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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.

Common Questions About Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a category of movement disorders. It is a non-progressive disorder, which means that it doesn’t grow worse over time. Unfortunately, it’s also currently incurable. Children with cerebral palsy have varying degrees and types of impairment, but parents can generally expect that they will require a lifetime of care. After the diagnosis, you may have lots of questions about what cerebral palsy means for your family. A cerebral palsy lawyer can guide you through this difficult transition.

What can cause cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is the result of damage to the developing brain. This damage may be inflicted by injuries, diseases, or developmental disorders. It may occur during pregnancy or at or around the child’s birth. In some cases, cerebral palsy is the result of medical negligence. For instance, a healthcare provider may fail to detect and treat fetal distress during labor. Fetal distress may indicate a need for an emergency C-section to restore oxygen to the child’s brain and prevent brain damage.

How will cerebral palsy affect my child?
Cerebral palsy affects each child differently, although all forms of cerebral palsy affect a person’s movement, muscle tone, or posture. Some children have involuntary movements, rigidity, abnormal reflexes, problems swallowing, or eye muscle imbalance. A child with cerebral palsy may have any of the following problems:

  • Developmental delays
  • Difficulty walking
  • Speech delays
  • Seizures
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Psychiatric conditions
  • Vision or hearing impairments
  • Abnormal pain perceptions
  • Swallowing issues
  • Urinary incontinence

Are there any treatments available?

Although cerebral palsy is incurable, treatments are available to help children achieve greater functional abilities and better quality of life. A child’s treatment plan depends on his or her needs. Medications, physical therapy, and orthopedic surgery can improve problems associated with movement. Speech therapy can help children overcome communication barriers. Parents may be referred to a life care planner to get a good idea of the care their children will need for a lifetime.

The medical negligence law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC puts its considerable resources to work on behalf of the families we represent. It’s our mission to help families affected by medical malpractice get the compensation they need to take care of their children. You can call (516) 858-2194 to request a confidential consultation with a cerebral palsy lawyer on Long Island, New York.

A Look at Hospital-Acquired Infections

Medical malpractice lawyers know all too well the serious consequences of poor sanitation in hospitals. In fact, hospital-acquired infections are a leading cause of re-admittance to hospitals. Some of those infections are spread with improperly cleaned medical equipment that is reused from one patient to the next. Hospitals are expected to follow strict sterilization procedures as determined by the manufacturer, but sometimes surgical instruments simply aren’t cleaned as effectively as they ought to be.

In some cases, the hospital might not be the only entity responsible for a patient’s infection. If the hospital did follow sterilization protocols, the responsibility may lie with the manufacturer. Some medical instruments could be found to be defective in design if there are so many complex components that the sterilization guidelines are ineffective.

If you feel that a hospital-acquired infection may be attributable to medical malpractice, you’re invited to connect with the team at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC at (516) 858-2194. At our malpractice law firm on Long Island, New York, our experienced medical negligence lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case.

The Importance of Medical Screening

Medical or health screenings are exams and tests that are performed on a routine basis despite the absence of symptoms. Routine health screenings are a cornerstone of preventive healthcare because they allow doctors to detect medical problems as early as possible—often before symptoms develop. With early detection, patients can receive prompt treatment to support their wellness. Your primary care physician should recommend health screenings that are appropriate for you, but many doctors fail to stay on top of patient records. Medical malpractice lawyers encourage their clients to be proactive patients.Take the initiative to ask your doctor if you’re due for any health screenings.

Some common health screenings include tests for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose. Patients with high blood glucose levels often don’t recognize the signs and symptoms of this problem, and patients with high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol levels won’t experience symptoms. There are also routine cancer screening tests such as mammography, colonscopy, PSA testing, and Paps Smears which should be discussed with your doctor. Despite the lack of symptoms, these conditions can cause serious, long-term problems and sometimes cause death if left untreated.

Diagnostic failures and medication errors are just two types of medical malpractice that patients may encounter. Call the malpractice law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC on Long Island, New York at (516) 858-2194 for a free case review.

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.

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