• What Causes a Child’s Shoulder Dystocia?

    When a baby’s head is delivered but the shoulders are stuck, it is known as shoulder dystocia. It is a rare but serious birth complication, and it can cause injury to the newborn. There are a number of factors that can make shoulder dystocia more likely to happen, including obesity, diabetes, and overdue pregnancy. Having a baby that is larger than usual, also known as large for gestational age, can also raise the risk of shoulder dystocia. Being alert to these risk factors can help your doctor take measures to help ensure that your delivery proceeds safely.

    If you have any concerns about baby or mom after delivery such as a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC in New York. For 46 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

  • How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

    As many as 1 out of every 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer, with hundreds of thousands of new cases of the illness every year. After lung cancer, it is the single deadliest type of cancer for American women. Here is a brief introduction to how breast cancer is diagnosed in patients.

    What tests are used to diagnose breast cancer?
    There are several tests that can be administered to diagnose breast cancer. Your doctor can do a physical exam to check for lumps, and they can also use a mammogram—a radiological study—to look for early signs of cancer. If a suspicious lump is found, an ultrasound or an MRI scan may be used to try to evaluate it. If necessary, a biopsy—a taking of tissue sample—can be done to check the tissue for cancer.

    When should I be tested for breast cancer?
    You may want to begin doing annual breast cancer screenings, including mammograms, in your early 40s. After the age of 45, annual mammograms are recommended for all women. After the age of 55, you may want to switch to doing a mammogram once every two years, or as often as your doctor advises. If you have a family history of breast cancer or are a BRCA positive gene carrier, you should speak with your physician because screening is often done earlier and testing may include mammograms along with sonograms and MRI annually. It’s important to be alert to any changes in your breasts, such as developing lumps, discharge, skin changes, that were not there in the past. While not all lumps are cause for concern, you may want to ask your doctor if you are worried about them.

    If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC in New York. For 46 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

  • Spotlight on the Flu Shot

    The 2018-2019 flu season is expected to be a severe one, so it’s important to obtain your flu shot as soon as possible. While the flu vaccine cannot avert every instance of flu, it is still the most effective means of prevention. It’s also important to ensure that your flu is correctly diagnosed. If your symptoms subside and then suddenly return, seek immediate medical attention. Misdiagnosis of flu can lead to serious complications, especially for children and the elderly. The sooner you start taking medication for your flu, the shorter your illness is likely to be.

    If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC in New York. For 46 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

  • Spotlight on Preventable Emergency Room Errors

    When you go to the emergency room, it’s only natural to assume that you will be well taken care of by conscientious care providers. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen—and even experienced healthcare professionals can make them. In fact, emergency room errors are far more common than you might assume. These are some of the types of preventable emergency room errors that are most likely to occur.

    Medication Errors
    In the atmosphere of an emergency room, it’s entirely possible for medication errors to happen—and the results can be serious. A patient may receive a dosage that is too high, one that is too low, or even the wrong medication entirely. If you’re not getting the correct level of medication—or worse, a medication that isn’t intended for you—it can make your condition worse.

    Misdiagnosis
    If you aren’t properly diagnosed when you get to the emergency room, you won’t get the treatment you need. Here’s a possible scenario: A patient’s appendicitis is mistaken for ordinary stomach pains, and he or she is prescribed medication and discharged instead of an emergency appendectomy to avoid a burst appendix and possible sepsis.

    Misreading Test Results
    When a test is given to you at an emergency room, it’s important that the staff reading it does so properly. Tests are essential for determining the nature of your condition so you can proceed with the appropriate treatment. If your test results are misread or misinterpreted, and you are discharged from the emergency room, it can result in serious injury or even death.  For example, if a radiologist fails to read a chest X-ray properly that shows developing pneumonia, and you are discharged without proper medication, it can lead to sepsis and even death.

    If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling

  • Should You Get a Second Opinion?

    If you’ve recently received a significant finding from your physician, you may be wondering whether it’s a good idea to seek out a second opinion. In general, if you have any doubts about your first diagnosis, there’s no harm in getting a second opinion from a different healthcare provider. However, you may also want to get a second opinion if you have nagging symptoms and you have been told that there is nothing wrong with you. By the same token, if you’ve received a serious diagnosis that requires major changes in your life—such as going on a new medication indefinitely—it’s smart to seek a second doctor’s opinion. If the two providers’ opinions are the same, you’ll be able to enjoy greater peace of mind.

