An investigation into the death of a Brooklyn woman at Coney Island Hospital in early June has revealed that hospital error led to the fatal consequences. Hospital staff reportedly misidentified the elderly patient’s blood type, leading to a fatal transfusion of the incorrect type of blood. For the immediate future, the Department of Health has determined that Coney Island Hospital must outsource its blood testing. Until the DOH investigation ends, Kings County Hospital is handling these responsibilities for Coney Island.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a transfusion of an incorrect blood type alerts the body’s immune system to treat the foreign blood as if it is an illness to be fought. Results of this can be kidney and circulatory failure, shock, and, as in the case at Coney Island, ultimately death.
Based on the results of the investigation, the family of the deceased may be contemplating filing suit against Coney Island Hospital for medical malpractice and wrongful death. When a health care provider fails to provide a patient with treatment that meets the customary standard of care rendered by the medical community, that provider is potentially liable for medical malpractice. Clearly the deceased in this incident suffered a very serious injury because of the lack of reasonable care provided by the hospital.
A medical malpractice lawsuit will not bring the deceased back or reverse the fatal error caused by the hospital’s negligence, but it can provide the family with a monetary award for the decedent’s pain and suffering and lost wages, as well as the family’s loss of support/guidance. Furthermore, such a lawsuit may provide the family with a sense of justice. It may also shine a light on the problem so that it will not happen again. When a health care provider makes an error resulting in injury or harm, the victim or the victim’s family have a right to recover for these damages.
If you feel that you or a loved one have been victimized by a health care provider’s negligence, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Gallivan and Gallivan today.
A brief synopsis of the tragic death of this Brooklyn senior can be found here in the New York Daily News.