnicity. A failure to do so amounts to medical negligence (carelessness).
Proving Medical Negligence
Seeking compensation in such cases is a complex process and is best handled by getting an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately on your side. There is an acceptable standard of care for every diagnosis and treatment, and failing to meet this standard is a form of malpractice.
The first step in a medical malpractice case is to establish that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the individual or entity that provided you with care. The next step in the process is proving that medical malpractice occurred. The plaintiff (victim) must show that the medical provider did not act how a reasonable, trained physician would have under the same circumstances. The next step is to prove that the medical professional’s or hospital’s negligence (carelessness) resulted in injury or harm and that the plaintiff (victim) suffered monetary damages as a result of such injury or harm.
Those affected by medical errors or negligence (carelessness) can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to medical expenses, lost income, loss of life’s enjoyment, permanent injury, disability, past and future pain and suffering, etc. The value or worth of each medical malpractice claim will depend on the facts of each case and the extent of injuries and losses sustained by the plaintiff as well as the degree of negligence involved. When individuals lose loved ones as the result of medical negligence, they can file what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit against the medical professionals involved and/or the hospital.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical negligence, or if you have lost a loved one due to the mistakes and errors made by a medical office and professional, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. One of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases. We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation facilities deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or erb’s palsy (brachial plexus palsy) stemming from negligence and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children.
The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):
• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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