    If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

  • Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: Understanding Your Risk Factors

    Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that develops in a woman’s ovaries. While ovarian cancer is relatively rare, it’s important to diagnose it in its earliest stages so that it can be treated effectively. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose easily because its symptoms are subtle. Since there is no screening for early ovarian cancer, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you are considered to be at risk. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to check yourself for the symptoms which include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, weight gain or loss, change in bowel or bladder habits, to name a few. These are some of the main risk factors for developing ovarian cancer:

    • Family history of ovarian or breast cancer
    • A personal history of breast cancer prior to age 40
    • A personal history of breast cancer prior to age 50 as well as one or more relatives diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer at any age
    • Two or more close relatives diagnosed with breast cancer prior to age 50, or with ovarian cancer diagnosed at any age
    • Ashkenazi Jewish Heritage and a personal history of breast cancer prior to age 50
    • Ashkenazi Jewish Heritage and a first or second-degree relative diagnosed with bread cancer prior to age 50, or with ovarian cancer at any age
    • The BRCA1 or BRACA2 genes put you at high risk. 1 in 5 or higher if you inherited certain mutations in genes that are involved in cell growth division and DNA repair

    If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC in New York. For 46 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

  • Five Pegalis & Erickson Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers in America© 2019

    Lake Success, NY September 13, 2018…Five Firm attorneys have been selected for the highly regarded list, Best Lawyers in America© for 2019. Fewer than 5% of attorneys in the United States are recognized to this list which is compiled through extensive research, and peer and client review. The five attorneys recognized for Plaintiffs Medical Malpractice are: Steven Pegalis, a Great Neck resident; Stephen Erickson, a Marlboro, NJ resident; Annamarie Bondi-Stoddard, a Port Washington resident; Sanford Nagrotsky, a Mineola resident, and Robert Fallarino, an East Williston resident. In addition, three of those attorneys: Steven Pegalis, Stephen Erickson, and Annamarie Bondi-Stoddard, were also named to Best Lawyers© for Personal Injury Litigation.

    Steven Pegalis, Esq. is the founding partner of Pegalis & Erickson, and one of the nation’s foremost medical malpractice trial lawyers. In his nearly 50 years practicing law as an advocate for seriously injured victims of negligence, he has obtained some of the highest jury verdicts in history. 2019 is his 13th time being named to Best Lawyers©. Additionally, Pegalis is the only lawyer to be named both the 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” on Long Island, for Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Litigation, and the 2016 “Lawyer of the Year,” for Plaintiffs’ Medical Malpractice lawyer in New York, by  Best Lawyers in America®. He earned his undergraduate degree from Queens College of the City of New York, and both a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Law degree from New York Law School where he is both an adjunct professor, and Trustee.

    Stephen Erickson, Esq. is a founding partner of Pegalis & Erickson, with over 30 years of experience in the trial of significant medical malpractice and other types of personal injury litigation, including car accidents, bus accidents, and product liability cases. One of his verdicts was noted to be the third highest jury verdict ever awarded in the State of New York for a medical negligence claim, at that time.  2019 is his 12th time being named a Best Lawyer. Additionally, Erickson was named the only lawyer on Long Island to receive the 2018 “Lawyer of the Year” for Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation, by Best Lawyers©. Erickson has earned his reputation as a highly skilled litigator by obtaining record-setting, multi-million dollar verdicts for his clients. Many of his cases involve adults and infants who sustained catastrophic brain injury as a result of medical negligence.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from State University of New York at Oneonta, and his Juris Doctor from New York Law School.

    Annamarie Bondi-Stoddard, Esq. is the managing partner at Pegalis & Erickson. 2019 is her 12th time being named to Best Lawyers©. She has more than 30 years of experience representing plaintiffs in medical negligence cases involving women’s health issues and birth injuries, as well as surgical, neurosurgical, cardiac, and cancer treatment. She is also a leading advocate of being a proactive patient. Bondi-Stoddard lectures on patient safety and medical malpractice for community groups and law industry professionals. She has written extensively on medical negligence. She earned her law degree from Boston University, and her Bachelor’s from Seton Hall University.

    Sanford Nagrotsky, Esq. is a Partner at Pegalis and Erickson. 2019 is his fifth time being named to Best Lawyers©. As a plaintiffs’ medical malpractice attorney for 30 years, he has instituted a unique approach to client service rarely seen today; he provides consultations directly with people who call every day to learn if they have a potential medical negligence case. Nagrotsky focuses on unraveling complex medical negligence situations, utilizing his extensive knowledge and medical research skills to swiftly analyze critical issues for clients and potential clients. He obtained his law degree from State University of New York at Buffalo and his undergraduate degree from State University of New York at Oneonta.

