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Pennsylvania stroke patient sues hospital for delayed diagnosis

A Pennsylvania couple recently filed a lawsuit against a hospital after staff allegedly failed to diagnose a stroke. The lawsuit claimed that as a result of the delayed diagnosis, the plaintiff continued to suffer problems with coordination in one of his hands, facial drooping and increased fatigue.

The complaint stated that the husband was driving a vehicle with his wife as a passenger when he began to suffer confusion and weakness. They immediately went to a nearby emergency room where the man continued to exhibit signs of a stroke, including facial drooping. Although the doctor was informed that the man suffered from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, he concluded there was nothing abnormal with the man's condition after performing a physical for 10 minutes. An on-call neurologist was also contacted but reportedly discharged the husband before seeing him.

Attempts to fix a misdiagnosis

While this fact may be unsettling to people in Pennsylvania, the misdiagnosis of disease is a big problem in the healthcare field. Even though efforts to reduce the frequency of misdiagnosis have been increased, major problem areas have remained relatively unchanged, according to the founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. Any medical diagnosis that is wrong, missed or delayed but is later detected by a definitive test or finding, falls into the category of misdiagnosis.

Among malpractice cases that have been filed over the years in which diagnostic errors were a factor, certain diseases have consistently been included. Cancer, heart attacks, strokes, aortic dissections, and infections like meningitis and sepsis are some conditions that are often misdiagnosed. The founder of SIDM admits that many of the most common errors in diagnosis occur because the symptoms of these conditions can be nonspecific, and their presentation may be atypical.

When rehospitalization occurs after traumatic brain injuries

A study that took place in 1999 looked at the number of rehospitalizations after one suffers a serious brain injury and why re-admittance to a hospital occurred. This information could be relevant to those in Pennsylvania who have suffered a brain injury or their families, life care planners, researchers and health care providers.

The results indicated that 20 percent of people who suffered from a traumatic brain injury were rehospitalized each year. Half of the rehospitalizations were for elective surgeries, but the other cases were for nonelective procedures that involved nervous system disorders, mental disorders, seizures and infections. The amount of people who returned to the hospital for nonelective reasons increased every year after a TBI took place, and patients frequently returned due to mental health problems and seizures.

What is placenta abruption?

Placental abruption occurs when any amount of the placenta separates from the uterus wall before a baby is delivered. While the severe form of this complication is rare, some abruption takes place in about one out of every 150 deliveries. Information about placental abruption could help expecting parents in Pennsylvania.

While the exact cause for a placental abruption is sometimes difficult to identify, it may be caused by an injury to the abdomen or the sudden loss of uterine volume. A pregnant woman who experiences a hit to the abdomen, vaginal bleeding during pregnancy or is involved in a car accident should contact a health care provider, as this condition can become life-threatening to a mother and child. Monitoring, the administration of fluids, blood transfusions or a cesarean section may be necessary when abruption occurs.

Treatments for Erb's palsy

New parents in Pennsylvania may be interested to know information about the medical condition Erb's palsy. Erb's palsy affects a network of nerves in an infant's neck called the brachial plexus. This network is what is linked to feeling and movement in the fingers, hand, arms and shoulders. Named after the doctor that first noted the condition, Wilhelm Erb, the palsy is generally caused by pressure and stretching of the neck during birth.

There are two primary treatment methods for this condition. The first is physical therapy and involves the parents of the child assisting with range of motion and strength exercises in order to prevent the limb from becoming stiff and help keep the working muscles of the limb functional. The exercises parents learn are done as often as possible on a daily basis.

Medical malpractice cases stemming from emergency room treatment

Most Pennsylvania residents will visit a hospital emergency room at some time, and the treatment they receive can have a profound influence on their health. Emergency room staff make a diagnosis, perform tests and determine treatment, and a patient may suffer serious consequences if a mistake is made. Among the most common emergency room errors are failing to diagnose a stroke or heart attack or not noticing the symptoms of cancer.

If you feel that a mistake was made while you or a loved one was being treated in an emergency room, you may consider filing a medical malpractice claim. This kind of litigation is may be complex and challenging, and the defendants in these cases often have considerable resources at their disposal. An attorney with experience in this area could call upon medical professionals to explain how the medical error could have occurred and how you suffered injury, loss or damage as a result.

Misdiagnosis of young adult stroke victims

Many young adults in Pennsylvania who have strokes are misdiagnosed when they go to the emergency room. When such a misdiagnosis occurs, the patient fails to receive early treatment that can prevent permanent paralysis or permanent speech issues.

Many young stroke patients are misdiagnosed with such things as alcohol intoxication, seizures, vertigo or migraines despite showing obvious signs such as slurred speech, numbness or weakness in the arm and other similar symptoms. The only approved drug treatment for serious strokes is intravenously-administered tissue plasminogen activator, a clot-busting medication.

What is a stillbirth?

For many Pennsylvania couples, discovering that they are pregnant is a happy occasion. However, there is always a risk that the woman will suffer a stillbirth. In most cases, a stillbirth is when the child dies after 20 weeks of gestation. Most stillbirths occur before the delivery, though they can happen during the actual labor and delivery.

There are a number of causes that can contribute to a stillbirth. Some stillbirths are caused by chromosomal disorders and other birth defects, which accounts for approximately 15 percent to 20 percent of all stillbirths. In some cases, the fetus may fail to grow or are smaller than normal. These fetuses are at risk for dying from asphyxia, which is a lack of oxygen. A bacterial infection that occurs between 24 and 27 weeks of gestation may also cause the death of a fetus. Other stillbirths can occur if the mother suffers some form of trauma or high blood pressure.

Proving hospital negligence

Patients in Pennsylvania may benefit from learning more about strategies commonly used for proving hospital negligence. Medical malpractice or hospital negligence may be established once it has been determined that the health care facility or practitioner failed to uphold the standard of care recognized in the industry. However, a death or medical injury does not automatically warrant a malpractice claim because some complications are unavoidable. In order to prove medical negligence in court, there are certain criteria that must be fulfilled.

Courts typically require a patient to have actually suffered an injury in order to collect any compensation. Patients are entitled to duty of care when receiving treatment from a professional. There must be a connection between this injury and the defendant's deviation from medical standards. These types of deviations are often perceived as a breach of duty that is entitled to the patient.

Can I file a lawsuit after suffering from a brain injury?

Individuals who have suffered from a brain injury in Pennsylvania may be able to file a lawsuit against another party who was directly responsible for their injury. The person who suffered the injury would need to have proof that another party's negligent or intentional action caused them to suffer from the brain injury. If the victim is a minor, their parents may bring the lawsuit against the liable party.

In some cases, a lawsuit involving a traumatic brain injury may be considered a personal injury complaint. These cases include brain injuries that were caused by slip-and-fall accidents, car accidents or intentional harm. If a brain injury resulted from negligent medical care, the plaintiff could file a medical malpractice claim. In these cases, the brain injury may have been a birth injury or caused by a disease.

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