November 2010 Archives

November 30, 2010

Premature Birth Injury Topic Of New York Cerebral Palsy Conferences In Syracuse, Binghamton and Watertown

Premature birth is a very serious problem because preemies are at high risk for permanent disability, including lung disease, cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness. According to Anthony S. Bottar, a Syracuse birth injury lawyer representing New York children diagnosed with cerebral palsy following a complicated labor and delivery, "approximately 10% of babies born prematurely will have a permanent disability."

"Preterm births occur in 12% of pregnancies," Bottar added. November is prematurity awareness month. During prematurity awareness month, many local organizations including Binghamton-based Mothers & Babies, partnered with the March of Dimes to raise awareness about premature birth injuries caused when a baby does not reach 37 weeks of gestation (the threshold for prematurity).

A baby born between 35 and 37 weeks is considered "moderately premature." A baby born between 29 and 34 weeks is considered "very premature." A baby born between 24 and 28 weeks is considered "extremely premature." Extremely premature babies face the greatest challenges. Approximately 17% of babies born at 23 weeks will survive. At 24 and 25 weeks, approximately 39% and 50% will survive, respectively.

Of children born before 26 weeks, statistical disabilities include: 22% severe disability (cerebral palsy but not walking, profoundly low IQ, blindness and/or deafness), 24% moderate disability (cerebral palsy but walking, special needs IQ, some visual or hearing impairment), 34% mild disability (low IQ, slight vision deficits), 20% no problems.

Continue reading "Premature Birth Injury Topic Of New York Cerebral Palsy Conferences In Syracuse, Binghamton and Watertown" »

November 29, 2010

Syracuse Birth Injury Lawyers Secure Nearly $9,000,000.00 In Lifetime Compensation for Baby Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy

Bottar Leone, PLLC partners Edward S. Leone and Anthony S. Bottar recently resolved a Syracuse birth injury lawsuit for $3,250,000.00 which, after investment in annuities, will provide the plaintiffs with nearly $9,000,000.00 in compensation should the infant plaintiff live to age 74.

Like most of the Firm's New York birth injury lawsuits, the plaintiffs alleged that a group of medical defendants, including an obstetrician and a hospital (through its labor and delivery nurses and medical residents), were negligent in their collective (1) failure to diagnose fetal distress and (2) respond by performing a cesarean section before the baby suffered permanent brain damage, including spastic cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness.

Plaintiffs' claims included allegations that the defendants: failed to properly monitor the plaintiff, did not appreciate a non-reassuring fetal heart rate pattern marked by prolonged decelerations and minimal variability, and negligently administered Pitocin (oxytocin) when it was contraindicated. As a result, the infant plaintiff was born hypoxic, acidotic, and with low APGAR scores.

Continue reading "Syracuse Birth Injury Lawyers Secure Nearly $9,000,000.00 In Lifetime Compensation for Baby Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy" »

November 27, 2010

New York C-Section Lawyer Review Of Rising Surgery Rate To Prevent Syracuse Birth Injury

We frequently blog about labor and delivery complications, including precipitate delivery, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and placenta accrete. Each can lead to serious injury to a baby, such as cerebral palsy.

Some Syracuse labor and delivery complications can be avoided if a baby is delivered by cesarean section (c-section), rather than a vaginal delivery. A recent study on 230,000 deliveries in 19 hospitals around the country revealed that about 1/3 of the babies were born by c-section. Rates are expected to continue rising because most women experience repeat c-section, rather than a vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC).

According to Syracuse birth injury lawyers Bottar Leone, PLLC, the medical industry was quick to blame the rise in abdominal deliveries on obstetrical medical malpractice claims and doctors practicing "defensive medicine." However, the study did not cite legal concerns as the basis for the statistical increase. Rather, it cited "chemically-induced" labors as the primary reason for c-sections. Indeed, women whose labor was induced were twice (2x) a likely to have a c-section. The chemical commonly used to induce labor is Pitocin or "pit."

Pitocin (Oxytocin) was not intended for use in pregnant women. Nevertheless, it has been used "off-label" for years to stimulate contractions. This can be dangerous because a pregnant woman's response to chemicals used to induce labor can be difficult to predict and control. Too few contractions will not result in a delivery; whereas, too many contractions may lead to fetal distress. The failure to progress, also known as a prolonged second stage of labor, and fetal distress marked by decelerations may result in a c-section.

November 22, 2010

Heart Attack Misdiagnosis In Syracuse New York To Decline With Nuclear Imaging

The American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association recently announced guidelines for the use of nuclear imaging to diagnose and manage heart failure.

According to Syracuse misdiagnosis lawyer Michael A. Bottar, an attorney with Bottar Leone, PLLC, a Syracuse medical malpractice and catastrophic injury law firm, a failure to diagnose heart damage can lead to a wrongful death. Timely diagnosis is critical to survival.

