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Surgical Technology: Progressive or Regressive?

The introduction of the da Vinci robotic surgical system marked a new frontier in medical innovation. Da Vinci procedures are meant to be “minimally invasive,” granting the patient access to greater precision than surgeons could provide. Despite these claims, some surgeons worry that increased technology isn’t necessarily beneficial to the patient. According to Dr. Martin Makary in an interview with CNN, the surgeon is better able to discern nuances in tissue by contacting tissue directly. If a surgeon relies solely on a robot, he or she will not be able to make these sensitive detections.

Da Vinci robots are used to perform an array of surgical procedures. Robots are used for surgeries dealing with delicate tissue in hopes that the healing process will be smoother because of the robot’s precision. Many women are offered robotic hysterectomies as well as other gynecologic and urologic procedures. Prostate cancer surgeries are popularly performed with da Vinci robotic technology. Da Vinci robots are also widely used for throat, neck, and back surgeries.

Surgeons performing these specific robotic procedures require extensive supervised training in order to successfully use the da Vinci machines. Some reports show, however, that surgeons learning to manage the technology only go through three supervised surgeries on an animal or a cadaver before operating on actual patients. This calls attention to the lack of oversight when it comes to regulating the practice of robotic surgery. The implications of under-training surgeons are daunting.

Many researchers believe that complications stemming from robotic surgery are underreported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or not reported in a timely manner. A review of reported incidents shows that reports were usually sent to the FDA after 30 days, though one report was filed almost 3 years after the surgical complication. Of 245 serious reported injuries related to the da Vinci robot, 71 injuries resulted in patient fatality.

Teaching Teens not to Speed

Car accidents are a huge cause of many personal injury lawsuits. Severity of these accidents can lead to expensive settlements, which is why it is important to know and avoid dangerous driving habits that can cause such devastating accidents. Speeding is the third leading contributor to fatal car crashes, and it is the least tackled problem today.

Although most motorists feel endangered when driving next to a speeding vehicle, survey says majority of these motorists still tend to over-speed while driving. Many reasons are given as to why this behavior exists, and even though these reasons are not always true or valid, speeding almost always ends up being overlooked. Accidents due to speeding is not only isolated to highways and freeways; there are a significant number of accidents occurring in local streets, in roads with speed limits 50 mph or less.

Teens and young males are often the most likely victims of these speeding accidents. Based on the NHTSA report, 39 percent of male drivers involved in speed-related car crashes are aged 15-20 years old. This is an alarming report – teens believe that having a driver’s license proves they are ready for the responsibility of driving. However, their driver’s license also exposes them to inevitable risks and dangers. To help prevent the risks of having your child get into a speed-related accident, here are some things that you can do:

  1. Emphasize the importance of being in control of the car.
  2. Stay involved. Talk to your children about the risks and dangers of speeding.
  3. Make sure that you teach them the proper speed management regarding several driving conditions.
  4. Provide a list of driving rules, ensuring that “following the speed limit” is included and followed otherwise driving privileges are taken.
  5. Be a good leader and show your children that you follow the laws on speed limits.

Constant communication and being a good role model to your children is the best way to implant proper safe-driving behaviors. Preventing an accident is the only way to avoid any injuries that can occur. If you have instilled safe driving to your children and they have been injured due to another person’s negligence or recklessness, then it would be easier for personal injury attorneys to fight for your right for compensation since you are not the one at fault.

Texas Law on Wrongful Death Cases

There are many possible scenarios for a wrongful death case. It can be due to medical malpractice, product defect, premises liability, vehicular accident, work-related injuries, and so on. The key element that would make a death wrongful would be if there was a breach in the duty of care by the defendant or the defendant’s representative that caused the death of the individual.

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code addresses the subject of wrongful death in Title 4 Chapter 71 Sub-chapter A. It defines when a case of wrongful death can be filed against a defendant, specifically if the injury that caused an individual’s death was due to neglect, carelessness, lack of skill or other wrongful act. This liability includes persons who owns, charters, controls or hires premises or commercial vehicles that transport passengers and goods which caused injuries to an individual which led to death. However, in the case of an unborn child who dies, liability cannot be ascribed to the mother or the attending physician, other healthcare professional or dispenser of drugs if death was the intended result provided consent was given.

