A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that can be used to detect breast cancer in women who have no signs or symtoms of the disease.  Current guidelines recommend that women over the age of 40 receive yearly mammograms.  Women who are at higher risk for breast cancer based on factors such as family history and long-term use of hormone therapy are advised to undergo mammograms prior to the age of 40.  When screening mammograms are properly performed and interpreted, they can often detect breast tumors when they are very small and cannot be felt, allowing for an early diagnosis of the disease.  Early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment and long term survival.  Current statistics show that women who are diagnosed with stage I breast cancer have a five-year survival rate of 100%, and women who have stage II breast cancer have a five-year survival rate of 86%.  On the other hand, the five-year survival rates for stage III and stage IV breast cancers are only 57% and 20% respectively.

Occassionally, women are diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer even though they have received regular yearly mammograms that were reported to be normal.  According to the National Cancer Institute, screening mammograms may miss up to 20% of the breast cancers that are present at the time of the screening.  These false negatives occur more often in younger women because their breast tissue is more dense, which can make it difficult to detect breast cancer.  As women grow older, their breasts usually become more fatty and less dense, making it easier to detect breast cancers with screening mammograms.

Unfortunately, there are also tragic instances when breast cancer is detectible on a screening mammogram, but the radiologist misreads the mammogam and fails to report the cancer to the patient and her physician. Our firm recently represented a 44-year-old woman who was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer despite the fact that she had received regular yearly mammograms prior to her diagnosis, all of which were reported to be normal.  Our firm obtained all of our client's prior mammogram films and sent them to two prominent radiology experts who are affilitated with top medical schools.  Each expert independently concluded that our client's breast cancer was plainly visible on the mammogram that she had received approximately one year prior to her diagnosis.  Our firm subsequently retained two prominent oncology experts who advised us that our client's cancer was still at an early stage and could have been successfully treated when the radiologist failed to detect and report it one year prior to her diagnosis.

Based upon the findings of our experts, our firm filed a medical malpractice suit on behalf of our client.  Over the next year, we aggressively litigated our client's case, while she underwent several surgeries and months of painful chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  We ultimately obtained a significant financial settlement for our client.  Tragically, six months later, our client succumbed to breast cancer.  The settlement we obtained allowed our client to provide financial security for her family and gave her peace of mind in her final months.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer despite receiving regular yearly mammograms, please call the law firm of Dever & Feldstein, LLC for a confidential, no-charge consultation.



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Coumadin (generic name: Warfarin) is an anticoagulant, or blood-thinning medication, that is commonly prescribed to patients who are at risk for developing blood clots that could lead to heart attack or stroke.  The amount of Coumadin each person needs is different and is based upon a blood clotting test called the INR (International Normalized Ratio).  This test measures how fast your blood is clotting and tells the doctor whether your dosage of Coumadin should be increased or decreased.  Patients taking Coumadin will have a target INR range, and the goal for the physician and the patient is to maintain the INR within the target range.  For example, patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation may have a target INR range of 2.5 to 3.0.  If the INR falls below the target range, the doctor may increase the dosage of Coumadin until the INR rises to the target range.  Conversely, if the INR rises significantly above the target range, the doctor may decrease the Coumadin dose or stop the medication altogether until the INR drops back down to the target range.

Regulating the clotting of your blood with Coumadin is like balancing a scale.  If you take too much, you can suffer life-threatening complications due to excessive bleeding; If you take too little, your blood will clot and you can suffer a heart attack or stroke.  For this reason, your doctor will measure your INR regularly to make sure you are receiving the appropriate Coumadin dose.     

The law firm of Dever & Feldstein, LLC has handled several cases involving inadequate monitoring of Coumadin.  In two cases, our clients suffered major strokes when their physicians failed to increase their Coumadin dose after their INR had fallen well below the target range.  In another case, we represented the surviving family and estate of a woman who was prescribed excesive amounts of Coumadin and died due to intracranial bleeding.  In each of these cases, our firm retained prominent experts in the fields of internal medicine and hematology who testified that the health care providers had comitted medical malpractice by failing to properly monitor the patient's INR and Coumadin dose.  As a result, we were able to obtain signifcant recoveries for our clients in each case. 

If you or someone you know has suffered signficant complications due to a failure to properly monitor your Coumadin dose, please immediately call the law firm of Dever and Feldstein for a confidential no-charge consultation.  

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Compartment syndrome is an emergency medical condition that occurs when pressure builds up inside one of the muscle compartments of the body.  Usually the result of trauma or over-exertion, compartment syndrome can be both limb-threatening and life-threatening.  When swelling occurs inside of a closed muscle compartment, the pressure can build up rapidly because the muscle compartments are not expandable.  If the pressure reaches a certain point, the arteries which supply blood to the muscles and nerves become compressed, which can cause permanent damage to tissues and nerves.  If the compartment syndrome is not timely diagnosed and treated, usually by surgical decompression, the consequences can be devastating and can include permanent paralysis, limb loss, and even death.

The symptoms of compartment syndrome include severe pain, numbness and tingling, or a feeling of tightness or burning in the affected extremity.  If you experience these symptoms, especially following an injury or a period of vigorous exercise, you should immediately seek medical attention.  Doctors can perform a neuro-vascular examination of the affected extremity and, if necessary, they can directly measure the pressures inside of the muscle compartment using a special catheter.  If the pressures are sufficiently elevated, the patient will require an emergency fasciotomy surgery which entails making deep incisions into the muscle compartment in order to relieve the pressure and swelling.  If the pressure is not relieved in a timely fashion, the muscles and nerves will die, which can lead to amputation and possible renal failure or even death.  

