Aug 4 2016

Study Shows Team Training of Medical Staff Can Reduce Medical Errors

Researchers at Rice University, the Johns Hopkins University of School of Medicine, the University of Central Florida, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center recently released a study which showed that health care employees who are trained in a team environment can reduce the number of medical errors made by hospital staff.

According to an article from News Medical, the study, titled “Saving Lives: A Meta-Analysis of Team Training in Health Care,” showed that team training can lower the risk of medical errors by 19%. Further, patient mortality would be reduced by 15%. Researchers found that such interaction in a learning environment would not only save lives, but save hospitals money as well. Researchers stated that medical errors occur in more than 30% of all admissions, costing U.S. hospitals between $735 billion to $980 billion a year.

The study looked at the impact of a team-training environment among 23,018 participants — consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, therapists, medical and nursing students, and other health care staff members — in 129 previous studies. Among the findings, employees improved their learning of new skills by 31% and their use of these skills on the job by 25%, while health care groups saw a 15% improvement in financial outcomes. Results also showed clinical performance improved by 34% and patient satisfaction was up by 15%.

Researchers concluded that team training helps employees and medical staff communicate better, learn to cooperate and resolve any conflicts that might arise. This, in turn, lowers incidents of medical errors, many of which, they said, are preventable.

Medical errors occur when a doctor fails to provide proper care to a patient, often resulting in serious injury or even death. If you or a loved one has been hurt by medical errors and/or medical malpractice, contact the experienced attorneys at Alegria & Barovick, LLP by calling (914) 761-1133 or (212) 861-2800.

Jun 16 2016

Did Your Newborn Infant Suffer from a Brachial Plexus Injury?

Childbirth is stressful enough for expectant parents. What can make it a traumatic experience for them is to find that their infant has suffered brachial plexus injuries during the childbirth process.

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that conducts signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm and hand. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), during birth, brachial plexus injuries occur when the infant’s shoulder gets caught at the pubic bone during delivery, or the doctor tries to force the baby out by pulling too hard, causing the baby’s brachial plexus nerves to become stretched or torn. The child may suffer from paralysis of either the upper brachial plexus (known as Erb-Duchenne, or Erb’s, palsy) or the lower brachial plexus, which is referred to as Dejerine-Klumpke (or Klumpke’s) palsy. Those with Erb’s palsy may lose motion around the shoulder and around the elbow, according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, while those with Klumpke’s palsy cannot move their wrist or hand.

Johns Hopkins Medicine lists six different types of brachial plexus injuries. The prognosis for recovery for each of these injuries is dependent on how complex and severe the injury is. They are:

  • Avulsion — this occurs when the nerve is torn from the spine. Prognosis: no chance for recovery
  • Rupture — the nerve is partially torn and stretched, but not at the spinal attachment
  • Neurapraxia — the nerve is gently stretched or compressed, but not torn. Prognosis: excellent
  • Axonotemesis — the axons (long, slender projections of a nerve cell or neuron) have been cut. Prognosis: moderate
  • Neurotemesis — the entire nerve has been cut. Prognosis: poor
  • Neuroma — the nerve has torn and is now healed, but a tumor has grown from a mass of severed axons, which fail to regenerate. Prognosis: depends on the number of axons that regenerate

Although some of these injuries can heal by the time the child is three to four months old, treatment for brachial plexus injuries includes physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery, according to NINDS.

If your newborn child has been injured or suffered brachial plexus injuries due to a doctor or hospital’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney is vital in protecting your rights. Contact the dedicated, experienced attorneys at Alegria & Barovick LLP for the representation you deserve. Call (914) 761-1133.

Jun 9 2016

What Health Problems are Associated with Birth Hypoxia?

Birth hypoxia occurs when the fetus does not receive sufficient oxygen to the brain. This has been known to cause fetal brain injury, the most serious being hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or perinatal asphyxia. An article from Medscape revealed that, depending on the severity of HIE, babies can show certain symptoms such as seizures, excessive crying or sleepiness, lethargy, irregular breathing, stupor, or coma.

However, a majority of babies with the most severe case of HIE do not survive. In fact, according to an article published by The Janov Primal Center For Treatment, up to 75% of infants with severe HIE die of multiple organ failure or lung infections. Those who survive often grow up with symptoms such as mental retardation, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Research from the Janov Primal Center further shows the fetus’ growth is slowed down when birth hypoxia occurs in early gestation, resulting in a low birth weight for the baby. Those with lower birth weight grow up to suffer from various health problems such as depression, anxiety, phobias, suicidal thoughts, shyness, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension.

The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that certain tests can determine the cause of the hypoxia, which can usually be diagnosed based on the person’s medical history and a physical exam. These include angiograms, blood tests, CT scans, echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, evoked potentials (tests that determine whether certain sensations such as vision and touch reach the brain) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

If your newborn child suffered birth hypoxia injuries due to a doctor or hospital’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney is vital in protecting your rights. Contact the dedicated, experienced attorneys at Alegria & Barovick LLP for the representation you deserve. Call (914) 761-1133.

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