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Harrisburg Medical Malpractice Blog

What is Erb's palsy?

Giving birth in Pennsylvania is a natural process, yet complications can and do occur. Erb's palsy is a complication that sometimes occurs during a difficult birth and can affect the function of your baby's arms. 

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, if complications required your doctor or midwife to deliver your baby quickly and forcefully, if your labor was prolonged, if your baby presented as a breech or was unusually large at birth, he or she may be at risk for Erb's palsy. Symptoms to watch for include paralysis or weakness of the baby's arm. The nerve damage that causes Erb's palsy usually only affects one side at a time. 

Pennsylvania sees yo-yo trend with DUI arrests

The New Year's holiday is a common time of year for awareness about drunk driving to increase as people in Pennsylvania either seek for ways to get home safely or perhaps choose to stay home altogether in part due to the risk of being hit by a drunk driver. The state has seen varying results from holiday checkpoints designed to catch impaired drivers in the act.

As reportd by, one particular driving under the influence checkpoint set up this past summer resulted in far fewer arrests than in previous years. There was some hope that the reason for this was due to a decreased number of people choosing to drive after drinking. However, it is not clear if drivers' avoidance of the area may also have contributed to the result. Overall, 475 vehicles were stopped at this checkpoint. Sixteen drivers were asked to take field sobriety tests and two of those drivers were arrested for drunk driving.

Pickup strikes horse and buggy in deadly Pennsylvania collision

Most motorists probably understand the importance of sharing the road with other vehicles, but it may be difficult to remember sometimes that other vehicles do not only include cars and trucks. Sometimes they include non-motorized vehicles such as a horse-drawn buggy. The 62-year-old driver of such a buggy lost his life on Friday following a collision with a pickup truck. 

The driver of the buggy succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident after transportation first to one local hospital by ambulance and then to a second hospital by helicopter. The accident occurred near Pinecrest Drive on Route 522 around noon on Friday. In 2018, 25 people altogether, including the buggy driver, have perished on Valley roads. 

Film highlights importance of patient advocacy

People who live in Pennsylvania have no doubt heard stories about errors made by doctors, surgeons, nurses or other medical professionals. These stories can be incredibly scary because of the serious nature associated with the potential outcomes of these events. A person who has been incorrectly diagnosed or not diagnosed with a serious problem, for example, may be at risk for lifelong injuries or even death.

Medical errors may be all but impossible to eliminate in part because medical professionals are human beings and human beings make mistakes. Regardless, there are supposed to be procedures in place that keep patients safe. At the same time, it is wise for patients to educate themselves about their health and their care so they can make appropriate decisions that may reduce their chances of being affected by a medical error.

Why you should always call the police after a car crash

Car crashes occur every day in Pennsylvania. For example, recently, a vehicle slid, flipped and smashed into a Subway restaurant. Fortunately, no one was inside the building at the time.

Regardless of how dramatic or benign the accident seems, it is still vital to call the police out even if you do not think anyone sustained injuries. It is rare for insurance claims for car accidents to be straightforward, so you want as much evidence as you can acquire that proves the extent of the damages. Here are a few things the police do that may improve your chances of compensation.

5 deadly nursing errors

When in the hospital, you expect the nurses to take care of you. Most of the time, nurses are competent and empathetic people. Unfortunately, not all of them are as professional and careful as they should be.

If a nurse makes a mistake while you are in his or her care, your condition may worsen. In some cases, nursing errors can even be deadly. Here are five of the most drastic mistakes nurses can make.

How to ask for a second opinion

theMost people in Pennsylvania have been raised to respect physicians and their input. This respect is warranted in most cases but that respect does not mean that patients should simply blindly accept any and all recommendations made by their doctors. It is important for every person to feel that they can take ownership of their health and advocate for themselves. In some cases, this advocacy comes in the form of getting a second medical opinion.

According to WebMD, not every situation warrants a second opinion but ones that do may include treatment recommendations that have a high level of risk associated with them or that involve experimental procedures or medications. Anytime that a patient feels unclear about a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment, getting another viewpoint can be useful.

Missed diagnosed ectopic pregnancy

When people hear about misdiagnosed pregnancies, they automatically think of misdiagnosed birth defects or missed diagnosed viable pregnancies. While those types of malpractice do occur in Pennsylvania and the U.S., one less commonly talked about problem is the misdiagnosis of viable pregnancies as nonviable.

According to a claim published in MDedge | ObGyn, a woman who was six weeks pregnant called her doctor regarding lower abdominal pain. When her doctor's partner performed an ultrasound, he could not locate an intrauterine fetus. He also noted that the woman's human chorionic gonadotropin levels were suggestive of an ectopic pregnancy. The next day the doctor performed an exploratory laparoscopy but found no evidence of the suspected ectopic pregnancy. He opted to remove the patient's appendix. 

What is amniotic fluid embolism?

While giving birth to a baby in Pennsylvania is usually a very safe process, the possibility of perinatal or postnatal complications is always present. An amniotic fluid embolism is a rare but potentially life-threatening condition that can develop while you are giving birth or just afterward. 

Amniotic fluid is the liquid that surrounds your baby while in the womb. According to the Mayo Clinic, an amniotic fluid embolism occurs when the fluid enters your bloodstream. This condition is poorly understood, but a breakdown of the placental barrier, possibly resulting from trauma, is a likely cause. 

Semi-truck fails to stop, two people die

People in Pennsylvania have good reason to feel a bit uneasy about being next to a tractor-trailer or other large commercial vehicle on the road or freeway. The massive size and weight of these big rigs can definitely be intimidating and may contribute to extreme risks if an accident occurs with one of these vehicles. In addition to that, however, is the concern of what these trucks might be transporting. Many trucks could well carry items that are flammable or otherwise dangerous, adding to the risk that people face in a crash.

A recent multi-vehicle crash along a stretch of Interstate 78 in Bucks County erupted in flames and turned deadly after one semi-truck did not stop as it approached slowing traffic ahead of it, as reported by It is not known exactly what the driver of that truck was transporting but the initial impact eventually created a domino effect that led one passenger vehicle and four other semi-trucks to be involved. The car and two of the trucks became engulfed in fire

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