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What is a laryngeal nerve injury in a newborn?

When a woman in Newton has a baby, the last thing she will expect is for the newborn to have some sort of birth injury. Unfortunately, this can happen for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes, it is an unavoidable instance that nothing can be done about. In other cases, however, there might have been a sign that the infant was going to have some sort of problem unless there was medical intervention. Perhaps the medical professionals made a mistake during delivery. One possible issue that a newborn can face is a laryngeal nerve injury.

A baby's ability to breathe and swallow can be affected by laryngeal nerve injury. The reason for this injury frequently seems to be the head being rotated and flexed laterally when in the intrauterine posture. When the baby is being delivered, this kind of head movement can cause injury to the laryngeal nerve. In an estimated 10 percent of those who have paralysis of the vocal cords suffer from it because of birth trauma.

Serious injury and fatality linked to surgeries done by robots

Surgical procedures in Massachusetts and across the country are becoming more reliant on technology. With that comes the increased use of machines that need to be properly calibrated, operated and work correctly. Considering the fact that improper use of medical equipment can lead to worsened condition and even death, it is important to know how to move forward with an investigation to see why surgical errors happened and whether or not there was a mistake made with the manufacture or operation of the technology.

Records from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that 144 people died between 2000 and 2013 after undergoing surgery performed by robots. Among the surgeries, there are some that are considered more dangerous to the patients than others. Surgeries that are performed on the head and neck are included as are cardiothoracic surgeries. The risk for these is nearly 10 times higher than other surgical procedures. In recent years, the number of robotic surgeries has risen significantly. Many of these are for urological and gynecological procedures.

Delayed treatment for misdiagnosed pancreatic cancer patients

For patients in Newton and across the country, it is beneficial for cancer to be detected early. Some cancers are worse than others when it comes to a survival rate and treatment options past a certain period. One of the more deadly cancers is pancreatic cancer. With the difficult nature of the disease and a new study showing the high percentage of misdiagnosis with this particular cancer, it makes it all the more dangerous.

At an annual gathering, it was revealed that a study showed that 31 percent of patients who had pancreatic cancer were misdiagnosed. That accounts for 98 out of the 313 patients involved in the study. Of the patients, 119 received a diagnosis other than pancreatic cancer. The most frequent misdiagnosis for pancreatic cancer was that the patient had gallbladder disease. Thirty-eight of the patients had a diagnosis of cholecystectomy. An additional 15 had gastroesophageal reflux diagnosis. Eleven were diagnosed with peptic ulcer.

Risk of negligent operating room staff using dirty equipment

Patients in Newton who are negatively affected by a mistake during surgery might be under the impression that it is limited to the improper use of medical equipment, surgery performed on the wrong body part or even a piece of surgical equipment mistakenly left in the patient. One mistake that is substantially egregious is if there is the use of dirty equipment when performing procedures. This happens more frequently than most think. An outbreak of illness earlier this year in Los Angeles brought this issue to light since it is believed to have been the result of a lack of cleanliness of the equipment.

The illness, referred to as a "superbug," is called CRE. Two people at a hospital died and five more were infected. From October 2014 to January 2015, approximately 179 patients were exposed to the illness after receiving a particular procedure. The belief from investigators centered on the likelihood that medical equipment was not adequately sterilized. The equipment that is used in this procedure is complex and can be hard to clean.

Questions to ask to avoid prescription medication errors

Filling a prescription in Newton should not be something that causes injury or even death. But, the harsh reality is that it is possible for prescription medication errors to be made causing damage to the person. Other issues that might arise include a dosage mistake, not checking for allergies or a dangerous combination of prescriptions. For those who are getting a prescription, there are certain questions to ask before filling it and following the instructions.

The number of prescriptions filled in 2014 reached 4.3 billion costing nearly $374 billion. Mistakes with these medications kill approximately 7,000 people annually and that is only in hospitals. Asking questions and being proactive can avoid these errors. First, asking the medical professionals and pharmacists if there is a danger for drug interactions is key. If a doctor does not account for other medications that are being taken or even nutritional supplements, there could be a danger. Being aware of side effects is imperative. These could be minor with an upset stomach to something more serious with damage to internal organs. Knowing how to spot these potential side effects can avoid them or get treatment immediately if they arise.

Research examines the causes of wrong-site surgery

Patients in Newton and across the United States are aware of the dangers when they are set to undergo a surgical procedure. It's a risk to have even the smallest incision and surgery. When it is a larger and more dangerous procedure, there is always the possibility of long-term damage. While the surgery itself can be problematic, one issue that is rarely considered as a potential mistake is wrong-site surgery. Unfortunately, they do happen.

Research is being conducted to discover the main causes for this surgeon mistake. Reasons for wrong-site surgery include scheduling, errors during pre-op procedures, operating room mistakes and organizational culture. The manner in which surgeries are scheduled can cause missteps. Often done over the telephone, through a written communication or via email, the way in which surgeries are scheduled lays the foundation for errors. It is easy for the person on the receiving end of the information to make a mistake due to mishearing or reading a wrong name.

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.

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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

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