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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.

Accurately Diagnosing Stroke

By designating May as American Stroke Month, the American Stroke Association aims to raise awareness about the critical importance of early detection and treatment of this life-threatening medical event. It’s crucial for patients to learn how to be their own healthcare advocates, given the risks of medical malpractice in stroke cases that may result in wrongful death.

Detecting the Signs of Stroke
The accurate diagnosis of stroke begins with the patient’s recognition of the potential signs and symptoms of stroke. These symptoms include:

  • One-sided weakness, numbness, or paralysis
  • One-sided facial drooping
  • Confusion
  • Excruciating headache
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Difficulty walking

Diagnosing or Misdiagnosing Stroke at the ER
One of the reasons why doctors may fail to diagnose stroke properly is that some of the symptoms can mimic other health conditions, such as the following:

  • Seizure
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Systemic infection
  • Migraine
  • Dementia
  • Alcohol intoxication

However, because of the life-threatening nature of stroke, it’s imperative that doctors do consider the possibility of stroke when a patient presents with certain symptoms. Doctors ought to avoid emergency room errors by performing some of the following diagnostic exams and tests to check for stroke.

  • Physical exam
  • Medical history review
  • Symptom review
  • Blood tests
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Carotid ultrasound
  • Cerebral angiogram
  • Echocardiogram

If a patient suffers a stroke that goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed, a medical malpractice lawyer will consider whether the doctor was negligent in failing to order any of these tests.

Getting Prompt Treatment for Stroke
An accurate diagnosis is crucial for administering the correct treatment. Most strokes are ischemic strokes, which are caused by an obstruction of blood flow to the brain. To clear the obstruction, emergency room doctors can administer powerful clot-busting drugs. However, if these drugs are administered to patients who are actually suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, the result could be disastrous because it will increase bleeding on the brain.

If someone in your family may have been affected by emergency room errors on Long Island, New York, you can find the answers you’re looking for at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC. We are a malpractice law firm committed to protecting the legal rights of patients and their families. Reach out to us today at (516) 858-2194 and let us know how we can help you.

What Is Considered Substandard Health Care?

Sub-standard care is a term that you may hear regarding medical malpractice incidents. If a medical malpractice attorney files a lawsuit on your behalf, he or she will need to prove that the doctor provided sub-standard care that was a cause of your injuries. To accomplish this, your lawyer may have an expert witness testify about what the doctor should have done to meet the standard of care.

The medical standard of care is what a similarly trained healthcare provider would have done for the same patient under similar circumstances. For example, it’s widely accepted that if a patient arrives at the ER with chest pain, an emergency room physician would test for a heart attack. If the doctor fails to request the tests necessary to rule out or in a heart attack so proper treatment can be instituted, then he or she would have provided sub-standard medical care.

If you have any other questions about medical malpractice, you can count on the dedicated team at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC—a malpractice law firm on Long Island, New York. Call us at (516) 858-2194 to request an appointment.

Should You Take Legal Action Against Your Medical Provider?

Patients place considerable trust in their doctors, specialists, and nurses. Although healthcare providers are highly trained and the medical industry is tightly regulated, countless medical mistakes occur every year. Medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated individuals who seek to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for their actions. However, the decision to take legal action against a doctor should not be taken lightly. If you’re a patient who has been harmed, you can count on your medical malpractice attorney to provide the sound legal guidance you need to make a decision.

Getting a Second Opinion
Sometimes, medical treatments simply don’t work as well as a patient hopes they will. A poor health outcome doesn’t automatically mean that the doctor was negligent, but it is a good idea to be a proactive patient by seeking a second opinion from another medical provider. Be sure to have your medical records transferred to the second provider’s office. If you have any test results or imaging scans, bring those with you to your appointment. Plan to ask plenty of questions and take notes about whether the diagnosis you originally received might have been inaccurate or whether the treatment was inappropriate.

Establishing the Elements of Medical Malpractice
If you have suffered a harmful, unanticipated outcome after medical treatment, it may be time to consult a lawyer about possible legal action. Your attorney will review your case, including your medical records, to determine if all of the elements of medical malpractice are present. These elements are:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed.
  • Your doctor gave you sub-standard care.
  • The sub-standard care caused your injuries.
  • You sustained damages because of the doctor’s negligence.

Understanding the Legal Proceedings
If your lawyer finds that your case has the basis for a lawsuit, it’s time to decide if you wish to move forward. For many patients, legal action allows them to pay their medical bills and meet their future care needs. But it’s important to understand that not all lawsuits are successful. Hiring the right medical malpractice attorney can make all the difference.

At Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, we understand how difficult it can be to make legal decisions in the aftermath of a major injury or illness. Our medical malpractice attorneys on Long Island, New York offer effective legal advocacy services that can help your family move forward. Call us at (516) 858-2194 today to request a free case review.

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.

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