Serving Stamford, Danbury, Bridgeport and all of Connecticut

If you or someone you love has received inadequate care from a staff member at Bridgeport Hospital or another medical facility in Connecticut, you may be eligible to seek compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim. To find out if you qualify to file a claim, contact the Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers at Berkowitz Hanna today.
Bridgeport Hospital is a 383 private not-for-profit teaching hospital. It has 425 beds including 42 beds licensed under Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. Bridgeport Hospital’s Connecticut Burn Center sees burn patients from across Connecticut and neighboring states. It is the only burn center in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Hospital is a member of the Yale New Haven Health System along with:

  • Yale-New Haven Hospital
  • Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital
  • Greenwich Hospital
  • Westerly Hospital, a Rhode Island facility

The hospital also has:

  • Over 2,600 employees
  • Almost 600 active attending physicians from more than 60 subspecialties
  • 235 medical and surgical residents and fellows from Yale University School of Medicine
  • Over 460 volunteers
  • 380 members of the auxiliary

Annual information regarding patients shows:

  • 250,000 patient visits a year
  • Over 19,000 patients admitted to the hospital
  • More than 207,000 total outpatient visits (this number includes over 76,000 emergency department visits and 36,000 clinic visits)
  • Over 7,500 same-day surgery visits
  • 38,000 outpatient rehabilitation visits

Brief History

The seed for the hospital was planted by Dr. George Lewis when he came to Bridgeport after the Civil War. Bridgeport lacked a hospital and Lewis established his practice in the basement of what was to become the police headquarters.
Lewis appealed to his aunt Susan Hubbell, who bequeathed $13,500 and an acre atop Mill Hill to establish a hospital. Construction of the new hospital began in 1883 and in 1884 it began seeing patients.
Showman P.T. Barnum was elected as Bridgeport Hospital’s first president. He and other community organizers met to discuss the new hospital and in 1888 they received approval from the state legislature to incorporate Bridgeport Hospital. Today the hospital is a $337,000 regional healthcare institution.

Bridgeport Hospital Malpractice

In a February 2011 report, the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) published a report entitled “Medical Negligence: The Role of America’s Civil Justice System in Protecting Patients’ Rights.” In its section on Civil Justice and Patient Safety, the report says that “Hospitals, such as Connecticut’s Bridgeport Hospital, have reformed dangerous practices because of litigation. In some cases, entire medical fields have been transformed.”

Regarding Bridgeport Hospital, the report said that in the late 1990s hospital administrators, partly to save money, ignored a “rash of infections caused by unsanitary conditions.” An outbreak of staphylococcus caused a number of deaths. Lawsuits were filed that revealed numerous dangerous hospital practices, including:

  • Surgeons failing to wash their hands before surgery
  • Wearing non-sterile clothing in the operating room

The lawsuits and the discoveries of unsafe practices prompted Bridgeport Hospital to begin a transformation. A few of the improvements that reduced a 22 percent infection rate in cardiac patients to almost zero included:

  • Upgrading the air filtration system
  • Creation of hand washing stations
  • Prohibition of staff wearing scrubs home from the hospital

In its conclusion the report said that, “The accountability promoted by the civil justice system is the engine of patient safety.” The report held that accountability is central to increasing patient safety and lowering health care costs.

“Without the civil justice system, patient safety will suffer and health care costs will go up for everyone.”

Practice Areas

Our legal team offers years of experience in virtually every aspect of medical malpractice litigation. We routinely represent clients with respect to “common” types of medical malpractice claims; yet, we also handle many unique and rare cases. Here are some things to consider regarding some of the more prevalent instances of medical malpractice:

Surgical negligence

When doctors and medical care providers treat patients, they undertake an enormous medical, ethical, and legal responsibility to adhere to an appropriate “medical standard of care.” Essentially, this means that the medical community as a whole has concluded what medical measures and treatment are appropriate (i.e., reasonable) for a given medical condition. This does not mean that each and every doctor must treat every single patient with the same condition in the exact same way. It does mean, however, that in order to avoid potential malpractice claims, medical personnel must act and treat their patients with reasonable skill and care.

In other words, this is a complicated way of saying that doctors within the same general geographic location should treat patients with similar conditions in a similar manner.

This duty is critically important for surgeons and surgical staff. A patient’s life is literally in the hands of the surgeon performing an operation, no matter how minor the procedure. Therefore, when a surgical provider fails to act in accordance with the appropriate medical standard of care and injury results, medical malpractice may have taken place.

