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Covington Personal Injury Law Blog

Vasculitis can be easy to misdiagnose

Medical professionals in Kentucky and throughout the country could be misdiagnosing patients with vasculitis. This is because there are many signs that mimic the symptoms of this condition, and treating patients for vasculitis when they don't actually have it could lead to negative consequences. It is not uncommon for an individual to present with what looks like vasculitis only to have cholesterol emboli or endocarditis instead.

If a patient presents with a fever, it is possible that he or she has endocarditis. Looking at a patient's retina could help a doctor determine if that person has a cholesterol emboli. Finally, a patient may have a rare condition called reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, or pseudovasculitis. Those who have it may experience symptoms like thunderclap headaches and signs that may point toward vasculitis. In many cases, adults who do have vasculitis develop the condition because they have taken drugs such as cocaine or amphetamine.

Steps to take after a medical misdiagnosis

Around 12 million people in Kentucky and across the U.S. are misdiagnosed by doctors every year. In fact, some 20% of all serious medical conditions are mistaken for something else. This is the reason for requesting a second, third or even fourth opinion. When misdiagnoses occur and cause harm, then the time may come for a malpractice claim.

To have a valid claim, victims must prove several things. First, they must show that the doctor acted negligently or failed to live up to an objective standard of care. In other words, the doctor must have done something that another doctor of similar skills and experience would not have done. Second, victims must link this negligence directly or indirectly to their injuries.

Study reveals three most misdiagnosed medical conditions

Misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses are behind more than 100,000 cases of permanent disability or death every year in the U.S. A study from Johns Hopkins University shows that three conditions in particular are frequently linked to diagnostic errors. Kentucky residents should know that the "Big Three," as researchers label them, are cancer, vascular events and infection.

About 75% of diagnosis-related claims involve the "Big Three" with 37% attributed to cancer, 22% to vascular events and 13% to infections. Lung cancer was the most frequently misdiagnosed cancer while stroke was the most frequent vascular event and sepsis the most frequent form of infection. Other commonly reported conditions that fell under the three categories were heart attack, meningitis, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

How truck accidents may happen

Truck drivers in Kentucky should take precautions in bad weather to avoid causing accidents. They might be more likely to hydroplane in an empty big rig and might need to pull over in some types of weather.

Some causes of truck accidents are not the fault of the driver. For example, if the truck is improperly loaded, it could tip over or jackknife. Debris falling from the truck could also cause accidents. Improperly maintained equipment, ranging from a cracked windshield that affects a driver's view to a brake malfunction, could result in a serious accident.

What are signs of nursing home negligence?

It's difficult to help an aging parent transition to fully-assisted living. You may have researched nursing homes in your area for months before choosing a particular facility. Even after your parent has settled into a new residence, you might still feel anxious and worried about the quality of care. It's understandable as there are many nursing home negligence incidents in Kentucky and elsewhere.

Sadly, many such incidents ultimately cause patient fatalities. That's why it's critical that you keep your eyes and ears open whenever you visit or talk to your loved one. At the same time, you should be able to reasonably expect that your loved one's caregivers will act according to the highest accepted standards of care at all times. If that doesn't happen, it's imperative that you know where to seek support.

If your Kentucky surgeon causes you to suffer injury

There are any number of issues that cause you to need surgery. Knowing that you have a skilled, experienced surgeon to handle your situation definitely helps alleviate stress. If he or she has a good bedside manner, it's even better. The bottom line is that you have a right to reasonably expect your surgeon, nurses, scrub technicians and other members of your medical team to provide high-quality care in a manner that keeps you as safe as possible before, during and after surgery.

Depending on your specific situation and current health condition, there may be risks involved with the surgical procedure you have. Your surgeon is legally obligated to inform you of those risks and to explain everything he or she is going to do to try to help you get well. Sadly, serious medical injuries occur in Kentucky and throughout the country every year, many of which were entirely avoidable and caused by negligence.

Medication mistakes often linked to electronic records

When people in Kentucky go into the hospital, they want to be able to rely on their doctors to provide accurate, precise care to treat their illnesses. However, some people may wind up even more seriously injured than before due to physician errors or medical mistakes. One of the most common types of injury suffered due to a health care provider's negligence is a medication injury. As electronic health records, or EHRs, have become more prominent in the industry, many providers and patients have complained about issues with service and safety linked to these records.

In particular, over 30% of all patients harmed due to medical errors linked to an EHR were hurt due to a medication error. One study analyzed 248 medical malpractice cases linked to malfunctioning or improper use of EHRs and found that there is a particular risk of wrong dosage or wrong medication errors linked to these records. Of the cases studied, 146 took place in an outpatient setting while 102 were linked to inpatient care. The cases in outpatient care were likely to be less severe, probably because the most vulnerable patients were receiving inpatient treatment.

Changes in driving time limits for truckers

The Department of Transportation plans to change its regulations concerning the number of hours that drivers of commercial trucks in Kentucky and the rest of the United States are allowed to be behind the wheel. The trucking industry has long advocated for a relaxation of the working limits established by federal rules for truckers. Safety advocates assert that loosening the regulations will cause safety hazards caused by tired drivers.

The current regulations require that long-haul truck drivers have no more than 11 hours of driving time during a 14-hour, on-duty work period. Before their on-duty shift begins again, drivers must have been off duty for 10 straight hours. Furthermore, truck drivers who will be driving for a minimum of eight hours are required to incorporate a 30-minute break before the eight-hour mark arrives.

More DUI crash deaths on July Fourth than any other major holiday

The Fourth of July, even more than Christmas, New Year's or Thanksgiving, sees the highest number of DUI-related fatalities in Kentucky and across the U.S. A total of 1,192 people died in drunk driving crashes during this holiday from 2010 to 2017. It turns out Memorial Day is the second deadliest major U.S. holiday with 1,105 people dying in those same eight years.

The DUI fatality rate comes to an average of 42.4 per day for the Fourth of July. However, that rate varies depending on what day the July Fourth falls on. Saturdays have the lowest DUI fatality rate (36.3 per day), whereas Wednesdays have the highest (52). On average, a weekday Fourth of July has a fatality rate of 43.4.

IIHS survey shows drivers misunderstand ADAS

Advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, have already helped prevent car accidents across Kentucky. Yet there are many drivers who do not understand that the purpose of ADAS is to assist drivers: not to replace them. In a survey of more than 2,000 drivers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that many overestimate the various driver assistance programs on the market.

As part of the survey, participants were asked what behaviors would be safe in a car equipped with, Autopilot, Traffic Jam Assist, Super Cruise, Driving Assistant Plus or ProPilot Assist. The developers' names were not given. This may be why nearly 50% thought that the Autopilot, based on name alone, would allow them to drive without touching the steering wheel.

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