Articles Tagged with negligence

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The experts say you shouldn’t drive a car without a full eight hours of sleep. Would you perform a medical procedure?

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), an organization that oversees residency requirements for doctors in training has suggested changing the maximum shift from 16 hours to 28 — working over two days straight. The proposal recently closed to public comments and is set for review in February 2017.

Sleep impairment and reduced reaction

Many studies of driver behavior show that sleep deprivation causes serious impairment to the senses. According to an Australian research group, being awake for 18 hours (10 hours fewer than the new proposal for doctors) is comparable to a .05 blood alcohol concentration. After 24 hours, that jumps to .10, which is above the legal driving limit. Even a slightly reduced sleep scheduled hurts reaction and awareness. Car accidents for those sleeping 6-7 hours per night are almost double those who sleep 8 hours or more.

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IKEA is currently being sued by the grieving mother of a little boy who died in February 2014 after a piece of furniture made by the manufacturer tipped over and fell on him. The suit claims that IKEA was aware of the tip-over risk but failed to provide the hardware necessary to prevent accidents.

In response, the company, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has warned that people “should immediately stop using all IKEA children’s chests and dressers taller than 23 ½ inches and adult chests and dressers taller than 29 ½ inches, unless they are securely anchored to the wall.”

The CPSC also stated that another child died in June 2014 when an IKEA-made chest tipped over, trapping the 23-month-old beneath.

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When it comes to healthcare, knowledge is indeed power. When patients are given access to information about their care, they become empowered to make informed decisions about their healthcare providers, their treatment and about their health generally. Although physicians are trained experts in the field of medicine, a high rate of medical negligence continues to plague the American healthcare system. While it is important to have some amount of trust in one’s physicians, it is also important to play an active role in one’s care.

An increasing number of electronic tools are helping to ensure that American patients remain informed about their health and healthcare. For some time now, the availability of medical information online has both been a blessing and a curse for patients. Many Americans find valuable, reliable information about health and healthcare online. However, a great deal of misinformation also exists on the web.

Thankfully, patient-accessible medical tools have branched out beyond the unreliable Internet over the past several years. For example, a number of apps that can greatly enhance a patient’s active role in his or her healthcare are now available on smartphones.

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According to an annual report by Diederich Healthcare, total medical malpractice payouts in the state of New York amounted to roughly $39 per capita in both 2012 and 2013. That is the highest per capita rate in the nation—fifty percent higher than any other state. Given this information, one might be tempted to conclude that it is relatively easy to obtain compensation for medical malpractice in New York, but that would be a hasty conclusion.

First off, keep in mind that it is often difficult for those who have been legitimately harmed by medical negligence to find an advocate to represent them. Much of the reason for this is economic—medical malpractice attorneys are often leery of taking cases that don’t promise a significant payout because the cost of going to trial is so great.  

Those who can find a good attorney to represent them should keep in mind, though, that taking a case to trial is not necessary the best way to obtain compensation. This is because the majority of medical malpractice payouts do not come through litigation. Most of the time—96 percent of the time in 2013—such payouts happen as the result of a settlement.

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When someone in Syracuse goes in for surgery, he or she has absolutely no control over the sterilization processes used, how the operating room was cleaned and sanitized, or whether the doctors are doing everything they can to prevent the transfer of germs and disease. With the exception of just not going to the hospital, a patient can do nothing to avoid exposure to other pathogens in the hospital.

This is why, then, it is the hospital’s responsibility to ensure that their facility is as clean as possible, that procedures are in place to prevent the transfer of germs and that all equipment is properly sterilized. Failing to do so, however, is a strong indication of hospital malpractice. If anyone were to become injured by this malpractice, the hospital may find itself in court.

In this story, it could be a North Carolina hospital that will be defending itself against several medical malpractice lawsuits after it exposed 18 people to a fatal brain disorder. Known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the condition causes aggressive dementia. There is no cure, no treatment and it always ends in death.

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