039711 MisdiagnosisMisdiagnosis is one of the most common medical errors in the United States. Some studies have found that the risk of a wrong diagnosis is as high as 10% to 15%. However, the question must be asked: Is there anything you can do to reduce the risk of your condition being misdiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed?

The good news is that there is! Being informed is half the battle. As an aware patient, you must be completely informed about all your symptoms and the possible diagnoses and treatment.

Begin by writing down all of your symptoms as they occur. Make a comprehensive list of symptoms so that you are able to inform the doctor at your appointment. Patients often neglect to mention key symptoms, underestimating their significance. This can open the door for a misdiagnosis. If you believe that there is something your doctor should know, tell her. Be specific: If pain is chronic, make sure the doctor knows about this. If your pain did not subside after taking a common painkiller, for instance, inform your doctor about this. Document dates, duration, treatment attempts, and observations. 

CPAPTruck drivers who fail to undergo treatment for sleep apnea, or fail to stick with their treatment regimen have a much higher risk of being involved in a truck accident.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is usually linked to obesity. Persons, who suffer from this disorder, may suffer from respiratory disturbances during sleep which leads to disturbed sleep. When a person who suffers sleep apnea is behind the wheel of a massive tractor-trailer, often weighing more than 80,000 pounds, there is a high risk of a serious accident that can result in significant injuries and fatalities.

A new study that was conducted by researchers focused on more than 1,600 truck drivers, who suffered from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleeping disorder that disrupts sleeping patterns when airways close, reducing oxygenation and REM cycle sleeping.  Over time, this disorder can lead to severe fatigue, increased high blood pressure and daytime drowsiness. In the study, truck drivers diagnosed with apnea were prescribed treatment consisting of the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine (CPAP) which keeps the airwaves open during sleep and allowing for better sleep and oxygenation. The researchers then compared the effects of this treatment on those truck drivers who did not suffer from sleep apnea.

harley-davidson-459594_640Disturbing new data released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) finds that there was a 10% increase in motorcycle accident fatalities in 2015. The GHSA report is based on preliminary data from state highway safety offices, and reveals more than 5,000 motorcycle fatalities in 2015. Overall, more than 450 additional motorcycle fatalities were recorded in 2015 over 2014.

The report also digs into crash patterns, demographics, and other important data. According to the analysis, senior motorcyclists died at much higher rates in 2015, compared to other categories of motorcyclists. Motorcyclists killed in fatalities also tend to be almost exclusively male. Some states however recorded a slight increase in the number of female motorcyclist fatalities.

Most motorcycle fatalities were linked to failure to wear helmets. In addition to failure to wear a helmet, the report notes that the increase in fatalities was linked to the use of alcohol while driving, speeding, and invalid licensing.

hammer-1629587_640For someone who has been injured while working on the job, there is nothing more frustrating than realizing that the injury may prevent them from future work, limiting their income, and possibly resulting in permanent physical and emotional injuries. Worse yet, what one would consider a straight forward matter can take years to resolve and end in high debt or even bankruptcy.

Construction injury claims can be just as complicated and multi-faceted as a hospital negligence claim. Multiple personnel at a construction site, faulty or poorly maintained equipment, OSHA violations, rented equipment and tools, all increase the risk to a construction worker and complicate the claim for those injured.

In addition, an injured worker has to determine how to move forward and who is ultimately liable. Retaining an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the intricacies of construction accident law is critical to the success of your claim. Assessing local and federal regulations on worker safety, carefully and meticulously evaluating maintenance records, and fully understanding the technical nature of the work involved is just the first step to successfully pursuing a claim. 

room-928653_640Medical Malpractice claims are always complicated, time consuming, and technical. A medical claim is rarely cut and dry. Hundreds of pages of medical records and complex levels of medical care must be reviewed and analyzed to fully understand the facts of the claim. Many people are involved in a patient’s hospital care; from the nurses on the floor to the doctors in surgery. Technicians, therapists, orderlies, and licensed medical professionals interact with the patient each hour. Pharmacists and physicians balance overwhelming caseloads. Nurses are overworked and struggle to accurately chart every moment of the patient’s care.  

In this fast paced environment, with competing demands, it is often difficult to determine who is ultimately responsible for medical malpractice that occurs in a hospital setting. In fact, more often than not, more than one party may be liable in a medical malpractice claim. Our office often discovers that the error is a result of a series of mishaps rather than a single care provider making critical errors resulting in injury.

