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.

Quiet Storm Season Leaves Meteorologists Wary

A year after the widespread destruction of superstorm Sandy, 2013’s hurricane season has been off to a quiet and uneventful start. So far, with half of the season elapsed, not a single hurricane-force storm has damaged the Atlantic coast.

However, forecasters are warning Americans that this point in the season may just be the calm before the storm; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) still predicts an active and potentially devastating period to close out the year.

A typical storm season consists of 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three other major storms. This year’s forecast still predicts anywhere from 13 to 19 named storms and three to five major, potentially damaging hurricanes.

Early in 2013, meteorologists predicted an active season based on weather patterns ranging from abnormally warm Atlantic waters to rare wind patterns and heavy rainfall in West Africa. According to NOAA officials stationed in Maryland, the storm predictions fit in with the current 40 year cycle of hurricane activity.

Forecasters are continuing to be wary of all storms, even those that may not be classified as major hurricanes with wind speeds of over 111 miles per hour. Sandy, which ravaged the Northeast last year, was not technically labeled a major storm, but it killed 147 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.

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.

Truck Wreck due to Truck Defect

Despite what you may believe, not all truck wrecks are always caused by a multi-vehicle collision, although it could end up that way if other vehicles have the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Truck defects can lead to serious accidents because of the sheer weight a big rig usually carries and the speed that they usually travels. Some of the more common truck defects that can lead to a truck wreck include:

  • Brake deficiencies or failure
  • Tire defects
  • Engine or transmission failure
  • Suspension frame defects
  • Towing unit problems

The biggest problem of truck defects that lead to accidents is that it is seldom just the truck that is involved, especially if it is carrying a heavy load. When a truck experiences a blow-out or brake failure, for example, it can plow through a number of vehicles before the driver can get it to stop, and chances are it will stop when it falls on its side or hits a strong enough obstruction to stop it, like the side of a building or the guard railing. Aside from the property damage, the potential for involving other motorists and even pedestrians is high.

Aside from the mechanical potential for destruction, some big rigs carry loads that are dangerous, such as oil, fuel and chemicals. In case of a truck wreck, the biggest danger it poses will be when it comes to a stop and the load comes spilling out.

The liability for a truck wreck due to truck defects fall on the manufacturer of the product that failed. Consult with a truck accident lawyer to assess your case so you can get compensation for your injuries and property damage caused by the defective product.

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.

Wisconsin Holds Party Hosts Liable for DUI

If you hold a party in Wisconsin and let a guest under the legal drinking age drive after consuming alcohol, you could be held liable for a drinking under the influence (DUI) accident. This is an unusual qualification for social host liability, which is absent in most states that do penalize social hosts for DUI.

The legal drinking age in Wisconsin is 21, but it is lawful for someone under 21 to drink if a parent or guardian is present. So let us say you host the annual family reunion, and you run out of ice. You send out your 18 year old to the nearest 7-11, and he gets into an accident. Because he is not of legal drinking age, that one beer he had could lead to a DUI charge. Wisconsin has an “absolute sobriety” law which means any amount of alcohol found in the system of a minor will lead to a DUI. If that wasn’t bad enough, if the accident that got your son arrested in the first place resulted in injuries to another person you may be liable for exemplary and actual damages just because you let your son drive a few blocks after he drank a beer.

But those in Wisconsin are still lucky. The qualification limits the liability of those who hosts drinking parties or who provided liquor such as a bar or restaurant (this is dram shop liability) to underage drinkers. You won’t have to worry about it every time you hold a drinking party. Those over the age of 21 who get sloppy drunk still should not be allowed to drive, but the liability for injuries sustained in a DUI is theirs and theirs alone. Just don’t let any underage drinkers near the car keys.

So if you are ever injured in a DUI accident and the driver is under the age of 21, you will need a social host liability lawyer to straighten out who is liable for your injuries.

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.

Preventing Construction Site Injuries

Of all the places to work, a construction site may be the most dangerous. With so many things going on – electricity, heavy equipment, people, and raw materials – accidents are bound to happen. Having proper safety rules and procedures is the best way to prevent any injuries that may occur.

There are safety precautions and rules that the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) puts into action every time a new building is being constructed. Because the safety of the workers is the most important, once these safety rules and precautions are neglected, the chances of workers getting injured can be significantly higher. There are ways in which the company can help protect and prevent their workers from getting injured while on the site. Here are some basic tips:

  1. Be familiar with the site; check the places where there are higher chances of an accident. Make sure the working areas are clean and make sure dangerous areas and equipments are properly labeled. Check that the equipments and materials are working properly and are regularly maintained.
  2. Ensure that everyone working in the site are well-informed about the safety rules and precautions. Make sure that they are educated about safety and first-aid procedures to help in emergency cases. Make sure everyone is familiar on what to do when electrical, mechanical, power failures or other injuries occur to avoid further dangers and complications.
  3. Scaffolds, harnesses and other safety features should be observed in order to avoid any fall and slip accidents. OSHA safety standards should be met in order to guarantee top safety standards are carried out and exercised.
  4. Ensure that the public are also aware and informed about the safety precautions in the site. Put barricades and signs where they are needed and lock any entry points to make sure that only employees are the only ones who can enter the construction site.

Risks in construction sites are inevitable, but the good thing is with proper prevention and safety practices they can be avoided. When your body is your work and investment, then having an injury can greatly impact your life. When an accident occurs and the company refuses to provide you with help, know that every worker has the right to go to court for compensation. Ask the help of construction accident attorneys to aid you in acquiring the necessary compensation for your troubles, especially if the injuries resulted from the neglect of the OSHA safety requirements.

Dangerous Side Effects of Byetta

Byetta is an exenatide. When used with proper diet and good exercise program, it can help in controlling high blood sugar. Exenatide, which makes up Byetta, is similar to the natural occurring incretin. By helping increase the release of insulin and lowering the amount of sugar that the patients’ liver makes, it can slow down the digestion of food in the stomach, reducing the amount of absorbed sugar, and could help in decreasing the appetite.

People who have type-2 diabetes are usually prescribed this treatment to aid them in regulating their sugar levels to avoid the complications that can arise from having this condition. It is specifically made for people suffering from type-2 diabetes. Even though most people can handle being treated with Byetta, there are still others who develop side effects. Some of these side effects include:

  1. Nausea, dizziness or headaches
  2. Low blood sugars
  3. Vomiting Decreased appetite
  4. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also called GERD
  5. Increased sweating, feeling jittery
  6. Heartburn or an upset stomach

There are many things and factors to consider before a doctor can prescribe this medication to their patients. Age, weight, health conditions and other medications are looked into to prevent further complications to the health of their patients. Although, even with thorough investigation, mistakes can still occur and patients still develop severe complications after being prescribed Byetta.

Because of these health complications, there are a lot of patients who file lawsuits against the company who manufactures Byetta. Filing a Byetta lawsuit can be complicated, as there are many things that are to be investigated. It is always advisable to have a reliable and experienced medical lawyer for guidance when pursuing such a lawsuit to ensure that you are properly represented. Suffering from type-2 diabetes is already hard enough, a person does not need to worry further about the complications of the medications that they are taking.

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