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Greensburg Personal Injury Blog

Genetic testing could help avoid unnecessary chemo

Some Pennsylvania women with breast cancer may find relief from the rigors of treatment: A recent study shows that many women may not need chemotherapy to prevent a cancer recurrence. According to the study presented to the American Society of Oncology, around 70 percent of women diagnosed with a common type of early-stage breast cancer may not receive additional benefits from receiving chemotherapy as part of their treatment.

The study emphasized the importance of using a 21-gene expression test, which evaluates women for the presence of certain genes that could predispose them to a recurrence of breast cancer in the future. If the test indicates that a woman is unlikely to receive a benefit from chemotherapy, she can be spared the time, expense and physical side effects of chemotherapeutic treatment. Physicians said that chemotherapy can carry significant side effects for many women.

Patient ID errors in electronic records create medical mistakes

Since the HITECH Act started requiring health care providers to use electronic health records, challenges have arisen with assigning unique identifiers to patients. Without a standard system to identify patients, the sharing of electronic records among medical offices and hospitals in Pennsylvania does not always succeed. Patients might get matched with the wrong records. This could lead to lost diagnoses, wrong-site surgeries or inaccurate medication orders.

This issue prompted a group of industry stakeholders, including the American Medical Association and American Health Information Management Association, to write a letter to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations. The letter urged the committees to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a standard approach for making unique health identifiers for people.

A complex bone break may need surgery to repair

Broken bones are tricky injuries to address. They can range in severity from hairline fractures to compound or open fractures, and depending on where the break occurs, repair could prove difficult. If you suffer a broken bone that does not heal properly, you could find yourself having to contend with lasting damage and possible limitations when it comes to movement and use of the damaged area.

Despite the potential severity of broken bones, they are not uncommon injuries. Numerous activities that individuals willingly participate in could lead to such outcomes, but other events, such as car accidents, could also lead to serious injuries. If you suffer a complex bone break in such an accident, you may need bone fracture repair.

Mitochondrial patients face "diagnostic odyssey," study says

Mitochondria are found in all cells except the red blood cells, so mitochondrial diseases can affect almost any area of the body. Since their most common symptoms include weakness and fatigue, it is, unfortunately, natural that the diseases are often misdiagnosed. Residents of Pennsylvania should know about a recent report published in Neurology Genetics that describes the "diagnostic odyssey" of many mitochondrial patients.

After surveying 210 patients with self-reported mitochondrial disease through the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network, researchers found that an average of eight different physicians are consulted before a diagnosis. Approximately 55 percent of patients claimed that the initial diagnosis wasn't correct, and 32 percent reported being misdiagnosed more than once. Nearly 57 percent initially saw their primary care physicians, most of whom may be unfamiliar with mitochondrial diseases.

Judge denies stay for medical malpractice case

A Pennsylvania judge denied a motion to delay depositions in a highly publicized medical malpractice trial. Attorneys for the hospital involved in the case sought a delay to allow for legal wrangling over two amended complaints, and the judge disagreed.

According to the defense attorneys, the additional filing by the plaintiff has left it unclear how many defendants there are in the case. They believe this issue was compounded due to the fact the second amended complaint was not finalized before the third complaint was filed. Plaintiffs disagreed, arguing the parties involved in the suit were clear and that there was no reason to delay the proceedings. The judge sided with the plaintiff in denying the motion.

Video of driver could help make semi-autonomous cars safer

Pennsylvania motorists may someday travel in autonomous vehicles that use video to ensure the driver remains alert. Some experts say this may help ensure that drivers are attentive enough to take control of the vehicle if the system makes an error or does not react in time.

Although some commercials for autonomous vehicles show people doing other things while the car drives and some Tesla owners have slept while behind the wheel, accidents can happen if the driver is not paying attention. This happened when a self-driving Uber car killed a pedestrian. Video showed that the driver's attention lapsed. Experts say that the technology already exists to monitor the driver and that it is simply a matter of installing the software.

Misdiagnosis: heartbreak by the numbers

When you take your car to your favorite Greensburg mechanic, you expect that when he tells you there's a problem with your carburetor, it doesn't turn out that the problem was actually in the exhaust. A misdiagnosis of the problem can cost you time and money.

Of course, misdiagnosis of a health problem can cost a patient much more. Your physical health is on the line, as well as financial health, time and pain, among other things. A new report from an insurance company indicates that misdiagnoses are the cause of one-third of all medical malpractice claims.

I'm partially at fault for a crash, can I seek compensation?

While going about your day, on your way to work, BAM -- you get into a car accident. Everything is kind of a blur. You are not really sure whose fault it was or how it even happened. An investigation into the matter determines that you may have been partially at fault. In Pennsylvania, can those who are partially to blame for auto accidents still seek some level of compensation for their losses?

The short answer here is, yes. You may be entitled to seek relief, under the right circumstances. Want to know how?

Massaro Law voted best attorney & firm for second straight year

For the second year in a row, the Tribune Review readers voted Massaro Law as the best attorney and firm in Westmoreland County. In 2015 and 2016 readers awarded Massaro Law the Bronze Readers' Choice Award, further cementing the firm's upstanding reputation.

Despite research, loved ones could face nursing home negligence

Caring for an aging or disabled loved one can be a difficult task. Though you may feel as if you lack loyalty if you enlist outside help and want to do your best to provide needed care, trying to do everything alone may not always prove feasible. As a result, you may start considering the possibility of placing your loved one in a nursing home.

This decision may be a difficult one to make, but having professional assistance can often help ensure that your loved one receives the proper care that you may not always have the ability to provide. Of course, even after making this decision, you still face the task of choosing the right facility.

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