Law Doctors Barry D. Lang, M.D. & Associates
Free consultation
617-720-0176
1-800-LAWYERS

Woman who suffered head injury at baseball game still recovering

For people in Newton, and throughout Massachusetts, there is always a risk of an unexpected occurrence leading to an accident. With an accident comes the possibility of a severe injury. If it is a head injury, there is the chance that brain damage will result. Since the brain is so important to normal everyday function, recovery from brain damage can be a long and difficult process. It is somewhat understandable when there is such an injury in a car crash, while playing a sport or while at work. However, if the accident happens when it is completely unexpected and almost unprecedented, the shock can make the problems significantly worse.

A 44-year-old woman who was injured by a shattered bat while in the stands of Fenway Park watching a Red Sox game is reportedly in constant pain as she tries to recover from her injuries. The bat flew into the stands after it broke when the batter swung at a pitch. It hit her in the head. At the time, her injuries were said to be life-threatening. After several days, she was said to be responsive and on the road to recovery.

New systems try to diminish prescription medication errors

For patients in Newton, and across the entire country, medication is often an imperative part of their medical treatment. There is a certain amount of trust that is placed into the hands of medical professionals that they will dispense the correct medications in its proper amounts. While the vast majority of patients are treated with care and need not worry about a dosage mistake or some other gaffe occurring, they still happen.

Since prescription medication errors do occur and often lead to a patient becoming suffering serious injury or even dying after a fatal medication error, there are steps in place to try and find ways to improve patient safety. One is the ACO six-step scoring system. This is a program that the Accountable Care Organization is using to identify and improve safety practices. It focused on six concerns with medication, found 10,000 possible adverse drug events and stopped an estimated 80 percent of them. This is functioning as a map for medical professionals and facilities to use for better safety.

What is BPD and how is it linked to premature birth?

Newton parents who are expecting a baby need to mitigate their excitement with the realization that birth is a medical situation just like any other change in the human body. Both mother and newborn are vulnerable to medical issues and injuries. In some situations, this can be due to circumstance. In others, it is due to a mistake made by the medical professionals providing the care. Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia is a problem that can happen when a baby is born prematurely. It's important to understand it when considering whether or not an error was made by the medical staff leading to it.

BPD happens most frequently in babies born more than 10 weeks before their scheduled due date. It results in an inflammation and scarring of the baby's lungs. Every year in the U.S., an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 babies will have BPD. There are more babies with this issue today than in the past, but that number is slightly misleading because more babies survive premature birth today. Babies that have BPD might often have experienced respiratory distress. If this is the case, they might require a ventilator, which can exacerbate BPD.

Student who suffered head injuries sues for negligence

For athletes in Newton -- both young and old -- there is an increasing vigilance on the possibility that a brain injury has occurred after a blow to the head. Whereas in the past, athletes were allowed to head back out onto the field with a rudimentary checkup and asking them if they were okay, any hit to the head is now supposed to be treated as if it is a potentially severe injury. Numerous protocols are in place to protect the players from brain trauma and the team administrators from allegations of negligence. That, however, does not always mean that players will be treated with the utmost care.

A woman who suffered a brain injury in 2011 as she played field hockey for her school is pursuing legal action against the coach. The defense had put forth a motion to dismiss the case, but the judge decided that the case can go forward. According to the filing, the then-high school student suffered a blow to the head with a field hockey ball. She was not checked for symptoms of a brain injury and was put in a game five days later. In that game, she was hit in the head again. The lawsuit alleged negligence on the part of the coach.

New pathologist protocols meant to reduce misdiagnosed cancer

People in Newton who are facing a health issue that might be cancer could benefit if it is diagnosed early. If there is a missed diagnosis of cancer, it could result in delayed treatment, worsened condition and a missed opportunity to treat it effectively. Increasingly, medical professionals are seeking ways to come to a consensus on how to study tests and analyze them to make certain all are on the same page when it comes to making a diagnosis. However, it is possible that disagreements can lead to stagnation and those who are ill will be victimized by misdiagnosed cancer and its consequences.

The importance of pathologists in formulating a diagnosis is often understated. They are the ones who come to the lab-based determination as to whether there is a disease, how extensive it is and whether or not it can be treated. Often, however, pathologists can view the tests differently. It's far from an exact science and is open to interpretation. In some instances, a pathologist can fail to detect cancer or view a tumor as being cancerous when it actually isn't. There is a new protocol being put into place for pathologists to do a better job of making accurate assessments. Technology is being implemented to assist in this endeavor.