Dever and Feldstein, LLC formerly represented a professional basket player who suffered a severe lower leg fracture while playing basketball.  He was taken to the hospital and placed in a cast by an orthopedic surgeon who wisely decided to admit our client to the hospital for overnight observation.  The orthopedic surgeon wrote orders to the nurses to perform neuro-vascular checks every two hours in order to identify any signs or symptoms of a developing compartment syndrome.  Tragically, the nurses failed to follow these orders, and when the orthopedic surgeon returned the next morning, he discovered that our client's leg was extremely swollen and neurovascularly compromised.  Our client was rushed into emergency fasciotomy surgery, but by this point the muscle had become partially necrotic and there was permanent damage to the nerves of the lower leg.  Our client was left with a significant limp and his career as a profession basketball player was over.  Our firm took on the case and retained several prominent orthopedic surgery experts who testified that the hospital nurses had breached the standard of care and thereby caused our client's permanent injuries.  After two years of hard fought litigation, we obtained a signficant settlement for our client, which compensated him for his lost future earnings, as well as his pain and disability.

If you or someone you know has suffered significant injuries due to a delay in diagnosis of compartment syndrome or other serious medical condition, please contact our firm for a confidential, no-charge consultation.    

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Ear pain (otalgia) is commonly reported by children who tend to suffer frequent ear infections, but it is less common and a potentially more serious symptom for adults.  Adults who suffer ear pain should promptly see their primary care doctor who will take a history and perform an examination to see if there are any obvious problems in the external or middle ear, such as infection.  If there are no obvious problems in the ear itself, and if the pain fails to respond to usual therapies, the primary care doctor should send the patient to a specialist for a comprehensive head and neck examination to determine whether the patient is suffering "referred" ear pain -- meaning that is originating elsewhere in the head or neck.  Possible causes of referred ear pain include TMJ dysfuction, sinusitis, dental impactions or infections and, most seriously, cancers of the the head and neck.  The medical literature strongly indicates that cancer must be ruled out in any adult patient with unexplained hear pain, especially patients who drink or smoke, which signficantly increases their risk for throat and mouth cancers. 

Dever and Feldstein, LLC previously represented the surviving husband and teenage daughter of a 32 year-old woman who died tragically as a result of a significant delay in the diagnosis of her throat cancer.  In the year prior to her cancer diagnosis, our client had visited her primary care doctor on several occasions complaining of severe ear pain, but the doctor repeatedly declined to refer her to a specialist and instead kept prescribing her anitbiotics even though she had no symptoms of infection.  By the time the cancer was finally diagnosed by another doctor, it had already spread to the lymph nodes, and our client was compelled to undergo extensive surgery and months of chemotherapy and radiation before she ultimately succumbed to the cancer.  We sent our client's medical records to leading medical experts in the fields of internal medicine and head and neck oncology who advised us that the primary care doctor had committed medical malpractice by failing to refer our client to a specialist to determine the cause of her ongoing ear pain.  Our experts further advised us that our client's cancer could have been successfully treated if she had received a timely diagnosis of her condition.  Based upon the findings of the medical experts, our firm filed suit and aggressively litigated the case for more than a year before ultimately obtaining a large confidential settlement for our clients.

If you or someone you know has experienced a significant delay in the diagnosis of a cancer or other serious medical condition, please contact the lawyers at 1-(888) 825-9119 for a confidential, no-charge consultation.      

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that stroke is the third most common cause of death in the United States and accounts for approximately 62.7 billion in health care expenses each year.  Fortunately, in many cases, major strokes are preceded by a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or mini-stroke, which, if timely and properly diagnosed, can allow doctors to start immediate therapy that can protect the patient from a major stroke and potentially devastating brain injury.  The symptoms of TIA typically start suddenly and last for 10 to 20 minutes and may include: 

  • Sudden weakness or paralysis affecting one side of your body
  • Numbness, tingling, or heaviness on one side of your body
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Trouble speaking or finding words
  • Difficulty understanding words
  • Vertigo, dizziness, or a sudden loss of strength in your legs
If you have any of the above symptoms, you should immediately consult your physician or go directly to the emergency room.  Recently, the law firm of Dever and Feldstein represented a 55 year-old retired police officer who presented to his primary care doctor with many of the above symptoms.  Our client was examined by a physician assistant employed by the primary care doctor who diagnosed a sinus infection and sent him home with antibiotics.  Five days later, our client suffered a major stroke that caused significant brain damage and left him with permanent neurological deficits.   
Our firm retained three primary care medicine experts and two neurosurgical experts from leading academic medical centers, all of whom reviewed our client's medical records and concluded that the primary care physician and his physician assistant negligently failed to recognize the signs and symptoms of TIA, which directly resulted in our client's significant injuries.  Based upon the strength of our experts' opinions, we were able to obtain a significant seven figure recovery for our client that has provided him with the resources necessary to pay for all of his medical expenses and life care needs.   

If you or a family member or friend suffered a major stroke after earlier symptoms were ignored or misdiagnosed by health care provider, please call our firm as soon as possible for a no-charge consultation.
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