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Greensburg Personal Injury Blog

Lowering the likelihood of errors in radiology

Radiologists in Pennsylvania, as elsewhere, often suffer from long shifts and an excessive workload. When radiologists read an image, a cognitive bias may lead them to only look for those things they were trained to look for. All of these can contribute to missed diagnoses and other errors. Missed diagnoses resulting from a false-positive reading make up a startling 30% of all diagnoses involving CT scans and MRIs.

The best practices laid down by the American Journal of Roentgenology can help prevent radiology errors. They include a peer-review process that encourages diagnostic accuracy and fosters mutual respect. Feedback should, of course, remain anonymous. Continual education is another must and can be boosted by a learning management system or e-learning platform.

Is the scaffolding you are on really safe?

Nearly every Pennsylvania construction worker will spend at least some time on scaffolding during his or her career. You may trust that it is constructed properly and adheres to regulations, safety standards and requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- at the very least. Unfortunately, OSHA's third most common citation involves improper scaffolding.

Each year, scaffolding injuries occur approximately 4,500 times. Sadly, around 50 of the people who suffer those injuries die as a result. Understanding what OSHA expects from your employer regarding the scaffolding you rely on not to plunge to your death may help you take your safety into your own hands.

Nurses are vulnerable to making mistakes

Nurses in Pennsylvania and throughout the country take pride in doing their job without making mistakes. However, they will eventually make an error, and that error could have negative consequences for a patient. Each year, 1.5 million Americans are harmed by medication errors, and medication is generally given to a patient by a nurse. To avoid such a mistake, a nurse should confirm a patient's identity and physical characteristics before administering a drug.

Falls are also a common danger in medical facilities as there is a chance that a patient will have a hard time standing or walking on their own. Those who have just come out of surgery or are weak for any reason could be at a higher risk of falling. Nurses should make sure that anything a patient needs is accessible without having to stand or walk. They should also let patients know that nurses can help them walk to the bathroom or complete other tasks.

Better female crash dummies may improve women's vehicle safety

According to a report from City Lab, women are 73% more likely to die or be seriously injured in a car crash than men are. Pennsylvania residents should know that there are probably several factors for this. With regard to this trend, auto safety experts as far back as 2011 said that seatbelts may be partially to blame.

In a USA Today article from that year, experts said that the majority of women injured in car crashes were relatively short and had seating postures that prevented them from getting the maximum protection offered by seatbelts. Now, a study from the University of Virginia is saying that seatbelts are not the only problem: Crash test dummies are not being designed with women in mind.

Insurance company releases safest, riskiest cities list

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 6,452,000 motorists across the country were involved in car accidents in the year 2017. The biggest, busiest cities in the nation were also where the most accidents were concentrated. The America's Safe Drivers Report 2019, released by Allstate Insurance, ranks the 200 largest metropolitan areas nationwide based on how often drivers there get into crashes. Many of the cities are on the East Coast, including at least one in Pennsylvania.

The city with the most dangerous drivers in the country, according to the list, is Baltimore, and the most dangerous road in Baltimore is Highway 695. Washington, D.C., was ranked as second-most dangerous. There were six California cities in the top 15 most dangerous, with Los Angeles coming in at number 6 and Glendale at number 5. Philadelphia was ranked 11th most dangerous. The Allstate report said Roosevelt Boulevard was the riskiest road in Philadelphia.

MADD calls for technological solutions to drunk driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association has reported that almost 11,000 people died and more than 200,000 suffered injuries due to drunk drivers in 2017. Drunk driving is a factor in 29% of traffic fatalities. Drivers in Pennsylvania should be wary of others on the road, as drunk driving remains the No. 1 cause of car accident deaths. The organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving has called for increased efforts by those in the automotive industry to combat the problem with technology.

More specifically, the organization has challenged those in the industry to develop technologies that would prevent drivers who are drunk from operating a motor vehicle. An auto industry group has been in the process of developing such technology, which is called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety. That program is moving toward breath-based and touch-based systems to measure the blood alcohol content of the driver.

Nursing homes can prevent most falls

Perhaps the Pennsylvania nursing home where your parent lives called to inform you that your loved one had fallen from his or her wheelchair. On the other hand, maybe you arrived at the facility for a visit and discovered bruises on your parent's body. The staff may have been apologetic, or they may have seemed disinterested. Perhaps they even blamed your parent for the fall.

Falls in nursing homes are common, and in most cases, they are preventable. Patients who have fallen tend to fall again, often up to three times a year. If your loved one fell, chances are he or she has fallen before or will again without proper care and supervision from the nursing home staff.

Tesla's newest Autopilot function criticized as unsafe

Tesla has recently added functions to improve its Navigate on Autopilot system. However, testers with Consumer Reports have found these updates wanting. Pennsylvania motorists should know that the Autopilot can now change lanes without the driver's input.

Testers at Consumer Reports called the performance worse than that of a human driver. The vehicle would cut off cars that were speeding up in the other lane. Furthermore, it would pass other cars in ways that constituted traffic violations. When merging, the vehicle would sometimes automatically brake to make room for other cars, surprising the driver inside.

Reducing wrong-site surgery errors

Most surgeries in Pennsylvania go as planned. However, there are about 40-60 wrong-site surgeries (WSS) that occur every week in the United States. This is why annual events like National Time Out Day are held to provide an added incentive for surgical teams to remain vigilant and proactive.

The highest number of wrong-site surgeries involve orthopedic procedures, followed by dental and spinal surgeries. Recent data suggests that WSS events are commonly caused by human errors such as poor competency, training and education. Risky areas for patients include both the surgical prep area where anesthesia is administered and the OR itself. Patient risks may be reduced if there's a safety culture in place that's driven by leadership and a willingness to allow team members to voice concerns.

Taking your child to the ER after a dog attack

As a parent, you understand that your child will probably not go through life unscathed. Bumps, bruises and even broken arms from falls and bicycle crashes are to be expected. Still, you may feel shocked when a serious incident results in your child needing to go to the emergency room.

Because emergency rooms are busy places with a number of potentially scary sights, you may dread the idea of having to take your child in for care. However, if a dog attacks your child, and he or she suffers serious injuries, you have no other choice than to seek medical attention right away.

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