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New City Personal Injury Law Blog

Cancer deaths falling by about 1.5 percent each year

Cancer death rates around the country have fallen by a quarter since 1991 according to a report released on Jan. 5 by the American Cancer Society. The number of deaths caused by cancer has been falling by about 1.5 percent each year for both men and women over the last 25 years, and the health organization says that this is largely due to the development of more effective cancer screening methods and a sharp decline in the number of New Yorkers and other Americans who smoke.

Detecting cancer in its early stages is extremely important. Colonoscopies are becoming more common in the United States, and the ACS report credits this procedure with a steep decrease in colorectal cancer deaths since 1991. Death rates are also declining because less-effective cancer screening methods are being abandoned. The prostate-specific antigen blood test is no longer recommended in prostate cancer screenings due to its unreliability. PSA blood tests often fail to detect prostate cancer in patients who suffer from the disease and diagnose it in men who are cancer free.

New York manufacturers may benefit from new safety tech

Some workers in the manufacturing and fabrication industries might soon enjoy improved conditions that give their hands a break. In late 2016, a team led by professors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison received funding to continue its research into algorithms that could analyze hand motions using available cellphone technology.

The research team had already created algorithms that let computers analyze hand motion and deliver a measurement of how much hazardous activity was associated with different tasks. Following this initial success, they hope to use the additional money to apply their techniques to a broader pool of data from different facilities over a period of three years. In the process, they believe that they can create a completely new, more objective means of measuring the injury risk levels associated with individual job tasks.

Improving survival chances with a female doctor

According to a study published in Dec. 19 in a peer-reviewed medical journal, there is a clinical difference in the outcomes of certain patients who have female doctors and those who have male doctors. New York elderly residents who are sick and have to be admitted to a hospital to receive care may be interested to know that having a female doctor increases their chances of survival. In addition, such patients have less of a tendency to be re-hospitalized within a month of being discharged.

The purpose of the study was to determine if the differences in medical care resulted in better outcomes. The researchers examined the records of over 1.5 million Medicare patients who were 65 years of age or older and had been admitted to the hospital for non-surgical care between 2011 and 2014. They discovered that 11.49 percent of patients treated by male internists died within a month, while 11.07 percent of those treated by female internists did the same. Researchers believe that if male doctors could achieve the same results as female doctors, there would be an additional 32,000 Medicare patients whose lives would be saved. This is roughly the number of U.S. traffic fatalities each year.

The layers of workplace hazard control

New York companies should take several steps to keep workers safe while they perform hazardous work. The 'layered approach" to workplace safety is recommended by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. Each layer of workplace hazard control is important, and employers should not think of the layers as a list of options.

According to Liberty Mutual, employers should begin by eliminating all safety hazards that can be eliminated. For example, workers that are performing jobs at heights for no particular reason should conduct their work on the ground instead. After elimination, the second layer of hazard control is substitution. If a hazardous substance or tool can be replaced with something safer, it should be replaced in order to prevent injuries.

Preventing slip and fall accidents caused by ice and snow

New York property owners are responsible for ensuring that their property is safe for visitors or customers. However, when the cold weather approaches, keeping property free from ice and snow, which could lead to serious slip-and-fall accidents, can be a difficult task. Even so, there are things that property owners can do to avoid liabilities.

Before any changes to the property are made, property owners should check their local laws and regulations. These regulations are provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. If a customer wants to file a lawsuit for slip and fall injuries, the courts will use the regulations before determining whether the case is valid or not. During the winter, property owners should be on the lookout for leaks, as this could lead to ice when the temperatures dip low enough.

Prevalence of penicillin allergies could be overblown

When New York physicians label patients with a penicillin allergy without testing for the condition, they could be denying people access to effective treatments in the future. During the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, attendees learned that approximately 90 percent of people diagnosed with penicillin allergies could take the drug without serious consequences. Physicians either misdiagnosed the people to begin with, or the people outgrew the sensitivity.

A professor of medicine and pharmacology noted that people considered penicillin-allergic might have to take a different kind of antibiotic if they develop a serious infection. The alternative medicine might not be as effective as penicillin, or it could trigger other side effects.

Increased work dangers for Hollywood employees

New York residents may be interested in learning that being a Hollywood actor or movie set employee may be a surprisingly dangerous profession. A report by OSHA claims that work-related accidents for Hollywood employees have increased in recent years.

Despite the high number of successful films from large studios, the industry is filled with more smaller studios with much tighter production budgets. This money crunch has led many studios to skimp on basic safety precautions and other legal responsibilities that protect their employees while on the set. Many movies are shot in relatively dangerous or high-risk locations. A failure to properly prepare the location for shooting can result in avoidable accidents that injure or even kill employees.

Patients injured by misdiagnosis of cellulitis

Many New York residents who have been told that they have cellulitis might have been misdiagnosed, according to a study. Researchers from several hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital found that more than 30 percent of cellulitis diagnoses are incorrect. The misdiagnoses result in unnecessary hospitalizations and antibiotic prescriptions.

Cellulitis is a fairly common bacterial skin infection that can be very serious in some cases. People contract cellulitis when they have a wound or a skin irritation that becomes infected by bacteria. The most serious cases of cellulitis involve potentially deadly superbugs like methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. While cellulitis can be life-threatening, the misdiagnosis of cellulitis also poses a health risk to patients.

Medical errors in breast cancer diagnosis

Breast cancer is a serious disease that affects many women in New York and across the United States. Doctors agree that an early diagnosis is one of the most important factors in long-term survival. A delay in diagnosis by as little as three months puts most women in the significantly lower survival rate category of less than five years.

Most women are familiar with the common way breast cancer is identified. A lump on the breast is one of the most obvious signs, and it is something that most women and doctors look for regularly. A British study, however, shows that there many be many other signs of breast cancer that do not include a lump. These signs usually consist of other abnormalities such as pain in the breast and nipple or skin abnormalities. A small percentage of women in the study displayed signs that were not easily attributed to the breast, such as a lump under the armpit or general pain, dizziness or breathlessness.

Nursing errors and malpractice

When people in New York enter a hospital, nursing home or rehab center, they are counting on the competency of the health care professionals who care for them. When these professionals are negligent or make a mistake, the consequences can be dire. Patients have lost their lives, independence, and their careers due to a medical or nursing error.

When people hear the word "malpractice," they often think of malpractice by physicians. While this is certainly a concern, nurses can also play a role in malpractice injuries. This can be particularly true of new nurses who are inexperienced and perhaps not properly supervised as they care for their patients.

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