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Greensburg Personal Injury Blog

More and more young people are suffering strokes in the U.S.

An average of 795,000 people in the U.S. suffer from strokes every year, and of those, 10 percent are 45 years and younger. The American Heart Association has found that stroke rates among young patients, which rose between 1995 and 1999, have risen even more dramatically from 2010 to 2014. Pennsylvania residents may wonder what is behind this trend.

One factor is the rise in obesity and other chronic conditions. Plaque can develop in the arteries in the presence of cardiac risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. As it does so, it can periodically rupture and completely obstruct the arteries, causing heart attacks and stroke.

Optic neuritis commonly misdiagnosed, says study

A medical condition called optic neuritis is misdiagnosed at high rates, according to the results of a study of patients referred for treatment from 2014 to 2016. Pennsylvania residents who suffer from medical conditions should be aware of the risks associated with misdiagnoses and the frequency at which they occur. The study in question was of patients at a university clinic in the Midwest, each of whom had been referred for treatment of optic neuritis.

Of the 122 patients whose data was examined, only 49 of them were found to actually have optic neuritis, compared with 73 who got different diagnoses. The study indicated that the most common error leading to a misdiagnosis was a failure to properly consider important parts of the patient's history. In some of the cases studied, the misdiagnosis was due in part to the patient having multiple sclerosis, which is frequently associated with optic neuritis.

Study shows how much car crash risk rises with lack of sleep

Pennsylvania residents may not be getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, and this will negatively affect how they act behind the wheel. Drowsy driving is to blame for an estimated 7 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in the U.S., including 16 percent of all fatal crashes. Lack of sleep leads to inattention and impaired judgment.

According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, one in three adult drivers sleep less than seven hours each night. A study published by the SLEEP journal has measured the risk of a car crash among those who sleep six, five or four hours: respectively, it is 1.6, 1.9 and 2.9 times higher than if they got the minimum seven hours. Those who sleep less than four hours are 15.1 times more likely to crash.

Will vocational rehabilitation help you get back to work?

One wrong step, one thoughtless act, one unsteady grip and everything changed. This is how a workplace accident occurs, and you are now struggling to get back on your feet. If you endured a hospital stay, surgery, physical therapy or costly prescriptions, you were likely grateful for the workers' compensation system that provides benefits for injured workers.

At some point in your recovery, you may begin to wonder if you will be ready to get back to the job. However, you have concerns about whether you will be physically able to complete the duties of your position. This is where vocational rehabilitation comes in.

New testing may be necessary for kids with brain tumors

The finding of a brain tumor is frightening for any Pennsylvania patient, but it's particularly difficult if the patient is a child. A parent is placed in the very difficult position of making medical decisions for their son or daughter. The conventional wisdom suggests early detection can provide the best hope for successful treatment. To receive the proper treatment, however, the correct diagnosis must be made. Otherwise, valuable time may be lost.

New cancer research has revealed a flaw in the diagnostic procedure used to determine if children with brain tumors have cancer. The traditional method of diagnosis has been to determine the location of the tumor in the brain and examine a tissue sample under a microscope. However, new methods of molecular testing reveal different forms of cancer can look identical under the microscope but in fact be quite different. Importantly, the different forms of cancer require different treatment options.

The basics of tire maintenance

Pennsylvania drivers know that they have to care for their tires on a regular basis; otherwise, they put themselves and others on the road at risk. The following are the basics of tire maintenance, which drivers can fulfill on their own. It all begins with a tire inspection every month, or every two weeks if owners regularly drive long distances or over uneven roads.

Drivers are to look for any wear and tear, which should be clearly visible. Over-inflated tires will wear out the center because it bulges out, while under-inflated tires sag and cause the edges to wear out sooner. In poorly aligned cars, one side will wear out faster than the other. The second issue to inspect for is shallow tread. Place a quarter upside down into the tread; if the tread does not hide any part of George Washington's head, then it is shallow.

Avoiding pharmacy medication errors

A study published by the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that pharmacy dispensing errors account for roughly 21 percent of all medication errors affecting patients. Medication errors might be more common than Pennsylvania residents might expect, but there are a number of safeguards to protect patients. Pharmacists catch a lot of mistakes that could harm patients, according to a professor at UC San Diego's Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

There are steps patients can take to make sure they get the right drugs from the pharmacy. Patients should, for example, make sure the information the pharmacy has is accurate and up to date. By verifying date of birth, name and address, the patient and the pharmacist can be sure that the right person is getting the right pills.

A traumatic brain injury sees various stages of recovery

No one expects to suffer an injury that leaves a life changed forever. Of course, you cannot predict what life will bring, and you could easily end up in this type of situation. When you do, you certainly want to understand what options you have when it comes to recovering from your injuries and recovering compensation.

In particular, head and brain injuries can prove especially life changing. Unfortunately, any number of scenarios could result in this type of injury, like car accidents. As a result, you could end up suffering tremendously because of someone else's negligence. Depending on the severity of the trauma, you could face a number of obstacles and variances in recovery.

Reducing the risk of hydroplaning accidents

Pennsylvania drivers should know how they can reduce the risk of hydroplaning during the rainy season. Hydroplaning arises when a vehicle's tires encounter more rain on the road than they can handle; the water is pushed underneath and forms a thin layer between the tires and the road, causing the vehicle to float. The thicker the layer, the more likely it is for the vehicle to slide or skid out of control.

Cautious driving can usually prevent hydroplaning. This means slowing down and avoiding large puddles. Drivers should be especially careful during the initial 10 minutes of rainfall as that is the time when the water combines with the oily substances on the road to create a slippery surface. After that, the water will normally wash away much, but not all, of the residue.

Three preventable medication errors

Pennsylvania residents who take prescribed medications are probably aware of the various hazards that they face; doctors can, after all, commit medication errors. The following are three entirely preventable medication errors, all of which run the risk of falling off the radar until some adverse event brings attention to them.

The first relates to the management of patient and drug information. Most hospitals and doctors' offices use electronic health records, and everyone from pharmacists to the nurses entering the orders can make errors in filling these out. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association estimates that 1 in 37 hospitalized patients receives the wrong prescription order. These errors could be avoided by requiring verification of a patient's identity or placing the patient's photo on the record.

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