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New City Personal Injury Law Blog

Woman dies, daughter injured in car accident

A New York mother was killed and her 9-year-old daughter was injured following a car accident on July 17. The accident occurred around 5 p.m.

According to police, a 58-year-old man was driving a BMW X5 westbound on 115th Avenue in South Ozone Park when he ran a stop sign and hit a Toyota Corolla traveling northbound. A 40-year-old woman was ejected from the Corolla and died at the scene. The man hit three more cars and then left the scene. The woman's daughter was hospitalized in critical condition.

American fatal car accident rate higher than many other nations

Statistics recorded in New York state and across America have shown that, though car death rates are decreasing, America still has more car crashes deaths per capita than 19 other wealthy countries. Of the 20 countries surveyed, all had a car accident fatality rate that was decreasing more quickly than America's.

In 2013, an average of about 90 people were killed in car crashes daily in the United States. This rate is 31% lower than it had been in the year 2000.

These tips can reduce medication errors at home

People in New York taking prescription medications have a lot to keep track of when taking their medicine. From following a proper dosing schedule to avoiding foods that interact dangerously with certain drugs, people need to follow safety steps that start in the doctor's office and pharmacy.

When a doctor prescribes a medicine, the patient should ask questions. An understanding of side effects, expected results and the duration for taking the drug should be obtained. The doctor should also be asked to write the reason for the medication on the prescription instructions. This information might enable a pharmacist to spot possible mistakes when filling the prescription.

Discerning between psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis

Some types of weather changes in New York can cause those suffering from arthritis to notice increasing pain. Statistics indicate that 70 percent of older adults suffer from osteoarthritis, a form of joint damage caused mostly by wear and tear. However, other types of arthritis can closely mirror OA, which makes it important to pay careful attention to ongoing arthritis symptoms. Psoriatic arthritis affects approximately 1 percent of all individuals, but it can be difficult to detect.

Some of the similarities in psoriatic arthritis and OA include swelling of small joints, bone spurs, and pain. However, the swelling in PsA can result in deformity. Psoriatic patients often deal with psoriasis as well as inflammation of the joints in the axial spine, which is also known as spondylitis. The feet can be severely affected in PsA as well, causing severe pain in walking. The disease can be cyclical, causing periods of severe pain, inflammation, and deformity. As a cycle ends, these issues can decrease.

OSHA launches summer safety campaign

New York residents who work outdoors know how oppressive summer temperatures in the Empire State can be. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recorded more than 2,600 cases of temperature-related illness or injury to workers around the country in 2014, and heat stroke claimed the lives of 18 American workers. Many of these injuries and deaths may have been prevented if the dangers or working outdoors in searing temperatures were better understood, and this has prompted the federal safety agency to launch a campaign designed to educate both employers and workers about how to get through the summer months without incident.

Many of the campaign's suggestions may seem like basic common sense to those accustomed to working outdoors, but OSHA points out that workers with only a few days of experience are often among the sick or injured when temperatures climb during the summer months. OSHA urges employers to provide a sheltered area that workers can use during regular breaks that features an ample supply of potable water. The OSHA campaign features instructional videos, illustrations showing the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and a series of useful links. The campaign is being promoted by the agency on social media as well as an updated webpage.

The dangers faced by America's nurses

New York residents may be shocked to learn that more than 12 percent of U.S. emergency room nurses are threatened with physical violence during an average work week, and medical professionals who work in mental health facilities encounter such threats far too frequently as well. While most of the injuries that occur in hospitals and clinics are caused by falls, mishaps or overexertion rather than acts of physical violence, the threats faced by nurses serve as a reminder that health care remains one of America's most hazardous occupations.

Safety advocates are taking the problem seriously because health care is the country's fastest growing industry and employs more than 18 million people around the country. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration put the number of work-related hospital accidents and injuries in 2011 at 253,000, and nurses are injured in workplace accidents at a higher rate than even construction workers.

Routine cosmetic surgery leaves patient with brain damage

New York residents who are thinking about having some sort of cosmetic procedure performed may be wise to conduct thorough research before choosing a plastic surgeon or medical facility. While errors during these elective procedures may be relatively rare, they can cause catastrophic injuries or even death when they do occur. One such case involved an 18-year-old Florida woman who was left with severe brain damage after cosmetic surgeons botched a routine breast augmentation procedure in 2013.

The woman's blood pressure and pulse dropped suddenly as surgeons prepared to go to work, and their efforts to resuscitate their patient were unsuccessful. She soon became unresponsive and slipped into a coma that lasted for two weeks. Her condition has only improved slightly in the three years since the operation, and her mother says that she is still unable to stand for more than a few seconds and speaks only a handful of words.

How to prevent medical errors

New York residents who need medical care may have heard about a study published in a medical journal that posits that medical error is one of the leading causes of death throughout the country. However, a patient can take precautions to help prevent those errors.

People can research their doctors. This can include making sure the doctor is board-certified and has a good academic and professional background. Surgeons should be experienced with the procedure they are doing. People should also not hesitate to discuss the reasons for their treatment plan with a doctor. Doctors should be able to back up their opinions with clinical data.

Insurance data reveals top causes of workplace accidents

Every day in New York, people go to work and place themselves in situations that sometimes lead to accidents and injuries. In the interest of identifying common sources of workplace injuries, the nation's largest workers' compensation provider, Travelers Companies Inc., analyzed workers' compensation claims that had been submitted between 2010 and 2014.

This review of over 1.5 million incidents produced insights about when injuries happen. The handling of materials, usually within the manufacturing and retail sectors, topped the list. Claims by injured workers fell into this category 32 percent of the time. Slips, trips and falls created the second most common injury source at 16 percent of claims. About 10 percent of claims involved a person being struck by an object or colliding with one, which was the third most common source of injury.

STAR robot performs surgery as doctors observe

In March 2016, a research team reported the first successful instance of a robot performing a delicate surgical procedure better than humans could. In the experiment, which researchers claimed was a prelude to potential clinical trials, the robot, known as STAR, or Smart-Tissue Autonomous Robot, was able to suture together a pig's bowel during an open surgery. Although STAR's lead researcher said the technology still has flaws that need ironing out, he envisions a world where robotic surgeons are commonplace in New York and other states.

The procedure involved the manipulation of soft tissues, so the researchers said the test also demonstrated their ability to effectively represent and track malleable flesh. In the past, robots have performed well with hard tissue due to its stability, but STAR's robot arm was able to use modeling data in conjunction with imaging tools and pressure sensors to determine exactly where to stitch.

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