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Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Pennsylvania girl killed by undiagnosed medical issue

When we are suffering health issues, most of us visit our doctor to have our injuries or illnesses diagnosed. They are the experts after all, so why shouldn't we seek out their expertise to have our health issues treated? Unfortunately, doctors make mistakes just like everyone else, and since they are often responsible for people's lives and well-being, their mistakes usually have much more dire consequences. In the worst cases, these mistakes can lead to death.

Pennsylvania asbestos-related illness cases

Judicial districts in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are beginning to show new trends in asbestos litigation for asbestos-related illness. Filings for asbestos cases are remaining steady in Pittsburgh and are starting to rise in Philadelphia. The difference is who those cases are being brought against. Generally, asbestos cases used to be brought against shipyard conglomerates and industry front-runners; however, there is now more of a shift toward lawsuits that involve manufacturers of building materials that contained asbestos.

Brain injury symptoms to watch out for

The dangers of brain injuries simply cannot be overstated. There are very few other injuries that have the long-lasting, life-altering effects that a brain injury has. Broken bones and cuts can be set and stitched, and within a few months or years, you will likely be good as new. With many brain injuries, no amount of time will ever help you become the person you were before the injury.

Medical malpractice case reaches $1.5 million settlement

When you need surgery to help with a health issue, it can be a frightening ordeal. Even the most minor surgery could easily cause serious health issues if it is not handled properly, and while we may trust our doctors, everyone can make mistakes. Unfortunately, when it comes to issues of surgery and personal health, mistakes can be the difference between health and serious injury or even life and death.

Legal assistance for the many types of surgical errors

Surgical procedures bring with them an understandable sense of anxiety and perhaps even fear, depending on the type of procedure being performed. Even the most minor of surgeries can involve very serious health issues, organs or body parts, and the slightest errors in these surgical procedures can end up causing significant damage to the victims under the knife. Of course we all seek out experienced medical professionals to perform our surgeries, but even experts make mistakes. A surgical error can leave the victim in an even worse state than they were before the surgery.

It may surprise you to learn just how many different types of surgical errors there are. Most people probably assume that a surgical error involves a mistake that happens during the surgery, such as operating on the wrong part of the body or failing to properly stitch any openings created during the surgery. While such errors certainly qualify as surgical errors, there are other things that you could also file a claim for.

Legal assistance for the many types of surgical errors

Surgical procedures bring with them an understandable sense of anxiety and perhaps even fear, depending on the type of procedure being performed. Even the most minor of surgeries can involve very serious health issues, organs or body parts, and the slightest errors in these surgical procedures can end up causing significant damage to the victims under the knife. Of course we all seek out experienced medical professionals to perform our surgeries, but even experts make mistakes. A surgical error can leave the victim in an even worse state than they were before the surgery.

Monitoring devices can make medical teams more accountable

Sometimes the culture within medical facilities can affect Pennsylvania healthcare workers' ability to talk to each other or report errors. A 2005 study by VitalSmarts and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses found medical staff often do not communicate with each other when their coworkers break rules, commit errors, micromanage the people working under them or act incompetently. The 'Silence Kills" study also found that a fear of punishment or alienation keeps healthcare workers from speaking up. Less than 10 percent of the 1,700 doctors, nurses and clinicians in the study talked with their coworkers when they witnessed errors in judgment or medical shortcuts even though these actions could potentially be harmful to patients.

The researchers in the health care culture study recommended that the use of monitoring technologies to change the culture within medical facilities. However, they suggested the biggest threat to patient care continues to be culture environments where communication is frowned upon by staff and administrators.

Prematurity and preventing brain injuries

Pennsylvania parents may be interested to learn about a recent study that shows administering certain medications can help prevent the occurrence of permanent brain injuries in infants who are born prematurely. The study demonstrated that a neurotransmitter helps to prevent brain injuries and abnormalities from occurring following a premature birth.

Researchers at the Children's Research Institute looked at regulating the levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter which has been demonstrated in prior studies to exist in significantly lower amounts in the brains of premature infants. In their study, they used available medications that are normally prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy as they are known to regulate GABA levels.

Traumatic brain injuries change brain structure

New research indicates that traumatic brain injuries may actually change brain structure in a way that leads to impaired brain function. Pennsylvania residents who have had brain injuries, even mild ones, may be at risk for developing memory difficulties or other cognitive problems from these changes.

A new form of imaging, Diffusion Tensor Imaging, has shown structural brain changes in the form of white matter abnormalities in individuals who have suffered a brain trauma. Standard clinical imaging has not been able to detect these changes. Now DTIs show that even those with only mild traumatic brain injury demonstrate these differences. The transformations are particularly obvious in those that have had traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness.

Inducing labor early for larger babies may be beneficial

Most Pennsylvania women experience normal pregnancies and normal births. However, there are instances when babies grow to be too large to pass safely through the birth canal. For these births, a European study found that inducing labor at 37 to 38 weeks instead of at 39 weeks could be much safer for both mother and baby.

Babies that are larger than normal often suffer from a condition known as shoulder dystocia. Essentially, at least one shoulder becomes stuck in the birth canal and keeps the baby from being born. There is a number of complications that can occur in this situation. For example, the baby may suffer fractures, could potentially suffer from spinal nerve damage or could even suffocate.

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