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Portland Personal Injury Blog

Did your doctor fail to diagnose a serious condition in time?

For many progressive conditions like cancer or even traumatic brain injuries, a timely diagnosis is critical to your prognosis. A doctor or even a team of doctors failing to diagnose a condition can have a dramatic impact on your potential recovery and future quality of life. It also shouldn't happen. Some of the most intensive coursework doctors undergo in medical school focuses on diagnosis. It is that skill that leads people to seek medical care in the first place.

Not obtaining any kind of diagnosis or receiving a misdiagnosis is far too common among people with serious medical conditions, from cancer to endometriosis. In fact, the Mayo Clinic found in a small scale analysis of 300 patients that roughly 21 percent received a misdiagnosis. If you have undiagnosed symptoms and a worsening condition, you need to consider your options carefully, such as a second opinion.

Businesses may overlook the risks for slip-and-fall accidents

According to a study conducted by a reputable risk management company, businesses tend to underestimate the role that flooring plays in reducing the possibility of an accident. There are standards that were established by the American National Standards Institute that reduce the potential for slip-and-fall accidents as they apply to the skid resistance of flooring. As many Maine residents can attest, the attention that business owners pay to these details indicates whether safety is a priority.

According to the study, approximately 50 percent of businesses do not pay attention to the current recommendations regarding the acceptable friction levels of flooring. Industry guidelines state that the minimum DCOF (dynamic co-efficient of friction) is 0.42. Businesses are required to keep that figure in mind when selecting flooring for the various needs of their businesses. Along with flooring selection, there are recommendations concerning cleaning methods that will enhance friction levels.

Should the cost of safety override preventing serious injury?

In 2015, a truck driver allegedly failed to reduce his speed in order to avoid causing a fatal traffic accident. Since that tragic accident, efforts were undertaken to reduce wrecks that can cause death or a serious injury through proposed safety regulations. Unfortunately, that proposal, along with several others, has not been acted on, thereby exposing travelers in Maine and elsewhere to continued hazards from inattentive or negligent drivers.

The fatal truck accident spurred efforts to have trucks outfitted with technology that could automatically reduce vehicle speed when slower moving traffic is detected ahead. However, this safety regulation has stalled as it is purportedly being re-evaluated to determine whether the expected benefits can justify the cost of implementation. In addition to this safety regulation, there have been other recent efforts to ensure the safety of both motorists and other travelers who use public transportation -- such as trains and buses -- though these measures are also stalled.

You don’t want to make these car insurance claim mistakes

If you are part of a motor vehicle accident, you know how important it is to receive immediate medical attention. You also know that your insurance company will be a big part of the process, so you bring them into the equation as soon as possible.

Making a car insurance claim is easier said than done. While you can sit back and let your agent take control of the process, this isn't typically in your best interest.

Cardiac equipment subject of defective medical device recall

Patients who rely on implanted equipment to maintain vital organ functions likely live with constant worry that the device may fail. When a piece of equipment later becomes the subject of a recall concerning a defective medical device, affected patients are then forced to undergo additional surgery to remedy the problem, which can lead to further complications. The most recent recall announcement may impact the lives of many Maine residents.

According to a statement by the Food and Drug Administration, Medtronic, which is one of the largest medical equipment supply companies in the world, issued a voluntary recall of its implantable cardiac defibrillators. These particular devices are surgically placed under the skin of patients and are run by batteries. The device has filament wires that are attached to the heart so it can sense irregular rhythms. Once an irregular beat is detected, the device is programmed to deliver a stabilizing shock.

Dealer sues Toyota over alleged motor vehicle defects in Prius

In 2016, Toyota issued a voluntary recall for its 2010 to 2014 Prius models after a problem with its power inverter caused cars to overheat and completely lose power. The recall lead to a software fix that purportedly resolved the problem. However, one Toyota dealer recently filed a lawsuit that alleges that the recall failed to address the main issue and that the existing motor vehicle defects could cause customers to experience an emergency. There may be many Maine customers who currently own a vehicle with this potentially serious problem.

The dealer felt compelled to file the lawsuit after he stated that customers were returning to his business with vehicles that had supposedly been fixed. His suit alleges that the software fix did not correct the original problem and he refuses to resell any of the affected vehicles. The software patch only prevented the engine from losing power long enough to enable the driver to get off of the road. 

Medication errors put patients at risk of complications

When you spend time as a patient in the hospital, you put your health and well-being in the hands of professionals. Nurses, doctors, physician assistants and other staff should always strive to provide the best possible standard of care. Of course, medical professionals are only human, and mistakes can, and do, occur. But when those mistakes adversely effect the treatment of patients, the consequences can be dire.

One of the more common hospital errors involves mistakes with medication. These errors can happen in just about any medical environment where professionals dispense and administer drugs. What may be only a momentary lapse on the part of a medical professional can have long-term negative consequences for the patient.

Maine crafts new traffic safety plan to reduce car accidents

Improved economic conditions and lower gas prices are often viewed as signs of a healthy, consumer-driven society. Unfortunately, these two factors have also lead to increased numbers of serious car accidents on Maine's highways. In the hope of decreasing the rising rate of fatalities, officials have implemented a revised safety plan.

For several years, the state had reported a consistent rate of car crashes. Over the past few years, the number of fatal crashes has increased. The revised plan will attempt to target those areas where traffic accidents have increased and will incorporate several approaches to curb accidents. According to the Department of Transportation, head-on crashes have risen to an estimated 30 percent of the of the total crash rate. Therefore, the state intends to install new barrier guards and additional rumble strips to attract drivers' attention and to prevent vehicles from veering out of their travel lanes.

Injuries from falls now leading cause of death in senior citizens

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls in the home are now the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries to senior citizens, with the direct cost of fall-related incidents totaling $31 billion annually.

In addition to the financial impact of a fall injury, concussions and other brain injuries, broken bones, or cuts and bruises can make physical recovery difficult or impossible for a senior citizen. Many seniors also experience depression and anxiety after a fall or isolate themselves because they're afraid they'll fall again.

New tool may help elminate misdiagnosis that can lead to death

One of the greatest concerns that Maine residents may have is the fear that their physician is not paying close attention to their symptoms. Indeed, an estimated 12 million patients suffer from some type of misdiagnosis every year that can have serious consequences. Recently, one physician developed a new tool that may drastically reduce the risk of a diagnostic error.

The tool is a new program that can access large amounts of data and analyze certain key phrases and outcomes that may signal the potential for a future error. In the past, hospitals who wished to review information relating to the numbers of misdiagnosis had to comb through countless records in order to tabulate the rate of poor patient outcomes. Up until now, the focus was mainly on improving the hospital's rate of misdiagnosis; however, the new program could switch the focus over to improving patient care. 

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