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New City Personal Injury Law Blog

Rise in Crypto outbreaks related to swimming

Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is transmitted when people consume substances that have been infected with fecal matter. People in New York should be aware that the number of yearly reported Cryptosporidium outbreaks caused by swimming pools doubled to 32 between 2014 and 2016, according to early data from the Centers for Disease Control.

Crypto is the main cause of illnesses and outbreaks related to diarrhea associated with water playgrounds and pools. This is primarily because it is very difficult to kill with chlorine and able to survive in properly treated water for up to 10 days. A mere mouthful of water infected with Crypto can sicken healthy people for up to three weeks with vomiting, stomach cramps, nausea and watery diarrhea. These symptoms can cause the affected individuals to become dehydrated.

Getting another diagnosis

New York residents who believe that they have received an incorrect initial medical diagnosis may want to consider obtaining a virtual second opinion. Without needing to go into a larger city or travel around the country, patients can contact specialists and subspecialists in order to obtain an additional diagnosis.

It is estimated that each year 12 million people who receive outpatient care in the United States are victims of diagnostic errors. Such errors can result in delayed treatment, treatment for the wrong medical conditions as well as negative effects on the quality of life and financial security of the patients, employers and family members who serve as caregivers. These results account for a part of the $750 billion that is wasted on inefficient and unnecessary health services.

Learning more about melanoma

As New Yorkers begin to spend more time outdoors as the weather gets warmer, they should keep in mind that May is Melanoma Awareness Month. They should know the potential risks of sunburns and exposure to the sun.

Melanoma is the most frequently occurring cancer for women in their 20s and 30s and can increase in risk as people age. It can be the result of sunburns that occur in childhood as well as routine, unprotected sun exposure. The disease makes up only 1 percent of skin cancers, but according to the American Cancer Society, it is responsible for a significant portion of deaths related to skin cancer.

Hospitals aim to combat sepsis in children

When New York children have sepsis, their health could deteriorate rapidly. Symptoms could include pain throughout the body, a quick drop in blood pressure and organ failure. Each year, 75,000 children are hospitalized in the United States for sepsis, and about 7,000 children die each year from the condition, according to a study done in 2013.

Those who survive may face secondary problems with their organs or need to have limbs amputated. To combat sepsis, a group of hospitals is banding together to significantly reduce the number of diagnoses as well as the number of childhood deaths. The goal is a 75 percent reduction in both categories in participating hospitals by 2020. One way to do this is to screen patients who show any signs of possible sepsis and treat them with quick bursts of antibiotics and fluids.

Keeping workers safe in a chemical plant

New York workers who are exposed to toxic chemicals may suffer serious injuries or even die. However, there are steps that chemical plant managers can take to reduce the risk that a worker is injured. To prevent chemical burns, chemical inhalation or general chemical exposure, it is important to have a safety plan. One of the most common causes of accidents is human complacency.

Having a safety plan and sticking to it may prevent workers from taking shortcuts or otherwise making mistakes that put themselves and others in danger. Workers should be properly trained in all aspects of their work such as loading or unloading to ensure that they are doing so in a proper manner. They should also be trained on how to correct an error as well as what to do if a problem arises.

Suing a hospital for negligence in New York

Someone who goes to a hospital should be able to expect that they will be provided with a certain level of care. If a hospital fails to provide this level of care in any way, the hospital may be considered liable for harm to a person. Two common types of liability are hospital negligence and vicarious liability.

Hospitals may be considered negligent for a variety of reasons. When hiring medical staff, it is up to the hospital to ensure that everyone from nurses to doctors are capable and will provide proper levels of care. Additionally, it is up to hospitals to ensure that these individuals are properly supervised and that there are sufficient numbers of people on staff to care for patients.

Medication error reporting and anesthesiologists

New York residents might be surprised to learn that medication errors are often underreported by anesthesia providers. Recent findings may indicate a hesitancy to report the errors due to punitive actions, even though less than 10 percent of errors result in temporary harm to a patient. According to an anesthesiology educator at the University of Michigan Medical School, there are 44,000 to 98,000 annual patient fatalities caused by preventable medication errors.

Researchers obtained data that was gathered from July 2006 to November 2015 by the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group and from quality assurance data that was self-reported by institutions. Each anesthetic record, electronic health record and error report was manually evaluated to determine resource utilization, adverse outcome and epidemiological information. The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Preventions descriptions were the basis for characterizing the nature and severity of the errors that occurred.

Studies find large increase in prophylactic double mastectomies

Multiple studies of breast cancer patients have identified a sharp increase in the number of younger patients electing to have both breasts removed even if cancer has only been found in one breast. The Midwest and East Coast have emerged as hot spots for the elective surgery that the the American Society of Breast Surgeons has published a statement against except for patients with additional risk factors. A breast surgeon from the NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York said that she had seen a rise of 17 percent in contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.

Another East Coast state has experienced a similar increase among cancer patients under 44. Between 2004 and 2006, 9.8 percent of younger women in one state chose to remove both breasts. Data collected between 2010 and 2012 showed that the portion of younger patients choosing this approach jumped to 32.2 percent. Women who decided to remove both breasts expressed a desire to avoid the possibility of a cancer recurrence. One younger patient under 40 said that her age meant that she had more years ahead of her when the cancer could come back. Surgeons, however, have expressed caution about the removal of healthy tissue. Women should get second opinions and examine their risks for cancer striking the second breast.

Workplace safety and increased construction work demand

According to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America, employment in construction is higher than it has been since 2008, and almost three out of every four construction firms state that they plan to increase their workforce in 2017. Construction workers in New York and the rest of the country should be aware that as demand for construction work increases, so do the risks that the job presents.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 937 construction workers were killed in 2015. The statistic represents the highest fatality figure of any industry sector. In fact, fatalities related to construction made up 21.4 percent of all worker fatalities in 2015.

OHSA's safety campaign aims to protect workers

Workers in New York and throughout the country may see safer workplaces since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched the "Safe and Sound Campaign." It is aimed at getting employers to look at their safety and health programs and how they can reduce workplace injuries and deaths. Workplace accidents can be costly as each week workers' compensation costs companies about $1 billion.

All safety programs need to have three elements in order to be effective. Management must show commitment to the program by committing time and resources to it. Management can also engage employees by involving them in finding solutions. Finally, both management and employees should work together in a preventive sense. They should try to identify problems and hazards before an accident happens.

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