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The blog of PEGALIS & ERICKSON, LLC: a medical malpractice law firm in Long Island representing those suffering from injuries caused by medical errors. Contact us for a free legal consultation today.

Overlooked Intravenous Mistakes

Although healthcare providers are typically conscientious and work hard to ensure that errors don’t happen, medical malpractice and medical negligence can and do occur. One often-overlooked area of mistakes in the medical setting is errors with intravenous systems. Here are some commonly overlooked IV mistakes that every patient should know about.

Not Recognizing Damage to the Infusion DeviceIn the past, checking infusion devices for signs of damage was commonplace in medical settings. Now, because devices come with integrated security features, checking every device before using it is often overlooked. Unfortunately, devices can have damage that is not caught by the integrated safety system that puts patients at risk. Often, this damage could have been identified during a pre-use inspection of the infusion device.

Not Using the Roller Clamp
IV tubing comes equipped with a roller clamp that allows the tubing to widen and narrow as necessary to control the flow of medication. Closing the roller clamp stops the flow of medication completely, while opening the clamp the entire way allows medicine to flow unrestricted into the patient’s line. Not using the clamp appropriately or failing to use the clamp at all can cause patients to receive an inadequate amount of medication or may cause them to receive too much. Both scenarios can be dangerous for patients and can impact treatment outcomes.

Not Checking the Drip Chamber
The drip chamber of an IV infusion device lets air escape from fluid to reduce the risk of an air embolism. It also helps to control the rate of fluid delivery. A faulty drip chamber could provide a patient with too much medication, which can be life-threatening. Safety features of IV systems are not always sufficient to identify problems with the drip chamber, so if it is not manually checked, medication could be delivered too quickly, jeopardizing the patient.

If a problem with an IV infusion system occurred when receiving medical care, causing a permanent injury contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC. Our New York medical malpractice attorneys will gather the details and help determine if there was medical negligence.involved. Contact us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

Prostate Cancer Awareness

This September, you might notice blue ribbons around your town. These signify National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which is the second-most common cancer in American men, after skin cancer. Since prostate cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms until the disease is already advanced, it’s necessary for doctors to recommend screening tests as appropriate. Not all doctors stay on top of recommendations for screenings, which, in some cases, may form the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, you can protect your health by being proactive and asking your doctor about getting screened.

There are two main screening tests. The first is the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, which is a simple blood test. The second is a digital rectal exam (DRE), which involves feeling the prostate gland to check for abnormalities and assess its size. Confirming a diagnosis of prostate cancer requires more tests, including imaging scans and a biopsy.

Pegalis & Erickson, LLC welcome requests for case reviews regarding medical malpractice on Long Island, New York. Call (516) 858-2194 if you think you or a loved one may have suffered ill effects from a delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Birth Injuries and Infant Feeding Problems

Occasional fussiness with feeding is usually nothing to be concerned about. But if your baby consistently has problems feeding or hasn’t been gaining enough weight, it’s time to see a doctor. There are many possible causes of poor feeding, including previously undiagnosed birth injuries. After a diagnosis of a birth injury, consider speaking with a lawyer to determine whether the cause might have been medical malpractice.

Causes of Infant Feeding Problems
Quite a few medical issues can lead to feeding and swallowing problems, including neurological disorders caused by medical negligence. Cerebral palsy is one example. Oral motor dysfunction is common in children with cerebral palsy. This means the infant has trouble sucking. It occurs with either breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Another possible cause of feeding problems is a respiratory disorder, which might be the result of premature birth. This is because pre-term babies might not be born with fully developed lungs. A third possible cause of feeding problems is neonatal hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose. Doctors should recognize the risk factors of hypoglycemia, and test the newborn’s glucose when appropriate.

Signs of Infant Feeding Problems
Babies are weighed at each check-up to ensure they are gaining weight properly. Failure to thrive can indicate feeding and swallowing problems. Aside from the baby’s weight, feeding problems may be indicated by the following signs:

  • Very long feeding times
  • Gagging or coughing during feeding
  • Fussiness while feeding
  • Back arching while feeding
  • Excessive drooling
  • Poor coordination of breathing while feeding
  • Recurrent respiratory infections, including pneumonia
  • Spitting up or vomiting frequently

As the child grows older and begins transitioning to solid foods, he or she may refuse foods with certain textures.

Treatments for Infant Feeding Problems
Hospitalization and tube feeding may be necessary if the problem is severe. Otherwise, specialists may recommend positioning changes, sucking improvement techniques, and oral motor exercises to build strength and sometimes swallow therapy.

At Pegalis & Erickson, LLC—a medical malpractice law firm in New York—we’re committed to protecting the rights of the youngest of patients and their families. Birth injuries are distressing, but you don’t have to face this challenge alone. Call our medical malpractice attorneys at (516) 858-2194.

Protecting Your Health at a Pre-Anesthesia Visit

Any sort of surgery requires thorough preparation. Undergoing anesthesia has risks as well as complications. While sometimes the anesthesiolgist may meet the patient a few days before surgery, it is not the norm. Today it is common that the first time a patient meets the anesthesiologist is just before the operating room.

In either case, it’s essential not to skip over important health information. Make sure that your medical team knows about any allergies and your reactions to medications in the past. During pre-operative testing, make sure all chronic diseases are listed, as well as all medications being used. If there are any issues when planning to have elective surgery, it’s possible to reschedule the surgery while awaiting additional tests to ensure safety. If the surgery is for a child, be sure to request a pediatric anesthesiologist!

Your anesthesiologist needs your full medical history. Specifically, he or she needs to know if you’ve ever had general anesthesia before, and if so, whether you had a reaction to it. Disclose any recent changes to your health, recent surgeries, recent hospital admissions, medical conditions, and medications.

Pegalis & Erickson, LLC are leading patient advocates who handle surgical malpractice cases on Long Island, New York. Call our malpractice law firm at (516) 858-2194.

Has Your Doctor Been Accused of Misconduct?

Prior to putting your health and your life in the hands of a doctor, you as a proactive patient should take advantage of available information concerning a physician’s background

In New York, the Office of Professional Medical Conduct—OPMC—investigates complaints about healthcare professionals. You can use the OPMC website to research your providers and find out if they have any record of complaints in their past. This information can help you make an informed decision about your healthcare. When considering a doctor for your care, you can also check doctors’ backgrounds on the New York State Physician Profile Website.

The medical malpractice lawyers in New York at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC can assist you if you suspect medical negligence has impacted your healthcare. To discuss the details of your case, please call (516) 858-2194. We advocate for people of all ages who have been victims of avoidable negligence that caused them life-altering harm or death.

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