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West Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

Migraines can be mistaken for other conditions

Individuals in Iowa and throughout the country may feel a variety of symptoms that are the result of a migraine headache. However, since migraines can mimic the symptoms of other conditions, it can be difficult for medical professionals to accurately diagnose them. It is also possible that someone who is actually experiencing a different medical condition has been diagnosed with a migraine. An accurate diagnosis is critical as it can lead to proper treatment in a timely manner.

Migraines are frequently misdiagnosed as panic attacks because both can cause dizziness, vomiting and nausea. For some, not knowing what it is making them sick can give them anxiety or panic attacks. Hemiplegic migraines are sometimes diagnosed as a stroke. This is because symptoms may not include head pain. However, they do generally result in loss of function in one side of the body, and they can last for several days.

While birth injuries are on the decline, lawsuits are on the rise

In Iowa and across the U.S., the number of birth injuries is steadily declining year after year, and infant mortality rates are going down as well. At the same time, the number of birth injury lawsuits is growing, and the settlements that result are reaching previously unthinkable figures.

The CDC recorded 3,945,875 live births in the U.S. in 2016 and 23,161 infant deaths. Frequent factors in these deaths were premature delivery, low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome and congenital issues. Birth injuries ranked fifth among the causes of death, often leading to the development of lifelong conditions. These ailments can require great expenses from families.

Pregnant moms with the flu pose a risk to their children

A recent study found that some pregnant women with the flu give birth to babies suffering from a variety of problems.

The new study, published in the journal Birth Defects Research, found that pregnant women admitted to an intensive care unit suffering from 2009 H1N1 influenza were more likely to deliver preterm babies and babies with low birth weight and low APGAR scores.

Birth injuries and medical malpractice

Bringing a child into the world is one of the most tender and amazing events that parents experience. However, at times, the birthing process can go awry, leaving newborns with birth injuries.

If you are worried about a potential injury to your child during birth, or a medical professional injured your child during the birthing process, you are not alone. Three babies are born with a birth injury each hour, amounting to 28,000 each year.

Study finds new car features increase distraction

Many new cars sold in Iowa offer added features such as GPS navigation and calling through vehicle dashboards. A study by AAA has found that many of these features can pose as a distraction, which increases the risk of car accidents.

Researchers at the University of Utah looked at 30 different added features on 2017 model vehicles. The features were ranked in terms of the demand levels for use by drivers. Seven were rated as moderate level demand, 11 as high demand, 12 very high demand, and none were ranked as low demand for use by drivers.

Shoulder dystocia: its risk factors and complications

Expectant mothers in Iowa should be aware of the various birth injuries that might be incurred, such as shoulder dystocia. This occurs during a vaginal delivery when the baby's shoulders become stuck in the mother's body (dystocia means difficult or slow labor or birth). Health care providers usually cannot predict this condition, but there are several factors that heighten the risk for it.

Health conditions in the mother like obesity and diabetes can play a role. Another factor is a woman being pregnant with more than one baby. Having one's labor induced, receiving an epidural (a pain medicine) during labor and giving birth after the baby's due date will also raise the risk of shoulder dystocia. If the baby is large, doctors may recommend a C-section. However, it should be noted that in most cases of shoulder dystocia, the babies have a normal weight.

Understanding commonly misdiagnosed skin conditions

When people in Iowa go to seek treatment for skin conditions, they often want to find relief from unpleasant or painful symptoms. In other cases, they may be concerned about a more serious problem like skin cancer. Others might not recognize the cause of their skin issues and could dismiss them out of hand if they see only a small blemish, rash or pink spot. While misdiagnoses by the patient are to be expected, it can be even more troublesome when physicians also do not understand common skin conditions.

Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that might appear to be a small blemish. Approximately 20 percent of all Americans will have one basal cell skin cancer during their lifetimes, and it often begins as a spot that initially looks like acne. While dermatologists often advise people to return if their blemishes change quickly, grow or bleed, some may send people home. As a result, an easily treatable cancer could grow and spread with more serious repercussions.

Does your child have cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy can be hard to detect. Many parents do not notice their child has cerebral palsy for months or years after their child is born. Because cerebral palsy affects muscle movements and coordination, it can be difficult to notice in infants. 

Too often, parents miss signals of cerebral palsy because they can be difficult to identify. Here are a few possible symptoms:

Iowa family awarded $29.5 million for deadly CT scan

You might think you are safe at a doctor's office. However, this is not always the case.

This past summer, a jury awarded $29.5 million dollars to the family of an Iowa woman in a medical malpractice case. Tragically, the woman died from an allergic reaction to contrast dye during a CT scan three years ago.

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