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Pottstown Pennsylvania Personal Injury Blog

The challenge of proving a malpractice claim

When Pennsylvania patients experience increased suffering and a worsened health condition after a medical mistake, they may be outraged at the results. However, they may face challenges when they aim to seek compensation for a medical provider that used inaccurate or mistaken treatment methods. Under medical malpractice law, patients must show that the physician or health care professional responsible deviated from the accepted standard of care that he or she had a responsibility to follow. They must also show that this deviation caused the harm from which they then suffered.

In many medical malpractice cases, patients can clearly document that a doctor did not follow the standard of care. Medical experts can testify about expectations for a particular treatment and provide professional assessment of the type of care that the patients received. Medical records, test results and imaging scans can provide additional evidence. However, even when patients can show that they were treated badly by a health care provider, they may face a more difficult time proving that this substandard care caused their suffering.

Who should avoid handling fireworks on Independence Day

The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated federal holidays in the U.S., but it’s also one of the most dangerous. Plenty of first responders are ready to listen to dozens of phone calls regarding car crashes, drunken fistfights and burn injuries at an annual barbecue.

One of the most common injuries that’s more unique to Independence Day than any other holiday is the usage of fireworks. Every year, thousands of residents suffer from severe burn injuries while trying to impress their family and friends with a light show.

Pennsylvania ranks high in deer-related accidents

If you are a driver in Pennsylvania, it may not surprise you to learn that Pennsylvania is one the most likely states in the U.S. to hit a deer in. According to a recent survey, the chances of hitting a deer in Pennsylvania is 1 in 63—ranking the state third in the country for states with the most deer accidents per capita.

 

Teen driving accidents increase each summer

The summer months are some of the busiest for Pennsylvania first responders who must always be ready to help those who are in danger. Pool accidents, intestinal illnesses and motor vehicle accidents increase each summer. The increased danger is especially prevalent for teenagers. According to a study done by Ford Motor Co., the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day can be extremely deadly for young drivers.

Studies by AAA have resulted in similar findings. According to AAA, teen driving accidents rise by 15% during the summer months. Many teenagers spend more time on the roads during the summer months as they spend time with friends and take road trips. Inexperience coupled with the increased driving time is believed to be the cause of the rise in accidents each summer.

Medication reconciliation training may minimize med list errors

Anyone receiving medical care in Pennsylvania has a right to expect medications to be prescribed based on accurate, up-to-date information. Unfortunately, this isn't always what happens. Due to the potential for prescription oversights, a group of physician assistant student researchers recommends that a standardized medication reconciliation training regimen they developed be implemented.

The researchers conducted a pre-implementation review before testing their medication reconciliation training method. Researchers discovered that some medical record technicians either did not receive sufficient reconciliation training or may not have been familiar with a patient's electronic medical record. They also found that some patients might be unable to recall what medications they are taking or don't bring an updated list of what they're taking for the technician to review.

The role of technology in preventing automotive deaths

In 2018, there were more than 40,000 deaths due to automobile accidents on America's roadways. More than 10,000 of those deaths can be attributed to drunk driving. Unfortunately, people who live in Pennsylvania and other states throughout the country have become accustomed to these high numbers. In fact, many accidents don't even make the news.

While there doesn't appear to be a single solution that will solve this problem, new technologies may help significantly lower the risks. One of these technologies is ignition interlock devices. These products, which are now used in more than 28 states, require convicted drunk drivers to use a breathalyzer before being able to operate their vehicles. If the driver's blood alcohol level is above a predetermined limit, the vehicle will not start.

Teens more likely to crash in first months as licensed drivers

The first three months as a licensed driver appear to be more dangerous to teens than the period when they have a learner's permit. In those three months, teens in Pennsylvania and across the country raise their risk for a crash or near-miss by eight times compared to their last three months with a permit. This was the conclusion of a study from the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University.

For the study, 90 teens let themselves be monitored in the car from the time they obtained their learner's permit to the completion of their first year as licensed drivers. Researchers used in-cab cameras and software recording braking and speed to pinpoint unsafe behaviors. Newly licensed drivers were found to take severe turns and be harsh in their braking and acceleration.

How EHR usability issues put pediatric patients at risk

Electronic health records are fraught with usability issues that have proven detrimental to clinical workflow. Moreover, these issues put many patients, especially pediatric patients, at risk for injuries arising from medication errors. Pennsylvania residents should know that ONC is currently drafting voluntary rules for the use of EHRs in pediatric care and that Pew Charitable Trusts, in the effort to inform policymaking, has issued a new report.

This report brings up 12 possible ways that usability issues can threaten the safety of pediatric patients. It is based on collaborations between Pew and two children's hospitals as well as a large mid-Atlantic healthcare system. At each facility, researchers uncovered thousands of cases of drug prescribing and administration errors. Below are some of those potential safety events.

Study finds that schizophrenia is often misdiagnosed

Schizophrenia is a very serious mental disorder that is treated with powerful antipsychotic medications. However, a recently conducted study suggests that schizophrenia could be overdiagnosed throughout Pennsylvania and around the country. A research team from Johns Hopkins University came to this conclusion after analyzing the cases of 54 patients who had been sent to a Baltimore clinic after receiving a schizophrenia diagnosis from their doctors. The researchers found that only 26 of them had been properly diagnosed.

After interviewing the patients and their families and performing thorough physical examinations, the researchers determined that 28 of the individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia were actually suffering from mood disorders or severe anxiety. A review of the medical files revealed that schizophrenia was most commonly misdiagnosed after patients reported hearing voices. The researchers also discovered that doctors rarely advise patients diagnosed with schizophrenia to consult a specialist in brain disorders to get a second opinion.

How mobile devices are negatively impacting driving

Most Pennsylvania drivers likely understand the importance of avoiding distractions while driving. However, researchers show that across the country, drivers are still using their phone or mobile device with alarming frequency. When drivers were asked what it is that concerns them about other drivers on the road, more than 40% said that they were concerned about distracted driving. They view it as a national safety issue.

However, research points to the fact that although most drivers understand that driving while distracted is dangerous, this understanding does not affect their behavior. In fact, the number of distracted drivers seems to be increasing. This is due in part to the ever-increasing forms of distraction that drivers face. It's not simply talking on the phone but also participating in group chats, sending text messages, emailing, posting on social media, streaming video and playing video games.

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Pottstown, PA 19464

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