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Harrisburg Medical Malpractice Blog

Why are tire blowouts more common in summer?

Summer offers Pennsylvania motorists a relief from snow and ice, so it seems heavy trucks will be less likely to skid and crash while traveling on the Keystone state's interstates and highways. However, warmer weather also brings the added risk that semi trucks will suffer tire blowouts. According to Popular Mechanics, tire blowouts are much more common starting from about mid-May and lasting to the early part of October.

So why are trucks more likely to blow out tires in warmer weather? For one thing, without the hazards of ice and snow on the roads, truckers and other motorists are motivated to drive longer distances. Also, in the absence of ice there is less reason to drive at a slower pace. Truckers will generally work their vehicles harder in a warmer climate. The greater tire use can wear the tires out faster.

Understanding assisted vaginal deliveries

If you or your partner is pregnant and preparing for labor and delivery, you will want to educate yourself about the various scenarios that may happen so that you are prepared to make fast decisions if you need to do so for the health of the mother or baby. One of the things that can happen is that a baby may have difficulty completing their exit from the birth canal. When this happens, some doctors recommend the use of other tools to help pull the baby out. This is called an assisted vaginal delivery.

As explained by the American Pregnancy Association, a mother's exhaustion or reduced ability to push due to having had an epidural are two reasons that may lead a doctor to recommend assistance. A baby that displays a lack of oxygen delivery to it is another.

3 common risks of Caesarian section births

There is much debate as to whether Caesarian section births or vaginal births are safer for mothers and infants. Generally speaking, a C-section is unnecessary unless labor is not properly progressing or the infant is somehow distressed. There are a number of unique risks associated with the procedure that you should know about, whether or not you and your doctor have planned a C-section for your child's birth.

The following are three of the most common risks that can result from a C-section procedure. It is the responsibility of your medical provider to perform the surgery correctly and prevent complications. If you experience any of these, you should consult with an attorney.

State Supreme Court to rule on witness testimony

Most people in Pennsylvania know that there may be risks associated with a given medical treatment, medication or procedure but they may often need to pursue those things in order to take care of a problem bigger than the risk they deem to be present. Working with their doctors and other medical professionals in making this choice can be helpful for them. It is also important to know that simply because a risk exists, a patient should not expect to experience that particular outcome.

This reality is actually now at the heart of a decision facing the State Supreme Court. As explained by the American Medical Association, a woman's bowel was perforated during a hysterectomy procedure that was performed laproscopically. Apparently this is a risk known to be possible during this type of procedure yet the woman launched a lawsuit against the doctor alleging negligence during the surgery.

How do I afford to hire an attorney?

People face injustice every day. You have surely encountered a situation where you had to pay for another person's negligence, or somebody else's mistakes inconvenienced you. On a small scale, such instances may not have a life-altering impact, but on a bigger scale, they can easily derail your life and leave you struggling to pick up the pieces. This is certainly true when an injury of any kind is involved.

Perhaps your doctor has misdiagnosed you, and your condition has worsened as a result. Maybe you were involved in a car accident that left you injured and unable to work. An attorney can help you fight for justice in such cases, but how can you afford to hire a lawyer when you are already struggling?

Dauphin County sees jump in traffic fatalities

If you are concerned about your safety and the safety of your friends and family members on the road in Pennsylvania, you are not alone. Motor vehicle accidents can happen anytime, anywhere and have to some degree come to be accepted as a normal part of life. However, these things do not need to happen and records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that Dauphin County has experienced significant increases in the number of lives lost in traffic accidents.

According to the NHTSA, 17 people died in crashes in Dauphin County in 2014. In 2015, that number rose to 19. An even bigger jump was seen in 2016 when 30 people were killed on area roads and highways. Statewide, there was actually a slight decrease in deaths between 2015 and 2016.

Child among nine hurt when SUV hit emergency vehicle

Residents of Pennsylvania know that when they hear the sirens or see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle, they should pull over and stop until they know that vehicle has safely passed them if that needed to happen. This is true whether the emergency vehicle is a police car, an ambulance or a fire truck. It should always be assumed that these vehicles are on their way to help others in need and standing in the way of that should not happen.

Unfortunately it seems that not everyone has learned this lesson or may be so focused on where they need to go that they fail to put the safety and health of others first. A story was recently reported by Penn Live that provided details on how the driver of a sport utility vehicle failed to stop when approaching an intersection where a fire truck was driving through at the time. The incident happened on a weekday evening and the fire truck was indeed en route to a location where someone needed help and had both its lights flashing and its siren sounding.

The value of a second opinion

Most people in Pennsylvania would agree that when they or a close family member is given a serious diagnosis from a doctor, a lot of fear and concern can come rushing over them immediately. Along with those emotions often also come a lot of questions. If you are facing this type of situation, you should know that it is your right to ask as many questions as you like of your doctor. In fact, it is also your right to ask questions of another doctor. 

Getting a second opionin in the face of a grave medical condition is always wise. As explained by the Patient Advocate Foundation, a second opinion may offer you valuable insights. In some cases another doctor might corroborate a diagnosis but might have a very different way of treating your condition. This would allow you the chance to choose the path that is right for you. You might also be told by one doctor that there is no problem but a second physician may actually be able to identify the cause of your otherwise inexplicable symptoms.

Tacks used in surgery at center of medical malpractice lawsuit

Claims of medical malpractice leveled against doctors in Harrisburg often come down to issues regarding the accepted standard of care. Patients may argue that their doctors deviated from it; doctors may counter that they did nothing wrong and that their work was justified. It may be true that no medical procedure is offered with a "money back guarantee," yet most patients assume that by following the recommendations of their doctors, they will achieve the outcomes they are hoping for (while avoiding complications at the same time). If poor outcomes are believed to the fault of a doctor's methods, it may be easy to see why those affected by them want to pursue legal recourse

Such assistance recently led to the awarding of multi-million dollar judgment to the family of a Massachussets woman who died following surgery in 2013. The woman underwent a laparoscopic procedure to repair a hiatal hernia. The doctor who performed the procedure used surgical mesh secured with tacks to close an opening in her diaphragm (a method cited by an expert witness as routine and one that the doctor had utilized in hundreds of other procedures). However, the woman died from cardiac arrest two days after the surgery. Her family claims that an autopsy revealed markings on her heart, which they believe were caused by the tacks the doctor used. He and his supporters disagreed, yet the jury hearing the case sided with the woman's family. 

Bullying culture in health care can result in medical errors

Once you graduated from high school, you hoped that you would leave bullies behind. Unfortunately, as you went to college and then began your career, you realized that some people never grow out of the bullying mentality. Bullying behavior can even be specific to certain industries or more prevalent in some jobs than others, as you and other Pennsylvania residents may discover. Can workplace bullying in the health care field affect you as a patient?

According to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, a bullying pecking order is common in the health care field, particularly the nursing industry. You may have heard horror stories about an emergency room doctor with a “God complex” or a senior nurse who runs her ward with an iron fist, belittling and terrorizing the younger nurses. Aside from it being awkward and embarrassing to witness, how might this create a bad situation for you? The following examples can explain:

  • Doctors who insult or lose their patience with others on their staff might cause their targets to become stressed, anxious and exhausted, raising the possibility of mistakes during surgery or emergency treatment.
  • A nurse who is being shamed, ostracized or hazed by her peers might lose her confidence and make a medication error.
  • An aggressive nurse might intimidate, threaten or harm patients.
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