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Queens New York Legal Blog

Unnecessary surgery leads to man’s stroke

Previous posts in this blog have detailed the problem that unnecessary surgeries may present to people in Queens. While surgical treatments are designed to help address ailments and promote recovery, advances made in surgical science in recent years may lead people to view such procedures as being routine. Yet the fact is that anytime someone is subjected to the physical stresses that accompany surgery (e.g., the suppression of consciousness through the use of anesthesia, interrupting normal blood flow, the mechanical manipulation of muscle and interior tissues), risk is involved. In many cases, complications that occur due to those risks can often present greater problems than the condition that one’s surgery was meant to address.

The case of a Virginia man illustrates this point. After being diagnosed with a blockage in his carotid artery, he agreed to surgery to have the problem corrected. Ultimately, however, the artery proved to present no problem. During the procedure, however, the man suffered a massive stroke, which initially left him unable to walk and talk, and required a 60-day stay in the hospital. Two years later, he still struggles with the effects of the stroke, having difficulty speaking and moving his arm.

Detailing the problem of unnecessary surgeries

Like most of those in New York City that we here at Futterman, Sirotkin, and Seinfeld PLLP have worked with, you likely trust wholeheartedly in the opinions of the doctors and other clinicians that treat you. They are, after all, paid the proverbial “big bucks” to know what it is that is ailing you and what exactly needs to be done to correct it. In many cases, they may recommend surgery to treat a problem. Again, your confidence in a doctor’s knowledge and expertise will likely have a major influence on your decision to seek such treatment. Yet would ever think to ask yourself if surgery is truly necessary?

Why would you, when a medical professional is recommending it? Consider that information shared by USA Today reports that as many as 10-20 percent of surgeries performed in the U.S. in certain specialties are deemed to be unnecessary. Surgical intervention brings with it inherent risks, many of which could leave you facing potentially life-threatening complications. Thus, doctors are often advised to consider all non-surgical treatment options before contemplating surgery.

Detailing when assisted delivery should be considered

You may hear horror stories about cases where people in Kew Gardens saw their babies sustain injuries due to the use of forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery. Indeed, many of those that come to see us here at Futterman, Sirotkin and Seinfeld, LLP bemoan the fact that assisted delivery is even an option for doctors to consider. However, the fact that tools and procedures have been created to help assist in the delivery process may speak to their need. You simply need to understand when assisted delivery should be considered.

Assisted delivery techniques help to avoid the potential for complications that may arise due to prolonged labor. Ultimately, their main purpose is to avoid having to deliver a baby via C-section. While you, like many others, may view having a C-section as a perfectly acceptable solution, it should be remembered that such a procedure is still a complex surgery. The risk of complications may be heightened even further if an emergency C-section is required after you have labored.

Investigating silent heart attacks

Patients who present to hospitals and medical centers in Queens complaining of symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, arm pain or a shortness of breath should immediately trigger an assessment for a possible heart attack. In many cases, heart attacks may be misdiagnosed because the aforementioned symptoms are also linked to other ailments like indigestion, muscle aches or anxiety. If doctors struggle to correctly link the symptoms of a heart attack to an actual cardiac event, one can only imagine how much more difficult it may be to diagnose a heart attack that is asymptomatic.

Asymptomatic heart attacks (or “silent heart attacks,” as they are more commonly known) are actually much more common than one may think. According to information shared by the American Heart Association, as many 45 percent of all heart attacks may be asymptomatic. Yet simply because one may not be feeling their effects does not mean that silent heart attacks are any less deadly. In fact, data shared by the AHA study shows that people who suffer silent heart attacks are three times more likely to die from heart disease.

How can you get your loved one to talk about nursing home abuse?

Nursing home abuse and neglect is not new problem; such cases have been reported in Queens and throughout the rest of the U.S. for decades. Yet many still seem shocked when news of such abuse does come to light. Perhaps the perception of nursing home abuse not being as prevalent as it actually is may be because so many incidents go unreported. According to information shared by the National Center on Elder Abuse, there may be as many as 24 unknown cases of such abuse for every one that is reported.

