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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.

Examining the Safety Rankings of Your Hospital

When you need medical care, the hospital you choose can have a significant impact on the quality of the care you receive. Although no hospital is immune to medication errors or medical negligence, the frequency medical malpractice incidents vary by hospital. It is important to remember that are many types of medical errors that occur in hospitals-- but you can do your part by deeply researching before choosing a hospital. Fortunately, it has become easier for patients to check the safety rankings of New York area hospitals so they can make an informed choice about where to go when they need care.

Hospital Safety Scores 101

Hospital Safety Scores are assigned two times annually by a non-profit organization called the Leapfrog Group. Scores are calculated using a number of different metrics, including surveys conducted by the Leapfrog Group and data collected by the Centers for Disease Control, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Information collected in the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement is also included. The score includes 30 different measures and is calculated using a peer-reviewed methodology under the guidance of a panel of healthcare professionals. The Hospital Safety Scores are published in the Journal of Patient Safety and are considered to be among the most reliable indicators of patient safety.

Safety Score Grades

The 2,571 hospitals reviewed are assigned a grade from A to F. Nationally, 798 hospitals earned an A, while 15 earned an F. Grades are determined based on medication errors, injuries, patient infections, and accidents. Patients who receive care in D- or F-rated hospitals, for instance, have a 50 percent greater chance of avoidable death than patients in A-rated hospitals. Leapfrog estimates that 33,459 lives would be saved annually if every hospital earned an A, however 43,903 avoidable deaths still occur in A-rated hospitals each year. Overall, Vermont has the most A-rated hospitals, while Wyoming has the worst hospital scores.

New York hospitals rank 44 on the Hospital Safety Scores list in 2016, which means the risk of medical malpractice, from emergency room errors to medication mistakes is significant. If you believe you were the victim of medical malpractice on Long Island, set up a consultation with Pegalis & Erickson, LLC today by calling (516) 852-2194.

Misdiagnosing Cancer: An Overview

Cancer is a disease that has touched millions of Americans. It is likely at some point in our lives we will have a family member or friend have some type of cancer. But, as medical technology improves, it is easier than ever to identify cancer-- and, when cancer is discovered late or misdiagnosed and, by extension mistreated, you might wonder whether malpractice or medical negligence was at play.

Kidney Cancer

Also known as renal cell carcinoma (RCC), this cancer presents in blood in urine, flank pain, malaise, anemia, and fatigue. These symptoms usually indicate a more advanced cancer and may also mimic those of kidney infections. RCC is asymptomatic in its early stages, and is usually detected during routine examinations.

Testicular Cancer

Fatigue is the main symptom of testicular cancer, along with low back pain. A testicular lump and swollen scrotum are common symptoms as well. This cancer is often found or suspected during physical examinations. Testicular cancer has a remarkably high survival rate, hovering around 97% if timely diagnosed and treated.

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer presents in mild and easy-to-miss symptoms, including neck pain, a lump at the base of the neck, trouble swallowing, and voice changes (hoarseness). The 5 year survival rate for thyroid cancer is about 98%. Thyroid cancer can be misdiagnosed for Graves Disease, thyroid disorders,and Lyme disease.

Bladder Cancer

The main symptoms of bladder cancer are blood in urine and pain during urination. These symptoms mimic urinary tract infections, bladder infections, STDs, and inflamation of the bladder, which are often treatable with antibiotics.

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is typically detected in later stages, well after the cancer has progressed. Symptoms include indigestion, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, pain behind breastbone, and vomiting. This condition may be misdiagnosed as heartburn or other less serious conditions. It is particularly important to spot this kind of cancer early on.

Colon Cancer

Symptoms of colon cancer include changes in bowel habits, constipation, narrow stools, blood in stool, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Colon cancer may be misdiagnosed as IBS or ulcerative colitis, both of which are chronic conditions. Colon cancer can be readily detected with routine colonoscopy.

Brain Cancer

Contrary to popular belief, headache is not always a sign of brain cancer, and more-common symptoms such as muscle weakness, nausea, inability to speak or understand language, , seizures, and blurred vision. Some of the symptoms of brain cancers and tumors align with stroke and epilepsy.

Overall, cancer is a rare illness, and doctors may forgo tests and screenings in favor of waiting things out in case the symptoms are caused by other temporary illnesses. Another scenario involves doctors misreading cancer screenings. Either way, both instances of neglect can drastically lower a patient’s quality of life and prolong costly cancer treatment. If you feel that there was a delay or misdiagnosis by a medical professional, the medical malpractice law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC can help you get answers to your questions. For more information, call us at 866-633-6257 or visit our website.

What Is Cortical Blindness?

birth injuries Long Island Cortical blindness, or cortical visual impairment (CVI), is a visual problem that occurs because of a neurological injury. For children in developed nations, it is among the most common causes of vision problems. Usually, children with cortical blindness have normal eye exams but still have vision difficulties, caused by a problem in the part of the brain that is responsible for vision. Cortical blindness can often be the result of a birth injury that leaves the brain starved of oxygen.

It may not be immediately obvious that an infant has cortical blindness. Rather, parents may notice that he or she doesn’t react normally to visual stimuli. Eye tests for these infants will be normal, but the symptoms of vision impairment will be obvious. Infections and head injuries caused during birth through medical negligence are frequently to blame.

If your infant has cortical blindness, talk to a birth injury lawyer at Pegalis & Erickson. One of our medical malpractice lawyers on Long Island, New York can help you determine if you should consider filing a birth injury case for your child’s medical expenses. Set up a consultation by calling (516) 858-2194.

Does a Stillbirth Affect Future Pregnancies?

Stillbirth medical malpractice lawyer long islandA stillbirth is a devastating experience that frequently takes couples by surprise. Many cases of stillbirth occur in pregnancies that were otherwise normal, and unfortunately, medical malpractice can play a role. If you suspect medical negligence was to blame for your stillbirth, contact a medical malpractice lawyer on Long Island to evaluate your case and determine if you have a medical malpractice lawsuit. While your case is being considered, you’re likely to have many questions about your stillbirth, including how it impacts your ability to expand your family in the future.

Physically, pregnancy after stillbirth is safe, and the vast majority of people who have a stillbirth will never experience another one. The psychological recovery from stillbirth can take much longer. Typically, doctors advise couples to wait until they feel they have coped with the stillbirth before attempting another pregnancy. Understanding the cause of the stillbirth is helpful. If a condition like high blood pressure was the cause of the stillbirth, mothers can take steps to control that in future pregnancies. When medical malpractice was to blame, mothers can feel confident no physiological condition will put a future pregnancy at risk.

Preventable Infections and Medical Malpractice

medication errors Long IslandYou seek medical treatment to get better, but unfortunately, medical negligence can cause some patients to actually get worse, thanks to exposure to preventable infections. If an infectious condition that could have been prevented compromises your health, you could be eligible to seek compensation for medical malpractice.

If you developed an infection after surgery or after being exposed to the infection by a healthcare provider, you could have a case for medical malpractice. For infections to fall into the category of malpractice, you must be able to prove either that your healthcare provider failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent infection or that the facility in which you received care had negligent policies regarding cleanliness and other operations that put you at risk. You must also demonstrate that the infection was solely caused by the negligence.

Let medical malpractice law firm Pegalis & Erickson, LLC help you better understand your rights. Make an appointment with a medical malpractice lawyer serving Long Island, New York by calling (516) 858-2194.

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