Cardiology malpractice and New York emergency room mistakes can be avoided if doctors timely identify ventricular dysfunction and plan a course of treatment. A well-reasoned plan of care should include an attempt to determine the etiology of the heart problem. It is important for medical providers to know whether, for example, a patient is presenting with ischemic, dilated, valvular, or congenital heart failure. Each is treated differently. While a stethoscope is a very useful tool, imaging studies are essential to making the correct diagnosis.

The guidelines first recommend that a physician secure a two-dimensional echocardiogram. This study quantifies the heart's ejection fraction, as well as valve size and function (or dysfunction). From there, more complicated studies are available, including radionuclide ventriculography, coronary arteriography, myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), and SPECT and MUGA studies.

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November 16, 2010

Failure To Diagnose Colon Cancer In Syracuse New York To Decrease With Cologuard sDNA Test

According to a recent clinical trial, the newly developed Cologuard sDNA test is better at detecting colon cancer than current non-invasive tests such as the fecal occult blood test.

Researchers report that the sDNA test identified 64% of pre-cancerous polyps and 85% of full-blown cancers. The test measures altered DNA cells in all locations throughout the colon. It is the first non-invasive test to identify pre-cancerous polyps. It requires no bowel preparation.

According to Michael A. Bottar, Esq., a New York colon cancer misdiagnosis lawyer with Bottar Leone, PLLC, a team of Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers, invasive screenings such as a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy are currently the "Holy Grail" for detecting colon cancer. Because those studies have risks, gastroenterologists are always searching for a highly accurent, non-invasive alternative.

As there are more than 150,000 cases of colon cancer every year in the United States, the Cologuard sDNA test may go a long way toward timely diagnosing colon cancer and toward eliminating the failure to diagnose colon cancer.

If you believe that your doctor has not acted on your complaints about blood in your stool, constipation, diarrhea, changes in your bowel habits and/or abdominal pain, or if you have been diagnosed with Stage II, III or IV colon cancer, and you would like to know whether your internist, family practitioner, or gastroenterologist could have diagnosed colon cancer sooner, contact us at 1-800-336-5297 or by e-mail at info@bottarleone.com.

November 7, 2010

Delayed Diagnosis of Lung Cancer in Syracuse New York Linked To Medical Malpractice

According to a recent study published by the National Cancer Institute, a large number of primary care doctors, also known as internists, do not know whether low-dose spiral computerized tomography (LDCT) screening is effective in identifying lung cancer in asymptomatic patients.

Most (67%) of the doctors who participated in the study reported that LDCT is effective in reducing lung cancer risk. However, according to Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer Michael A. Bottar, Esq., "there is little if any evidence that such screening lowers the risk of death from lung cancer in these patients." The study is a cause for concern because primary care physicians that use LDCT as their only means of checking for lung cancer may fail to diagnose cancer. A contrasting study, published by the National Cancer Institute, suggests that screening heavy-smokers with a spiral chest CT may reduce the risk of lung cancer death.

At the present time, the American Cancer Society does not recommending lung cancer screenings for people without symptoms. Nearly 25% of all people with lung cancer do not have symptoms. When there are lung cancer symptoms, they generally include a nagging cough, coughing-up blood (hemoptysis), dull chest pain, wheezing, shortness of breath and repeated respiratory infections.

At Bottar Leone, PLLC, our team of New York cancer misdiagnosis lawyers have decades of experience handling cases involving lost chance of cure and metastatic cancer that causes death. To speak with an experienced Syracuse medical negligence lawyer, contact us at 1-800-336-5297 or by e-mail at info@bottarleone.com.

November 6, 2010

Low APGAR Scores and Medical Malpractice In Syracuse New York

As soon as a baby is born, s/he is forced to make major changes within seconds. The APGAR scoring system was developed so that doctors, such as obstetricians, and hospital nurses can rapidly asses how a newborn is adjusting to life outside of the womb, including evaluation of heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, reflex irritability and skin color.

APGARs are commonly assessed at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth. Generally, the 1 minute APGAR score is an evaluation of how the baby tolerated the birth process; whereas, the 5 minute score is an evaluation of how the baby is adapting to his/her new environment. Where birth complications lead to a low APGAR score, doctors may also perform a 10 minute assessment.

An APGAR score below 7 is considered low. 10-17% of children with a low APGAR score will go on to develop cerebral palsy. Reasons for a low APGAR score include hypoxia (lack of oxygen), ischemia (lack of blood supply), umbilical cord compression, and fetal distress commonly marked by fetal heart rate decelerations.

If an obstetrician fails to respond to fetal distress, s/he may be liable for medical malpractice and birth injuries such as cerebral palsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. If your baby was born with a low APGAR score and is developmentally delayed, or was recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you would like to know if his/her disabilities were preventable, contact us at 1-800-336-5297, or by email at info@bottarleone.com.