How Big Is the Risk of Errors in Hospitals?
You might think that cancer, heart disease, and similar illnesses would completely dominant the top five leading causes of death in the U.S. And indeed, far too many people die of these serious diseases each year. However, about 440,000 Americans die each year of problems that are entirely preventable, making hospital errors the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Hospital errors, or medical malpractice, can occur for many reasons, such as improperly trained staff, poor communication among staff members, and failure to adhere to established patient safety protocols.
One of the most common hospital-acquired conditions is infections. Physicians and other healthcare providers should carefully follow sterilization protocols to prevent the spread of germs from patient to patient. Unfortunately, these protocols aren’t always followed. According to the 2011 Health Grades Hospital Quality in America Study estimated 722,000 patients contracted an infection during hospital care in the U.S. The CDC recently estimated that 1 in 25 patients end up with hospital-acquired infections. Other forms of medical malpractice can include surgical errors, which may include anesthesia errors or unintended injury to nerves or blood vessels. Medication errors, birth injuries, and anesthesia errors can also cause patient death.
You can protect yourself and your loved ones by becoming informed of your legal rights. Contact Pegalis & Erickson, a malpractice law firm in Long Island, New York, at (516) 684-2900 or visit us online to learn more about medical malpractice.
Hear Pegalis & Erickson Attorney Robert Fallarino Discuss a Landmark Breast Cancer Case
Pegalis & Erickson, a malpractice law firm in Long Island, New York, has a longstanding history of successfully advocating for our clients in and out of the courtroom. When you watch this video, you’ll see an interview with Robert Fallarino, a medical malpractice lawyer at our firm. Mr. Fallarino discusses how he helped one of his clients obtain a $15 million jury award.
Mr. Fallarino’s client was a woman in her mid-40s with three young children. She detected a lump in her breast and went to a breast care center for a mammogram. The doctor misdiagnosed the lump as a clogged milk duct, when in fact, it was a cancerous tumor. The end result was that the woman wasn’t diagnosed with cancer until about a year later, which allowed the disease to spread well beyond the breast to her lymph nodes and bones. In this interview, Mr. Fallarino offers some valuable advice for patients who think they may be the victim of medical malpractice.
At Pegalis & Erickson, we go the extra mile to walk our clients through each step of the litigation process and ensure they are fully informed of their legal rights and options. Contact our malpractice law firm at (516) 684-2900 or visit our website to read about our jury verdicts.
Alzheimer’s Products Under Scrutiny
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be devastating for patients and their families, and in the midst of their grief, these individuals may seek cures of all types beyond those recommended by a physician. In the dietary supplement industry many companies have begun to take advantage of patients affected by Alzheimer’s by advertising products claiming to improve memory and treat dementia. These products have recently come under scrutiny by Sentator Claire McCaskill, who is on the Senate Special Committee on Aging. In addition to soliciting the FDA on the safety of these dietary supplements, McCaskill sent letters to 15 major national retailers, including Amazon, to reduce the availability of potentially unsafe or misleading “miracle cures.”
The medical community is unfortunately full of misinformation, but there are representatives who will fight for your rights as a patient and consumer with more than 40 years of medical malpractice expertise. At Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, you can expect dedicated attention for your case to help you discover the truth of your medical care and seek appropriate compensation for negligence or malpractice. To schedule a free consultation at our office near Long Island, call us at (516) 684-2900.
Medical Malpractice and Birth Injuries: What You Need to Know
While eagerly anticipating the birth of their child, parents may not consider the possibility that their little one will suffer serious birth injuries that could result in lifelong complications. Far too many families each year face this sort of tragedy. When a child is diagnosed with a birth injury, parents may wish to consult a medical malpractice lawyer. A lawyer can review medical records and other evidence to look for signs of medical malpractice.
Causes and Risk Factors of Birth Injuries
Healthcare providers should be aware of the risk factors of birth injuries and take appropriate steps to mitigate the risk. These risk factors can include premature birth, large size of the baby, or breech position. Birth injuries more often occur during prolonged or difficult labor. While the mother is in labor, obstetric staff should be carefully monitoring the fetal heartrate. The fetal heartrate may begin to show signs of fetal distress. When this occurs, physicians should take steps to prevent complications such as oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. They may perform an emergency C-section, for example. When a C-section is delayed or not performed at all, the child may be more likely to suffer birth injuries. Birth injuries may also occur if the obstetrician uses forceps, a vacuum extractor, or other equipment for delivery. When used improperly, these devices may inflict serious damage to the baby.
Types of Birth Injuries
If a healthcare provider uses excessive force to manipulate the baby during delivery, it is possible that the child will suffer from bone fractures, such as a broken clavicle. Another type of birth injury is a brachial plexus injury, also known as Erb’s Palsy, which refers to damage of the network of nerves in the shoulder area. When these nerves suffer damage, the baby may suffer paralysis of the affected arm and hand.
The medical malpractice team at Pegalis & Erickson has spent more than 40 years employing the litigation system to work to help our clients. It’s our goal to make healthcare safer for families; unfortunately, far too many parents are still hearing the devastating news that their child has suffered a serious birth injury. If your child has suffered birth injuries in Long Island, New York, you can call our firm at (516) 684-2900 and let us know how we can help you.
What to Expect if Your Child Is Diagnosed with Erb’s PalsyEvery child deserves a healthy start in life. Unfortunately for some, birth injuries compromise their health before they even go home with their parents for the first time. Medical malpractice can sometimes lead to Erb’s palsy, which develops when the brachial plexus—a cluster of nerves in the shoulder area—becomes injured during delivery. If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, you can consult a birth injury lawyer to discuss the possibility of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Watching Out for Possible Symptoms
The symptoms of Erb’s palsy can vary widely in terms of severity. Some infants may only have minor arm weakness, while others cannot move the affected arm at all. The child might hold the affected arm against the body or the arm may hang limp. Erb’s palsy can also cause loss of sensation, loss of motor function, arm numbness, impaired gripping ability, and partial or full paralysis of the affected arm.
Evaluating the Prognosis
With the help of a physical therapist, infants with mild symptoms of Erb’s palsy may fully recover within three to six months. Most children who receive the appropriate care regain sensory and functional use of the affected arm within a year. However, infants with very severe symptoms may never regain lost function.
Identifying Long-Term Effects
When the brachial plexus injury does not resolve itself, children must live with long-term health complications. For example, the muscular, circulatory, and nervous development in the affected area may be impaired. Some children suffer from permanent loss of function of the arm, while others may have abnormal muscle contractions that become permanent. As children with Erb’s palsy grow older and enter school, they may suffer emotionally, socially, and academically. They may display episodes of frustration and anger because they cannot physically participate in the activities other children enjoy and they may develop self-esteem issues that require counseling.
The birth injury lawyers at Pegalis & Erickson sympathize with parents of children who have been diagnosed with serious health problems such as Erb’s palsy. We would like to extend an offer for a free case review to help you explore your options. Call us at (516) 684-2900 to request an appointment with a medical malpractice attorney in Long Island, New York.
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