To ensure that your claim is fully understood and accurately filed, it is important to identify all liable parties in your claim by discussing the facts of the case with an attorney. A medical error which occurs as a result of negligence by an employee of the hospital, it might be possible to bring a medical malpractice claim against the hospital and its agents.

electrical screenThere are several types of electrical injuries that can occur in the workplace, and the most serious of these is electrocution.

Many workers are frequently exposed to electrical energy in the course of their daily duties, and the risk of electrical injuries is always present. Some workers, however, may be at an even higher risk of electrical injuries and electrocutions than others.

Electrocution is a major risk in certain industries. For instance, in the construction industry, electrocution is one of the top four causes of fatalities every year. In 2014, electrocutions were responsible for 8% of all worker fatalities in private industry across the country.

00.WheelchairA new spinal injury treatment program focused on brain training has helped eight people who had serious spinal cord injuries regain some level of sensation and movement in their bodies.

According to researchers, the step-by-step brain training seemed to help trigger a connection between brain impulses and the body. The eight patients who had suffered paralysis after a spinal cord injury underwent training using virtual reality simulators and exoskeletons. After a period of time, the researchers found that the training helped trigger impulses in many of the undamaged nerves that had not been destroyed in the accidents and falls that caused these spinal cord injuries.

After these weeks of training, the researchers found that these patients were not able to move any of their limbs, and had no tactile sensation in the region below the level of the site of the injury. Some of the patients were also able to recover bladder control.  These functions had been lost after their injury.

spinal xrayEmergency Room negligence is still factor in many medical fatalities every year, but there is good news coming. A new study finds that hospital emergency room fatalities in the United States dropped dramatically; by nearly 50% over a 15- year period.

According to the research, based on an analysis of more than 368,000 visits to ER’s across the country between 1997 and 2011, there was a 48% drop in fatalities in emergency rooms. The bottom line is this: You are much less likely to die in a hospital emergency room now than you were a decade and a half ago.

According to the researchers, there has been a marked increase in the number of patients in hospice care (at home to care for the terminally ill), as well as improvements in the scope and nature of emergency room medicine. Each of these have contributed to the drop in ER mortality. In addition, ER staff now have access to medical technology that makes it much easier for them to respond quickly and appropriately to manage conditions like strokes, heart attacks, or serious personal injuries.

bus-878697_1920A beloved Indianapolis elementary school principle was killed last year when one of the school’s buses struck her. She was noted as a hero as she saved several children by pushing them to safety but was unable to save herself. Investigations revealed that the bus did not have the parking break engaged, which allowed the vehicle to learch forward with tragic results.

While this appears to be a rare event that received many headlines, the Department of Transportation reports that on average each year, 135 people die as a result of school transportation related injuries. Of those, 21% were pedestrians, as in the one mentioned above. As Indiana’s children return to school, it is critical that they are aware of traffic safety and of the dangers of school buses. For instance, nearly half of the pedestrian injuries which are a part of the DOT report, occur in the morning hours, when it is often dark in some parts of the country. This is certainly true in Indiana where children often walk to school before daylight in the late fall, winter and spring.

In addition, many people are not at their best in the early morning. They may not be fully awake and are less likely to pay attention to their surroundings. This is true of both the children walking to school or getting off the bus, as well as the drivers who cause the injuries.

child and boatThere’s nothing children like more than a day out on the water, and as a parent you cherish these precious memories. Remember however, that children are at a high risk of injuries in boating accidentsBoating with children involves numerous challenges. You must take precautions to make sure that your precious cargo is safe at all times. Whether you are boating with infants, toddlers, or older children, you must take all necessary safety steps.

Toddlers are much more likely to get fidgety, restless, or cranky while on a boat where there is limited space to run around, and it’s important that parents take these challenges into consideration before they get on a boat with young children. You don’t want distractions while you are boating and toddler tantrums can definitely be a distraction.

Make sure that your toddlers and infants are safely equipped with life-saving gear to keep them safe. Infants should be safely restrained in infant life jackets. Life jackets for children should have a collar that turns their head and face upwards if they’re in the water. Buy your life jackets in a very visible color like bright yellow or orange. It’s also a good idea to make sure that life jackets are equipped with a plastic safety whistle. Practice using the safety whistle with your children before they wear the jacket.