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Seattle Medical Malpractice Law Blog

What causes Erb's palsy?

Expecting parents in Washington are usually given a rundown of things to expect before going into labor. Generally speaking, most births that occur in modern Washington state hospitals will be relatively safe for both you and your child. However, there are instances in which a moment of neglect or an unexpected surprise could turn the situation upside down.

The National Institutes of Health asks a poignant question: who is to blame in a case involving Erb's palsy? This condition is brought about by physical injury during the birthing process, usually when the shoulder becomes stuck on the baby's way out. This stress on the shoulder damages the nerves there, leading to potential paralysis that can be mild, moderate, or severe. This is called shoulder dystocia and is the most common cause of Erb's palsy.

Failing to diagnose cancer quickly is devastating for patients

Medical technology has come a long way in recent years. Only a few decades ago, survival rates for cancers, particularly aggressive cancers, were quite low. Patients could expect prolonged sickness while they underwent treatment, and many times they did not survive in the long term.

These days, many kinds of cancers have much better survival rates. Once patients seek treatment, they have a good chance of going into remission. Unfortunately, delayed diagnosis for cancers can drastically alter the outcome for cancer patients.

What if a heart attack goes undiagnosed?

Washington residents like you trust that you'll be getting a correct diagnosis when you go into the emergency room for unexplained pain. However, that may not always be the case. Miracle Pruzan & Pruzan, attorneys at law, are here to walk you through what to do if your heart attack went undiagnosed.

Heart attacks are actually a little harder to diagnose than people may think. Not only are the symptoms different than what you would expect from what the television tells you, but they can also change depending on who is experiencing them. For example, men typically feel pain in their arms or chest. Women, on the other hand, may experience chest pain as well as back or jaw pain. Women are also more likely to experience other symptoms like shortness of breath or nausea.

Emergency room errors a troubling reality

When a person in Washington State finds themselves in need of emergent medical care, they should be able to go to the hospital and trust that they will be properly cared for. It is enough to be faced with a medical emergency, yet research and statistics show that patients must also be concerned about the quality of care that they will receive in an emergency department.

According to CBS News and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 10 million medical mistakes may be made in U.S. emergency rooms every year. This number comes from statistics that show more than 100 million visits are made to ERs annually and errors are noted in between five and 10 percent of all of these visits.

Spinal cord injury subject of new lawsuit

While certainly many people across the United States may have heard about the new mother who gave birth to her baby and ended up a paraplegic in a Canadian hospital two years ago, residents in Washington State may have been even more aware of the situation due to the proximity to Vancouver, British Columbia. Now, that mother has filed a lawsuit in the case that has left her to live the rest of her days in a wheelchair.

As reported by the Vancouver Sun, the suit focuses on the actions of the doctor who administered a spinal anesthetic prior to a Caesarean section being performed to deliver the baby. The physician who gave the woman the medicine is said to have failed to discuss the risks with the patient or to get her consent to receiving the medication. In addition, improper administration of the drug is highlighted as is the use of equipment that was not sterile. It is not known which items may have not have been sterile.

Understanding breech positionining and options

Expectant mothers in Washington State understandably look forward to the birth of their newborn babies with both excitement and sometimes a bit of trepidation. Concerns about the process of labor and delivery may be especially present if it is a woman's first pregnancy or if there have been any complications. One situation that may come up is that the baby does not turn its position to the head-first exit position in time for delivery. Here a baby is said to be breech.

As explained by Baby Center, most babies in a breech position are ultimately delivered by Caesarean section but that does not mean there are no options for mothers who want to try to have a vaginal birth. One of the means of attempting to turn a baby before labor is called the external cephalic version. Medications may be given to the mother to help the muscles in the region relax. As the name implies, the work is done externally to the woman where a provider attempts to manipulate the baby's position by applying pressure to the mother's abdomen.

Don’t let your doctor misdiagnose one of these conditions

As a patient, you never want to think about a medical misdiagnosis. Instead, you hope that your doctor and his or her staff is on top of things at all times.

Unfortunately, it's not unheard of for a medical misdiagnosis to occur. Even if you're on the ball, things can slip through the cracks that lead to a mistake that can have a negative impact on your health.

The importance of proper prenatal care and testing

Expectant parents in Washington State who carefully select a health care provider to take care of the mother and baby during the nine months of pregnancy through to labor and delivery have taken a big step toward protecting the health of their new loved one. It is always important, however, that patients remain aware of their rights and the types of testing and care they should receive in the event that a doctor fails to suggest the right tests that may miss details they need to know.

As explained by WebMD, prenatal testing can do many things including identifying serious genetic conditions or alerting parents to potential birth defects. There are different types of tests that should be performed at different stages of a woman's pregnancy. Pregnancy-related conditions like preeclampsia may also be discovered thanks to prenatal care and tests.

Decision highlight nuances of diagnosis failures

Most people in Washington State have heard tragic stories about a patient who ends up with a serious condition that was potentially made worse by the fact that physicians did not appropriately diagnose it early enough, preventing them from the opportunity for early intervention or treatment when the condition was at a less severe state. In these scenarios people generally assume that medical professionals have all of the facts in front of them but fail to put the pieces together appropriately.

That may certainly be the case but there are other nuances which may lead to a failure to diagnose a condition. One of those things may be the failure to even collect information that might lead a health care professional to make the right diagnosis.

JAMA study exposes infection risk

Many people in Washington State require treatment in a hospital at some time. This may entail a short visit to an emergency room or a more lengthy multi-day stay in a hospital. Either way, depending upon their conditions, they might be at an increased risk of contracting an infection which would make it vital that health care professionals take proper steps to avoid unnecessary contamination.

Healthcare Finance recently reported on the results of observations conducted that looked specifically at the practices by medical professionals when it comes to use of personal protective equipment. The conveyance of infection was one concern that led to the observations. The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and showed serious lack of adherence to the stated procedures and processes.