With some types of medical advice, it’s best to seek out a second opinion. For instance, if your regular doctor suggests that you undergo a serious operation, it’s a good idea to get another doctor’s point of view. After all, an operation is a significant undertaking with no shortage of risk, and you wouldn’t want to follow a recommendation based on a misdiagnosis—an all-too-common form of medical malpractice.
When You Should Get a Second Opinion When you speak with your doctor, it’s important to take a proactive role in decisions that can impact our future health. For example, if your physician suggests a serious operation, you should consider getting another opinion. Operations are significant undertakings with risk. You wouldn’t want to follow recommendations based on misdiagnosis, which is sadly an all-too-common medical mistake. If your MD recommends surgery for a condition that isn’t life threatening, you should explore your range of options. Before you agree to treatment, ask more questions, share your concerns, and consider getting a second opinion.
What to Discuss With a Second Doctor
In advance of your appointment, have your medical records sent to the second doctor, or bring them with you, which can spare you from being re-tested. Go with questions. Try to bring someone with you as a second set of ears and who can also take notes. If the second doctor has a different opinion, discuss that with your main doctor, and perhaps seek input of a third medical professional. professional.
If you or someone you love has suffered complications due to an ill-advised medical procedure, call the medical malpractice law firm of Pegalis & Erickson at (516) 684-2900. We’ve been rated Best Lawyers by U.S. News and World Report and work with clients throughout Long Island involving cancer misdiagnosis, neurosurgical related injuries, hospital liability, birth injuries, infectious disease, and other forms of medical malpractice.
There is nothing more painful for a parent than an infant injured or killed during childbirth. Unfortunately, the wrongful actions of physicians and other medical professionals are too often the cause of these injuries. Here are some of the most frequent ways that medical malpractice can cause a birth injury:
Failure to Anticipate Complications
Modern diagnostics equipment like ultrasounds have made it possible for hospitals to dramatically reduce birth injuries over the past century. Nevertheless, the failure of medical professionals to use this equipment properly still leads to a great number of injuries. Potential complications that should be detected ahead of time include Cephalopelvic Disproportion and pre-natal infants that are abnormally small or large. The failure to anticipate these complications can often result in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Failure to Respond to Complications
While many complications can be anticipated, many more develop unexpectedly during childbirth. In these situations, a medical professional needs to respond quickly and decisively. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. When a physician or medical professional fails to respond to complications like bleeding, umbilical cord entrapment, and heartbeat irregularities, birth injuries can result. Another common source of injury is the failure of a physician to order a cesarean section when it is medically necessary to do so.
Misuse of Medication and Equipment
Today’s medical professionals rely on a range of equipment and medications to assist and ease childbirth. The misuse of these tools is one of the most common causes of birth injuries. The misuse of a forceps or vacuum extractor can lead to many complications, as can the improper use of Pitocin, a synthetic hormone used to induce labor.
If your infant has suffered injury or death due to the wrongful actions of medical professionals, Pegalis & Erickson can help you defend your right to fair compensation. Call us today at (516) 684-2900 and schedule a consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
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Erb’s palsy is a form of paralysis centered in the brachial plexus, a nerve stream between the neck and shoulders that powers movement through the arms and hands. Named after German neurologist Wilhelm Erb (1840-1921)—one of the first medical professionals to diagnose the condition—Erb’s palsy affects between one and two baby births per 1,000 due to medical malpractice during delivery.
The Cause of Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy is caused during complicated or poorly handled childbirths. When a newborn’s head emerges from its mother’s birth canal, a brachial plexus stretch can occur if the baby’s head is pulled with excessive force by the doctor. While it may take years for the permanent effects of this stretch injury to become fully apparent, it is nonetheless a grievous form of medical malpractice resulting in the inability to have full use of the arm and hand.
If the effects of a brachial plexus stretch are readily apparent, daily range-of-motion exercises can begin within three weeks of a baby’s birth. With the help of a physical therapist, the joint-stiffening effects of Erb’s palsy can be countered with regular, supervised movements of the elbow, hand, shoulder, and wrist.
If a child’s movements don’t improve after six months of physical therapy, there’s also the option of surgical treatment. Depending on the locality of the injured nerve, it might be possible to transfer a nerve from another muscle in the body. Performed with microsurgery, nerve treatments can help restore partial function in small infants, but aren’t known to work on older children.
If your child has a physical problem that you suspect was caused by medical malpractice in the delivery room, contact Pegalis & Erickson at (516) 684-2900. Serving clients throughout Long Island, we take on medical malpractice cases stemming from cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, birth injuries, cancer misdiagnosis, infectious disease, neurosurgical related injuries, and hospital liability.
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