• Spotlight on Medication Errors

    It would be hard to overstate the importance of avoiding medication errors. If a patient does not take the proper dosage of a medication or is given the wrong prescription, it can have serious consequences for his or her health and possibly their life. It’s always a good time to check that you know all of the important information you should about any medications you are taking. Here’s how you can help prevent medication errors:

    Get instructions from your physician.
    It’s important to get thorough instructions from your physician or your pharmacist on how to take your medication. You should know what dosage you should be taking, when to take it, and how many days you should be taking it for. If anything is unclear to you, be sure to ask for clarification.

    Ask about drug interactions.
    Your physician should be made aware of any other medications you are taking, so that you will not be prescribed a drug that may have a dangerous interaction. Make sure that you also know about any possible side effects the medication may have, and whether it interacts negatively with any foods, such as juices or alcohol.

    Make sure you know the medication name.
    Confusing one medication with another is a common mistake, and it can be an extremely serious one. Many medications have names that sound similar, so it’s important to make sure that you know both the generic name and the brand name of the medication you are taking.

    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.

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  • Knowing the Symptoms of Diabetes

    If you have diabetes, it’s important that you are made aware of it as soon as possible so that you can take steps to protect your health. Diabetes has a number of warning signs that you should be alert to, including increased hunger and thirst, a constantly dry mouth, and an unusually persistent need to urinate. Other common symptoms of diabetes include chronic fatigue, sudden weight loss, and severe headaches. You may also experience blurred vision. If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, you should talk to your physician as soon as possible.

    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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  • How To Talk to Your Doctor About Pain

    Pain can be difficult to describe. If you are suffering from pain, whether it is chronic or periodic, it’s important to be able to talk to your doctor about it effectively. Explain where the pain is felt in your body, how frequent it is, and how severe it is on a scale of 1-10. If you feel any specific sensations such as tingling, numbness, burning, or aching, be sure to talk about that. You should also mention if the pain is interfering with your life in any way, such as making it difficult for you to engage in your normal daily activities. Finally, tell your doctor if you have tried any pain relief methods, such as over-the-counter medications. The more information you provide your doctor with, the more likely it is that he or she will be able to help you.

    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.

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  • Understanding and Preventing Falls in Hospitals

    Hospital falls are extremely common. Hundreds of thousands of people sustain fall-related injuries in hospitals in the U.S. every year. In fact,  September 22 was Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Make yourself aware of what causes hospital falls—and how you can prevent them. Here is what you need to know about hospital falls.

    Who is most likely to fall in a hospital?
    While anybody can slip and fall, falls in hospitals most frequently happen to patients who are at higher than average risk of falling, such as those who do not have the ability to stand and walk safely on their own. Patients who suffer from vertigo or other balance-related conditions are also at high risk of falling, as are patients who are taking certain medications. The older a person is, the more likely he or she is to be seriously injured in the event of a fall.

    What hospital policies contribute to falls?
    Often, hospital personnel fail to properly assess a patient’s condition, and thus fail to take preventive action to protect them from falling. In particular, bed-exit alarms should be set up so that hospital staff can be alerted if the patient tries to get out of bed without assistance. A hospital staff member should be available at all times to answer the alarm and assist the patient.

    What can hospitals do to prevent falls?
    Patients who are at risk of falling should be given beds that are lower to the floor, and they can also be provided with no-slip footwear. When patients have a condition or are taking medications that could make them lose their balance, hospital staff should be aware of it. Most importantly, hospital personnel should be ready to timely-assist a patient in the event that he or she needs to leave the bed.

    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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 (516) 858-2194.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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