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New York City Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Anemia drug could prevent birth-related brain injuries

New York readers may be interested to learn that an anemia drug might help prevent brain injuries after a baby is deprived of oxygen during its birth according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers found that an anemia drug known as erythropoietin, or EPO, helps prevent brain damage and promote healing when a newborn baby suffers from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE. This condition occurs when there is a reduction in cerebral blood flow and oxygen during birth, which causes damage to the nervous system. Even when treated, 40 percent of babies who experience HIE die or suffer some sort of disability. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first approved EPO to treat anemia in 1989. The drug is a synthetic copy of a hormone that initiates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow.

The medical errors a patient could experience

For the most part, surgeries and other procedures done in New York and throughout the United States are relatively safe. However, there is always a chance that a doctor or other medical professional can make a mistake. According to one study, the wrong person was operated on at least 25 times over a period of 84 months in Colorado. Assuming that the right person is being treated, it is possible for a patient to receive the wrong blood.

Furthermore, there is a chance that the surgeon will operate on the right person but on the wrong part of his or her body. This can happen even after precautions are taken to prevent it from happening. If air is injected into the veins instead of a fluid, it can create an air bubble known as an air embolism. When these bubbles occur, they can block a vein or artery, which can lead to significant consequences.

Detecting the signs of small intestine cancer

While there are several forms of cancer that begin in the small intestine, one form called adenocarcinoma is particularly hard to diagnose correctly. Residents of New York who share the following symptoms may want to see their doctor or get a second opinion, as the case may be, so that they do not incur further harm through a delayed diagnosis.

Unfortunately, it takes several months on average from the time the symptoms appear for patients to receive a correct diagnosis. The first symptom is pain in the stomach area, which could be mistaken as a cramp since it usually arises or worsens after one has eaten. The adenocarcinoma develops into a tumor that hinders digestion, leading to vomiting, nausea, and severe pain.

OB hospitalists reduce medical malpractice claims

Hospitals in New York and across the United States are turning to obstetrician hospitalists to cut down on physician and nurse burnout. An added benefit of this strategy is better patient care and a reduction in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Obstetrician hospitalists are dedicated in-house doctors who only work in a hospital setting. This means they don't have other professional responsibilities, such as tending to private practice patients, vying for their attention. It also means they are already in the hospital, ready to respond to any emergencies that may occur during labor and delivery. This can be critical in preventing medical malpractice claims.

Research shows data breaches increase patient deaths

According to a recent study, a startling number of patient deaths are related to data breaches at medical facilities. While the focus on data breaches usually revolves around a hospital's monetary loss, a data breach can in fact directly impact the health of patients in New York medical facilities.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management report that over 2,100 patient deaths per year can be attributed at least in part to data breaches at medical facilities. Even if the breach doesn't directly alter medical records, the breach can greatly disrupt and delay treatment as hospitals deal with investigations and regulatory inquiry. Researchers reviewed 305 breaches from 2012 to 2016. During that four-year span, the breaches exposed a total of 14 million patient medical records.

Low-income patients may be at higher risk for colon cancer

Cancer is a word that invokes fear in people across all ethnic and economic areas, but persons in New York who fall within lower-income parameters may have a higher risk of complications and death due to colorectal cancer. While a person's socioeconomic status may not be directly to blame for the trend, certain factors have been identified that correlate between lower incomes and higher incidences of advanced cancers of the colon.

Researchers surveyed patients identified as lower-income, more than 50 percent of whom were Hispanic, and found four similarities that may explain the prevalence of this trend. The four similarities identified were limited access to health care resources, lack of understanding regarding symptoms, beliefs or philosophies about seeking medical care, and perceptions about screenings and treatments.

Data entry software can help avoid medical mistakes

For many patients in New York, misdiagnosis can be a major concern. When a person has a progressive disease that is not caught in time, the consequences can be severe and even deadly. Therefore, cutting down on diagnostic errors is a major priority for health institutions, insurers and doctors.

One factor that can help to reduce the number of errors that take place in ultrasound and dual-energy X-ray (DEXA) radiology is the use of data entry software. In addition to avoiding misdiagnoses, the software can help to save time and money. Over a five-year period, up to $1 million in radiologists' wages could be saved. A study conducted at the University of Colorado found that 6 to 28 percent of all ultrasound and DEXA reports contained data entry errors. The researchers noted that even simple errors can be a major problem, especially if those inaccurate reports contribute to the misdiagnosis of a condition.

Patients with mitochondrial diseases often misdiagnosed

For some New York residents, getting diagnosed with a rare disease, like a mitochondrial disease, can be extremely difficult. In some cases, patients may see multiple doctors and undergo a variety of different tests before being diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease.

Researchers conducted a survey of 210 individuals who had been diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease. Patients reported that, on average, they saw eight physicians before they were diagnosed correctly. More than half of the patients reported that they were misdiagnosed before they received an accurate diagnosis, and 32 percent of these patients reported being misdiagnosed more than once. Of these patients, about 13 percent were misdiagnosed with a psychiatric disorder while 12 percent were misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia.

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Case of the month

$7,750,000 Recovery Due to Negligent Care in NYC Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Our client, a 5-year-old patient, receives almost $8 million in compensation from an NYC hospital in a medical malpractice claim won by Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolf. Representing the injured child with his team of legal and medical experts, Daniel Minc said, "It was great day for the family."

The case involved negligent care on the part of the hospital pediatric intensive care unit for failing to observe bleeding from a simple biopsy wound which caused neurological damage.

Medical Malpractice Blog

$25 million verdict against New York Methodist Hospital
When a child is born, parents expect the doctor, nurses and other staff to provide care that is up to the...
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