November 19, 2014

The Terrible Cost of Motor Vehicle Accidents

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For every fatality in motor vehicle accidents across the country, there are at least eight hospitalizations and 100 injuries that result in a visit to the emergency department. Motor vehicle accidents extract a heavy toll each and every year, not just in the form of fatalities, but also injuries, hospitalization and other expenses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently analyzed the health burden and cost of injuries in motor vehicle accidents. The data is related to nonfatal crash injuries involving accidents in 2012.

The analysis found that in 2012, there were more than 2.5 million emergency department visits related to auto accidents. These were all nonfatal crash injuries. Approximately 7.5% of the emergency department visits resulted in admission to the hospital. Overall, persons who suffered nonfatal injuries and accidents spent approximately 1,057,465 days in the hospital in 2012. Auto accidents resulting in nonfatal injuries resulted in a lifetime medical cost of $18.4 billion.

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September 22, 2014

Bedsores Most Frequent Medical Error in Indiana

hospital%20bedsores.jpgIn 2013, the most frequently reported medical errors in Indiana hospitals were pressure ulcers, more commonly known as bedsores. The Indiana Department of Health recently released its latest error report, and found that there was an increase in the number of stage 3 or four pressure ulcers or bedsores, from 2012.

There was an increase from 30 pressure ulcers in 2012, to 45 in 2013. These were bedsores that were acquired after the person gained admission to the hospital. Overall, there were 111 medical errors reported across Indiana hospitals and clinics in 2013. That was a substantial increase over the previous year, and it also marked the highest number of medical errors in any single year since the state of Indiana began reporting medical errors in 2006. The average number of medical errors every year since the start of reporting in 2006 is approximately 100.9 events annually.

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September 14, 2014

What Is a Parent-Child Driving Agreement and What Should It Include?

contract%20signing.jpgParents play a major role in helping reduce the risk of car accidents involving their teenage children. One way parents can do is to bind their child in a driving agreement that clearly lays down the rules and regulations that the teen must follow even before he has obtained a full license.

Many driving safety experts and teen safety advocates recommend the establishment of a parent-child driving agreement between a parent and child. Even the Center for Disease Control provides an example of one such contract.

For a contract to work, both you and your child must sign the agreement which establishes the rules that your child must follow during the term of the agreement. There are a number of rules that you can add as part of the agreement. It is important to establish penalties for violating the terms of the agreement, and equally important to set down rewards when the child complies with the terms of the contract.

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September 7, 2014

Nurses Who Care the Most Likely to Quit Earlier

nurse%202.jpgNurses who care the most about their patients are at a higher risk of emotional stress and exhaustion, and ultimately burning out. Those surprising results of a new study find that nurses who are more dedicated to caring for patients and enter the health care profession because of a passion for caring for others seem to be too invested in their patients, and therefore are at a higher risk of exhaustion. These nurses are actually much more likely to leave the profession early.

Nursing is a demanding job. Nurses are a critical part of the health care system and keeping nurses motivated, healthy, and satisfied with their jobs can do a lot to help reduce the risk of medical errors involving nurses. Unfortunately, a number of distressing studies released over the past few years have pointed to flagging nursing motivation levels, poor health among nurses, and higher rates of burnout. Earlier this year research found that nurses often report low levels of motivation, because of lack of support in their job. In other cases, nurses reported being unappreciated, and suffer from too little sleep and irregular eating habits. As a result, their health suffered.

Now, a study that was published recently found that nurses, who entered the profession because of a passion for care giving were actually likely to have that passion backfire on them: These nurses were more likely to burn out. In contrast, nurses who entered the profession for other factors were more satisfied with their jobs and had a lower risk of leaving the profession.

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August 30, 2014

Drowsy Driving Prevention: Are You Making These Mistakes?

sleepiness.jpgThere is a silent killer which contributes to more than 100,000 accidents every year on American roads: Drowsy Driving.

A recent survey indicated exactly how uneducated and uninformed American motorists are about this important issue. The surveyors asked respondents how they combat fatigue at the wheel. The researchers found some surprising answers. Far too many American motorists are using ineffective strategies to combat sleepiness while driving. Some of the strategies include:
* Slapping one's face
* Splashing water on the face or neck
* Playing loud music
* Turning on the air conditioning
* Opening up the windows or sunroof
* Exercising
* Smoking

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August 23, 2014

Lowest-Performing Hospitals See Highest Rates of Child Birth Complications

dandelion.jpgIn spite of advancements in medical technology, childbirth continues to remain a hazardous procedure for American women. According to a new study, out of the approximately 4 million women who deliver a baby every year in this country, approximately 13% suffer at least one major complication.

For each of these 4-million women, the birth of a baby is a momentous occasion, and cause for celebration. However, very often things go wrong during the delivery. From failure to monitor maternal health and fetal progress to a failure to accurately identify the need for a C-section in time: any number of mistakes can be made during the delivery process. These errors contribute to serious injuries to the baby and the mother as well.

However, according to the study, those rates of complications vary significantly across the country. Compared to better-performing hospitals, the lowest-performing hospitals in the country are frequently the scene of higher rates of complications and errors. For example, according to the study, women who underwent cesarean sections at a lower-performing facility experienced complications including infections, clots, and lacerations at a rate that was five times the rate of higher-performing hospitals. At lower-performing hospitals, the rate for these types of complications was 21%. At the better hospitals, the complication rate was approximately 4.4%.

