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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.

How Improper Prenatal Care Can Lead to Birth Injuries

In some cases, a birth trauma has its roots in an incident that happens during labor, but in other instances, medical negligence outside of the delivery room is to blame. Prenatal care is essential for your baby’s health and can also contribute to an easier labor and delivery. When medical negligence occurs during prenatal care, birth injuries could be the result.

Without proper prenatal care, doctors may not diagnose infections in the mother that can cause birth injuries in babies. They may also fail to diagnose conditions that require additional precautions to be taken in the delivery room, such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes.

If you’re concerned that poor prenatal care resulted in an injury to your child, consult with a medical malpractice lawyer at Pegalis and Erickson. Make an appointment to review your case with an experienced malpractice and birth injury lawyer on Long Island, New York today by calling (516) 858-2194.

Zika Virus Symptoms and Your Patient Rights

UPDATE: September 20, 2016
A new study noted in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports some people infected with Zika develop conjunctivitis, an eye infection common known as “pink eye." Although the Zika infection had been identified in urine, semen, saliva and breast milk, the study noted Chinese travelers who had been infected in Venezuela were found to have the virus from eye swabs five to seven days after symptoms occurred.

UPDATE: September 15, 2016
On September 7, The World Health Organization updated its assessment of the Zika virus as a cause of congenital brain abnormalities in babies and Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults, after considering months of research into the mosquito-borne disease.

UPDATE: August 19, 2016
The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommend that men who have had symptoms of Zika not attempt to father a child for six months after their illness. They also suggest that men who have been ill practice safe sex or abstinence if their partner is pregnant.

Since 2015, articles about the “new” Zika virus and the potential spread of the virus worldwide to some 30 countries have been highlighted in the news. Scientists are researching how and why a virus first identified nearly 70 years ago as benign, could now pose such a grave risk, most especially to pregnant women, women of child-bearing age, and men who may be infected and impregnate women. To date there is no vaccine or treatment for Zika. Due to these concerns, it is urged that everyone, especially women of child-bearing age, be proactive in this regard and not wait until symptoms appear. Everyone should avoid bug bites by using insect repellents, removing any and all standing water, and scrubbing with soap any areas that mosquitoes eggs could have been laid. Currently men who have symptoms and have contracted the Zika virus have been recommended to ensure they do not impregnate women for at least a few months. Zika Virus Symptoms and Your Patient Rights

Common Zika Virus symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes, although some infected people do not have any Zika Virus symptoms. Zika Virus Disease is thought to be spread to people through the bite of infected mosquitoes, and through sexual transmission. Mosquitoes that spread Zika are aggressive daytime and nighttime biters. Zika Virus infection in pregnant women has recently been declared a definite cause of microcephaly. That condition causes babies to be born with smaller heads and major developmental challenges that are potentially lifelong. The virus is also associated with other severe fetal brain defects, and has also been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can cause paralysis. Experts have begun calling the host of conditions linked to the virus in babies, Congenital Zika Syndrome, as recently some babies born with disabilities are more severe than in textbook microcephaly cases.

Of the more than 3,000 U.S. pregnant women travelers tested for Zika so far this year, coming from afflicted areas, a full 28% of them had Zika, and most, but not all, had rash, fever or red eyes. We believe that women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should talk with your doctors about your risks in general of having or contracting the disease, and about travel to currently-known Zika infested areas, including the potential for the spread in the southern gulf states of the United States.

Here in the U.S. preparations have begun for the possible spread of Zika this summer, particularly in the southern Gulf States. The federal government is now offering all US states funding to boost their prevention plans. US health officials predict large outbreaks in the U.S. are not as likely because of wide use of air conditioning and window screens. However, we want to urge all pregnant women and women of child-bearing age to take every precaution possible to avoid mosquito bites, sexual transmission of the disease, and to carefully consider travel to known areas of wide-spread Zika virus.

The CDC recommends that pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant or who may wish to become pregnant:

  • Should not travel to any area with Zika.
  • Women that must travel to, or live in an area with Zika virus, should talk with healthcare providers and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites
  • Women with a male partner(s) who lives in, or has traveled to an area with Zika, should abstain or properly use condoms every time they have sex
  • Before women or male partner(s) travel, talk to healthcare providers about plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection
  • Women and male partner(s) should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites

It was merely months ago that health officials thought the Zika virus was not transmitted through sexual activity. Now, the CDC has an excellent video available to the public about preventing the Zika virus, based on the currently known methods of transmission, including sexual transmission. Previously, microcephaly was considered a rare birth defect. Today doctors working with infants in South America with Zika virus say some may never learn to talk or walk, will have trouble seeing, could develop epilepsy. Officials indicate that there may be a spectrum of problems with a baby’s health that don’t show up as microcephaly.

