• Cerebral Palsy: an Overview

    It can be devastating for parents to learn that their precious baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a group of movement disorders and these disorders are incurable. Depending on the severity of the resultant impairments, individuals with cerebral palsy often require lifelong care. If your baby has been diagnosed with this disorder, consider speaking with a cerebral palsy lawyer. Certain birth injuries have been known to cause cerebral palsy.

    Causes and Risk Factors
    The underlying cause of cerebral palsy is a brain injury that usually occurs at or around the time of birth. This brain injury may occur during labor and delivery, such as when oxygen to the brain is cut off. Cerebral palsy has also been linked to maternal infections, fetal stroke, fetal infections, and gene mutations. The risk of cerebral palsy can increase if the mother does not receive appropriate prenatal care during pregnancy or if the case involves premature birth, breech birth, or pregnancy with multiples.

    Motor Impairments
    Children with cerebral palsy must be assessed individually, since the type and extent of the impairments can vary considerably from person to person. Typically, cerebral palsy involves muscle stiffness, exaggerated reflexes, impaired muscle coordination, and involuntary movements. Motor skill delays, crawling and walking difficulties, and the favoring of one side of the body are other possible indicators of cerebral palsy. In addition, children may have problems with fine motor skills, such as picking up and using a crayon or a fork.

    Intellectual Disabilities
    Some children with cerebral palsy only have movement impairment, while others also have intellectual disabilities. A child who has cognitive impairments may display delayed language development, impaired concentration, problems processing information, and problems expressing thoughts. These children may also have problems with memory, speech, sound recognition, and emotional regulation.

    For more than 40 years, the team at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC has been defending the legal rights of families affected by birth injuries. If you feel you may have a birth injury case and live near Long Island, New York, call us today at (516) 684-2900. A cerebral palsy lawyer will carefully review your case and answer your questions at no charge.

  • Maternal Death: A Look at a Preventable Tragedy

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 600 women die each year because of complications during pregnancy and delivery, and approximately half of those deaths are preventable. Factors such as unhealthy lifestyle choices and medical malpractice during prenatal care or during delivery can all put a mother’s life at risk. There are several steps that can reduce the tragedy of maternal death:

    Healthier Lifestyle
    During pregnancy, women should work closely with their providers to stay as healthy as possible. Smoking and drinking during pregnancy not only endangers the health of the baby but also puts the mother at greater risk for complications. Mothers should also see their doctors regularly, manage their pregnancy weight gain, and follow all recommendations of their doctors for bed rest and diet. Because having a healthy lifestyle before pregnancy can reduce the risks of pregnancy complications and maternal mortality, women should make efforts to maintain a healthy weight, manage chronic medical conditions, and quit smoking.

    Improved Prenatal Care
    Poor prenatal care contributes to maternal death in a number of ways. In some cases, women may not have access to the maternal care they need, which means that dangerous conditions like preeclampsia (high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes can occur unchecked. In other instances, medical mistakes in prenatal care can lead to complications that put a mother’s life in danger. And, medical mistakes can lead to complications that put the unborn child’s life in danger

    Changes in the Delivery Room
    Errors in the delivery room can also lead to maternal death as well as many types of birth injuries. Mistakes in monitoring, failure to act quickly to address complications, such as bleeding, improper use of anesthesia, and failure to respond to infections are all examples of medical malpractice that could result in maternal fatalities.

    If you have been touched by the tragedy of a maternal death and believe that a medical error could be the cause, contact Pegalis & Erickson, LLC to speak to a medical malpractice attorney in Long Island, New York. Our experienced attorneys can evaluate the situation and help you decide what next steps to take. Contact us today at (516) 684-2900 to get started.

  • Keeping Track of Your Medical Records

    Managing your medical records is important not only to ensure your doctors have the information they need to provide you with proper care but also so that you can keep track of your medical history and the treatments being provided to you. Being an informed medical care consumer can save your life! You can manage your records both on and offline every time you see a provider.

    Start with creating a list of your current medications and updating it every time your dose is changed or you stop and start a medicine. A log of your symptoms will help you have more productive doctor appointments and will ensure you have proof of when symptoms began. Keep visit summaries from your physician visits and make your own notes about each appointment. Research not only the doctors you are seeing, but also the hospitals they are affiliated with, to ensure that you are seeing the best health care providers for your particular conditions. There are many official websites maintained by US state departments of health which give background informaton on doctors, hospitals and other medical providers.

    The attorneys at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC can help to assess whether the medical care you received departed from the appropriate standards of care. If you believe you the care you received was not proper call us at (516) 684-2900.

  • Cervical Cancer: Misdiagnosis and Failed Detection

    Cervical cancer is a deadly disease that is best treated as soon as possible. In fact, routine health screenings allow providers to detect pre-cancerous changes that can be treated before cervical cancer develops. Unfortunately, medical malpractice affects all healthcare specialties, including gynecology and oncology. If you were misdiagnosed or you lost a loved one to cervical cancer, consider talking to medical negligence lawyers about your potential case.

    The Types of Medical Errors
    Doctors have a responsibility to preserve and improve the health of their patients, but they are susceptible to making a wide range of medical mistakes. For example, a doctor may fail to thoroughly review a patient’s risk factors for cervical cancer. This can result in improperly recommending that the patient delay cervical cancer screenings. When a Pap test is performed, a doctor may misinterpret or even misplace the results. Other medical mistakes include failing to refer patients to an appropriate specialist, failing to coordinate medical care across different providers, and failing to identify the early signs of cervical cancer.

    The Consequences of Misdiagnosis
    When cervical cancer is not detected in its pre-cancerous or early stages, the results can be devastating. When left unchecked, the cancer can grow and spread beyond its point of origin. This means that when it is finally diagnosed correctly, the cancer will be more difficult to treat, will require more invasive treatments, and is more likely to be fatal. If a patient’s cervical cancer is initially diagnosed as being a different medical problem, additional consequences can occur. For example, the patient may be prescribed inappropriate medications or undergo other improper treatments that may do more harm than good.

    Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, a malpractice law firm in Long Island, New York, extends our deepest sympathies to families who have lost a loved one to cervical cancer and to patients who have been diagnosed with it. If you feel that your health may have been compromised by an act of medical malpractice, please contact us promptly at (516) 684-2900. Our dedicated legal team will help you understand your legal rights.