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Harrisburg Medical Malpractice Blog

Cerebral palsy after a birth injury

When Pennsylvania mothers give birth to their children, they usually do not think there will be complications. Sometimes, though, an infant may sustain an injury while he or she is being born. In some situations, a birth injury may cause a child to develop cerebral palsy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that infants might have cerebral palsy if their brains were damaged or did not develop correctly. A baby's brain might be damaged if there were complications during the birth that deprived the baby of oxygen. If there is a uterine rupture or if the placenta becomes detached, an infant may not get enough air. Additionally, the umbilical cord may obstruct a baby's oxygen supply. Sometimes an infant may have cerebral palsy because he or she had another condition, such as jaundice, which was not treated immediately.

Drunk driver's fate still undecided

Residents in Pennsylvania who hear about fatal accidents in which drunk drivers ruthlessly and negligently claim the lives of innocent people have good reason to be angry and want to see justice done. Some of the time, however, that path to justice may not be as direct or fast as people would like. An example of this can be seen in a case that has actually made its way to the State Supreme Court.

The case goes back to a ruling roughly two-and-a-half years ago in October of 2015 when a woman was convicted of seven different charges in the drunk driving death of a pedestrian. The then 84-year-old man was said to be on the side of a road working on a fence when the intoxicated driver hit him. The man actually lived for two days after the crash prior to succumbing to his injuries. A judge in Berks County sentenced the woman to prison for a term lasting between four and 10 years.

Fatigue a serious problem for truckers

Driving a vehicle is something that most people do not think twice about as it is essential to getting you from point A to point B on a regular basis. However, if you have ever been involved in even the most minor fender bender accident, you will have a new awareness of the risks involved with being on the roads. Accidents can and do happen and when they involve semi trucks or other large vehicles, the results can be catastrophic. 

Truckers are known for spending many long and lonely hours on the roads, often at night. This naturally may lead to situations in which they can become tired. If they drive while sleepy, the chance of an accident happening may actually be increased. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration acknowledges this risk and has developed a set of rules called the Hours of Service rule that governs how many hours in a day or a week a trucker can work.

Staying on top of breast cancer

A generation ago, it seemed relatively rare to hear about someone having breast cancer. Today, a large number of people in Pennsylvania have either had breast cancer themselves or have personally known someone who has had this form of cancer. As many advances have been made in the detection and treatment of breast cancer, the fact remains that some cases may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for too long. This may well contribute to the cancer spreading and becoming a more serious problem that if it had been able to be identified earlier.

According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, routine screenings via mammography cannot be relied on to be foolproof methods of detecting all instances of breast cancer. In fact, women should know that they may want to ask health care providers about other forms of testing if they are concerned about a problem with their breasts.

What are some mistakes doctors and nurses make?

When you see your primary doctor or go to the hospital, you expect to receive excellent care. Unfortunately, medical professionals may fail to properly treat you. Your health care provider may even harm you, or worse. In fact, according to USA Today, preventable errors result in 200,000 deaths every year.

There are certain kinds of harmful mistakes that doctors and nurses make more often than others. Here are some common examples of errors made by health care professionals.

A costly mistake: cancer misdiagnoses

Most Pennsylvania residents understand that to err is human. However, this sentiment becomes incredibly complex when a life is at stake. Althought medical mistakes can be common, those involving cancer diagnoses have little room for error. Below are some common types of cancer doctors miss most, as well as a number of factors that can play into a misdiagnosis. 

A 2015 report from Fox News uses the research of the Institute of Medicine to show that, every year, roughly 1 in 20 adults will experience a medical mistake. Furthermore, the study reflected a growing concern in regard to such mistakes, noting that most Americans will see some type of error while receiving medical care. What, most patients wonder, are the most commonly made mistakes? According to Fox, colorectal, lung and breast cancers are the three conditions most prone to an error upon diagnosis. Fox also pulls research from the Journal of the American Medical Association to point out that these delayed diagnostic errors make up about 10 percent of all mistakes reported by physicians.

Why trucking industry practices can hurt you

Pennsylvania residents share their interstates with plenty of large, fast, and potentially dangerous trucks. Unfortunately for many drivers, the trucking industry has a number of hazardous behaviors and practices that can actually end up harming everyone else, too.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration admits that fatigue is one of the biggest dangers that truck drivers face. But it's not just them who suffer if they fall asleep at the wheel. Accidents with shipment trucks can impact numerous other vehicles at once, causing severe damage to cars and people alike.

The reality of cancer misdiagnoses

When a doctor diagnoses a loved one with a terminal illness, life can change in an instant. Suddenly, routines, daily errands and even work shifts can become the complete opposite of what they once were. With all of the life changes that a serious illness can bring, discovering that the diagnosis was incorrect can be upsetting, to say the least. Pennsylvania families who have suffered as a result of an improper diagnosis may decide to seek justice.

ABC News is quick to point out in an article on cancer misdiagnoses that 1.3 million Americans see such scares every year. Who makes the mistakes? According to ABC's report, most errors come from pathologists in the labs, where they incorrectly analyze a patient's tests. Roughly one out of five cancer cases saw misclassification. Cancer experts note that most biopsy mistakes involve tissue from the skin, prostrate and female reproductive tract. In addition, the pathologists themselves may not also be reliable; ABC shares that some are not specialists in certain types of cancer altogether.

Should you be concerned about a truck rollover?

Like most Americans, you drive on the freeway regularly to get across town or go on road trips. This means you often share the road with large commercial trucks. You and other Pennsylvania residents may understand that there are numerous dangers unique to large trucks. Rollover accidents are one of the deadliest and most terrifying of these dangers.

As you know, rollover accidents occur when a truck tips or rolls. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, most accidents of this type – 78 percent – are the result of truck driver error. Preventable factors that can contribute to a rollover accident include the following:

  • A trucker who is speeding or recklessly swerving between lanes
  • The distracted or intoxicated driver
  • A truck driver who makes a turn too fast or too sharp
  • An improperly loaded or overly loaded truck
  • A truck in need of maintenance, especially with the brakes or tires

Pennsylvania hospital overdoses patient

Most people in Pennyslvania have likely heard about the challenges facing the nation these days due to opioid addictions and other problems related to these serious medications. Even when opioids are used by medical staff for approved medical purposes, great care must be taken as they are highly powerful drugs. Pennsylvania has laws in place that outline specific protocol for medical professionals to follow when administering these drugs to patients. The steps also detail how frequently patients should be monitored once given these medications.

In at least one case involving an elderly woman recovering from surgery for cancer, a hospital in Muhlenberg failed to follow the procedures outlined after giving the woman an opioid for pain control and management. As a result, the patient required Narcan and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in order to be revived and to avoid her dying. An investigation indicates that the same hospital has been found negligent in other errors by the State Health Department.

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