A New Jersey doctor reportedly told New Jersey Health Department investigators that she did not follow basic hand washing hygiene procedures between treating patients at a Jersey Shore medical clinic, thereby leading to 41 patients developing septic arthritis of their knees. The doctor allegedly also failed to check her patients’ vital signs before injecting them with medications to relieve their knee pain.
The investigators reportedly found that the clinic re-used single-use vials of an injectable contrast agent up to 50 times, which could allow the spread of infections from patient to patient. Instead of placing used needles and syringes in receptacles approved for medical waste, they reportedly were disposed of in regular trash containers.
The investigators identified 41 patients who were treated at the Jersey Shore medical clinic who developed septic arthritis in their knees, of which 29 patients required surgery in order to treat their infections. Seventeen of the patients filed medical malpractice lawsuits in New Jersey against the clinic on May 8, 2017, for the harms they suffered as a result.
The clinic allegedly treated up to 85 patients per day in its two exam rooms, injecting them with hyaluronic acid that the patients were told would relieve their pain, despite a finding by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2013 that there was insufficient evidence to justify its use for said purposes (“Intra-articular hyaluronic acid is no longer recommended as a method of treatment for patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee.”).
The investigators expressed additional concerns regarding the New Jersey clinic, including the use of nonsterile gloves when performing injections and placing unwrapped sterile needles and syringes in bins under a prep table for later use. The inspectors recommended in their report that the clinic dispose of all opened vials of medication; discard all needles and syringes that were unwrapped and stored in bins; place hand sanitizer in all patient care rooms and the medication room; and, perform hand hygiene in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and educate the medical staff about proper procedures. Source
The New Jersey medical malpractice lawsuits allege, in part, that the clinic negligently failed to properly diagnose the condition of the patients, failed to refer the patients to medical personnel who had the proper skill and medical training, carelessly maintained its premises, equipment, instruments, materials, and medications, and deviated from accepted medical standards. Source
The New Jersey clinic voluntarily closed down its operations on March 7, 2017 but re-opened two weeks later, although the doctor who reportedly did not wash her hands between patients is no longer providing medical treatment at the clinic.
If you or a loved one acquired a serious infection from a health care provider, a nursing home, a clinic, or another health care facility in New Jersey or in another U.S. state that may be due to inadequate or improper infection control, you may be entitled to compensation for your economic losses and noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and/or disfigurement caused by the medical negligence.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice lawyers in New Jersey or in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.