Oral cancer can start out as an abnormal patch of skin or mouth ulcer

 Oral cancer is the growth of abnormal cells on the lips, tongue, gums, mouth floor, cheek lining or back of the throat.  A delay in diagnosing the cancer can cause it to spread to the lymph nodes or other areas of the body. An early sign of oral cancer may be the development of a white or red patch of tissue in the mouth or a small ulcer. If a dentist or family doctor notices any of these changes in the mouth, they need to be carefully watched.

A feeding tube in the lung can cause brain damage and death

 A nasogastric tube is a flexible rubber or plastic tube that is inserted through the nose and down the esophagus into the stomach. It can be used to remove contents from the stomach or to administer nutrition or medications in a patient who cannot take food or drink by mouth. After a nasogastric tube, or NGT, is inserted, a doctor or nurse must confirm that the tube is in the stomach and not in a patient’s lung.

Nerve damage can result from delay in diagnosing compartment syndrome

Compartment syndrome occurs when there is swelling and increased internal pressure within an arm, leg or abdomen.  After an injury or bone fracture there can be bleeding, swelling or fluid accumulation underneath the skin.  Because the skin is not open the fluid has nowhere to escape and the pressure continues to increase.  If the pressure gets too great it could compress nerves, muscles or internal organs and cause permanent damage.

Delay in diagnosing osteosarcoma can lead to amputation

Osteosarcoma is a common type of bone cancer usually diagnosed in children and young adults. Osteosarcoma develops from an abnormality in the cells involved in growing bone and commonly affects teenage boys or girls who are experiencing a growth spurt. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most kids with osteosarcoma do recover without losing a limb.

Firm wins major victory in birth injury case

Kline & Specter won a $15 million settlement in a complex birth injury case in which a delay in delivery resulted in the baby suffering cerebral palsy. Litigating the case for the firm were Shanin Specter, Kila Baldwin and Lisa Dagostino. The defendants included a northern New Jersey hospital, a labor and delivery nurse and an obstetrician. The case was complicated by the near total charitable immunity enjoyed by New Jersey and because the obstetrician had only $1 million in insurance coverage.

Pain clinic treatment leads to more pain, $2.8M verdict

 A man took his own life after treatments to reduce his chronic back pain from spinal cord injuries produced the opposite effect. Joel Burnette, 40, went to the clinic in Kansas in May 2008 and was given several injections, including an epidural steroid in his lower back. Shortly afterward, he was diagnosed with meningitis caused by a MRSA infection. Burnette was told he would likely be paralyzed or would die as a result.

Melanoma Monday tips for detecting, avoiding deadly skin cancer

Today, May 5, is not only Cinco de Mayo but also Melanoma Monday, a day to raise awareness of the deadly effects of skin cancer.

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, affecting nearly one out of every 20 Americans in their lifetime. Freckles, moles and brown spots can be harmless, but they can also be warning signs of possible melanoma. Consider the ABCDE method for possible signs of melanoma:

Study shows significantly higher melanoma risk in Viagra users

A new study links Viagra to an increased risk of the deadly skin cancer melanoma in men who use the erectile dysfunction medication. The study of nearly 26,000 men with an average age of 65 showed that Viagra users were 84 percent more likely – almost twice as likely -- to develop melanoma. The increased melanoma rate among Viagra users occurred even when the findings were adjusted to take into account variables such as family history of skin cancer and exposure to the sun. Each year, almost 10,000 people die of melanomoa, with two-thirds of them men.