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Covington Personal Injury Law Blog

Genetic testing for diagnosis of IPF

A new type of screening test may soon be available for patients in Kentucky with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The medical company named Veracyte has announced it intends to expand its program for early access to the Envisia Genomic Classifier Test. This test can distinguish a diagnosis of IPF from other types of lung disorders by comparing genetic information from patient samples. It could provide a way for doctors to diagnose IPF without performing an invasive surgery.

Diagnosis of this disorder has typically been a challenge for medical providers. A study by the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation found that 55 percent of patients with IPF and other interstitial lung disorders had been misdiagnosed at least once.

Tips for safe winter driving in Kentucky

Kentucky drivers can do a number of things to ensure their own and others' safety during the winter. First of all, they will want to ensure that their vehicle is winterized. A mechanic could check the condition of the battery, spark plugs, brakes, distributor, filters and other components. The professional could also inspect the tires and the antifreeze levels.

The next step is for drivers to understand their vehicular safety features. Because there's a lack of education among drivers regarding new vehicle safety technology, the National Safety Council has set up a campaign called, "My Car Does What?" Drivers can easily obtain the information on offer from the NSC.

Study shows the majority of optic neuritis cases are misdiagnosed

When it comes to the optic health of Kentucky residents, proper diagnosis of optic neuritis is a major issue. Optic neuritis, which is the inflammation of the optic nerve, can lead to pain and temporary vision loss in one or both eyes. But while optic neuritis remains a serious health issue, a new study suggests that over half of those diagnosed with the condition may have been misdiagnosed.

In a study conducted by an American university of medical records collected between 2014 and 2016, researchers discovered a surprisingly high rate of misdiagnosis related to optic neuritis. Of the 122 patients studied, only 49 were correctly diagnosed with optic neuritis. The remaining 73 patients who were originally diagnosed with optic neuritis were actually suffering from something else.

Preparing for adverse weather during the holiday travel season

With the holiday season underway, you might be busy compiling a list of gifts to purchase and making travel plans to visit family and friends. While this time of year may bring holiday cheer to you and those you hold close, it may also bring about a significant change to weather and travel conditions.

Adverse weather conditions can have a substantial impact on your ability to safely operate a vehicle. As you prepare to visit stores or travel home for the holidays, you might find it beneficial to gain a better understanding of how to prepare yourself and your vehicle for winter weather conditions.

Patient deaths on the rise due to medical errors

Patients in Kentucky may be worried about the growing number of deaths linked to medical errors across the country. While access to healthcare and financing are considered major political issues, the ongoing crisis of preventable yet deadly medical mistakes has received little public attention. In 2000, the Institute of Medicine reported that over 100,000 Americans lost their lives each year due to medical mistakes. While healthcare technology has improved in the intervening years, these statistics have not.

Instead, they have become even more troubling. In 2016, preventable patient deaths were estimated at over 250,000 annually. Every year, at least 12 million patients suffer due to diagnostic errors, and 4 million of those suffer serious harm as a result. Nurses expressed their concerns in one survey; 35 percent said their places of work had poor records for patient safety. Some of the most persistent problems were medication errors; patients could receive incorrect prescriptions, or incorrect dosages could be provided by pharmacists or hospital staff. In one study of severely ill people, one-fourth of patients reported some kind of serious medical mistake.

The dangers of nighttime driving

The change back to standard time can make rush hour driving even more dangerous for Kentucky motorists. Earlier sunset means many people are suddenly driving in the dark after months of driving in daylight at the same time of day. Nighttime is statistically the most dangerous time for driving, according to the National Safety Council, and the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night than during daylight.

Darkness causes changes in depth perception, which can make driving more difficult. Color recognition and peripheral vision are also compromised when driving in the dark, and the addition of headlight glare from other vehicles can make the situation even worse. During rush hour, many drivers may be fatigued after a day at work. All of these factors contribute to the higher risk of crash at this time of day.

Woman loses kidney after surgeon mistakes it for tumor

Some Kentucky residents might have heard that a doctor in Florida was sued after removing a kidney from a woman who went in for another type of surgery. The woman was supposed to have bones fused in her lower back.

One of the surgeons mistook her kidney for a tumor and removed it. The lawsuit argued that the woman had no say in the matter. Her two primary surgeons settled for $250,000 each. There was also an undisclosed settlement with the surgeon who made the error although he admitted no wrongdoing. While the primary surgeons had malpractice insurance, the one who made the error did not.

AAA warns against reckless driving on Halloween

Halloween can be fun for both children and adults in Kentucky, but the festivities lead some to drive recklessly or while intoxicated by alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the "witching hour" for drunk driving crashes is between 6 p.m. on October 31 and 6 a.m. on November 1. Many of these are caused by drivers aged 21 to 34.

Knowing that all age groups are at risk on Halloween night, AAA Northeast has provided several tips for keeping safe. Those who intend to party should plan ahead because even one alcoholic beverage can make them a threat behind the wheel. They could designate a driver, use public transportation or contact a ride-hailing service. Individuals should also prevent drunk friends from driving.

Scheduled for surgery? Read this first

There are many skilled and diligent surgeons in Kentucky. When you suffer from a health condition that necessitates surgery, it can be a bit distressing to have to entrust your well-being to a surgeon and other medical team members. Your goal, of course, is to treat whatever adverse condition you have and to ultimately achieve a full recovery.  

The problem is that surgeons and medical staff members are human beings who are capable of committing errors. Beyond that, they are also capable of direct negligence, which, in a surgical setting, can have disastrous, if not fatal results. Before you undergo an operation, you'll want to learn as much about surgical errors as possible and know where to seek support if a problem arises

Understanding intersections and the dangers that lie within

If you frequent Kentucky roadways by motor vehicle, you likely know how terrifying it can be to have a tractor-trailer suddenly come barreling alongside or behind you. It can be quite frustrating as a motorist to see one of these massive vehicles moving at speeds that are no doubt far exceeding the legal limit. Mergers and other areas of the road are especially dangerous when tractor-trailers are present.  

In fact, intersections are some of the most high-risk areas that exist on Kentucky roads. You may have several types of intersections where you live. The problem is that no matter how alert or cautious you are behind the wheel, you are not in control of another driver's behavior and if he or she is negligent, you may be the one to suffer.  

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