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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.

Choosing and Using Durable Medical Equipment for Kids with Cerebral Palsy

After a birth trauma that results in cerebral palsy, parents face many choices in helping their children overcome obstacles caused by their disabilities. Medical equipment can help children with cerebral palsy in a number of different ways, including with mobility issues. In cases in which medical malpractice leads to a birth injury, your cerebral palsy lawyer can seek compensation for the future costs associated with this kind of medical equipment. Here are some of things parents of kids with cerebral palsy should consider when choosing and using medical equipment.

Choosing Equipment
Your child’s doctor and/or a physical therapist will play a central role in working with you to select the right medical equipment for your child. Often, the doctor will refer you to a representative for a provider for a piece of equipment that may benefit your child, and that representative will evaluate your child’s case and make a recommendation based on your child’s specific needs. Some of the things that should be considered when choosing equipment for your child are expectations for growth and function, your child’s need for body and head support, his or her history of pressure sores, and whether manual or powered equipment is best. Your budget and preferences are also considerations that will help to shape the final decision.

Using Equipment
When your child gets new medical equipment, it is helpful to attend any training sessions provided by the company or recommended by the doctor, or a therapist. Know who to call when you have questions, and alert your doctor if you are not getting the expected functionality out of any equipment you choose. Adaptions may be necessary to meet the particular needs of your child.

Birth injuries are life altering for a child and also a family, but Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is here to help you get the assistance and compensation you deserve for your child, and to help you take care of your child’s special needs. Talk to a birth injury lawyer in Long Island today by calling (516) 858-2194.

Reducing Your Infant's Risk of SIDS

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is feared by parents everywhere. Medical experts still aren’t sure exactly what causes SIDS. It is thought that infants who die of SIDS had an immature arousal center in the brain that failed to wake them up upon having difficulty breathing. Unfortunately, SIDS can occur even when parents take precautions to prevent it. It’s important to understand the risks of SIDS and to do everything possible to reduce your infant’s risk.

Know the Risks
Medical experts recommend that parents be cautious about SIDS until their children turn one year of age. However, the peak time for SIDS deaths is between two and four months. It appears that male infants, African-Americans, Native Americans, low-birthweight babies, and preemies are at the highest risk of SIDS, as are infants who are exposed to cigarette smoke prenatally or postnatally.

Avoid Co-Sleeping
Co-sleeping refers to the practice of putting a baby to sleep in the parents’ bed. While some people believe this promotes a closer bond between parent and child, co-sleeping is very dangerous because infants can easily suffocate. Instead, parents can place infants to sleep in their own bedroom, but only in a bassinette. When the infant is older, he or she can then be moved to a crib in the nursery.

Use the Right Position
It’s vitally important to only put your infant to sleep on his or her back. Sleeping on the stomach or side can prevent infants from getting enough oxygen. Back sleeping is crucial even for short naps. To prevent flattening of the head, do supervised tummy time with your baby every day.

Clear the Crib
It can be tempting to adorn an infant’s crib with crib bumpers, beautiful quilts, and soft stuffed animals. But the only thing that should be in a crib is the baby. Any object placed into the crib could pose a risk to the baby during sleep.

Teaching Your Kids About the Importance of Handwashing

Handwashing is a significant issue in medical malpractice cases. If your case involves an infection, one of the first things a medical malpractice lawyer will ask you is if you saw your doctor wash his or her hands. However, handwashing doesn’t just matter in the medical setting. Washing your hands routinely daily is one of the most effective ways you can prevent the spread of infection. It’s even more important to teach your kids the importance of handwashing, especially at school, where germs run rampant. December 4-10 is Handwashing Awareness Week—the perfect time to focus on teaching your kids the importance of washing their hands. This information will help you get the point across.

Teach the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness
The 4 Principles of Hand Awareness has been accepted by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians as the gold standard for keeping hands clean. By teaching these principles to your kids, you will equip them with everything they need to keep their hands germ-free. The first principle is to wash hands any time they are dirty and before eating. The second principle is to never cough into your hands, and the third principle is to never sneeze into your hands. The fourth principle is to avoid putting fingers in the nose, eyes, or mouth. Following these rules will reduce your kids’ chances of picking up a communicable infection that could be avoided.

Lead by Example
Your kids learn their handwashing behavior from you. Be a model of good habits by following the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness yourself. Cough and sneeze into your elbow and always wash your hands before preparing food and before eating. When washing your hands is a habit for you, your kids are sure to pick up on it.

At Pegalis & Erickson, we’re here to help when a medical mistake, like failing to wash hands, leads to a serious health problem. When you need a medical malpractice attorney on Long Island for birth trauma, medical negligence, or another medical injury, please call (516) 858-2194.

Why Cerebral Palsy is Considered a Birth Injury

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that hinders body movement and muscle coordination. It is most often caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain or body during labor or childbirth and can be a result of medical malpractice. Cerebral palsy is considered a birth injury because it is often linked the following preventable problems:

Untreated Health Issues in the Mother
The mother’s health is essential to the wellbeing of the child. If doctors fail to detect and treat health problems such as infections and diabetes in the mother during pregnancy, it can have devastating effects on the child.

Inadequate Monitoring of Fetal Condition
Just as the mother needs to be monitored during pregnancy and childbirth, the baby does as well. If doctors neglect to monitor the child’s heartbeat or detect a prolapsed umbilical cord, there is a chance for preventable brain trauma to occur.

Failure to Perform Necessary Procedures
In some cases the baby is too large to safely pass through the birth canal, requiring a cesarean section. If the doctor delays or fails to perform a medically necessary cesarean section, the child can experience irreversible brain damage.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy you can contact a cerebral palsy lawyer in Long Island to discuss the possibility of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Please contact Pegalis & Erickson at (516) 303-9642 or online to schedule a consultation.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers, and its prevalence deserves an overview in observance of Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Early Detection
Besides prevention, early detection is best way to identify effective treatment. The sooner you learn you have cancer and begin treatment, the higher your chance of recovery. Lung cancer screening can detect the disease before symptoms start. If a doctor fails to recommend screening or fails to correctly interpret testing which is performed, your chances of survival could greatly diminish. Sometimes lung cancer is misdiagnosed as pneumonia or other benign lung infections.

Late or Misdiagnosis
Unfortunately, lung cancer is often diagnosed too late or incorrectly. Both late diagnosis and misdiagnosis keep you from getting the treatment you need when you need it. Ways to diagnose lung cancer include bronchoscopy, biopsy, CT scan, PET scan, MRI, and bone scan. With the many options available, diagnoses should come in a timely manner.

Mistreatment
There are numerous forms of treatment for lung cancer, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Most patients receive a combination of treatments, which requires a team of several doctors to coordinate plans and communicate effectively. If doctors fail to coordinate treatments, you may not receive the proper care for your diagnosis.

If you or someone you know is concerned they experienced a medical error relating to lung cancer diagnosis or treatment, or other health care errors, contact Pegalis & Erickson, LLC online or call us at (516) 726-1544. We will be happy to schedule a one-on-one consult in Long Island, New York.

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