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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

What is informed consent in a medical procedure?

Before someone undergoes a medical procedure, the medical professionals performing the procedure should let him or her know about the risks and benefits of the operation, as well as alternative treatments, if there are any. Receiving this information allows patients to make informed decisions about whether or not they want to take the risk. 

Informed consent is making that educated decision to undergo the treatment in spite of the risk of negative outcomes. 

3 workplace safety tips for the health care industry

The health care industry is massive. According to the CDC, there are over 18 million health care workers in the United States. If you work in health care, you provide a valuable service to the American people. Your job is to keep people healthy, safe and alive.

Sadly, your job sometimes puts you at risk of various illnesses, injuries and even death. There are a lot of health and safety hazards in the health care environment. Here are some guidelines for staying safe. 

What is MCARE in Pennsylvania?

If you sustained an injury because a Pennsylvania doctor or other health care provider acted negligently or irresponsibly, you can recover monetary damages from him or her and the facility for whom (s)he works. Medical malpractice lawsuits, however, are complicated and must proceed according to Pennsylvania law.

As FindLaw explains, Pennsylvania’s Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act contains a number of rules regarding the responsibilities of health care professionals and patient safety. It also sets out rules for injured plaintiffs and the lawsuits they file.

Birth injuries: recent news and common types

Bringing a little one into the world is, needless to say, one of life's most special moments. With this excitement can come a natural anxiety, especially when it comes to the delivery itself. Today's advanced technologies in medicine have made the birthing process safer, but injuries during delivery nevertheless occur. What can expecting Pennsylvania mothers and families learn to better prepare themselves for this thrilling but serious medical process?

One of the most infamous birth injuries, cerebral palsy can reveal itself long after an injury has happened. According to Cerebral Palsy News Today, there could be new signs that point to this type of birth injury, such as a large head circumference at birth. Using a study from Obstetrics and Gynecology International, the article goes on to share the correlation between large head size and white brain matter damage. Newborns with a head circumference greater than 90th centile were 10 times more likely to suffer from white matter damage. The study also showed that boys were more likely to show signs of brain damage than girls.

Even doctors missing heart attack signs

Many Pennsylvania residents might think they know what the common signs of a heart attack are. However, a new study that was conducted by the Yale School of Public Health and published earlier this year indicates that not only do many people miss some of these signs but many physicians also miss these signs. That may lead to many heart attacks not being diagnosed which opens the door to many other problems for patients.

As explained by Healthline, women in particular may experience symptoms other than pain in the chest when having a heart attack. It is these symptoms that are most commonly overlooked by doctors. Some of these symptoms include indigestion similar to typical gas pains, acid reflux, nausea or other stomach pain, shortness of breath and even light headedness. Instead of pain in the chest, a woman may end up having chest palpitations when having a heart attack.

Common birth injuries and the repercussions

Bringing a little one into the family can be an exciting time, but also an overwhelming one. With all of the nursery planning, new scheduling and financial arrangements, doctor visits should be the last worry on the list. However, some Pennsylvania mothers discover that a doctor visit does not go as planned; others even experience trauma during delivery. When a birth injury occurs and a surgeon may be at fault, families may decide to place matters into legal hands.

As Public Opinion reported last April, one Pennsylvania family faced the horror of a birth injury after a doctor allegedly used too much pressure to deliver the baby. As a result, the now-five-year-old will spend the rest of his life with disabilities -- both mental and physical. The child's family received $42 million in a malpractice lawsuit. Public Opinion shared that all had been going well in the delivery until the mother pushed once, which resulted in the doctor using forceps. The doctor continued to use forceps multiple times, causing marks on the baby's face that had begun to show signs of intracranial bleeding. While no amount of money can repair such damage, Opinion noted that this case was the largest medical malpractice case in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Poor hygiene among providers puts patients at risk

People in Pennsylvania who are concerned about their risk of experiencing a medical error may focus primarily on things like having a diagnosis be missed or incorrect or perhaps having an object left inside of them after a surgery. Certainly these are serious problems that deserve attention but they are far from the only dangers posed to patients today.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that as many as one in every 25 hospitalized patients will contract an infection unrelated to the reason for their hospitalization. Many of these infections are believed able to be prevented if workers in hospitals improved their hand hygiene. It is equally important for patients to know that they may and even should discuss this issue with their doctors, nurses and other providers to request that they wash hands before toughing them.

What if the other driver persuaded you not to call the police?

Another car hit yours, and the driver persuaded you not to call the police. Perhaps the driver reminded you of yourself when you were younger, or there did not seem to be any injuries or serious damage.

However, you now wonder if you should have called the police. What might happen next?

What is postoperative negligence?

When Pennsylvanians like you head in for surgery, you expect your care to be smooth and free of mistakes. Unfortunately, that isn't necessarily always going to be the case. Phillips, Phillips & Smith-Delach, P.C., are here to help you if you find yourself having issues before, during, or after your surgery.

Let's take a look at issues that can arise after a surgical procedure. Postoperative negligence is a blanket term used to describe what happens when you have a complication, injury, or other issue that happens after your operation has successfully finished. The reasons for this issue can vary, but it's likely due to the medical staff at the hospital.

How do concussions manifest?

If you're a Pennsylvania resident who has recently received a head injury, you may also be facing concussive symptoms. Phillips, Phillips & Smith-Delach, P.C., can help you handle the legal portion of your brain injury case. However, the first step is identifying your symptoms and determining the extent of your injury.

Concussions can be somewhat difficult to detect and treat. This is because their symptoms can be incredibly varied and may change depending on the kind of hit you received and its location. However, there are some common symptoms that can manifest regardless of the injury. These symptoms may include:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Constant headache or unusually painful headache
  • Issues with balance
  • Sensitivity to sound and light
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