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Covington Personal Injury Law Blog

Diagnosis errors the top cause of medical malpractice claims

Kentucky readers may be concerned to learn that diagnostic errors are the top cause of medical malpractice claims in the United States. A recent study was conducted by Coverys, a Boston-based medical liability insurer.

Coverys analyzed over 10,000 closed medical liability claims filed against its clients from 2013 through 2017. It found that diagnostic mistakes accounted for 33 percent of all claims and 47 percent of indemnity payouts. It also found that 54 percent of diagnosis-related claims involved high severity incidents, and 36 percent resulted in a patient's death. Another 36 percent of diagnosis-related claims took place in non-emergency outpatient facilities while 24 percent occurred in emergency rooms or urgent care facilities.

Human factor may be hampering autonomous car development

Considering the recent fatality involving a driverless Uber car, some Kentucky motorists may be wondering about the future of autonomous technology. The accident resulted in Uber suspending its driverless vehicle operations. However, the question remains as to why the accident occurred and whether similar tragedies can be prevented.

A computer science professor from Arizona State University's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering claims that self-driving vehicle manufacturers are focused too much on creating a human-like driving experience. Ultimately, this could be leading to the incorporation of fallible human behavior in each car's safety program. His research is currently in the field of cyber-physical systems design, which would allow a computer to control the vehicle and better ensure safe behavior and reactions.

Study shows data entry software could limit medical errors

According to recently published research, data entry software can not only can save medical facilities millions but also significantly limit ultrasound and dual-energy X-ray (DEXA) radiology reporting errors. For Kentucky patients, this could be the difference between accurate and inaccurate medical records.

The study, which was conducted at the University of Colorado and published in March 2018, suggests that there are data entry errors in 6 to 28 percent of all ultrasound and DEXA reports. The study collected data from 253 ultrasound and 50 DEXA reports. The reports were collected from eight radiologists and over 30 sonographers.

Truck tire maintenance is more important than you may realize

If you are like many other Kentucky residents, when you think about routine vehicle maintenance, you may focus on things like changing the oil, checking the brakes and filling up the window washer fluid. Occasionally, you may have your tires rotated.

You know that keeping your vehicle in good working order helps ensure that it remains safe for driving. The same goes for 18-wheelers. However, they have the added responsibility of making sure that their tires remain in good working order. Due to the amount of weight they carry and the fact that they are the only contact with the road that these long, tall and heavy vehicles have, any issues with the tires could easily lead to disaster.

What's behind most highway fatalities

Not only are highway accidents common in Kentucky, but they also prove to be fatal in many cases. That is why drivers should be aware of the most common factors in highway fatalities. Some factors can be avoided, while others are simply out of one's control. Nonetheless, accidents almost always arise from some form of human negligence or misjudgment.

In rain or snow, for instance, drivers can become careless and lose control on the wet roads. They could also fail to take into account the reduced visibility they experience in such weather. Many highway designs may include potentially unsafe features like tight corners, narrow shoulders, and blind intersections, but as long as drivers exercise caution, they can maneuver their way through these without danger.

International Roadcheck slated for June

Commercial truck drivers in Kentucky probably know about the International Roadcheck, an annual event set up by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance with the purpose of enforcing compliance with truck and bus safety guidelines. Over a 72-hour period, inspectors across the nation conduct an inspection spree on both truck and bus drivers, issuing out-of-service orders for any vehicle- or driver-related violations.

The 2018 International Roadcheck has been scheduled for June 5 through June 7, and its focus this year will be on hours-of-service violations. Part of this is due to the mandate, instituted last December by the U.S. DoT, that all trucks be equipped with electronic logging devices. While the ELD mandate did not change the hours-of-service guidelines, it has brought greater attention to their violations.

OOIDA asks for rehearing over sleep apnea lawsuit

There are a number of factors that can lead to trucking accidents in Kentucky. Unfortunately, one of the most dangerous causes is truck driver fatigue. Drowsy driving is a major public safety concern for people behind the wheel of any vehicle, but it's especially troubling for those driving massive loads during lengthy shifts.

Studies have found that sleep apnea, a disorder that prevents sufferers from breathing properly while asleep, can be a major factor in truck driver fatigue. Due to the danger that untreated sleep apnea could pose to the drivers themselves and others on the roadways, federal authorities have pushed for more testing of the condition among truckers. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently facing a lawsuit from a trucking industry group over new sleep apnea screening guidelines.

Birth injuries could give birth to a medical malpractice claim

Depending on medical conditions and diagnosed problems, the birth process can be risky to both the baby and the mother. Sometimes, the actions and missteps from medical staff, including Kentucky doctors and nurses, can lead to additional complications. Sadly, many babies suffer from birth injuries that are the result of preventable mistakes and unnecessary interventions.

A birth injury can mar the joy and excitement that comes with the birth of a new baby. Some of these types of injuries resolve themselves over time, but in cases of more serious trauma, the baby could deal with complications for the rest of his or her life. If you believe that your child suffered from a birth injury that was the direct result of a medical professional's actions or negligence, you have options.

What Kentucky drivers should know about soft tissue injuries

The soft tissue comprises the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the body as opposed to the hard tissue, or the bones and cartilage. Soft tissue is often torn, sprained or strained in car accidents because the impact, sudden braking and bracing of the body stretch it in extreme ways. The result is usually chronic pain and swelling in the neck.

Those are just the most common symptoms. Soft tissue damage can also cause bleeding and a loss of motor function in the neck. Victims may feel a worrying stiffness in their neck. Unfortunately, the symptoms appear at different times in different people, sometimes days after an accident. This means that many people can harm themselves by delaying medical treatment. Soft tissue injuries cannot be detected by X-ray and are hard to diagnose.

Cellulitis: what it is, and how to avoid its misdiagnosis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection affecting the skin and tissue; it often develops on the face, neck, and lower leg. Its symptoms, which include red, swollen skin that's warm to the touch, are common to other conditions and are especially similar to pseudocellulitis. This frequently leads to misdiagnoses of cellulitis. Those in Kentucky who have suffered from this condition should know about a new study that's aiming for more accurate diagnoses.

The study, published in JAMA Dermatology, was conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital. After performing a dermatology consultation with 165 patients who were about to be admitted to the emergency department observation unit for presumptive cellulitis, they found that one third had pseudocellulitis. In 82 percent of these patients, dermatologists recommended that their current antibiotics be discontinued; none of the patients grew worse for it.

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