Coney Island Hospital Patient Dies From Botched Blood Transfusion

The New York Daily News reports that a botched blood transfusion claimed the life of an 84-year-old patient, after she was given the wrong blood type at Coney Island Hospital this June. The patient’s blood type had been incorrectly labeled, according to hospital personnel. The decedent’s family may have cause for filing a New York medical malpractice lawsuit, given the grave error.

If a wrongful death claim were pursued, it would be filed against the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, which oversees Coney Island Hospital. After the fatal incident, the state health department is having all blood samples sent to other hospitals for testing prior to transfusions.

New York medical malpractice lawsuit governed by time limits

Should the decedent’s relatives decide to pursue a claim for hospital negligence and wrongful death, they need to take action promptly to stay within New York’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice litigation. State laws that were enacted in 1975 place rigorous time limits as to when individuals can file claims against health care facilities owned by a municipality. New York’s statute of limitations state that the relatives of a malpractice victim must notify the city of their intention to sue within 90 days of the injury or death. After notification has been sent, the medical malpractice lawsuit must be lodged within 15 months of the incident.

Such stringent time limits have spelled injustice for hundreds of victims of medical malpractice, many of whom did not discover their injuries and complications until months or years later. NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is trying to amend the state’s statutes so that they would begin once the patient learns of a medical error, rather than the actual date it occurred. Silver’s spokesperson told the New York Daily News, “The speaker thinks the issue has merit and will review it with the members of the Democratic conference.”

Medical mistakes in blood typing cause fatal complications

A spokesperson for the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation stated that the patient died at Coney Island Hospital on June 9. Errors with mistyping blood occur in roughly one out of every 14,000 transfusions, experts say, and can cause deadly complications, as was the case with this victim. If a patient is given a blood transfusion that doesn’t match their blood type – for example, giving Type B to a Type A patient –fatal complications ensue as the body attacks the foreign blood cells, causing the kidney to shut down.

Legal help from Brooklyn personal injury attorneys

It is unclear if the family will pursue legal recourse for the untimely death of their loved one. Successful litigation could yield a substantial settlement or court award for the decedent’s relatives, and hold the responsible health care professionals liable for any negligent actions.

The Sanders Firm takes on malpractice cases on a contingency basis, meaning no upfront costs to the client unless damages are recovered. If you were injured or lost a loved one due to hospital negligence, our team of personal injury attorneys can discuss your options for filing a New York medical malpractice lawsuit.

Damages may include those for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering and other non-economic losses. Serving residents of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Long Island for more than 45 years, The Sanders Firm is committed to seeking justice on behalf of all New Yorkers. Contact us today for your free consultation at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY.