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New York City Medical Malpractice Law Blog

C-sections an unnecessary surgery for many new mothers

New York parents-to-be may be interested in learning that about 1.3 children are delivered via cesarean section every single year. However, researchers have determined that approximately half of the C-sections that are performed, which can pose additional risks to both the mother and child, are not even necessary. There are several factors that can help determine whether or not a pregnant woman will undergo a C-section to deliver her child.

There are cases when a C-section can be a life-saving procedure. For example, it may be necessary if the placenta is blocking the cervix. A C-section may also be required if the fetus is not positioned properly or if there are multiple babies. However, most pregnancies are low risk and do not necessitate this method for giving birth.

Poor communication among pharmacists can lead to errors

New York residents who rely on pharmacies to obtain their medications may be interested to learn that in 2016 more than 4.4 billion prescriptions were dispensed. However, research shows that the majority of serious or life-changing pharmaceutical errors occur during shift changes. As such, a study found that the rate of errors could be reduced if communication between pharmacists is improved.

Previous research has shown that approximately 71 percent of all serious or life-threatening medication errors had communication failure as a factor. However, there was a lack of data related to prescription handoffs in the retail pharmaceutical community. Based on the results of a survey, about half of the participants said that they were given inadequate information during shift changes. Distractions and other interruptions that occurred during shift changes caused some of the essential information to be forgotten or lost. About 40 percent of the participants also reported that their technological support was unable to handle information handoffs during shift changes.

New possibility for skin cancer diagnosis

Many New York residents may be interested in the report of a new option doctors have to help with skin cancer diagnosis. Metastatic melanoma, a type of skin cancer, has been difficult to diagnose correctly with current techniques. The new technique promises to make diagnosis easier and prevent either a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis.

According to a study, the modified optic techniques allow single melanoma cells to be diagnosed with greater ease. Before this, doctors had to rely on research data that focused very heavily on a single type of cancer cell. Traditional identification techniques made use of laser light and sound waves, meaning that only cells responsive to the intense light and able to absorb it were adequately researched. Doctors were handicapped by the narrow information, often leading to misdiagnosis of cells that did not follow the research pattern or type.

How technology can help patients get a second opinion

New York patients who are seeking a second opinion on a medical issue might be able to do so virtually, and this could reduce the incidence of misdiagnosis. According to the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, around 12 million American outpatients are misdiagnosed annually. The consequences of a misdiagnosis could include financial loss, treatments that are unnecessary, and a reduced quality of life or poorer outcomes for patients.

However, telemedicine and telehealth services may make it possible for patients to get a second opinion more easily. Technology allows people to communicate privately through messaging with doctors or to send data from monitoring devices to their electronic medical records. People may also have the opportunity to consult with specialists without having to travel long distances. This last point might be particularly important in some cases because people may have a rare condition or symptoms that are not typical for their condition.

What are some of the top causes of bicycle accidents?

As a bicyclist, there are steps you can take to prevent a serious accident. Unfortunately, even if you do everything you can to avoid trouble, there is no guarantee that you will make it to your destination without incident.

There are many causes of bicycle accidents, all of which you should be aware of at all times. By keeping these in mind, you can make decisions that improve your overall level of safety.

Survey finds that multiple sclerosis is frequently misdiagnosed

Multiple sclerosis is a serious disease that is often misdiagnosed. New York residents may be interested in the findings of a recent survey that found that many MS patients had to make repeated doctor or hospital visits before being diagnosed.

The study conducted by Health Union was the fifth annual "MS in America" survey. The 2017 survey involved more than 5,300 patients across the United States and was conducted between January 25 and March 1.

Why detecting melanoma early is important

When the summer season arrives, many New York residents spend more time enjoying outdoor activities. However, they should be reminded that an increase in sun exposure is also an increase in the risk of melanoma, a skin cancer that can potentially be fatal if it isn't diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

Melanoma is a cancer of the skin that can develop when a young person gets blistering sunburns or goes without protection to sun exposure. Although this form of cancer is rare and only makes up an estimated 1 percent of skin cancer cases, it results in the highest rate of fatalities. The risk for melanoma can increase with age, though it is noted that it is the most common form of skin cancer found in women ages 20 to 40. It is most likely found on the back or legs but can also develop on other areas of the body that are not protected against sun exposure, such as the scalp or even in the eye.

Stopping childhood sepsis

Sepsis is a type of infection that can take place after people have had a viral illness. The condition is capable of becoming fatal for children within just hours. New York parents may be interested to learn of a coalition of hospitals that is battling the issue of sepsis.

Each year, close to 75,000 children and teenagers are hospitalized because of sepsis. One 2013 study reports that almost 7,000 children will die annually as a result of the condition, which is more than three times the number of annual pediatric cancer deaths. Among the children who survive, some will sustain long-term issues, such as amputated limbs and organ damage.

Test could more accurately predict kidney disease in diabetics

New York residents who suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes run the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Doctors generally study the estimated glomerular filtration rate and the urinary albumin to creatinine ratio to identify diabetes sufferers with high risks of developing these conditions, but doctors have long known that these two biomarkers are not always able to identify at-risk patients and often fail to accurately predict the onset of kidney failure.

In 2012, researchers at the Massachusetts-based Joslin Diabetes Center discovered a link between declining kidney function in type 1 and type 2 diabetes sufferers and the membrane receptor tumor necrosis factor receptor 1. The research center has now announced that it has developed a new prognostic test based on the discovery. During clinical studies, the new TNFR1 test was able to identify at-risk patients 71 percent of the time and predict the onset of ESRD within three years 81 percent of the time.

Family sues federal government over birth injury

New York residents who are harmed as a result of medical malpractice may file a lawsuit against the at-fault facility or practitioner. This is true even if the lawsuit is against the federal government when it has funded a health care facility. Although lawsuits against the federal government are normally prohibited, they are permitted in a case of medical malpractice under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

In Pennsylvania, the government was on the wrong end of a $41.6 million verdict in a case that involved a baby who suffered permanent brain damage after a doctor misused forceps. Experts testified at the trial that the mid-forceps delivery was an approach that should only be used in emergencies and that forceps could damage the brain stem and cerebellum, fracture the skull and result in brain bleeds. According to the lawsuit, the doctor used excessive force while misapplying the forceps to the baby's head.

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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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