    Robert Fallarino, Esq. is a trial attorney at Pegalis and Erickson with more than twenty-five years of experience leading medical malpractice litigation, complex labor law, and product defect litigation. This is his second time being named to Best Lawyers©. His record of success includes obtaining the fourth highest verdict in New York State for medical negligence in 2012, making it the top ten verdict in New York that year. Fallarino has resolved cases for millions of dollars for patients who have been victims of medical negligence across NY State and around the nation including in North Carolina, Nebraska, Idaho, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. He earned his bachelor’s and law degree from St. John’s University.

    About Us: Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is a New York law firm for those suffering as a result of medical errors and personal injury. We are advocates who obtain justice for our clients after hospitals, doctors, medical personnel, construction companies, or motor vehicle drivers commit avoidable errors that cause our clients life-altering harm. In our 46 years of practice, we have won some of the largest verdicts in New York State history and strive for medical accountability to ensure safer medical practices for better patient care. Visit us at www.pegalisanderickson.com and on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

  • Patient Safety Tips: Reducing the Risk of Medication Errors

    As a patient, it’s only natural to assume that you will be adequately cared for by every health care provider who serves you. Unfortunately, negligence in the medical world is all too common. One of the most dangerous forms of medical negligence is also one of the most common—medication errors. Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself from medication mistakes.

    Get as much information as possible.

    Don’t be afraid to ask any questions about your new medications that may come to mind. Make sure you know both the brand and the generic name of the medication, what you should do if you miss a dose, and whether there are any side effects that you should be aware of. Also, make sure that you have a phone number to call if you have any additional questions.

    Follow the directions exactly.

    When you get a new medication, you’ll need to have your doctor or a pharmacist explain to you how you are supposed to take it. This means you’ll need to know when and how often to take it, whether you need to take it on an empty stomach, what foods and drinks you need to avoid while taking it, and whether it is safe to take it in combination with other medicines or supplements.  Enlist the help of your pharmacist to make sure all the medications you are taking are compatible.

    Find out how to store your medications.
    It’s important that you know how to keep your medications so that they remain both safe for you to take and as effective as they are meant to be. Some medications will need to be kept at room temperature, but others may need to be refrigerated. Make sure that you know the expiration date of your medications, and dispose of them when appropriate.

    Ask About Side Effects
    Ask your doctor your doctor and pharmacist what the possible side effects are and what to look out for. If you experience a side effect call your doctor before taking any additional doses. Life-threatening reactions can present as a rash, therefore you must be aware of any changes in your body when starting new medications

    If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

  • Why Vaccines Are Important to Health

    August is National Immunization Month, so it’s a good time to be sure that you and your loved ones are caught up on your immunizations. It’s hard to overstate the importance of vaccines for protecting your health as well as that of the people around you. Today, pregnant women and all caregivers should always ask their doctor about what vaccines they need.  The CDC recommends that all parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, babysitters, and other caregivers receive the flu vaccine and whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine.

    Likewise, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women stay up to date on vaccinations during pregnancy. Certain vaccines including for MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) are recommended before pregnancy and others such as the flu shot can either be given before or during a pregnancy. The whooping cough vaccine is another important vaccine from pregnant women. Each year, about 20 babies die from whooping cough in the U.S., so it’s important that the mother is immune to whooping cough so she can prevent unknowingly spreading this illness to her child.

    Vaccines protect you from contracting dangerous but preventable illnesses such as measles and whooping cough. They also prevent you from spreading those diseases to others. If you choose not to vaccinate yourself or your children, you’re putting other people in danger. Children under the age of 12 months—who can’t be vaccinated yet—and people who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk.

    If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

  • What Are the Symptoms of Sepsis?

    Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that results when the body is trying to fight off an infection, causing injury to its own tissue and organs. If a medical professional who is providing care for you has failed to identify sepsis, it may be considered medical malpractice. It’s important to know what the warning signs of sepsis are so that you can seek treatment right away if you experience them. The symptoms of sepsis include sudden fever or low body temperature, breathing much more quickly than usual, a rapid heartbeat, feeling severely confused or disoriented, and finding yourself short of breath. If you have more than one of these symptoms, treat it as a medical emergency.

    If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

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