Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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According to the most recent statistics, more than 100 million Americans suffer from diabetes or have pre-diabetes.   In Georgia, almost 1.2 million people suffer from diabetes, and an estimated 241,000 have diabetes but don’t even know it.

Suffering from diabetes can place a driver at risk for certain symptoms that can increase their chances of being in an accident.  A person who suffers from diabetes may suffer from sudden low levels of blood sugar that can cause symptoms such as disorientation and confusion. This could trigger a potentially devastating medical emergency at the wheel.

Clearly, there are many motorists in who are driving under the ever-present risk of having a medical emergency at the wheel.   Persons who suffer from diabetes may continue to drive, but it is important for them to understand if their symptoms are so severe that it could impact their safety and increase their accident risk. No one suggests that diabetics avoid driving. However, as with several other medical conditions, it is important for you to know if your symptoms are so severe that they could possibly cause you to black out or become disoriented.

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In a 2017 report from Leapfrog Group,  Georgia hospitals were listed near the bottom of the list at 40 out of 49 when it comes to patient safety.   On the bright side, 14 Georgia hospitals were rated “A, ” and none of Georgia hospitals received an “F” rating.

The Leapfrog rankings are based on hospital performance in the prevention of medical errors, injuries and infections. As part of the report, grades were assigned to more than 2,600 hospitals across the country. Grades were assigned from “A” to “F,” and approximately 1/3rd of the hospitals were graded as “A.” Leapfrog also handed out more than 660 “B” grades, 964 “C” grades and 159 “D” grades.  15 hospitals were rated “F. “

According to Leapfrog, errors, accidents, infections and injuries are some of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in American hospitals, and patients deserve to know how the hospitals in their neighborhoods performed on important patient safety parameters.

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Medical errors are one the leading causes of death in the United States, and accounts for about 250,000 deaths per year.  That number is almost half the population of the City of Atlanta.   In fact, it is estimated that about one third of the people admitted to a hospital will fall victim to a medical error.

Stressed-out doctors are at a great risk of making errors in the emergency room where even the smallest error can translate into a fatal mistake. Managing stress effectively is critical to reducing these risks.

A new study by the BMJ Open finds that the risk of errors increases with the stress level of doctors in the emergency room. In the study, researchers obtained blood and saliva samples of 20 residents working in an emergency room. They analyzed the samples which were obtained both before and after the emergency room shifts to understand the stress levels of the doctors. They also questioned the doctors about the number of patients they treated, the number of errors made, and the number of “near-miss” incidents they experienced. A “near-miss” incident was defined as an act of omission that could possibly cause harm to patients.

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ATVs are the most popular off-road vehicles. However, these vehicles are far too heavy and bulky for children to handle. ATV vehicle use is linked to more than 3,000 fatalities in the United States over a span of three decades. More than 50% of these fatalities involved children.

The state of Georgia has some of the highest rates of ATV accidents involving children in the country. Lawmakers must invest time and resources in enacting legislation that sets restrictions on children’s use of all-terrain vehicles and other off-road vehicles.

Children below the age of 16 should not be allowed to operate ATVs.  Unfortunately, far too many parents believe that it is safe to let their children operate such a heavy vehicle not realizing that it poses a tremendous risk of severe injuries in an accident.

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Lawmakers in Georgia are looking closer at steps that can be taken to strengthen the state’s laws targeting distracted driving in order to reduce the number of accidents involving electronic distractions.

In 2016, there were more than 1,500 fatalities on Georgia highways, a one-third increase from 2015.   It’s not clear how many of those fatalities were directly linked to the use of electronic devices while driving. However, it is very likely that the overall national increase in traffic accident fatalities is directly linked to more motorists using cell phones and texting while driving.

In fact, statistics show that just in last year alone, the Georgia Department of Driver Services issued more than 3,800 citations to motorists who were found using phones while driving. That was an increase of more than 30% from 2015.

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For years now, proponents of hyperbaric oxygen therapy have claimed the therapy can significantly help reduce the risk of long-term brain damage in persons who have suffered a brain injury. Recently, a case study of a brain-damaged three-year-old child who recovered significantly after being administered the therapy offered support for these claims. The hope is that the approach described in the case study will help other individuals who have suffered a severe brain injury. These types of injuries are common in motorcycle accidents as well as any collision which occurs when vehicles are traveling at a high rate of speed.

