Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog

Long Trucks

The Senate Appropriations Committee recently passed a measure that would permit longer trucks on US highways. On Capitol Hill, two Republican Senators – Richard Shelby of Alabama and Susan Collins of Maine – have launched a proposal that would increase the maximum permissible size of the trucks on our highways from the current 28 feet to 33 feet in length. These would simply be monster trucks and there are far too many risks involved in having trucks of this length on our highways.  Our lawmakers are not alone in their push, the American Trucking Associations had sought a change in the rules that would allow such longer tandem trucks on the nation’s highways.

That doesn’t mean that the action hasn’t been criticized. Several lawmakers are against any change in the rules that would not just allow trucking companies operate longer tandem trucks, but would also mandate states to allow such longer trucks to utilize their roadways. The measure would essentially preempt any state laws against such longer trucks on state highways.

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sick%20doctor%20face.jpgA vast majority of doctors, clinical physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals work even while they are sick. This in spite of the fact that most of them are aware that doing so could actually expose patients to the potentially serious, and even deadly infections.

In a recent survey, 83% of doctors, other medical professionals, and caregivers admitted that they worked at least once a year while sick. They reported for work while ill, even though they knew that patients could possibly be at risk for infections or illnesses as a result of being in close proximity to an ill physician. The survey involved more than 900 caregivers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and found that doctors and nurses are very often aware that reporting to work while sick places patients at risk of infection. They also report that they do so anyway for a wide variety of reasons.

The most prevalent reason cited was the desire to prevent from letting their colleagues down. They reported uncertainty as to whether their colleagues would be able to make up the shortfall in staff if they took the day off. About 90% of those in the survey cited this as the primary reason why they reported to work while sick.
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bike%20up%20close.jpgThere has been an exciting increase in the number of bicyclists in Indiana, and bicycling has taken off as a recreational activity in the state. However, the state as a whole doesn’t provide bicyclists the kind of environment that they need to ride safely and enjoyably.

The League of American Bicyclists recently released a report in which it rated all 50 states, based on the bicycle-friendly environment that they provide. Unfortunately, Indiana was placed at number 37 on the list. The report was based on the state’s scores in five separate categories including legislation and enforcement, policies and programs, infrastructure, education, evaluation and planning. The highest a state could score was five, and the lowest was one. Indiana scored at a low two on all these measures, excluding education and encouragement in which it scored a three.

The report has several recommendations for Indiana transportation safety authorities to help promote a more bicycle-friendly environment in Indiana. One of the recommendations is to create a 3-foot bicycle passing law. This law and other versions of it are already in existence in several states across the country. It requires motorists to maintain a minimum of a 3-foot distance when they pass a bicycle. The report suggests a law like this for Indiana. There are currently several bills being considered by lawmakers that could actually make this law a reality.
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happy%20nurses.jpgNurse well-being is paramount to patient safety. Hospitals that invest in medical error prevention strategies, infection control measures, and of other measures to reduce the risk of injuries to patients, would also do well to invest in the well-being of their nursing staff as well.

According to new data, nurse well-being has a significant impact on patient outcomes in the hospital. The study was conducted by a team at Kaiser Permanente. The researchers were specifically looking at whether nurses were much better off and had better feedback about their work environment at Kaiser hospitals and Magnet status hospitals, which invest in nursing well-being.

The researchers asked nurses questions about a number of issues, including their level of satisfaction with their work environment, education levels, job satisfaction and the number of patients that they typically attended to in a single day.
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IV%20and%20infection.jpgA series of five simple steps is all it takes to prevent a potentially deadly central line–associated infection in a hospital. The steps are part of a checklist that is simple to follow, and highly recommended by the World Health Organization, but many hospitals continue to delay its use.

The checklist was developed by Peter Pronovost, a critical care physician at Johns Hopkins University. The checklist was born out of the death of his patient, an 18-month-old burn victim who was recovering from her injuries when she contracted the deadly infection. She died just three days later.

When Pronovost went through existing research on central line infections, he was surprised to find that there were actually many steps that hospitals could take to prevent the risk of these infections. Overall, he found more than 90 separate guidelines that hospitals can follow.
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dangerous%20road.jpgSummer driving can place additional strain on your car, with long holiday driving on roads that are often clogged with traffic. Your car safety kit will need a few extra items to help you drive safely this summer.

