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Queens New York Legal Blog

Can your preparation for surgery protect your safety?

Finding out that you need surgery is never exciting news, and your anxiety may triple when you have to work with a doctor in New York who you are not familiar with. While most doctors go to extensive efforts to prioritize their patients' safety, there is always a margin for error. Fortunately, with your commitment to actively preparing for your surgery, you may be able to put yourself in a better position to stay safe and avoid becoming the victim of a surgical injury. 

Anxious anticipation of your upcoming surgery is normal but preparing the best you can may heighten your confidence and peace of mind and provide your physician with valuable input that could protect you in the long run. According to U.S. News, here are some of the things you can do to prepare:

  • Ask about post-surgery care: Make sure you are fully aware of the symptoms you may experience following your surgery. Ask for a timeline along which you should compare your progress. Be aware of symptoms that are not normal so you can take immediate action if you notice something strange. 
  • Take good care of yourself: In the weeks leading up to your surgery, make sure you are getting enough rest, eating healthy and staying active. Keeping your body as healthy as possible may make your surgery more productive and your recovery more effective.
  • Understand the surgery: Ask your health care provider to educate you about the surgery you are going to receive. Learn about why it may aid in improving your health. Verify that the surgeon is operating on the correct area before you go back for surgery. 

A closer look at what may follow should dystocia during birth

When you are about to begin pushing and your doctor mentions the word dystocia, you may feel a whirlwind of emotions wondering if your baby will be able to make it out okay. While this occurrence is relatively common in many births, if your doctor does things incorrectly, rushed or irrationally, you or your baby could be at risk of injury. At Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld, LLP, we understand the risks that pregnant mothers in New York face that could potentially threaten their newborn's life. 

According to verywellfamily.com, if your doctor says that shoulder dystocia is preventing your baby from coming the rest of the way out of the birth canal, this often means that one of your baby's shoulders has become caught or obstructed, preventing the baby from moving any further. While experts disagree on reasons why your baby may have problems with dystocia, some factors they believe may contribute to this include the following:

  • Whether or not you have had gestational diabetes.
  • Whether or not your baby is induced.
  • Whether or not your baby is passed the preferred gestational age or is abnormally large.

What is patient dumping and how is it harmful?

Quality healthcare has been a volatile topic of debate in the United States for several years. Despite the arguments about affordable health coverage, Americans in New York and elsewhere expect a high quality of service when they visit hospitals and medical centers. You are within your rights to expect to be treated with dignity and to have your medical issue taken care of, regardless of your ability to pay when you go to the hospital.

Unfortunately, the opposite can be said for many hospitals across the country. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1986 was enacted to protect patients from being denied emergency care if they had no insurance, as well as to ensure they are discharged from the hospital in a safe environment. Sadly, the practice of “patient dumping” has continued in numerous facilities, as Healthcare Dive explains. Patient dumping occurs when you are discharged prematurely from the hospital without a safe place to go.

Safety procedures required after infants were hurt at a hospital

When women give birth in New York hospitals, they expect that the staff will take good care of their infants. A recent case in Wisconsin demonstrates how important it is to have proper procedures in place to protect infants while they are at the hospital.

Five infants recently incurred fractures and bruises at a hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. Two of these babies had bruises on their arms and wrists, while others were bruised on their legs, ankles and feet. Another had skull and arm fractures. Doctors have suggested that the bruising came from objects the infants came into contact with at the hospital. Intravenous arm boards and wires to help stabilize newborn intensive care unit patients possibly caused the bruising on one infant, and another may have been harmed after being wrapped too tightly in a blanket.

Do you know when to get a second opinion?

One of the most confusing times in your life might happen when you receive a new medical diagnosis. Making medical decisions is not always easy, especially when you must choose between treatment options. As much as you may trust your doctor in New York City, do you really want to rely on their professional opinion alone to determine the outcome of your situation? Or would you be better off getting a second opinion? 

