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Reducing the risk of congenital CP for New York mothers

If an infant gets cerebral palsy because of brain damage prior to being born or during the delivery process, it is referred to as congenital cerebral palsy. Data shows that the vast majority of all people who have cerebral palsy have the congenital form Babies who are born weighing less than 5.5 pounds could be at a higher risk for congenital CP as well as those who are born prematurely.

Mothers who have twins or triplets may have one or more babies born with the condition. This is because they may be more likely to be born at a lower weight or earlier than a single baby pregnancy. There are several steps that a mother can take during pregnancy to reduce the risk of a baby developing this condition. First, it is important to get regular prenatal care.

Hormone linked to common ovarian disease

Polycystic ovary syndrome develops in roughly 12 percent of women and can begin during the teenage years. Although the disease is incurable, proper diagnosis can allow New York young women to manage their symptoms and limit complications such as type-2 diabetes, fertility problems and excessive hair growth. PCOS is a disorder of the endocrine system that causes irregular menstruation cycles and enlarges the ovaries with fluid.

A small study of 23 patients conducted by Greek researchers along with 17 members of a control group evaluated their ovarian volume and hormones and proteins associated with ovarian activity. Increased levels of the hormones testosterone and irisin appeared in the patients known to have PCOS compared to people who did not have the disease. Medical scientists refer to irisin as the exercise hormone because muscles release it to regulate energy metabolism.

Weighing liability vs. informed consent

New York residents may be interested to know that according to research, women aren't necessarily at a higher risk for complication whether they undergo or open hysterectomies. This was published in August 2016 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and it contradicts predictions that women would suffer if morcellation was not used. Specifically, groups such as American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology have defended the practice.

However, the study done by a group at Columbia University found that outcomes may actually be better in some cases. This is because the doctor performing the procedure would likely use greater care when doing so. On average, the complication rate for vaginal or minimally invasion procedures was about 5 percent while the complication rate for open procedures was about 18 percent. While many in the medical community understand the advantages of minimally invasive procedures, morcellation may not be necessary.

Physician bias can play a role in misdiagnoses

Unconscious assumptions, also known as cognitive biases, can influence how a physician evaluates a patient. When someone in New York expresses a medical complaint, the physician might base decisions on that person's race, gender, social class or sexual orientation. Factors like appearance, whether the person reminds the physician of someone else or the person's manner of speech could all cause the physician to make a diagnosis based on assumptions instead of clinical facts.

Research published in Perspectives on Medical Education revealed that medical providers needed to consciously consider their biases to eliminate assumptions from their diagnostic decisions. Without this mindful effort, misdiagnosis remained a possibility. The study went through several phases in which participants were given patient data and asked to diagnose their conditions. Initially, they were not asked to consider their biases, and the results contained several inaccurate diagnoses.

Good communication can prevent misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is a very common medical problem in New York hospitals, and it is a problem that can have fatal consequences. Every year, 5 percent of hospital patients in the U.S., roughly 12 million people, are misdiagnosed. This is a medical error that is more common than mistakes with prescription drugs.

Hospital staff may be able to prevent many misdiagnoses by practicing better communication skills. If a patient or a health care provider is not comfortable asking questions or talking about a health problem, the patient could end up being misdiagnosed. Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff also need to communicate clearly with each other if they notice a problem or have a question.

Anesthesiologist-led protocols and wrong-sided blocks

New York patients who undergo nerve blocks in connection with a surgical procedure may be interested in knowing more about the implementation of an anesthesiologist-led protocol that could prevent a wrong-sided block from occurring. Though not as catastrophic as wrong-sided surgery, complications can sometimes be connected with the administration of a nerve block, which is also an invasive procedure.

According to an article published in Anesthesiology News on Sept. 6, wrong-sided blocks occur but go unreported at many institutions that have a zero-tolerance policy for this particular type of anesthesiology error. In the article, a near-miss that occurred at Duke University Medical Center is presented that illustrates how such medical accidents could be prevented when an anesthesiologist-led block protocol is successfully implemented.

How to improve MS diagnosis

A group of 24 researchers studied 110 patients who were misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis to better understand the reasons why. Of those in the study, 33 percent went 10 years or longer without a diagnosis, and 72 percent took medication for a condition that they didn't have. This is problematic because some MS medications can have serious side effects, including brain infections, on patients in New York and around the country.

Multiple sclerosis is a condition that impacts the body's central nervous system. It is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, but there is no test for the condition nor is there a biomarker that can be used to identify it. Many of those who are diagnosed with the disease may actually be suffering from fibromyalgia or a migraine either by itself or in conjunction with other conditions. It is also thought that several rare diseases also mimic the symptoms of MS.

Survey shows heavy reliance on inhalers for asthma patients

New York residents who suffer from asthma are likely to use rescue inhalers on a regular basis. A study by Health Union shows that people may rely too heavily on rescue inhalers, and recommends that asthma patients consider having their condition re-evaluated if they find themselves dependent on their inhalers to get through their days.

Health Union and its website surveyed asthma patients and found that nearly two-thirds of those surveyed experience asthma symptoms at least once a week. Eighty-nine percent of the patients use a rescue inhaler as their most frequent method of treating their asthma attacks.

Medical errors in the emergency room

Several hundred thousand New Yorkers head to emergency rooms every year with the expectation of getting better from treatment. Unfortunately, medical errors sometimes happen in emergency room settings, resulting in permanent injuries to or the deaths of some patients. If you have been harmed by medical mistakes that happened in the emergency room, you may be able to recover damages for compensation of your losses.

If you file a medical malpractice civil lawsuit against the doctor, hospital and staff that made the errors, you will find that proving that the injury was caused by negligence is complicated. You will need to get copies of your medical records and determine at what point the error was made.

New ideas may help treat breast cancer in New York

According to a European study of 6,693 breast cancer patients, it is safe to trust genetic testing when it conflicts with results from traditional testing. In some cases, the genetic test may suggest that there is a low risk of the cancer spreading while other tests say the risk is high. The study indicated that in such scenarios, women were just as likely to survive for five years compared to those who had chemotherapy.

This may be partially because traditional tests look for a variety of general factors such as whether a patient is over the age of 50. It is believed that an increased trust in the results of genetic testing could allow up to 35,000 Americans with early breast cancer to avoid chemotherapy. This may prevent unnecessary emotional trauma and keep costs of treatment to reasonable levels.

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Robert H. Wolff Named President
Firm Attorney, Robert H. Wolff is now the president of the New York City Bronx County Bar Association
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