Here are a few essentials to throw into your kit. You will probably already have a number of all-season essentials, including jumper cables, duct tape, flashlight, a fully charged cell phone, and repair equipment for routine maintenance, like tire changes. However, during summer, you will also need to pack extra water. Keep at least 1-gallon of water for every additional passenger in your car.

Keep a tire jack and lug wrench, a multi-tool set, and a pocket knife. Car breakdowns are frequent during summer, and the last thing that you want to do when you are coping with a car breakdown on a long highway with no help in sight, is a couple of kids and no potable water. Bear in mind that summer means a higher chance of your car heating, and breakdowns.
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boat%20safety%2017082.jpgFor those lucky enough to enjoy some fun and sun on the water, there is nothing better than zipping around the lake in a boat and experiencing the spray of the water on your face and the wind blowing through your hair. For others, a quiet evening anchored on the water and experiencing the rock of the boat and the quiet of nature is enough. Unfortunately for some, a weekend on the lake can have a tragic ending. For too many Indiana families, a day on the lake results in a devastating accident, injury, or even death.

Earlier this year the US Coast Guard released its 2014 Recreational Boating Statistics and the numbers are sobering to anyone who operates a boat on Indiana waterways. The statistics reveal a troubling trend in injuries and deaths that occur in our nation’s waterways, and more troubling, here in Indiana. The full report outlines the details of the more than 600 people who lost their lives in boat-related accidents nationwide in 2014.

The report notes that the vast majority of those who died (84%) were not wearing life vests. A surprising number of those injured were in smaller boats, which were less than 21 feet long.
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scope%20picture.jpgSeveral patients have announced an intention to file product liability lawsuits against the manufacturer of a range of duodenoscopes linked to several cases of deadly hospital infections. Even as these lawsuits proceed, there continues to be questions about what can be done to make these devices easier and safer to use. Worse yet, among these unanswered questions, the scopes remain in use, and as a result, putting other patients at risk.

Several hospitals around the country continue to use the device known as duodenoscopes in spite of a flaw in their design that makes them difficult to sterilize and thus safe for patient use. Duodenoscopes are endoscope-like devices that are used in several medical procedures. The risk associated with these devices only recently made headlines after a major outbreak of the CRE infection in UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles. Two patients died as a result of the infection, and several others suffered life-threatening illnesses. Similar outbreaks linked to the devices have also been reported in other facilities around the country, including the cities of Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. At least two patients died in North Carolina after they developed the CRE infection at a hospital.
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Fireworks%2011800.jpgThere is nothing more thrilling that watching the night sky fill with the colors and sounds of a perfectly orchestrated 4th of July fireworks display. It is a brilliant reminder and celebration of our nation’s birth. In the hands of a licensed and trained professional, it is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday. However, too many people fail to appreciate the level of danger fireworks pose to those who are not careful about their use and each year thousands of American citizens spend their holiday nursing wounds and burns rather than celebrating their freedom.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 6,000 people present to a local emergency room for fireworks related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday. That’s 230 people a day who show up with injuries they sustained while using, or even watching fireworks. Half of those injuries are burns on some part of the body, with 38% of the injuries to the eyes, head, face, and ears.

While parents would never allow a child to operate a welder or a blow torch, many parents hand their children a sparkler and allow them to wave them around. What they may not know is that those sparklers can burn at nearly 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals! According to information provided by CPSC, of all the fireworks related injuries reported, 31% were caused by sparklers. And of those injured, 40% were under the age of 14 years old. Clearly the danger is real.
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Fido%200133.jpgDriving around, with your dog unrestrained, unsecured, and with his head hanging out the window, is not only dangerous for him but also for you. Unfortunately, far too many dog owners think nothing of driving around without bothering to restrain their pets safely in the car. That increases their risk of an accident.

For one thing, the dog may get distracted, walk around the car, and may try to cross over from the back seat to the front. He may get fidgety and may try to sneak into your lap. All these constitute distractions, taking your attention away from the task of driving. Besides, if you are involved in an accident, an unrestrained dog immediately turns into a deadly projectile that can cause severe injuries.

In spite of all these dangers, a new study conducted by the AAA found that as many as one in five persons take their hand off their steering wheel while driving in an effort to keep their dog from climbing into the front seat. This is also in spite of the fact that there are a variety of pet travel products in the market to prevent this kind of situation.
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