Ventricular Septal Defect in the Newborn

A ventricular septal defect (VSD) refers to a hole in the ventricular septum, the wall dividing the left and right ventricles of the heart. VSDs are the most common congenital cardiac anomalies. They are found in30-60% of all newborns with a congenital heart defect, or about 2-6 per 1000 births. During heart formation, when the heart begins life as a hollow tube, it begins to partition, forming septa. If this does not occur properly it Continue Reading

Pituitary Adenomas and Medical Malpractice

A pituitary adenoma is generally a benign, slow-growing tumor that occurs in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a small, bean-shaped structure that lies at the base of the brain. It has a central role in the regulation of hormones that affect the body such as Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), Growth hormone (GH), Prolactin, and Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Approximately 1 in 1,000 individuals have pituitary adenomas. They are generally not cancerous but may invade nearby structures.  Continue Reading

Pheochromocytoma and Medical Malpractice

Pheochromocytoma is an adrenal gland tumor comprised of chromaffin cells that produce and release excess epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are hormones that affect heart rate, metabolism, and blood pressure. Pheochromocytomas are generally benign and can appear at any age; however, they commonly occur during middle age. If left untreated or unrecognized, this tumor can be life-threatening. Researchers have yet to discover the underlying cause of pheochromocytoma. However, certain disorders such as Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type Continue Reading

Child Abuse and Neglect

Child neglect is the most prevalent form of child maltreatment in the US. According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), approximately 899,000 children in the US who were victims of abuse and neglect in 2005, 62.8% suffered from neglect alone. Child neglect is a failure by parents or caregivers to provide for a child’s basic physical, educational, and emotional needs. It is difficult to define because it varies with the age and Continue Reading

Advanced Diagnostic Imaging for Acquired Brain Injury

One of the first steps in evaluating brain injury is diagnostic imaging. Imaging refers to various methods of viewing the structures and processes residing in the brain. Some of the more familiar modalities are CT (or CAT) scans, which use X-rays to evaluate intracranial structures. MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, uses magnetic fields to illustrate the brain. However, in cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI), more advanced methods may be needed for proper diagnosis. An MRI Continue Reading

Deep Venous Thrombosis and Medical Malpractice

Deep venous thrombosis is the development of a blood clot in the large, deep veins of the lower leg and thigh. Thrombi can cause tissue injury due to vascular occlusion or distal embolization. However, the venous obstruction can be offset by collateral blood vessels. Thrombi can also cause local pain and edema due to the blockage of blood flow. If the clot breaks off and travels through the blood, it is referred to as an Continue Reading

Brain Injury and Medical Malpractice

The prevalence of brain injury in the United States is alarming as it is the second leading cause of disability in the country. Often referred to as the silent epidemic, approximately 3.17- 5.3 million Americans suffer from traumatic brain injuries, another 4.7 million have brain injuries from strokes, and another 500,000 have cerebral palsy (brain injury due to an event of oxygen deprivation). Causes of brain injury that may give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit Continue Reading

Lumbar Puncture & Medical Malpractice

Lumbar puncture is a procedure performed in the lower back area, where a needle is inserted between two vertebrae to remove a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The patient flexes his/her back to widen the spaces between the vertebrae so it is easier for the physician to access the region. The back is washed with antiseptic soap or iodine and covered with a sterile sheet. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area and Continue Reading

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak- over 300 infected, 25 deaths

An outbreak of fungal meningitis due to contaminated epidural methylpredinsolone (steroid) injections, made by the New England Compounding Center, has been ongoing throughout the United States. Meningitis is a disease caused by inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungus, physical injury, cancer, and certain medications. Fungal meningitis is generally rare and non-contagious. In the recent outbreak of fungal meningitis, the contaminant Continue Reading