Archive for June, 2015

How Safe is the Commercial Bus You’re Riding in?

June 11th, 2015 at 1:35 pm

commercial bus safety, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyThe summer weather has finally arrived—friends and families will now begin to plan and go on vacations and trips. Planes, trains, and automobiles are several methods of transportation chosen to get to and from a destination. An additional method of transportation, often selected because it is cost efficient, is a bus.

However, a recent accident involving a bus company has raised questions regarding just how safe these low-cost carriers are—especially because one eight year old company has had multiple accidents nationwide, resulting in hundreds of injuries and at least eight deaths. Moreover, there have been reports of bus drivers being stopped by law enforcement and arrested for drunk driving.

The Megabus fleet operates from Boston to California and includes stops in Connecticut. The latest crash occurred in Indiana, on Interstate 65, when a double-decker bus traveling from Chicago to Atlanta slammed into the back of a tractor trailer. According to law enforcement, the accident took place in a construction zone where the truck had stopped, along with the rest of the traffic. The impact of the crash sent the truck into an SUV that was stopped in front of it. Nineteen people were transported to local hospitals with injuries. This was the fourth crash by the carrier since October in the state of Indiana alone.

In 2012, a Megabus traveling through Illinois carrying 70 passengers skidded and slammed into a concrete pillar of an overpass. At least five people needed to be extricated from the bus. One victim, a 25-year-old medical student, was killed. In a New York Megabus crash which occurred in 2011, the bus smashed into a bridge. Four people on board the bus were killed. The driver of the bus was later indicted on four counts of criminally negligent homicide and one count of failing to obey a traffic control device.

The Megabus is not the only carrier to come under fire for its accident record. Fung Wah, which transported passengers between Manhattan and Boston, recently announced it will most likely be going out of business. In 2013, the company lost its federal license for numerous safety violations. Last year, however, the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reissued that license. However, Boston officials have taken away the carrier’s two gates located at South Station, which leaves Fung Wah without a Boston stop and nowhere to operate from.

Consult with a Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a bus accident, please contact an aggressive Westport personal injury attorney to find out what legal compensation you may be entitled to for your pain and loss.

Medical Malpractice and a Lack of Coordinated Patient Care

June 4th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

lack of coordinated patient care, Westport Medical Malpractice AttorneyThe American health care system is extraordinarily complex, therefore making it possible for medical malpractice and errors to occur throughout the entire patient process. However, nurses and other safety advocates claim that at least a quarter of these errors can be prevented with better coordination of the client care process. 

Digital Record Access

In a study recently conducted by the Gary and Mary West Health Institute, nurses claim that streamlining technology and creating automated, coordinated data records will improve patient safety and prevent medical errors that result from misinformation. In fact, almost half of the nurses surveyed for the study “estimated that 25 percent of medical errors and adverse events might be prevented if devices could share information seamlessly.” Being able to access a patient’s records digitally, as well as monitor and update a patient’s treatment and progress, can greatly reduce instances of medical malpractice. 

What Can You do to Ensure a Safe Hospital Stay?

When it comes to scheduling surgeries, reports suggest that the best time to schedule is in the morning and in the middle of the week. This better guarantees that a hospital’s staff will be fully rested and not overly taxed.

Patients are also encouraged to bring their list of current medications to doctors’ offices and hospitals. When checking in for surgery or care, a copy of one’s medication list should be added to a patient’s personal chart. Documentation will help to minimize medication and dosing errors.

Additionally, patients should immediately check their hospital wristbands for errors. Moreover, it is important for patients to request that all health care providers check their wristbands before moving forward with any procedure.

Finally, patients should have an onsite hospital advocate accompany them to help assess situations, ask important questions, and intervene if there are problems.

Consult with a Westport Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice takes place at an alarming rate, but many medical errors can be prevented. If you or a loved one has suffered injury due to physician or hospital negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case today. Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, is proud to protect the rights of patients by holding the health care industry accountable for providing the safest and best standards of care possible. Call 203-226-6168 today to schedule your appointment.

Birth Injuries: Often Preventable with Improved Safety Protocols

June 2nd, 2015 at 7:00 am

birth injuries, Westport Medical Malpractice LawyerWhen a birth injury occurs due to medical malpractice or medical error, it mars the joyous occasion of a new life entering the world. Health care providers who work in obstetrics are treating two patients, mother and child. As such, opportunities for human error are doubled, along with the number of potential victims. Fortunately, there are medical errors which can be prevented with better health care provider communication and adherence to safety protocols.

Every hospital maintains different protocols regarding its birthing and obstetric protocols. Hospitals where coordinated patient care and safety protocols are high priorities generally have a much lower rate of live birth complications and fewer birth injuries. However, in hospitals where safety protocols are impeded or not prioritized, the rate of injuries related to medical error can be significantly higher.

To help decrease incidences of medical error, doctors and health care workers must be given the support by their organizations that enables them to make preventing patient injury their first priority.

Several hospitals have made procedural changes to improve the quality of their obstetric care and prevent medical error as well as birth injuries. Many of those organizations are now seeing a drastic shift in their statistics due to their implementation of improved safety protocols.

  • The NY Presbyterian Hospital now boasts some of the nation’s lowest numbers of brain injuries resulting from oxygen deprivation in newborns.
  • The Hospital Corporation of America was able to achieve an 87 percent reduction in the fatality rate of pulmonary embolism in delivering mothers.
  • Ascension Health achieved an 85 percent reduction in brain trauma in newborns at its birthing facilities that adopted a revised program of best practices during live birth delivery.  

Hospital data shows that the frequency of medical errors and devastating results, such as newborn brain injuries, can be greatly reduced when safety protocols are implemented at the organizational level. Appropriate staffing levels, coordinated patient care, and a limit to procedures such as C-section births are some of the ways that health care organizations have achieved lower medical malpractice rates in the field of obstetrics.  

If your family member suffered harm because of a childbirth medical error, please contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney today. Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, works hard to protect the rights of patients of all ages and holds the health care industry accountable for providing the safest level of care possible. Call (203) 226-6168 today to schedule your free initial consultation. 

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