If you have medical-legal concerns regarding your pregnancy or your baby’s health, please don’t hesitate in contacting our experienced New York medical malpractice law firm for a free consultation to ensure your rights are protected. Call Pegalis and Erickson at (516) 684-2900. Or email us at info@pegalisanderickson.com. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING

When Is an Unnecessary Procedure Medical Malpractice?

Having an unnecessary medical procedure can be frustrating and costly, but is it medical malpractice? The best way to determine if you should file a lawsuit after an unnecessary medical procedure is to talk to a medical practice attorney. Even if you have a procedure you didn’t need, your lawyer must be able to show that your doctor was negligent when he or she ordered or performed it.

For all medical malpractice cases, proving medical negligence is required. Generally, medical negligence occurs when a doctor does not exercise reasonable care, or, in other words, he or she did not provide the same kind of care as other healthcare providers would have in the same situation. For instance, if your doctor ordered an unnecessary surgery, for medical negligence to have occurred, he or she must have ordered a procedure that most other reasonable doctors would not have.

At Pegalis and Erickson, LLC, our malpractice law firm can evaluate your case and determine the best way for you to proceed. Schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney on Long Island, New York today by calling (516) 858-2194.

Raising Awareness about Testicular Cancer

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and the goal is not just to raise awareness about prostate cancer, but men’s health issues overall. One type of cancer that is easily overlooked by the community is testicular cancer. Fortunately, testicular cancer is one of the most treatable and curable cancers. But, as with all cancers, it is easier to treat and cure when it is caught in its early stages—and medical negligence or medical malpractice can delay a diagnosis, resulting in costlier treatment and unfortunately, poorer outcomes. Here are some important facts you should know.

Risk Factors
or testicular cancer, though it is possible to get the disease without having any of these risks. Age is a significant risk factor; testicular cancer affects younger men (ages 15-35), although it may occur later in life as well. Men whose family members have had testicular cancer are also more at risk. Conditions that interfere with normal testicular development or an undescended testicle have also been linked to testicular cancer.

Symptoms
Symptoms of testicular cancer are generally mild and easy to miss. Some of the main symptoms are dull pain in the back, groin, or abdomen. The scrotum may be enlarged, and a lump may be present. Sometimes the scrotum may feel “heavy.” It is important to see your doctor if these symptoms persist longer than two weeks. If your doctor suspects cancer, he or she will likely order an ultrasound and blood test.

Treatments
Depending the stage, testicular cancer can be treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and you and your doctor will be able to decide which treatment is best for your situation. Your doctor should inform you of all of your options and review the potential risks and side effects of each treatment with you.

If you’re concerned about medical negligence in Long Island, New York, let Pegalis and Erickson, LLC fight for your rights. Talk to a medical malpractice attorney today by calling (516) 858-2194.

What Are the Signs of a Delayed C-Section?

What Are the Signs of a Delayed C-Section?
During the labor and delivery process, both mother and baby should be closely monitored at all times for signs of distress. Failing to do so can lead to serious complications, including delays in necessary C-section procedures. When a C-section is delayed, the risk of injury to mother and baby alike can increase. If you are concerned that a delayed C-section harmed you or your baby, consult a medical malpractice lawyer. An experience birth injury lawyer can evaluate your case and determine if there is evidence of medical negligence. Here are some signs that a C-section was not performed as quickly as it should have been.

Cerebral Palsy
When a C-section is not performed as soon as a doctor determines it is medically necessary, the baby is at risk of not receiving adequate levels of oxygen. As a result, cerebral palsy may occur. Cerebral palsy can cause a lifetime of complications for affected people, including speech problems and mobility issues. The expense of caring for a child with cerebral palsy is extremely high, so a medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you get compensation to help cover some of these costs if a birth injury is to blame.

Intellectual Disabilities
The lack of oxygen caused by delayed C-sections isn’t only linked to cerebral palsy. Other kinds of brain damage can occur that can lead to intellectual disabilities, including below-average IQ and developmental delays. These disabilities can directly impact a child’s ability to care for him or herself or become financially self-sufficient in the future.

Medical malpractice in the delivery room can have far-reaching consequences. Pegalis and Erickson, LLC is here to help families get the compensation they deserve when life-changing birth injuries occur. Talk to a birth injury lawyer on Long Island, New York today by calling (516) 858-2194.

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