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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.

Recognizing the Signs of Common Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are more common than you might assume. There have been numerous recorded instances when medical professionals misused medical instruments, performed the wrong procedure, or confused one patient with another. While it is the duty of healthcare professionals to take precautions against surgical errors, patients should know how to recognize them. These are some of the warning signs:

Pain at the Surgical Site
It’s not uncommon to experience some degree of discomfort in the area where your surgery was performed. If you experience prolonged or otherwise unusual pain, however, it may be a sign that an instrument was left behind during your surgery. Be sure to ask about what type of pain you should expect to experience after your procedure, and how long it can be anticipated to last.

Extreme Swelling, Redness or Drainage
Some level of swelling, redness, or drainage may be normal after surgery, but it’s important to know how serious you can expect it to become. If you experience severe swelling, redness, or drainage at the surgical site, you should be sure to contact your surgeon right away since this can be a sign of infection. You may want to take pictures to document it.

Unexplained Symptoms
If you develop any severe symptoms after surgery, it may be related to a surgical error. For instance, if you come down with a fever, have sharp pain, or experience flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, you should contact your surgeon as soon as possible. Make sure your surgeon has informed you of what the likely side effects of the procedure are, so that you can easily identify any unusual symptoms.

If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

If you are considering filing a medical malpractice suit, one of the first things you’ll need to know is how long you have to do it. The time for bringing a lawsuit is called the statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations expires, you cannot file a lawsuit. The rules governing when you can file a medical malpractice suit differ from state to state. In New York, there are different time limits to file a lawsuit based upon the entity, whether the injured party is a minor or an adult, and also whether the person is alive or deceased. Time limits in which to bring a lawsuit are often complicated. To ensure that you don’t miss the deadline, talk to an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after you suspect that you have been treated negligently.

If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

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Tips to Advocate for Your Health

As a patient, you can’t depend solely on your healthcare providers to take care of your health—you need to take action to protect yourself. The more proactive you are, the more likely it is that you will get the kind of care you deserve. Here are some tips for effectively advocating for your health.

Pay attention to your surroundings.
When you’re a patient, it’s easy to be passive as you assume that the care you are receiving is correct. It’s important, however, to stay alert and focused on everything that is going on. When you encounter a new person who is providing care for you, check their ID badge. Make sure you know whether the provider is a doctor, RN, LPN, nurse practioner, physician’s assistant or a medical resident.

Don’t be afraid to speak up.
The most important thing you can do to advocate for yourself is to speak up on your own behalf. If you don’t understand something, ask that it be explained to you. Make sure that you understand any treatments, therapies, or medicines that are being given to you. If you suspect that you are being confused with a different patient, don’t hesitate to say something. Make sure that if you are receiving medicine or a prescription, that it is the correct medication for you. Ask what it is for and why you are getting it. There have been cases where IV medications were given to the patient in the next bed by mistake.

Participate in the decision-making process.
Remember that you have a say in your own healthcare. Talk to your physician about every major aspect of your medical care, and seek out a second opinion when necessary. If you’re getting a new medicine, make sure you get detailed instructions for its use, and ask about side effects. If surgery is suggested, ask about alternatives and do get a second opinion if possible. Do find out about all risks associated with the surgery. The more pertinent information you have, the better equipped you will be to make the right decisions for your well-being.

If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of

Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages,

in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

How Cerebral Palsy Affects Milestones in the First Year of Life

Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects an individual’s ability to move. It can develop as a result of injury to the brain, sometimes due to mistakes made by medical staff during the delivery process. If your infant has cerebral palsy, the symptoms of the condition may become noticeable during the first year of life. If you notice delays with the following milestones, talk to a physician about whether your child may have cerebral palsy:‚Äč

Social Smiling
While babies deliver spontaneous smiles very early on, they don’t begin social smiling—that is, smiling as a response to something else—until about six or eight months. This is an important development in the bonding process between a baby and his or her parents. However, cerebral palsy can interfere with this stage and affect the ability to smile as a social response.

Sitting Up Without Assistance
Most infants are able to begin sitting up independently, without being held or propped up, by the age of about six or seven months. If an infant has cerebral palsy, however, the condition can affect the motor skills required to sit up. If your baby is having trouble sitting up or holding his or her head up by seven months, it may be a sign of cerebral palsy.

Reaching and Grabbing
One of the most important milestones comes when an infant begins reaching and grabbing for things—such as toys, stuffed animals, or their mother’s hand. This is when babies first begin exploring the world around them through the sense of touch. Cerebral palsy, however, can slow down this progress, as it affects the development of fine motor skills.

If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

If you’re considering bringing a medical malpractice suit, it’s important that you understand what the term means. Medical malpractice is defined as having happened when a healthcare provider causes harm to a patient through the provider’s own negligence. In order for medical malpractice to have taken place, three things must be present: The patient must have suffered demonstrable harm, the provider must have delivered substandard care, and there must be a direct link between the quality of that care and the injury suffered by the patient. Medical malpractice can happen in numerous ways, including unnecessary treatment, failure to diagnose, medication errors, and premature discharge.

If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

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