Study of surgical errors gives clues to how and why they happen

Even with technological advances and a greater amount of scrutiny on patient safety, one medical problem that frequently arises in Newton, and across the nation, is when there is a mistake made during surgery. Research indicates that surgical errors can happen for a variety or reasons and be made in numerous ways. From surgical equipment left inside a patient to wrong-site surgery, these errors can lead to worsened condition and even be fatal. Knowing the potential for these kinds of errors and what to do in the aftermath is imperative to being compensated.

Studies have shown that major errors made in surgical procedures happen rarely. They do, however, still happen. For approximately every 100,000 surgeries, an estimated one will include wrong-site surgery. This might be operating on the left side of the body when it was supposed to be on the right. There are even instances in which the wrong patient is operated on. For every 10,000 procedures, around one will involve surgical equipment left inside a patient. This is commonly due to a lack of communication on the part of the medical professionals who are involved in the surgeries.

Umbilical cord prolapse and its risks for Newton birth injuries

Newton parents might not think about the various things that can go wrong when they are expecting a child, but it is unavoidable that birth injuries happen for one reason or another. In some instances, it is due to a negligent doctor. It is important to understand the potential dangers during the pregnancy and delivery process. One problem that might arise and cause damage is umbilical cord prolapse.

The fetus is linked to the mother via the umbilical cord. It is what provides nutrition to the fetus and keeps the baby healthy. Umbilical cord prolapse happens if the umbilical cord drops into the mother's vagina before the baby does and goes through the open cervix. When the baby is being delivered, the umbilical cord might become trapped against the newborn. Out of every 300 babies born, an estimated one will be afflicted with this issue.

Can overdiagnosis of cancer be equated with misdiagnosed cancer?

Most occurrences of misdiagnosed cancer in Newton might be associated with a medical professional failing to diagnose cancer, leading to delayed treatment and the spread of disease. However, there are other ways in which cancer being misdiagnosed can cause a patient problems. If a person is told the person has cancer when the disease really isn't there, this might fall into a different variance of the category of misdiagnosed cancer. The idea of cancer being overdiagnosed might sound odd, but it is increasingly common.

Doctors are becoming increasingly aggressive when it comes to looking for cancer and it is leading to more people being diagnosed. The idea is that cancers are being found too early. Overdiagnosis and misdiagnosis are not the same, but it can lead to extra treatments that might not be needed. It can also cause the patients to suffer from needless worry resulting in psychological issues. With mammograms, for example, a shadow might be deemed to be a false positive. For prostate cancer, PSA tests could be elevated making a doctor want to conduct a biopsy to determine whether or not there is cancer.

Study into surgical errors indicates how to avoid them

For people in Newton, surgery is an intimidating enough proposition without having to think about the possibility of surgical errors being committed by the medical staff. Unfortunately, they do happen. Research examines the circumstances surrounding these mistakes and attempts to explain why they occur. This research went back five years and 1.5 million procedures, finding 69 mistakes.

While some mistakes are due to reasons other than human error, 628 were because of human behaviors -- approximately four to nine percent. Among those mistakes were 24 instances of the wrong procedure being done, 22 were wrong-site surgery or wrong side surgeries, 18 were surgical equipment left inside a patient and five were placing the wrong implant in the body. These mistakes happened at the Mayo Clinic where the research was conducted. No one died as a result.

Urinary tract infections can result in failure to diagnose cancer

Patients in Newton who are dealing with a health issue will want to receive an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible. Even in the worst case scenario, when the diagnosis is cancer, it is better to be told of it early to avoid the spread of disease and a worsened condition. In some instances, there is a medical problem that is discovered that can delay the diagnosis of a more serious problem like cancer. Such is the case with a urinary tract infection delaying the discovery of cancer.

People who are receiving Medicare and are showing symptoms of UTI led to a significant delay in bladder cancer being diagnosed. The delay was made worse when the patients were female. The information regarding this issue was revealed at a conference of urologists. One author who is in the department of urology at the University of Wisconsin related data showing that women were more frequently subject to a delayed diagnosis because of UTI.

Get in touch

Barry D. Lang, M.D. & Associates
199 Wells Avenue, Suite 106
Newton, MA 02459

Toll Free: 800-LAWYERS
Phone: 617-720-0176
Fax: 617-720-1184

Newton Law Office Map