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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.

Myths About Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of movement disorders that can stem from birth injuries, which may be the result of medical malpractice in some cases. Many children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy each year, yet the misconceptions about it are still widespread. It’s often assumed, for instance, that children with cerebral palsy will never improve their functional abilities. Although there is no cure for cerebral palsy, intensive and ongoing therapy can help these children reach their full potential. Some children can benefit from surgeries to improve their movement abilities.

Another common myth about people with cerebral palsy is that they will never be able to lead a productive life in the community. In fact, patients with cerebral palsy all have varying levels and types of impairments. With the right services, many of them go on to enjoy independence, hold down a job, and start families.

The cerebral palsy lawyers at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC work closely with families to help them secure the compensation they need to arrange for specialized medical care for their children. If your child has been diagnosed with a birth injury in Long Island, New York, call us at (516) 858-2194.

Fetal Distress: Its Causes and Solutions

The welcoming of a newborn into the world should be a joyous occasion, but some families are affected by acts of medical malpractice during labor that can lead to serious consequences. Fetal distress is one example of a grave medical condition that doctors must quickly recognize and treat to prevent additional complications. If you feel that your child was affected by birth injuries because of a doctor’s negligence, consider speaking with a legal advocate about your family’s rights.

Fetal Distress
Fetal distress is a broad term that means the baby isn’t getting enough oxygen. Fetal distress usually develops during labor, but may also arise during the third trimester. Babies who are in distress will have a weak heartbeat and reduced movement, as evidenced by a reduced kick count.

Causes
There are many factors that can contribute to fetal distress, including anemia and high blood pressure of the mother. Fetal infections, umbilical cord compression, and placental abruption are other possible causes. Expecting mothers of multiples and those who develop gestational diabetes are at an increased risk. Fetal distress is also associated with oligohydramnios, which refers to a lower level of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby.

Treatments
Fetal distress is a serious health risk that requires prompt medical intervention. If the doctor fails to diagnose and treat fetal distress in a timely manner, the baby is at a higher risk of developing brain injuries, including brain damage that can cause cerebral palsy or mental retardation. Doctors who do detect fetal distress can treat it by administering supplemental oxygen and intravenous fluids to the mother. It’s also treatable with amnioinfusion, which involves introducing fluid directly into the amniotic cavity to free a compressed umbilical cord. If these treatments do not work, the doctor must perform an emergency C-section.

If your baby has been affected by birth injuries in the Long Island, New York area, you can find the legal solutions you’re looking for at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC. We are a team of medical negligence lawyers who have made it our life’s work to advocate on behalf of families affected by medical malpractice. You can reach us at (516) 858-2194 to request a no-charge case review.

Knowing the Signs and Risks of Colorectal Cancer

March is officially recognized as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. It’s an ideal time to take a few minutes to learn more about this deadly disease and the importance of being a proactive patient. Colorectal cancer, which affects the colon or rectum, is life-threatening, but early detection can save lives. By becoming a proactive patient, you can reduce the risk that misdiagnosis and other forms of medical malpractice will adversely affect your wellness.

Signs and Symptoms
Like other forms of cancer, colorectal cancer often doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms until the disease has already reached an advanced stage. Therefore it is important for patients to be alert to unusual changes in their daily routine and to consult a doctor as needed. Some of the possible indicators of colorectal cancer include very narrow stools, rectal bleeding, bloody stools, diarrhea, or constipation. Some patients may experience the feeling that bowel movements are incomplete. Abdominal cramps, fatigue, weakness, and unexplained weight loss are other possible indicators.

Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis
Based on a patient’s symptoms, medical history, and physical exam, a doctor should refer the patient for appropriate diagnostic tests to check for colorectal cancer. The gold standard of colorectal cancer diagnosis is the colonoscopy. Unfortunately, primary care physicians sometimes neglect to consider cancer as a possibility. They may instead diagnose patients with inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), anal fissures, hemorrhoids, or diverticular disease.

Risks
When a patient isn’t referred for necessary medical tests for colorectal cancer and the accurate diagnosis is delayed, that patient may miss the opportunity for timely cancer care. Early treatment can make the difference between life and death for a colorectal cancer patient. When colorectal cancer is detected in its early stages, minimally invasive surgery may be all that is needed to treat it. As the cancer spreads, the patient requires more invasive and life-altering treatments that are less likely to result in a favorable prognosis.

A cancer misdiagnosis is devastating, but the medical negligence lawyers at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC can empower your family. If you suspect that medical malpractice may have caused a loved one’s wrongful death or delayed cancer diagnosis, please call us today at (516) 858-2194. Our malpractice law firm is in Long Island, New York, but is privileged to serve families beyond New York.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

The group of movement disorders collectively known as cerebral palsy is the result of brain injuries or brain malformations that may occur before, during, or after birth. When a child is diagnosed with birth injuries like cerebral palsy, the parents’ priorities are typically to figure out why this occurred and how they can help their child. Determining the underlying cause is particularly important because of the possibility of medical malpractice.

Brain damage and the resultant disorders may be caused by the disruption of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. This causes the death of brain cells. For example, periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is damage to the white matter of the brain. When PVL occurs, there is a disruption in the transmission of signals to the muscles from the brain, causing movement problems and also other developmental delays.

If your child was diagnosed with a birth injury and you’re looking for a lawyer near Long Island, New York, you can call the law office of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC at (516) 858-2194. A birth injury lawyer will help you explore your legal rights and options.

How to be a Proactive Patient

Have you ever left a doctor’s appointment feeling more confused than you did when you arrived at the clinic? Many Americans experience this, and unfortunately, it can sometimes lead to health consequences such as taking medications improperly. Health literacy is a crucial skill. It refers to the ability to understand medical information and to use this knowledge to make informed decisions for one’s wellness. A health literate patient may also be more likely to recognize possible acts of medical negligence or improper care when they occur.

It isn’t necessary to go to medical school to understand basic health information. Try following a few simple tips, such as asking your doctor for clarification when there is something you don’t understand. Bring a list of questions to your appointment and take notes during it. If English is not your first language, consider bringing a family member or close friend who speaks English fluently.

Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is a team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Long Island, New York that is dedicated to advocating for the legal rights of families affected by birth injuries, wrongful death, and other acts of medical negligence. We invite patients to call our office at (516) 858-2194 and let us know how we can help.

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