Misdiagnosis

Some diseases and conditions are very difficult to diagnose – regardless of the specialized training and experience of the treating physician. Further complicating the diagnosis process is the fact that many signs and symptoms are common to a number of different conditions (i.e., abnormal blood test results could mean any number of issues).

It is important to note, therefore, that no doctor is absolutely perfect; nor is perfection expected in order to avoid a medical malpractice lawsuit. Doctors are, however, expected to adhere to the proper medical standard of care. And it is when doctors and healthcare providers fail to meet those standards that medical malpractice may result.

While a doctor’s failure to diagnose a condition or a wrongful diagnosis does not necessarily rise to the level of medical malpractice, the resulting aftermath might be cause for action. Specifically, if an improper or missed diagnosis results in lack of medical treatment, delayed treatment, or improper treatment which then directly results in the worsening of a patient’s disease or condition, a lawsuit may be appropriate.  

Medication/Prescription Errors

A doctor may be liable for medical malpractice if he or she commits a medication or prescription error that results in medical negligence. Examples of this type of mistake include the prescription or administration of incompatible or inappropriate drugs to patients (e.g., ordering drugs that negatively interact with each other; prescribing drugs that the doctor knows or should know the patient is allergic to, etc.) Like all medical malpractice cases, a medication prescriber’s decisions are measured against healthcare providers in a similarly situated scenario.

Pharmacies may also be subject to medical malpractice lawsuits.

In addition to identifying the appropriate standard of medical care that applies, plaintiffs also must demonstrate successfully that the prescriber failed to adhere to that standard of care. Moreover, in any malpractice case, a plaintiff must show that the medication/prescription error directly caused injuries (such as new health problems or the worsening of existing health problems).

Anesthesia Errors

Medical malpractice resulting from anesthesia errors is essentially a subset of surgical negligence. Almost all medical procedures – from a simple stitch to an organ transplant, and everything in between – require the administration of some form of anesthesia. Whether a simple numbing spray, a spinal epidural, or an IV anesthetic lasting several hours, the administration of anesthesia comes with inherent risks. Highly trained medical specialists must administer and monitor patients under anesthesia extremely closely. These patients may experience dangerously low blood pressure, decreased heart rate, and shallow breathing.

Unfortunately, anesthesia errors occur all too often. Chaotic operating rooms, stressful situations, and medical complications may create environments where mistakes are made and medical malpractice results.

Birth Injuries

A large percentage of medical malpractice claims arise from injuries that occur during pregnancies and births. These birth-related malpractice cases occur when treating physicians or other medical staff (or the hospital itself): 1) fail to use reasonable care, or 2) the mother is injured during pregnancy or delivery; the child is injured during gestation or delivery; a “wrongful birth” happens (when termination of a pregnancy would have taken place had the parents known of birth defects); or a “wrongful pregnancy” happens (failed attempts to prevent or end a pregnancy).

There are many causes for these types of injuries; and, it should come as no surprise that medical malpractice insurance rates for obstetricians is exorbitantly expensive. The delivery process alone is physically traumatic to both mother and baby on a number of levels. If the hospital, doctors, and staff do not adhere to a reasonably acceptable standard of medical care, physical and emotional suffering may ensue.

Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse

Similar to children, our elders and seniors are some of society’s most vulnerable citizens. In many cases, those in nursing homes are unable to speak for themselves or make their own decisions. They must rely on others to take care of them physically, mentally, and medically. When the actions or inactions of nursing home professionals constitute negligence and even abuse, it may be possible to bring a medical malpractice claim – either individually or on behalf of a family member.

Wrongful Death

As with other personal injury claims, wrongful death actions may be brought in medical malpractice cases. And, like other types of wrongful death lawsuits, claims based on medical malpractice are often lengthy, complex, and grueling legal battles. With so much riding on the outcome of a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit, both sides typically go “all in” to try and reach a favorable settlement agreement or court order.

When choosing a Bridgeport medical malpractice wrongful death attorney, there is no substitute for experience. The medical malpractice attorneys and legal team at Berkowitz Hanna have the experience and resources necessary to go toe to toe the insurance companies of the defendant(s). We have an incredible track record in successfully initiating and resolving these extremely challenging and painful matters for our clients.

Contact a Connecticut Malpractice Attorney

To speak with a Connecticut medical malpractice attorney about a possible case of hospital negligence, contact Berkowitz Hanna today. Out attorneys are experienced in medical malpractice claims and can help you. Call today and schedule a free evaluation of your case.
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