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More patients join lawsuit against New York hospital

Hospital administrators, doctors and nurses all have a responsibility to patients to provide the best care possible. While the expectations of nurses and doctors are clear, the role of hospital administrators is slightly more opaque. Among the many responsibilities, however, is the need to ensure that hospital staff is properly trained and supervised. When hospital negligence results in patient harm due to a failure in supervision the hospital is responsible.

Maryland residents may have read about a recent lawsuit filed against Guthrie and Corning Hospital. The lawsuit, which began with 14 named plaintiffs, has grown substantially in recent weeks to 59 plaintiffs. According to the complaint, a registered nurse working at Guthrie and Corning used the same syringe on multiple patients, possibly exposing the patients to serious infectious diseases such as H.I.V. and Hepatitis B and C.

The lawsuit further accuses Corning Hospital, Guthrie Health Care Systems and Guthrie Medical Group P.C. of the negligent supervision and training of staff, including the nurse in question. A spokesman for Guthrie and Corning recently stated that the risk of infection is low among those exposed but, nevertheless, the hospital is encouraging all patients who may have been exposed to a reused syringe to receive follow-up testing when contacted.

Whether due to medical negligence or hospital negligence, infections remain one of the leading causes of patient harm in the U.S. In fact, some estimates suggest that nearly one in 20 patients develop infections during hospital stays. Furthermore, these infections kill approximately 98,000 Americans every year. According to research, the most common cause of infection in U.S. hospitals is poor hygiene practices on the part of hospital staff.

Source: WETM18, "Patients In Lawsuit Against Guthrie & Corning Hospital Jumps To 59," Chris Hush, April 5, 2013

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