Delfino Cuautle, a 46 year old resident of Brooklyn, NY lost his right leg due to medical malpractice and flaws in management that resulted in a 13 hours of agony. Cuautle was leaving work on September 22, 2015 around 6 A.M. when he was struck by a car; EMS arrived within three minutes of receiving the call and taken to Coney Island Hospital for medical treatment. Within an hour of being at the hospital, doctors determined there was no blood in his right leg which was cold to the touch. A C.T. scan showed Cuautle was in need of emergency vascular surgery in order to rescue the limb.
Coney Island Hospital does not have a vascular surgeon so a call was made to the emergency number at Kings County Hospital. The emergency number is supposed to be answered within three rings, however no one picked up forcing them to leave voicemails. Cuautle was transferred to Kings County Hospital after 2 P.M. but Coney Island Staff forgot to send the C.T. scan with him. Despite the cities new $1 billion electronic medical records system, they could not send the scan electronically causing another C.T. scan to be done at Kings County Hospital delaying surgery for another three hours.
Cuautle’s surgery took place at 7 P.M. by which it was too late for his leg to be saved; his right leg had to be amputated above the knee. The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine states delayed treatment of these blockages “is the leading cause of amputation in the limb-threatening injury. Failure to revascularize within 6-8 hours results in an unacceptably high amputation rate.” All the doctors were aware of this critical time period and failed to act in a timely manner.
As a result of losing his right leg, the father of three is suing Coney Island Hospital for $24 million in Brooklyn Federal Court. Cuautle’s lawsuit states he was deprived of critical emergency treatment due to miscommunication and red tape kept him from being treated for 13 hours; calling the delay in treatment “egregious”. The suit also notes that under state law a hospital transfer should have been made within 30 minutes. A city Health + Hospital rep said their emergency rooms and trauma centers provide excellent care 24/7 to hundreds of New Yorkers every day and they are looking into the disturbing allegations.
Coney Island Hospital also received six violations by the state Department of Health this year for its incompetent treatment of a Brooklyn grandmother. Grisel Soto suffered from a deadly brain infection and was treated as an emotionally disturbed person by being restrained in the emergency room for hours by mistaken medical staff.