A wrongful death action to recover damages can only be filed by the spouse, children and parents of the deceased within three months after death. If no action is filed, the executor of the deceased may do so unless specifically barred by the spouse, children or parents of the deceased. Exemplary as well as actual damages may be claimed in a wrongful death case and the appropriate awards will be determined by a jury. The death of the defendant while a wrongful death case is in progress does not nullify the action. Damages can still be assessed and brought against the estate of the deceased defendant.

Recovered damages for wrongful death cannot be garnished for payment of debts of the deceased. The proceeds of a wrongful death action will be divided among those entitled to recover in a manner to also be determined by the jury.
If you are interested in bringing an action of wrongful death in Texas, it pays to know some basic facts about this particular type of civil tort. However, you will need to travel a long and complex road so it would be best to retain the services of a wrongful death attorney practicing in the area to ensure that you get what you deserve.

What is the Spinal Cord?

Ravid & AssociatesIt is common knowledge that spinal cord injuries can leave a person partially or completely paralyzed, depending on the location and severity of the injury. But what is the spinal cord and why is it so important?

The human body is a complex network of bones, muscles and organs that work together well mainly because of the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is where everything is processed, much like the central processing unit (CPU) in a computer system. However, for the body to function, the brain has to send signals. This is where the spinal cord comes in.

The spinal cord is the interface between the brain and the body, much like the monitor in your system. It delivers the signal to the parts of the body that require it so that it can function according to what the brain wants. It is also the receptor of what the body is feeling, providing the input to the brain for processing. In that sense, the spinal cord also functions as the keyboard, which we use for input.

In appearance, the spinal cord is a white and gray cord-like structure that is between 40 and 50 cm long. It is encased in protective bone called vertebrae. The spinal cord is made up of 31 pairs of spinal nerves which are in turn made up of motor and sensory nerve fibers. It is divided into the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral regions.

Aside from carrying information to and from the body and the brain, the spinal cord also coordinates reflex actions. A reflex is the automatic, instinctive, involuntary response of the body to stimuli. It is information that gets to the spinal cord and stays in the spinal cord; it never reaches the brain for processing. There is no equivalent for this function in a computer system. The reflex action is important for survival because it reacts instantly to potentially harmful situations. An example of a reflex is flinching away from a source of extreme heat.

Because the spinal cord is essential for normal functioning and survival, injuries that render it inoperative will definitely have a devastating and permanent effect. If negligence of a third party is the cause of spinal cord injury, consult with a personal injury lawyer at once. You won’t get your life back, but it can make it a lot easier.

Dangerous Product Defects in Construction

The construction industry is inherently high risk, which is why it pays so well and why there are such rigorous safety regulations specific to the construction site. Even under the best of possible circumstances, construction accidents can happen which can lead to injury or death such as falling debris, slips and falls, burns, or the old hammer on the thumb. But when construction equipment is defective either in design or manufacture, it is a dangerous product indeed.

Construction equipment can be anything from a welding torch to a crane, and when a worker is adequately trained for its use, observes safety regulations, and ensures the equipment is properly maintained, the risk of injury is small. But if a particular product is defective, it doesn’t matter how compliant a worker and construction employer are; injury or death can happen at any time.

Consider a defect in something like a crane. It is massively heavy, and it is designed to transport even heavier loads. If even one substandard cable snaps while it is in operation, the damage it can do can be devastating.

Let us consider something smaller, such as a welding torch. Welding is a difficult skill to master, mostly because there is a lot of pressure and heat that passes through a welding torch. If a welding torch is defective, the chances of getting badly burned are very high.

Construction site owners and managers have a duty of care to their workers, and when an accident occurs, the default reaction is that the owners or managers had been negligent. But when an accident occurs because of a defect in an inherently dangerous product such as construction equipment, it is a matter for a product liability attorney to look into. Construction equipment manufacturers are well aware of the potential for injury when the product is used, and are bound by the same duty of care.

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