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Greensburg Personal Injury Blog

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.

IIHS tests autonomous car safety systems

More and more car buyers in Pennsylvania and around the country are choosing vehicles equipped with sophisticated autonomous systems that are designed to prevent accidents and make driving easier, but a study published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that this technology may not be as capable as car manufacturers claim. IIHS researchers came to this conclusion after testing autonomous systems offered by Tesla, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo on both public roads and closed tracks.

The IIHS study, which was released on Aug. 7, may have been prompted by an accident that claimed the life of a Tesla Model X driver in March. Investigators discovered that the vehicle's autopilot system failed to notice a tractor-trailer entering an intersection. Another highly-publicized incident occurred in May when an Uber SUV struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona while testing an autonomous system.

Why patients should avoid hospitals in the afternoon

Pennsylvania residents who have to go to the hospital may want to avoid going in the afternoon hours. This is because there is a chance that a shift change could happen in the middle of a procedure. Most operating room nurses, surgical technicians and anesthesiologists work from about 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. If the outgoing team doesn't communicate properly with the incoming team, it can lead to mistakes.

As a general rule, anesthesiologists make more mistakes in the afternoon as opposed to the morning hours. According to research from Duke University, they found that there was a 1 percent chance of a mistake happening. The odds of a mistake taking place increased to 4.2 percent at 4 p.m. In addition to mistakes in the operating room, doctors may be more prone to prescribing antibiotics in the afternoon as opposed to earlier in the day.

Doctor burnout can lead to medical mistakes

More than 50 percent of doctors around the country are suffering from workplace burnout, according to a study. Unfortunately, this means that Pennsylvania physicians are also more likely to commit medical errors.

For the study, which was published on the Mayo Clinic Proceedings website on July 9, researchers surveyed almost 6,700 doctors about issues like workplace safety, medical errors and the symptoms of job-related burnout. They found that 11 percent of respondents admitted they had made a significant medical error in the previous 90 days. They also found that doctors who were suffering from workplace burnout were twice as likely to have made a medical mistake than those who had no burnout symptoms. The symptoms of burnout can include emotional exhaustion, depression, cynicism and suicidal thoughts.

Workers' compensation benefits might not be your only option

If you are a member of the Pennsylvania workforce, you might find comfort in knowing that the state's workers' compensation insurance program will provide financial assistance if you should suffer a work-related injury. This is a no-fault system that provides coverage regardless of who was at fault. This means that you can claim benefits even if your own negligence caused your injury.

The aim is to avoid injured workers suing their employers. However, your employer must comply with federal and state safety regulations, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration governs.

Report analyzes misdiagnoses of Gaucher disease and PMF

Pennsylvania residents may want to know that there are two medical conditions that are often mistaken for each other. Gaucher disease is an inherited disorder stemming from the body's lack of an enzyme called glucocerebrosidase. As the enzyme is required to break down certain fats, the disease results in fatty material building up in the liver, brain and bone marrow.

This disorder can be misdiagnosed as primary myelofibrosis, a blood cancer that forms scar tissue in the bone marrow and also affects the liver. The fact that the two share similar symptoms influences the rate of misdiagnosis. The journal Acta Haematologica has published a report which describes one case of misdiagnosis.

Car accidents spike on Fourth of July

Every year, millions of Americans take to the roads to celebrate the nation's independence. On average, individuals and families travel around 50 miles to spend time at parks, lakes, beaches and the homes of friends and family. Unfortunately, this results in an unusually high amount of automobile accidents. Thousands of people get injured during the weekend, and hundreds of injuries result in fatalities. This makes the Fourth of July weekend one of the most dangerous of the year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association estimates that nearly 40 million vehicles will be on the roadways this July 4. Data from 2008 to 2017 shows that more than 125 vehicle fatalities occur on the holiday itself per year, and more than a hundred also occur on July 5. While accidents also occur from fireworks and other recreational activities, driving remains the most dangerous.

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