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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.

Heart Health and Early Detection

Did you know that February is American Heart Month? This important public awareness campaign reminds families that heart disease can affect anyone. In fact, many people have serious heart diseases without realizing it. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a medical exam, consider making an appointment to talk to your doctor about your heart health. Remember that just like heart disease, medical negligence can also affect any patient. Don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion.

Screening Tests
When heart disease is left untreated, additional complications can develop. Not all types of heart disease cause noticeable symptoms. High blood pressure, for example, is known as the “silent killer.” This is why health screenings are so important. To support heart health, it’s recommended that patients keep track of their blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels.

Symptoms to Know
Not all cardiac events cause obvious symptoms like crushing chest pain. In fact, many patients suffer a heart attack without realizing it. A heart attack can be subtle, causing symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and abdominal pain. It’s important to be aware of any unusual changes in your health and to bring these issues to the attention of your doctor. Additionally, be mindful of potential problems in the ER. Some patients go to the ER complaining of symptoms of a heart attack and they are told that they are too young or otherwise don’t fit the profile of a typical heart attack patient. If an ER doctor refuses to evaluate you for a cardiac complaint despite your symptoms, seek a second opinion immediately.

The medical negligence lawyers of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC have successfully advocated on behalf of families affected by wrongful death due to the misdiagnosis of cardiac events. If your family has been affected by a wrongful death that occurred in the Long Island, New York area, you’re invited to call us at (516) 858-2194. We’re committed to putting the needs of patients first.

Women's Unique Heart Health Needs

It’s a common misconception that cancer is the most common cause of death in the U.S. But actually, this dubious distinction belongs to heart disease. Both women and men are at risk of heart disease, but women have unique heart health issues. If you’re taking steps to be a more proactive patient to prevent medical malpractice from affecting you, take a few minutes to also learn about your unique heart disease risks.

Contributory Factors
There are some risk factors of heart disease that both men and women share, including abnormal cholesterol levels, obesity, and high blood pressure. Other risk factors disproportionately affect more women than men and certain factors are unique to women. For example, diabetics are at a higher risk of heart disease if they are women than if they are men. Women are also at a higher risk than men because of smoking, mental stress, and depression. One of the reasons why smoking is a more significant risk factor for women is because many women use hormonal birth control methods. Combining hormonal birth control with smoking is not recommended because of the increased risk of blood clots. Furthermore, women are uniquely affected by the hormonal changes of menopause and by pregnancy complications—both of which can increase the risk of heart disease.

Symptom Recognition
Men are more likely than women to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and to call 911 right away. This is because women aren’t as likely to experience obvious symptoms such as chest and arm pain. They are more likely to experience subtle symptoms like dizziness, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, back pain and heartburn-like abdominal pain. Additionally, women often attribute their symptoms to panic attacks, stress, or even hypochondria. This means that women aren’t as likely to seek emergency medical care.

Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is a malpractice law firm on Long Island, New York with a longstanding track record of successfully advocating on behalf of patients and their families. Our medical negligence lawyers support the efforts of patients to become proactive about their medical decisions. To request a one-on-one consult with a medical malpractice lawyer, call us today at (516) 858-2194.

Cerebral Palsy: an Overview

It can be devastating for parents to learn that their precious baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a group of movement disorders and these disorders are incurable. Depending on the severity of the resultant impairments, individuals with cerebral palsy often require lifelong care. If your baby has been diagnosed with this disorder, consider speaking with a cerebral palsy lawyer. Certain birth injuries have been known to cause cerebral palsy.

Causes and Risk Factors
The underlying cause of cerebral palsy is a brain injury that usually occurs at or around the time of birth . This brain injury may occur during labor and delivery, such as when oxygen to the brain is cut off. Cerebral palsy has also been linked to maternal infections, fetal stroke, fetal infections, and gene mutations. The risk of cerebral palsy can increase if the mother does not receive appropriate prenatal care during pregnancy or if the case involves premature birth, breech birth, or pregnancy with multiples.

Motor Impairments
Children with cerebral palsy must be assessed individually, since the type and extent of the impairments can vary considerably from person to person. Typically, cerebral palsy involves muscle stiffness, exaggerated reflexes, impaired muscle coordination, and involuntary movements. Motor skill delays, crawling and walking difficulties, and the favoring of one side of the body are other possible indicators of cerebral palsy. In addition, children may have problems with fine motor skills, such as picking up and using a crayon or a fork.

Intellectual Disabilities
Some children with cerebral palsy only have movement impairment, while others also have intellectual disabilities. A child who has cognitive impairments may display delayed language development, impaired concentration, problems processing information, and problems expressing thoughts. These children may also have problems with memory, speech, sound recognition, and emotional regulation.

For more than 40 years, the team at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC has been defending the legal rights of families affected by birth injuries. If you feel you may have a birth injury case and live near Long Island, New York, call us today at (516) 858-2194. A cerebral palsy lawyer will carefully review your case and answer your questions at no charge.

Cervical Cancer: Misdiagnosis and Failed Detection

Cervical cancer is a deadly disease that is best treated as soon as possible. In fact, routine health screenings allow providers to detect pre-cancerous changes that can be treated before cervical cancer develops. Unfortunately, medical malpractice affects all healthcare specialties, including gynecology and oncology. If you were misdiagnosed or you lost a loved one to cervical cancer, consider talking to medical negligence lawyers about your potential case.

The Types of Medical Errors
Doctors have a responsibility to preserve and improve the health of their patients, but they are susceptible to making a wide range of medical mistakes. For example, a doctor may fail to thoroughly review a patient’s risk factors for cervical cancer. This can result in improperly recommending that the patient delay cervical cancer screenings. When a Pap test is performed, a doctor may misinterpret or even misplace the results. Other medical mistakes include failing to refer patients to an appropriate specialist, failing to coordinate medical care across different providers, and failing to identify the early signs of cervical cancer.

The Consequences of Misdiagnosis
When cervical cancer is not detected in its pre-cancerous or early stages, the results can be devastating. When left unchecked, the cancer can grow and spread beyond its point of origin. This means that when it is finally diagnosed correctly, the cancer will be more difficult to treat, will require more invasive treatments, and is more likely to be fatal. If a patient’s cervical cancer is initially diagnosed as being a different medical problem, additional consequences can occur. For example, the patient may be prescribed inappropriate medications or undergo other improper treatments that may do more harm than good.

Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, a malpractice law firm in Long Island, New York, extends our deepest sympathies to families who have lost a loved one to cervical cancer and to patients who have been diagnosed with it. If you feel that your health may have been compromised by an act of medical malpractice, please contact us promptly at (516) 858-2194. Our dedicated legal team will help you understand your legal rights.

Keeping Track of Your Medical Records

Managing your medical records is important not only to ensure your doctors have the information they need to provide you with proper care but also so that you can keep track of your medical history and the treatments being provided to you. Being an informed medical care consumer can save your life! You can manage your records both on and offline every time you see a provider.

Start with creating a list of your current medications and updating it every time your dose is changed or you stop and start a medicine. A log of your symptoms will help you have more productive doctor appointments and will ensure you have proof of when symptoms began. Keep visit summaries from your physician visits and make your own notes about each appointment. Research not only the doctors you are seeing, but also the hospitals they are affiliated with, to ensure that you are seeing the best health care providers for your particular conditions. There are many official websites maintained by US state departments of health which give background informaton on doctors, hospitals and other medical providers.

The attorneys at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC can help to assess whether the medical care you received departed from the appropriate standards of care. If you believe you the care you received was not proper call us at (516) 858-2194.

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