Why wouldn’t your loved one tell you if he or she is experiencing abuse at the hands of nursing home staff members? In many cases, your family member or friend may be afraid of what his or her abuser may do if news of him or her reporting what is going were to come out. This illustrates why it is important that you initiate a dialogue if you suspect that such abuse may be occurring. Experts recommend employing these tactics:

  •          Share your concern about your loved one’s well-being and let him or her know that they can trust that you are here to protect him or her.
  •          Listen intently without interrupting. Wait until he or she finishes talking to ask clarifying questions.
  •          Express your belief in what he or she has said. If you are skeptical of any of his or her assertions, do not voice it. Verify those details on your own.

Reviewing the types and causes of nosocomial infections

People seeking medical care at any of the hospitals or medical centers in and around New York City enter such facilities expecting not only treatment for their injuries or illnesses but also improvement. However, in many cases, not only may that not happen, but one could see his or her condition actually start to deteriorate. What many may not know is that the cause of such deterioration many be due to an infection one acquired in the hospital itself.

Nosocomial infections are those that originate in a hospital or healthcare facility. As recently as 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there were almost 722,000 such cases in the U.S. The most common causes of these infections are exposure to various forms disease-promoting bacteria. Transmission typically occurs through person-to-person contact, such as when a doctor or nurse touches a patient with unclean hands. Bacteria can also be spread through the use of surgical tools and other equipment that has not been properly sterilized.

Common medical mistakes that lead to medical malpractice

Doctors and health care personnel belong to a group of professionals you should be able to trust implicitly with your life. You go to them for medical advice, treatments and surgical procedures to keep you healthy. But with the number of medical malpractice claims rising each day in Kew Gardens, you may find your faith in medicine dwindling. 

Take some time to learn about the common medical mistakes that can occur so you can take actions to prevent them. 

Forceps injury identified as cause of boy’s brain damage

Advances in the field of obstetrical and gynecological science in recent years have helped to greatly reduce the number of delivery complications. However, these new improvements may have caused many in Queens to overlook the fact that delivering a baby is still a complicated process. While new technology allows doctors to more easily determine when intervention is needed to assist a delivery, the methods used to perform those interventions can still cause harm. Unfortunately, the victims that experience this harm are often left to deal with the consequences for the rest of their lives.

Such is the case with a young Pennsylvania boy who faces a lifetime dealing with severe cognitive and physical deficits as a result of the brain damage he suffered during his birth. While the exact details of the complications surrounding his delivery were not disclosed, it was reported that a forceps injury was the direct cause of his brain damage. His parents have since sued the doctor involved in his delivery as well as the health center that employs him. A judge recently ruled that the federal government (which owns the facility named in the lawsuit) must pay the family $42 million to help support the lifelong care that it is assumed the boy will need.

Understanding the risks associated with gestational diabetes

Expectant couples in Queens may go through their entire pregnancies hoping that once the moment to deliver their babies arrives, they will be able to avoid any complications that might result in birth injuries. What many may not understand is that the seeds of complications are often planted during the prenatal process. Certain conditions can contribute to the risk of delivery issues. One such condition is gestational diabetes.

The website Healthline.com defines gestational diabetes as high blood sugar levels that manifest in women typically during the 24th and 28th weeks of their pregnancies. With an occurrence rate of over 9 percent, this ranks among the most common prenatal conditions expecting mothers may experience. Aside from presenting risks to the mother’s health, gestational diabetes can increase the risk of the following complications with babies:

  • Miscarriage
  • High birth weights
  • Respiratory distress syndrome
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Preterm labor
  • Certain birth defects

Why is your doctor spending less time with you?

You go to see your doctor in Kew Gardens likely expecting that he or she will take the time to sit down and devote all of his or her attention to you. However, such an expectation is often not met these days as doctors seem to be flying from one exam room to the next at ever-increasing speeds. This may prompt the question of how likely is it that your doctor will be able to correctly diagnose your medical problems if he or she is only giving you a few minutes of attention?

Study information shared by Business Insider shows that most commonly reported time spent in actual face-to-face care between doctors and patients is 13-16 minutes. While some may view that as a sign of improvement in the efficiency with which doctors operate, others may argue that it shows a greater dedication to simply getting patients out the door as opposed to offering quality care. Many point to the higher patient volumes that resulted from the passage of the Affordable Care Act as to why your doctor may have less time to spend with you. Others may say that the fee-for-service model still employed by the health insurance industry is to blame. Those who subscribe to this line of thinking claim that physicians are attempting to see more patients in an effort to pad their bottom lines.

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