No amount of trust can prevent medical errors. Your doctor is human and can make mistakes. According to John Hopkins Medicine, medical errors kill more than 250,000 people annually. Many medical mistakes are preventable. One way you can avoid mistakes in the care you receive is to get a second opinion. 

2 common emergency room care errors to avoid

Many people in the New York City area go to emergency rooms when they suffer serious and potentially life-threatening injuries and ailments that require immediate medical attention. It is a common expectation that emergency room nurses and doctors will provide the proper scope of treatment. The unfortunate reality of emergency rooms is they are often overcrowded and understaffed. Because of these factors and more, emergency room mistakes happen that in some cases lead to death. 

According to U.S. News & World Report, each year, more than 141 million people visit emergency rooms across the country. Many mistakes that occur in the emergency room are preventable. Patients should learn about two common mistakes that are likely to occur in emergency care settings so they can take actions to avoid them. 

Common cycling accidents to be mindful of

As warmer weather approaches, some people are gearing up to enjoy riding their bikes. This can be a very fulfilling experience, and it can also turn dangerous; if parties are not mindful, this activity can lead to accidents involving vehicles and bicycles

To avoid this, there are some common dangerous situations to be aware of. In particular, cyclist should watch out for a few possible scenarios.

A closer look at some of the most dangerous medication errors

Every day, hundreds of people in New York visit their doctor for advice regarding medical problems and to receive treatment for a variety of symptoms. Often, during the course of treatment, doctors prescribe antibiotics and other over-the-counter drugs to assist in the healing of the body. However, medication errors are not unheard of. In fact, they are quite common, and when a patient is not aware of the types of dangers they face when taking prescription drugs, they may be at risk of serious injury or death. 

According to U.S. News, 1.5 million people are victims of medication errors every year in the United States. Often, these mistakes are innocent and with just a bit of education, nearly all of these missteps are completely preventable. 

Nursing home staff charged with elder abuse, murder

For many New York families, placing their elderly loved one in a nursing home facility is a decision that is not taken lightly. Finding a residence that prioritizes the well-being of its patients is a way to guarantee that disabled elderly persons have access to high quality medical care and assistance with day-to-day needs. However, there are circumstances when elder abuse or neglect can put any patient's life in danger and have damaging consequences. 

In a story that made national headlines, a Georgia nursing home is under intense scrutiny for an alleged case of elder abuse in their residence. More specifically, three employees are facing charges that range from abuse to murder for their roles in an elderly man's death. The man's family had installed a hidden camera in his room and were horrified to watch the footage of the nurses laughing while the man struggled to breathe. The video depicts the defendants laughing as they struggled to get the man's oxygen machine to work the right way. During the video, he can be heard pleading for help, but no visible effort to save his life can be seen. While the nurses kept their jobs for nearly three years following the incident, they were recently the subject of a heated investigation when the man's family included the footage in their lawsuit. The nurses' licenses have since been revoked.

Guaranteeing compassionate care for your elderly loved one

If you have an elderly loved one living in New York who is in need of every day assistance, you may have begun researching and comparing your options for nursing homes. Often, you will find that selecting a facility who you entrust with your family member's well-being can be an incredibly challenging decision to make. At Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld, LLP, we understand the importance of guaranteeing the highest quality care for your elderly loved one. 

According to the Huffington Post, there are several important steps you can take in creating a safer environment for your aging family member. However, these action steps can also be used as a form of measurement in gauging a nursing home facility's ability to provide compassionate care for your loved one. Some of the things you should look for include the following:

  • Health care accessibility: Ask about a facility's health care options; what kinds of medical treatment are available onsite, and which are hired out to a third-party? 
  • Emotional support: Pay attention to the demeanor of the residents in a nursing home. Make sure that adequate emotional support is available to provide your loved one with encouragement, empathy and contentment.
  • Environmental conditions: Make sure that the environment is free of hazards, clean and well-maintained. Your loved one should feel comfortable and safe in a place surrounded by committed and vigilant staff.

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