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.

What Is Informed Consent?

Legally and ethically, patients have the right to receive sufficient information about a medical treatment to be fully informed when they make a healthcare decision. Informed consent refers to the communication between a patient and the physician that leads to the patient’s agreement to have a particular medical intervention. A breach of informed consent may constitute medical malpractice. If you feel you may have a medical malpractice case, you have the right to consult medical negligence lawyers about your situation.

There are three main components of informed consent. Patients must have received appropriate, accurate information about their medical conditions and treatment options. They must understand this information. Lastly, they must be able to make a healthcare decision and give their consent for the treatment, based on the information provided by their healthcare provider

Over the years, Pegalis & Erickson, LLC has developed a sterling reputation for providing compassionate, personalized legal services for patients. You can schedule a one-on-one consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in Long Island, New York by calling (516) 858-2194.

Breast Cancer and Misdiagnosis: What Patients Should Know

When you are facing breast cancer, one of the last things you want to discover is that a misdiagnosis or late diagnosis could have compromised your prognosis. Unfortunately, troubling statistics indicate that misdiagnosis or late diagnosis happens far too often for breast cancer patients. According to the Journal of the National Cancer Society, physicians who use mammogram films to make diagnoses but don’t specialize in the field miss breast cancer up to 71% of the time. Likewise, diagnostic errors don’t always apply to missed or late diagnoses but also staging. If you feel your breast cancer was not timely diagnosed, here is what you need to know about medical negligence in breast cancer diagnostics and how you can become empowered as a patient.

How do breast cancer misdiagnoses happen?
Avoidable medical errors happen daily in hospitals and doctors’ offices across the country, and breast cancer misdiagnosis or late diagnosis are among the mistakes that medical professionals make. Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis can happen at several different stages in the process. In some cases, mammograms, sonograms, or digital films may not be read appropriately. In other cases, the results of a biopsy may not be tested appropriately and may provide incorrect results. Because early treatment is so crucial for breast cancer patients, a missed diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis not only means that treatments have to be more invasive and cause more significant quality of life issues, but it could also lead to loss of life that may have been preventable with earlier intervention.

What can patients do?
As a patient, it is important to be proactive about your care. Ask questions, speak up when you have concerns, and don’t take anyone’s word simply because he or she is a medical professional. Demand follow-up testing, second opinions, and anything else you need to feel confident that you are getting the right answers about your health.

Pegalis & Erickson helps patients facing medical malpractice, including missed diagnoses, get the compensation they deserve. Dial (516) 858-2194 and talk to a medical malpractice attorney on Long Island to understand your rights.

Are You Legally Entitled to Interpreter Services in Hospitals?

During a stressful visit to the hospital, it’s often challenging for patients to keep track of their providers’ questions, instructions, and recommendations. It’s even more challenging, if not downright impossible, for people with limited to no English proficiency to participate in their own healthcare. This is why New York hospitals and all those receiving federal funding are legally required to provide interpreter services when they are needed to allow equal access to healthcare services. A violation of this requirement might constitute medical malpractice in the situation concerning informed consent to treatment.

Some states have also passed legislation to ensure all patients’ right to understand and participate in their own healthcare. California leads the nation with the number of these laws on the books. But unfortunately, many physicians are still unfamiliar with the mandate to provide interpreter services and language access can be implemented differently from hospital to hospital.

The medical negligence lawyers of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC handle a wide range of medical malpractice cases, including emergency room errors, birth trauma, wrongful death, and medication errors. Patients are invited to call (516) 858-2194 to speak with an attorney at our medical malpractice law firm in New York.

The Parent's Guide to Hip Dysplasia

The proper functioning of the hip joint is essential for basic movement and for overall quality of life. While hip problems are often associated with older adults who have arthritis, they can also affect children and infants. Hip dysplasia refers to the instability and dislocation of the hip joint. Most often, it is present at birth, although it may develop during the first year of the child's life. In some cases, the failure of a physician to diagnose and properly treat hip dysplasia may constitute an act of medical malpractice.

The presence of hip dysplasia by itself does not always indicate medical negligence; sometimes, the hip joint has simply failed to develop properly. Developmental hip dysplasia is more common among girls, first-born children, those with a family history of the condition, and cases that involve low levels of amniotic fluid. It can also occur more frequently in newborns born in the breech position. Medical organizations now recommend that all breech-born newborns be given an ultrasound to check for hip dysplasia.

There are different degrees of severity of hip dysplasia. Some children might not demonstrate noticeable symptoms. Parents might only notice that something is wrong when the baby has legs of different lengths, reduced flexibility and mobility on one side, or uneven skin folds on the thigh. As the child grows older and begins to walk, he or she might limp or otherwise take on an abnormal gait.

Developmental hip dysplasia is best treated as soon as possible. When this condition is present at birth, it is incumbent upon the attending medical staff to detect the problem and recommend appropriate treatments. If the condition is detected at birth, the newborn is placed into a Pavlik harness, which is a soft positioning device that holds the hip joints in the proper positions while they develop.

At Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, our medical malpractice lawyers approach every case with the dignity and sensitivity that patients deserve. If your child has birth injuries or may have suffered from other forms of pediatric medical malpractice, you can speak with one of our medical malpractice attorneys in Long Island, New York. Call (516) 858-2194 today for a free consultation.

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.

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