Did you know that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among U.S. residents? In almost all cases, skin cancer is highly curable when it is detected in its early stages. Unfortunately, the disease can still be deadly, especially when patients receive a delayed diagnosis. To reduce the risk of a delayed diagnosis as the result of medical malpractice or other factors, patients can become proactive self-advocates. During this May, which is the Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, attorneys who handle medical malpractice cases encourage families to take charge of their health.
Skin Cancer Awareness
To promote greater awareness of the dangers of this deadly disease, the University of Michigan Health System has published some startling statistics. According to the university, about 40 to 50 percent of individuals who live to age 65 will be diagnosed with skin cancer at least once. Nearly 74,000 new melanomas were expected to be diagnosed in 2015 alone. According to the published report, fortunately, when melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads beneath the skin, the five-year survival rate is about 97 percent.
Skin Cancer Detection
Patients are encouraged to check themselves and their loved ones regularly for signs of abnormal skin changes, such as new growths, unusual pigmentation, and changes in sensation. It’s also highly advisable to schedule a skin cancer screening with a dermatologist every year. An annual wellness exam with a primary care physician will not necessarily involve an examination of all areas of the skin and so should not be relied upon to detect skin cancers. In addition to your visible skin, a dermatologist should also check your scalp.
Skin Cancer Prevention
Skin cancers are among the most preventable types of cancers. Certain risk factors, such as old age, gender, and family history are not modifiable. However, you can take certain steps to reduce your risk. Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and tanning beds. If you do go outdoors, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before leaving your home and reapply it every two hours. It is also a good idea to wear a hat if you areo going to be in the sun for prolonged periods of time.
If you believe that you received a delayed skin cancer diagnosis because of medical negligence, the malpractice law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is here to help. For more than 40 years, our medical malpractice lawyers have served residents of Long Island, New York and beyond. Call us at (516) 684-2900 to speak with an attorney free of charge.
The following is our formal comment to the widespread news reports about a recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, and their open letter to the CDC asking that medical errors be listed and ranked as the third leading cause of death in the United States. The reports highlighted the lack of tracking and reporting of vital statistics that can hinder research and has kept problems out of the public eye.
The debate over how (and how often) medical errors cause harm has been politicized for decades, with the messaging largely controlled by insurance and medical establishment interests. What is often lacking, however, is data, based on science, to define the problem. This new (Johns Hopkins) study appears to address that gap and sheds a little light on the issue. As lawyers who devote our careers to representing individuals and families whose lives have been sidetracked by medical negligence, we are well aware of the medical community’s propensity to sweep these questions under the rug. That community should stop blaming injured patients and the civil justice system for its own shortcomings, should put its house in order, and should accept accountability for injuries and death caused by negligent conduct. Pegalis & Erickson, Attorneys at Law.
One of the most common forms of medical negligence is hospital-acquired infections, also known as nosocomial infections. Nosocomial infections are defined as any infection that develops after admittance to a hospital for any reason other than the infection. The infection may develop while the patient is still hospitalized, up to three days after the discharge, or up to 30 days after an operation. The most common types of nosocomial infections are urinary tract infections, bacteremia, and pneumonia. The problem with these all-too-common infections is that they can become life-threatening very quickly, given that patients tend to be in an immunologically-weakened state when undergoing treatment in a hospital. Each year, 20,000 people die of nosocomial infections, and many more experience long-term complications from these infections.
If you suspect that medical malpractice may have played a role in your infection, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney for guidance. The medical malpractice lawyer will investigate the possible causes of the infection and determine whether medical negligence is at fault for the infection. For instance, he or she may discover that a member of the surgical team failed to adhere to patient safety protocols, resulting in the introduction of germs to the surgical site. Failure to diagnose and treat infections may also provide the basis for a lawsuit. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you or a loved one seek reparations for infections and their complications.
At Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, we’ve made it our life’s work to serve as effective patient advocates for those affected by medical malpractice. You can contact our malpractice law firm in Long Island, New York at (516) 684-2900.
In each shoulder, there is a large and important bundle of nerves called the brachial plexus. These nerves allow for sensation and movement of the arm and hand. When this network of nerves sustains damage, it is referred to as a brachial plexus injury. This type of injury—even in its milder forms—can take weeks or months to heal. Unfortunately, brachial plexus injuries can occur as a result of birth trauma caused by medical malpractice.
The brachial plexus sustains mild damage when stretched; for example, during a difficult birth procedure. The stretched nerves may heal within a few months; however, the child may have to undergo physical therapy and surgery to strengthen the muscles around the nerves and reestablish arm function. On the other hand, if the nerve root is completely severed from the spinal cord, the child is unlikely to make a full recovery, and will have permanent disabilities, including the loss of sensation and movement in the affected arm.
Certainly, you want the best for your child, and if your baby suffered birth trauma near Long Island, New York, you can turn to the medical malpractice team at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC for guidance. Call us today at (516) 684-2900 to schedule a review of your case.
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