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Bergen County Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Risk factors that make birth injuries more likely

When it comes to birth injuries, parents need to be aware that there are certain risk factors that can make the odds of an injury more likely. This does not mean that an injury is guaranteed or that there is nothing doctors can do, but simply that certain children are at higher risk. Below are a few common examples:

-- Babies who are born prematurely. Though the range can vary, this usually refers to a baby who is born before it reaches the 37th week. Injuries are more likely since the body is more fragile.

Tips to help avoid issues at the hospital

If you're going to the hospital and you're worried that things won't go well, there are some things you can do to help avoid problems. These include the following:

1. Always ask the doctor what the procedure is and what he or she is going to do. If the doctor responds with anything other than the procedure you're signed up for, you may be able to stop a mistake before it happens.

What should you look for when choosing a plastic surgeon?

We've all seen photos of cosmetic plastic surgery gone horribly wrong. There's even an entire television show on the E! network devoted to botched plastic surgery. However, there are worse things that can happen than having your breasts come out uneven (traumatic as that can be).

Too many patients who have gone in for a cosmetic procedure die while under the knife or from complications following plastic surgery. Author Olivia Goldsmith and Dr. Donda West, the mother of Kanye West, both died shortly after plastic surgery.

Settlement reached in death of young pediatrician

The parents of a young pediatrician who died nearly three years ago of a brain hemorrhage have settled a malpractice suit against the medical center that she worked for. The settlement came just a few days after the trial began.

The terms of the settlement weren't disclosed. However, based on the potentially long and lucrative career that was cut short, the medical center could have paid tens of millions of dollars if the decision had been left to the jury. That jury had already heard the plaintiffs' attorney accuse a doctor of changing her story about what happened.

Why is heart disease in women still so often misdiagnosed?

Heart disease is the greatest killer of women in this country. More women die from heart disease than all cancers combined. As we near the end of American Heart Month, this is a good time to discuss the continued misdiagnosis of heart disease and heart attacks in women. This misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose heart problems in women too often proves fatal.

More focus has been placed on heart disease in women in recent decades. Nonetheless, centuries-old beliefs still persist to some degree.

Doctor could spend life in prison for overdose deaths

At a time when prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in New Jersey and throughout the U.S., one recent criminal case on the other side of the country has made history. A former Southern California doctor is the first physician in that state ever to face a murder charge for prescribing drugs to patients.

The 46-year-old doctor was convicted of second-degree murder last fall after three patients, all in their 20s, died from overdoses of prescription painkillers back in 2009. Early this month, a judge sentenced her to serve a 30-year-to-life sentence.

Study shows the importance of nurses in surgical recovery

Most of us, whether we're at our doctor's office for a routine visit or in the hospital, spend more time with nurses than we do with doctors. Therefore, the results of a study of how a good nursing environment at a hospital improves surgical patient outcomes shouldn't come as a big surprise. However, it's nonetheless telling.

The study looked at almost 26,000 surgical patients over 65 in hospitals considered to have good nursing environments. It compared their outcomes with a comparable number of people in the same age group in almost 300 hospitals not considered to have good nursing environments. The study controlled for things like race, insurance, type of surgery and severity of illness.

Study: Race impacts level of compassion for dying patients

We all know that racism, both overt and subtle, still exists. Nonetheless, the results of a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management are disturbing.

In the study, 33 doctors interacted with actors portraying dying patients and family members in a hospital setting. Although the doctors knew they were part of a study, they weren't told what researchers were looking at.

Medical testing leaves a lot of room for error

One of the keys to receiving the medical treatment you need in a timely manner is getting the proper tests and having those tests read accurately. This includes X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds as well as tests like mammograms, EKGs, angiograms, biopsies and blood tests. With some diseases, such as cancer, a delayed diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death.

If the proper tests are not ordered by your physician in a timely manner, if the technicians who perform the tests make an error or if the medical professionals who read them miss something or fail to consult with a specialist, a disease or injury can worsen or even become fatal. Patients can end up not receiving necessary treatment or being treated for the wrong condition. Sometimes something as seemingly simple as taking an X-ray from the wrong angle can caused a missed diagnosis.

Can medical residents' depression affect your health care?

If you've watched any hospital-based television shows in recent years, you've seen the kind of long hours that medical residents put in. While there is a limit on the hours per week they can work, that limit is 80 hours. Couple those long hours with the stress of dealing with life-and-death situations in a difficult and competitive learning environment, and it shouldn't be surprising that physicians in training suffer a much higher rate of depression than the average person.

Research recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that almost 30 percent of these doctors suffer either from depression or depressive symptoms. That's considerably higher than the average 8 percent of people in the general population suffering from depression.

$7.4 Billion Medicaid Recovery

Breslin and Breslin, PA, Donald A. Caminiti, Esq., was one of six law firms selected by the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey to act as special counsel to represent it in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry to recover Medicaid and other health related costs incurred by the state resulting from tobacco related illnesses.