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In February of 2006, an elderly woman was a resident of the Jewish Home and Infirmary of Rochester


In February of 2006, an elderly woman was a resident of the Jewish Home and Infirmary of Rochester, New York, Inc. It is owned and operated by the Jewish Health Care System of Rochester, Inc. One day, the nursing staff failed to follow procedure as it concerned this woman. She required catheterization to urinate. However, on that date, no one arrived to insert the catheter. Feeling uncomfortable, the woman attempted to get out of her bed and go to the bathroom on her to catheterize herself. However, when she stood up, her bladder vacated itself on the floor. She slipped in the puddle and fell. She was injured and complained of pain from the fall. The staff performed a few diagnostic evaluations, but continued to keep her moving. The medical staff at the home encouraged the nurses to keep her attempting to walk and going to physical therapy.

The elderly woman continued to complain of pain. She was examined by the staff doctor on at least one occasion, however, he did not perform a neurological test. In fact, her fall was never noted in the doctor’s documentation. She continued to get worse and fell again on March 12, 2006 while the staff was trying to get her to walk again. On March 15th she was in such severe pain that the staff ordered a CT scan of her back. It was discovered that she had fractured the T7 vertebrae and the test also showed a compression deformity of T11. The doctor at the facility failed to have her transferred to the hospital for treatment and failed to follow any protocols for protection of the spinal cord to guard against spinal cord damage.

On March 18, 2006, the woman’s son in law came to visit her. He is a board certified physician in the state of New York. He performed a neurological evaluation and demanded that she be transferred to a hospital emergency room immediately. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with compression fractures of her thoracic spine area. She was also diagnosed with a spinal cord injury that caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down. She lost bladder and bowel control due to the injury and would spend the rest of her natural life in a wheel chair. Her family who live in Nassau and Suffolk filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and the facility for failing to provide appropriate care.

The suit details the fact that the nurses had failed to catheterize the woman according to the known details of her medical condition and care. This deviation from what is a standard medical practice is only the first instant of medical malpractice in this suit. After the staff failed to assist the woman in catheterization, she was forced to attempt to go the bathroom on her own. When she fell, she was not provided with appropriate care to treat her fractured spine or to protect her spinal cord. In fact, just the opposite was true since the staff continued to encourage her to move her back around by walking and attending physical therapy. The staff continued to ignore the woman’s complaints of severe pain. It was their continued disregard for the welfare of this patient that caused her to suffer from an injury to her spinal cord. There were many deviations from standard care in this situation. The qualifications for initiating a medical malpractice suit is that the victim must be able to show a deviation from commonly acceptable medical practices and care. There is no doubt that this situation met that standard. The court agreed and determined that there was a triable case.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, New York medical malpractice attorneys can evaluate your case on its own potential. We have convenient offices throughout New York and the Metropolitan area. A New York medical malpractice lawyer can review your case and help you make a decision about seeking monetary compensation.

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