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August 16, 2014

Lack of National Outcry over an Increase in Truck Accident Fatalities

Truck%20wheels.jpgEven as federal transportation authorities have recorded consecutive drops in the number of traffic accident fatalities recorded across the United States, the number of truck accident fatalities has remained more or less consistent or has actually increased over the years. In spite of that fact, there is little action by the federal administration, and no national outcry demanding answers to questions of trust trucking safety.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2005 alone, there were 3,921 fatalities involving truck accidents. That same year, more than 100,000 people were injured, many of them seriously in truck accidents. That works out to an average rate of 10 fatal accidents, and more than 284 injuries in truck accidents every day. That's not the only bad news. Between 2009 and 2012, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration there was actually an 18% increase in the number of fatal attacks. During the same period of time, the numbers of fatal car accidents actually dropped by 1.74%, while the annual distance traveled by trucks dropped by 2.57%. Further, the number of trucks actually dropped by 2.86%. In other words, even as there was a drop in the total number of vehicle miles traveled and the number of trucks on the road, the trucks were still involved in a higher number of fatal accidents.

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August 9, 2014

Hyundai Recalls Indiana Vehicles

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Hyundai has announced a recall of thousands of vehicles due to a number of defects. Some of those defects are serious enough to increase the risk of accidents and injuries.

According to Hyundai, the largest of the recalls involves the Sante Fe crossover sport-utility vehicles. The vehicles are from the 2001-06 model years, and are being recalled from twenty-one states, including Indiana. All of these are so-called “salt belt “states. In these states, road and weather conditions necessitate the use of road salt. That can cause corrosion of the coils in the front suspension of cars, causing a fracture of the spring, and possibly a tire puncture. This could increase the risk of an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the recall includes only Santa Fe models in Indiana and several other states in this region.

The second recall involves 133,075 Sonata sedans. These sedans are from the 2011 model year. In these vehicles, the problem involves a defect in the brake lines, which could cause a leak of brake fluid. This also increases the risk of an accident.

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August 2, 2014

Researchers Probe Vacuum Therapy for Brain Injury

brain.jpgInjury to the brain can be some of the most devastating trauma a person can suffer. One reason for this is that there remains no complete cure for a brain injury. In addition, successful treatment is heavily dependent on reducing damage after the injury has occurred. The smaller the subsequent damage, the greater the chance of reducing long-term effects. This is why a new study is so exciting. New research found that vacuum treatment used soon after a brain injury can help reduce the severity of the injury and promote recovery of the patient.

Researchers investigated the effects of using controlled vacuum or mechanical tissue resuscitation to heal sections of the brain damaged by injury. The researchers experimented with the therapy on swine that had localized, controlled brain injuries. Different levels of vacuum therapy were used and the resulting effects of the therapy were compared.

The investigators also focused on the effects of the use of mechanical tissue resuscitation after 3 or 5 days. They evaluated the effects of the therapy differed and how it differed when treatment was administered immediately or within three or six hours of the brain injury.

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July 26, 2014

Failure to Address Lagging Nurse Motivation

holding%20hands.jpgThere’s no denying that nurses are an important cog in the healthcare wheel, and play a critical role in delivering safe medical care to patients in Indiana. However, many nurses in a recent survey reported feeling demotivated, stressed, and at risk of burnout.

The issue of nurse burnout is one that many Indiana hospitals continue to neglect to their own detriment. As a recent survey shows, those issues are substantial, and nurse resentment against the medical system continues to fester and frustration with work conditions and job stress are taking their toll.

The survey involved more than 3,300 nurses and reports that 54% of the nurses admitted sleep deprivation. They admitted that they very rarely obtained 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night. Approximately 31% also admitted that they were only able to sleep for 7 hours per night close to three times a week. Approximately 3/4 of the nurses admitted that they did not eat well or rarely on time.

These nurses are reporting to work in a fatigued, stressed, and tired condition. Bad health can mean lower energy levels, and poor alertness. Being distracted and frustrated, a nurse may not be able to concentrate well enough to prevent serious medical errors.

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July 19, 2014

Damages in a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit

slippery%20when%20wet.jpgTraumatic brain injuries are some of the most serious injuries that occur in car accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year 1.4 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury that is serious enough to require a visit to the hospital.

Some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries are car accidents, motorcycle and bicycle accidents, and slip and falls. Traumatic brain injuries can also occur as a result of violent acts, like blunt force trauma or gunshots. However, not all traumatic brain injuries are the same. Fortunately, a majority of all brain injuries are mild brain injuries like minor concussions, that may not have any life-threatening consequences, or involve long-term disability.

However, that doesn't mean that concussions have no consequences at all. A study recently found that even mild concussions can cause thinking problems and affect memory even weeks after the injury occurs. Typically, a concussion occurs during a minor accident or a minor fall. Symptoms can include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and concentration problems.

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July 12, 2014

Hospital Invests in Extra Pharmacists

pestle%20and%20mort.jpgMore than 7,000 people are killed every year in medication errors in hospitals. Many hospitals are struggling to minimize the risk of drug dosage, administration, and other errors in their facilities. One hospital, however, has invested heavily in increasing the number of pharmacists in its emergency department, with successful results.

At the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Dallas, all drugs that are administered in the emergency department first go through a pharmacist before they go to the patient. The pharmacist reviews the medication to make sure that the medication is the right one for the patient and that the dose administered is also correct. It is an expensive investment, but according to Children's Medical Center, the results have been very encouraging.

At the facility, there are currently 10 full-time emergency pharmacists. That is a higher number than any other hospital in the country. They are on call 24-hours a day. However, the hospital believes that it's worth the investment because of the reduction in the number of medication errors.

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