Claims of the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy have been met with skepticism for many years, because its proponents have found it difficult to explain exactly why the treatment works in helping reduce brain damage after an injury. When these claims arise in litigation, the experts are often challenges under Daubert, a federal case that has nationally redefined when expert testimony is admissible or should be excluded. However, a number of recent studies have found that even a single session of hyperbaric oxygen therapy can significantly impact tissue recovery rates in a person with brain damage. Each session of hyperbaric oxygen therapy reduces cell death and inflammation, and boosts recovery, cell growth and repair rates. That can be seen in the rate of recovery of persons with brain damage. These studies may alter the admissibility of expert testimony since Daubert requires general scientific acceptance of principles to which an expert is testifying in court.

Experts point specifically to a recent case involving a three-year-old child who was found unconscious and unresponsive in her family swimming pool. The child had been deprived of oxygen for several minutes, and had suffered significant brain damage.  There were signs of brain shrinkage, and loss of gray matter. Around two months after the injury, the child was administered hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and her doctors and parents noticed an improvement within 10 sessions of the therapy.

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There are a number of parties that can be held accountable in any drunk driving accident. But did you know that there are some parties that may not seem directly involved in the accident, but can still be held liable in a civil claim?

One of the most obvious parties that can be held liable in a drunk driving accident claim is the intoxicated driver.  However, victims may also hold liable the commercial establishment that served or sold the alcohol before the accident.  These claims are filed under Georgia’s dram shop statute, which allows commercial drinking establishments such as pubs, restaurants, clubs, or liquor stores, to be held accountable in those cases in which drivers drank alcohol sold by the establishment just before an accident.

If the commercial establishment willfully and knowingly serves or sells alcohol to a person below the age of 21, they can be held liable.  The establishment can also be held liable if they knowingly serve alcohol to a person who is noticeably intoxicated, and he or she then drives and causes an accident. The establishment, however, must also be aware that the customer will soon be operating a motor vehicle at the time of serving or selling of the alcohol.  This is an important element to proving your claim.

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Improved safety measures associated with catheters are reducing the risk of contamination of central venous lines and fatal blood stream infections in hospitals.

According to a new study, when hospitals improve catheter safety, there is a significant reduction in the number of potentially fatal bloodstream infections, as well as a drop in health care costs. In the United States alone, more than 50,000 bloodstream infections every year are directly linked to the use of central lines or central venous catheters. Approximately 12% of these infections are fatal.The central lines are used in intensive care units to deliver nutrients and drugs directly to the patients’ bloodstreams. However, the risk of contamination during handling and changing of these catheters is very high. Any contamination of the catheter could quickly result in an infection, spreading quickly to a patient’s bloodstream through the central lines and causing complications.

However, since the spotlight on hospital-acquired infections has increased, many hospitals have moved to implement new safety measures that are designed to reduce the risk of catheter contamination. More hospitals have enforced policies that require staff members to use sterile gloves and other protective equipment during the handling of catheters. Some hospitals are also now training staff members in the proper use and management of catheters, and use of other equipment and supplies to prevent infections.

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Buying toys and gifts for loved ones this season?  Here are some tips to keep in mind, especially if shopping for young children.

Many popular toys come with severe injury risks, specifically the risk of eye injuries.  Injuries involving toys are far too common to ignore. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 2014, there were approximately 251,800 injuries related to the use of toys reported to emergency rooms across the United States. That works out to approximately 500 child injuries every single day. Nearly 50% of these injuries involved children below the age of four.  And a significant 44% of those injuries involved injuries to the face and head areas.

The eyes are especially vulnerable to impact from projectiles, or sharp edges on children’s toys. These injuries can be severe, and even have permanent effects on the victim.  One study published recently in the JAMA Ophthalmology journal found that air guns, basketballs and baseballs cause approximately 50% of all sports-related eye injuries.

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Children who suffer even a mild brain injury like a concussion can suffer long-term health consequences that may be evident for years after the injury.

According to a new study that was conducted in Sweden, young people who have suffered even a mild brain injury are at risk for various health problems including psychiatric problems later in life. They may also be at risk of dying prematurely.

The study was based on an analysis of 100,000 persons who had suffered a traumatic brain injury before they reached the age of 25. Children who had suffered an injury were found to be more likely to die early, and also suffer psychological problems as adults. The risk of long-term consequences was higher among children who were older when they suffered the injury, as well as those who suffered more severe injuries or had repeated injuries.