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Woodstown New Jersey Legal Blog

Medical errors and physician burnout

Over 50 percent of the physicians in New Jersey and the rest of country are burned out according to a survey of almost 6,700 hospital and clinic physicians. The participants were asked about safety in the workplace, medical errors, depression, suicidal thoughts, fatigue and indications of workplace burnout.

Approximately 10 percent stated that they had made at least one serious medical error within the last three months before the survey. The survey investigators determined from the results that physicians who were burned out had twice the likelihood of committing a medical mistake.

Study shows distracted driving at its peak in summer

As the public policy division of a leading provider of property casualty insurance, the Travelers Institute has good reason to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Drivers in New Jersey will be interested to hear about the Every Second Matters™ event, which was just launched. The institute hosted this event on Capitol Hill on June 15 and also issued a report intended to get the conversation started about distracted driving.

The Institute also brought up some interesting data from TrueMotion, a smartphone telematics platform. Using sensor data from its mobile app, TrueMotion Family, the company analyzed the behavior of more than 20,000 drivers during the 8.4 million trips they took between January 2017 and May 2018. It found that the drivers were most frequently distracted by their smartphones during the months of June, July and August.

Respiratory syncytial virus infection: diagnosis and treatment

The respiratory syncytial virus is a common virus that leaves healthy adults and children with cold-like symptoms, but in babies, it can cause serious respiratory illness. However, testing for RSV infection among pregnant women is uncommon, and when it does occur, it frequently ends in a misdiagnosis. This is according to a study from Clinical Infectious Diseases. Its findings may be of interest to residents of New Jersey.

Researchers state that pregnant women are rarely hospitalized for RSV infection but that those who are usually get a severe case of it. They analyzed over 15,000 pregnant women who were admitted to hospitals for acute respiratory infection or febrile illness. Only 6 percent of these were tested for RSV infection, of that number, 21 came up RSV-positive. Approximately 63 percent of the tests occurred in the third trimester.

Reviewing the most common July Fourth accidents

Residents of New Jersey may be too busy having fun to think about safety during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Still, it's wise to know what the most common risks are. For instance, Esurance and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claim that Independence Day is the deadliest day for drivers. In fact, about 40 percent of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 were caused by intoxicated drivers over the July Fourth weekend.

Typical traffic dangers are even greater since more people are on the roads. AAA estimates that 37.5 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more during the Fourth of July weekend. This sometimes means traveling unfamiliar routes, which can negatively affect driving performance.

Many cancer patients being overtreated

Many cancer patients in New Jersey and across the U.S. are being overtreated for their disease, according to three new studies. The research was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago in early June.

In one study, scientists found that many women diagnosed with early-stage hormone-positive, HER-2 breast cancer do not benefit from undergoing chemotherapy. In fact, anti-hormone treatments are sufficient if the disease hasn't spread to a woman's lymph nodes. Meanwhile, a French study found that patients with severe forms of colon cancer are not helped by heated chemotherapy, a common treatment that was first introduced around 15 years ago. Finally, a Paris study discovered that surgery does little to help late-stage kidney cancer patients. The results showed that surgically removing the diseased kidney only causes a patient pain and increases his or her medical bills.

Most dangerous cancers in women

Health and wellness are a top priority for many. That said, there are many different illnesses and diseases present in your everyday life. It can be hard to keep track of all the different ailments you can suffer but it is important to be aware of them so you can discover symptoms early.

Cancer is a leading cause of death among women today. In fact, it is the second leading cause of death in adults in the United States. Being aware of different types of cancer is a way to help catch cancer in its early stages to help you make a full recovery.

Study advances treatment of pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer can be one of the most difficult cancers to treat and survive for people in New Jersey and across the country. One study found some improved hope in a four-drug combination, and researchers noted that it could improve survival substantially when compared to a one-drug regimen. The survey applied to people with pancreatic cancer that had not spread to other regions of the body.

One reason why it is so difficult to treat pancreatic cancer is that it is so often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all until cancer has spread further throughout the body. However, a drug called folfirinox provides even greater hope for those whose pancreatic cancer is diagnosed early enough that surgical removal is possible. While around 20 percent of such patients were cancer-free five years later when using the traditional drug, Gemzar, nearly 40 percent had successful results five years later after receiving folfirinox. Around 66 percent of patients who received folfirinox survived compared to around 50 percent of Gemzar patients. The results exceeded the scientists' expectations.

Steps to take after a car accident

After a car accident, there are several steps that New Jersey motorists should take. They should stop even if there appears to be no damages.

People should not discuss the accident with others involved or admit fault. However, they should collect the other driver's name, contact information and insurance company information as well as information about the car such as license plate number, make and model. They should take photos if possible that show the position of the cars and any damage. They should also make note of weather conditions and when and where the accident happened. Contact information for any witnesses should also be recorded. Police should be called, and officers' names and badge numbers noted. As soon as possible after the accident, people should write down their version of the accident while the details are still fresh.

New study finds AMD prone to misdiagnosis

Age-related macular degeneration is the number one cause of irreversible vision loss among people 50 and older in New Jersey and the rest of the U.S. This incurable eye condition is most frequently found in females, those over the age of 60 and farsighted individuals. A history of sunlight exposure as well as genetic factors can also increase the risk.

Unfortunately, the condition is also frequently misdiagnosed. This is according to a new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology. Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham looked at 644 patients who were previously examined by an ophthalmologist or optometrist via dilated eye exam. They found that 25 percent of those patients had undetected signs of AMD. The patients' average age was 69.

Vision surgery can have devastating consequences

When people in New Jersey consider LASIK eye surgery, they may simply want to improve their vision and be free of the need for glasses or contact lenses. However, refractive surgery can have serious, negative impacts on many patients as well, and it can be difficult to learn about the potential risks when the procedure is heavily advertised and promoted by doctors and medical offices. The skill of the doctor performing the surgery and the quality of the medical equipment used can also have a major impact on positive and negative outcomes from a LASIK procedure.

While there are a number of risks that can cause concern, some of the most serious can derive from doctor errors or equipment malfunction; in other cases, they may be due to the structure of the eyes. For example, some patients actually lose vision in significant areas of the eyes after the procedure. When this takes place, vision can no longer be corrected with glasses, contacts or further surgery. For other patients, the results of the surgery may mean a loss of night vision, increased glare or halos around lights.

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