Pegalis & Erickson
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.

Steps to Take If a Diagnosis Is Inconclusive

When you have a clear-cut diagnosis, your course of action may seem clear. What happens, however, when your diagnosis is inconclusive? Living with an uncertain medical verdict can be extremely stressful, because you may have no way of knowing when you will get a more conclusive diagnosis. A recent study found that as many as 12 million people in the United States get an inconclusive—or faulty—diagnosis annually. Here are some steps to take after you have received an inconclusive diagnosis:

Be proactive, not passive.
Many patients assume that the medical practitioners who see them always know best, and that they are always in safe hands. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. By being an active, engaged, and informed patient, you can help to ensure that you get quality care.

Seek out a second opinion.
If your first diagnosis was inconclusive, it goes without saying that you should try again. Go to a different doctor for a second consultation. To ensure objectivity, it’s best to avoid telling this doctor what the first diagnosis was, at least until you have received the second opinion.

Talk to your primary care physician.
You should always start by seeing your usual doctor, who will have a better sense of your overall health than anyone else will. While your diagnosis may be made by a specialist, it’s still important to keep your primary care physician in the loop.

Keep yourself informed.
In today’s world, it’s easier than ever for patients to get educated about their health and get the accurate information they need to make smart choices. Always do your research before going to any medical practitioner so you’ll be better equipped to ask useful questions.

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.

Spotlight on Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that originates in either the colon or the rectum. It generally starts as a polyp in the large intestine that eventually develops into cancer. Unfortunately, colorectal cancer does not typically present many noticeable symptoms in its early stages. This is why regular screenings are critical if you are over the age of 50, which is when your risk of colorectal cancer is highest. People who have gastrointestinal issues such as Crohn’s disease or who have a family history of the disease are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. Blood in the stool, unexplained weight loss, and chronic fatigue are some of the most common warning signs of this cancer.

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.

Do you know where your Brachial Plexus Is?

Every time you bend your wrist, raise your hand, or shrug your shoulders, you’re making use of your brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves centered in your spinal cord. The brachial plexus is responsible for controlling the movement of your entire arm! If a doctor or mid-wife uses force or twists a baby’s head during labor and delivery, it can result in injury to the baby’s nerves and chronic arm paralysis. This condition is known as Erb’s Palsy or Brachial Plexus palsy. While some children will make a full recovery as toddlers, other children move into their teens and adulthood not being able to enjoy full use of that arm. The condition will then continue through their lifetime. Treating Erb’s Palsy as soon as diagnosed can include a combination of physical therapy and nerve grafts. That oftent leads to a better lifetime outcome.

If you wonder if your child’s disability could be the result of a medical error, it’s important that you talk with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, can provide you with the professional legal guidance you require, at no charge. To reach our New York office, call us at (516) 858-2194.

Focusing on Heart Health

Responsible for an estimated 1 out of every 4 deaths in the U.S., heart disease is America’s deadliest health problem. There are a number of steps you can take to lower your risk of developing heart problems, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious diet, and getting plenty of exercise every day. One of the biggest risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high, effectively controlling it could be a life-saving change for you. Don’t forget to remind your loved ones to have their blood pressure checked by their physician on a regular basis. High blood pressure can be asymptomatic, yet its danger lies in its connection to stroke and other serious vascular diseases. Given this aspect of high blood pressure, it is especially important to make sure your healthcare provider hears and responds to your concerns in a manner you are comfortable with—and, should your expectations go unmet, it is critical to speak up.

Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, has been fighting to protect the rights of patients who have suffered due to medical malpractice for nearly half a century. If you or a loved one has suffered cardiac arrest because your concerns were not treated seriously, call our Long Island legal office at (516) 858-2194 to schedule a consultation.

The Challenges in Diagnosing Cancer

Diagnosing cancer in its earliest stages can make an enormous difference in how successful treatment is. By the same token, failing to diagnose cancer on a timely basis can reduce the effectiveness of treatment. Even if medical practitioners are careful and conscientious, however, it can still be difficult to diagnose many forms of cancer. These are some of the types of cancer that present the greatest challenges:

Pancreatic Cancer
While it is considered relatively rare, pancreatic cancer also has one of the lowest survival rates of any type of cancer. The symptoms are subtle and can easily be mistaken for the signs of a different condition. There is also no widely agreed-upon method for effectively detecting this cancer at its earliest stages.

Liver Cancer
Like pancreatic cancer, liver cancer does not usually show any obvious symptoms in its early stages. Since the liver is located deep inside the body, the tumors are impossible to detect through self-examination. By the time it can be more easily diagnosed, the disease has usually spread to the point where it is much more challenging to treat.

Brain Cancer
Brain cancer is one of the most difficult forms of cancer to identify. There is no way to screen for a brain tumor, and the symptoms—which include headaches and muscle weakness—are readily confused with those of other illnesses. Unfortunately, brain cancer is not usually diagnosed until its later stages.

Ovarian Cancer
Cancer of the ovaries is the deadliest type of reproductive cancer. As with other hard-to-detect cancers, ovarian cancer does not present any obvious symptoms at first. It is also difficult to detect during pelvic exams, and it is not usually found during Pap tests. There is no reliable screening for ovarian cancer, so it’s important to see a physician if you notice any of the warning signs—which include bloating, feeling unusually full after eating, and more frequent urination. Women who are positive for the BRCA gene are at a greater risk for developing Breast Cancer but also Ovarian Cancer. You should discuss your particular situation with your physician to establish a plan for surveillance and care options.

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered serious consequences because a medical professional failed to identify the symptoms of cancer, it’s time to talk to Pegalis & Erickson, LLC. Our legal team has nearly 50 years of experience bringing successful medical malpractice suits on behalf of our clients. For a free consultation at our law office in Long Island, New York, call (516) 858-2194.

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