• What Are the Risks of Vacuum Assisted Deliveries?

    For the most part, pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes. In some cases, however, mother and baby face risks, whether during the pregnancy or during labor. When there are complications, and the danger becomes too great, doctors often feel they must intervene to promote a positive outcome. When the intervention involves a vacuum assisted delivery however, there are significant risks involved.

    * Why do doctors use vacuums? Sometimes at the end of a difficult labor, the doctor decides to help the process along using vacuum extraction if the mother or baby is in distress.

    * How does the process work? Once the baby is low enough in the birth canal to be delivered, a vacuum cup is placed on the baby’s head, with suction applied so the cup doesn’t fall off. When the mother has another contraction, the mother pushes while the doctor pulls the baby using the vacuum cup.

    * What risks does a patient face with a vacuum extraction? Vacuum extraction poses risks for the baby. Some of these are relatively minor complications like scalp lacerations or bleeding in the space under the fibrous portion of the skull bone. These typically clear up on their own, though the bleeding, called cephalohematoma, can sometimes require surgery. More serious complications include subgaleal hematoma, which is more serious bleeding below the scalp and can be life-threatening if a significant amount of blood is lost, or intracranial hemorrhage, which is bleeding under the skull that can lead to severe brain injury. There’s also a risk of skull fracture.

    * What’s the responsibility of the doctor when choosing to use vacuum extraction? With all these risks, it’s clear that this intervention should only be used when absolutely necessary, and with informed consent from the mother. Often, there are signs and symptoms long before delivery, which should alert the medical care providers that it will be a difficult delivery. A discussion should be had with the mother about the option of a caesarian delivery, so as to avoid the potential risks associated with the use of a vacuum. Medical providers must inform patients of all the associated risks, and use this procedure only when it’s necessary and provided with the utmost competence.

    If you or your baby suffered an injury during an assisted delivery, it may be time to contact a medical malpractice attorney. Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is here to help you, providing capable legal representation in the areas of New York. If you have questions about medical care or treatment, or a catastrophic injury, don’t delay in calling Pegalis & Erickson, LLC for a no-fee consultation! We obtain justice for our clients after hospitals, doctors, construction companies, and drivers commit preventable errors that cause harm. Reach us at (516) 858-2194.

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  • The Magnitude of Handwashing

    Regular handwashing is the most important thing you can do to help prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria and viruses. Handwashing is particularly critical in a medical environment, where patients may be at increased risk of infection. Here is what you need to know about the value of handwashing.

    Handwashing can protect patients from infection
    Medical facilities, by their nature, expose patients to the risk of illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of one out of 25 hospital patients per day will come down with a hospital-related infection. Healthcare professionals can help to protect their patients by being diligent about following proper handwashing protocol.

    Handwashing should happen before and after contact with patients
    Most people wash their hands after using the bathroom and before handling food. For healthcare professionals, however, handwashing needs to happen both before and after they come into direct contact with any patients they are providing care for. Otherwise, there is a serious risk that they will spread contaminants from one patient to the next, resulting in avoidable illness or infection.

    Proper handwashing is effective handwashing
    In order to effectively remove germs from the hands, handwashing in a medical environment needs to be done carefully and thoroughly. Simply rinsing off your hands with water is not sufficient. In order to wash your hands effectively, you should start by rinsing your hands with clean water, lathering them with soap, scrubbing for at least 20 full seconds, and then completely rinsing them off.

    If you have questions about medical care or treatment, or a catastrophic injury, don’t delay in calling Pegalis & Erickson, LLC for a no-fee consultation!  We obtain justice for our clients after hospitals, doctors, construction companies, and drivers commit preventable errors that cause harm. Reach us at (516) 858-2194.

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  • The Importance of Health Diaries for Proactive Patients

    As a patient, it’s essential for you to be as proactive as possible when it comes to your health. After all, you will be able to monitor your own health better than anybody else will. One of the most important actions you can take is to keep a regular health diary. These are some of the benefits of keeping up with your health diary:

    It will provide you with a guide to your symptoms.
    Regardless of what type of health issue you are dealing with, having a health diary will allow you to keep track of your symptoms. When you have a health diary, you can make a note of when you experienced your symptoms, how long they lasted, and how severe they were. As you track these changes over time, it can help you get a better perspective on your health. It can help your doctor with a proper diagnosis and plan of care.

    It will help you have meaningful discussions with your physician.
    When many patients visit their healthcare providers, they have trouble being specific in terms of the symptoms they have experienced. Keeping a regular health diary allows you to access that information whenever you need to so that you can get better and more appropriate care from your physician.

    It will provide you with a record of your health issues.
    Most importantly, a health diary provides you with an ongoing record of the status of your health. It can provide valuable information to your loved ones should you be in need of care and treatment, and unable to communicate on your own.

    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 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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