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Salem Personal Injury Law Blog

Medication errors may be more common than consumers think

Patients in Oregon rely on their health care providers including nurses, doctors and CNAs to diagnose and treat medical ailments and injuries but there are times when mistakes are made, and patients suffer the cost. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, medication errors occur close to 100,000 times each year. This is a startling statistic for many individuals who rely on the knowledge and experience of medical health professionals when it comes to medication and dosage.

Medication errors can lead to serious harmful conditions such as birth defects, disabilities, hospitalizations, life threatening situations and even death. These errors are common in several situations:

  •          When a drug is entered into the computer system
  •          When the drug is prescribed
  •          When the drug is dispensed or prepared
  •          When the drug is given to or taken by a patient

How common is substance abuse among truckers?

Driving a truck for a living can prove lonely and, in some cases, quite boring, and in some cases, this can make those who drive semi-trucks for a living more likely to engage in certain dangerous behaviors on the job. Substance abuse, in particular, is a problem that continues to plague the trucking industry and endanger all Oregon residents, with truck drivers who use alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel posing a substantial threat to all motorists.

Per the American Addiction Centers, there is a clear link between the prevalence of substance abuse in the trucking industry and the unfavorable working conditions that come with the job. Truckers often face tough assignments that require them to work long hours and stay alert for long stretches at a time, and some trucking professionals turn to amphetamines or cocaine to help them complete their tasks in a timely manner.

Underriding accidents involving trucks can be catastrophic

The results of a semi-truck and passenger vehicle collision usually involve severe injuries or death to the occupants of the passenger vehicle. The occupants of passenger vehicles are usually more vulnerable in crashes than truck drivers because of the size difference between the two vehicles. Semi-trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles and are positioned higher off the ground than other vehicles are.

One common type of crash involves a car underriding a truck. This means that the car ends up partially or completely under the truck, which can be especially hazardous for the occupants of the car.

Auto accidents and brain trauma

The physical consequences of a car crash may be immediately clear, and very serious. For example, auto accident victims may have broken bones and deep wounds that affect their ability to live life in different ways. It is also important to realize the mental consequences of a crash, and some of the unseen hardships that car accident victims face as a result of brain trauma. For example, someone may sustain a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle wreck, which could hurt them in all sorts of ways (personality changes, depression, memory problems and so on). If you were recently involved in a car crash and you hit your head, or you are ever in a wreck that results in brain trauma, it is pivotal to carefully assess your situation immediately.

In some instances, an accident victim may have brain trauma and not even know it. They may go weeks, months or even years without realizing that their brain was injured in the collision, which can be problematic for various reasons. For example, they may have failed to hold a negligent driver responsible for all of the suffering that they will have to endure, and they might be unprepared for some of the challenges that lie ahead. Brain trauma can negatively affect someone in the workplace, in their personal relationships and in other aspects of their life.

Infidelity, divorce and the likelihood of a car crash

We have discussed some of the different factors that can lead to a motor vehicle crash. However, there are some unique situations people find themselves in which can significantly increase the odds of something going wrong on the road. For example, someone who has had an affair may be more likely to crash with another vehicle because they are worried about their partner finding out about the incident. Or, someone may be extremely upset with their partner due to infidelity, which can lead to aggressive driving, fatigue behind the wheel and other challenges. These problems can also be brought on by divorce as well.

If you ever suspect that your emotional state or any physical challenges you are struggling with (such as significant fatigue because you have been up all night) could get in the way of your driving abilities, it is extremely important to stay off the road. Sadly, some people do not take this advice, whether they are too angry or upset to care or they feel as if they have no choice because they have to get to work or take their kid to school.

How might healthcare bullying affect you as a patient?

Medical professionals are held to a high standard. Whether you go in for your yearly checkup or you are admitted to the hospital for a serious illness, you expect your doctors and nurses to treat you competently and safely. Unfortunately, you and other Oregon residents could possibly be harmed by a pervasive problem in the medical industry - workplace bullying.

You may assume that most people left bullying behind after they were finished with junior high or high school, but this is sadly not the case. As the Journal of Emergency Medical Services explains, workplace bullying occurs in the healthcare profession more than any other industry. Doctors and nurses work in a high-pressure environment where a pecking order is commonly part of the culture. Medical professionals can be stressed out, competitive and sleep-deprived. As such, the environment may be ripe for bullying.

Truck accident fatalities increased 30 percent in the last decade

Oregon's scenic, winding roads provide a beautiful commute. However, they can also prove dangerous--especially if you are sharing them with commercial trucks. Commercial trucks, even when driven by responsible truckers, can cause catastrophic damage to other vehicles in an accident. Although fatal truck accidents are rare, a study shows that truck-related deaths have increased dramatically over the past decade.

Can a car accident paralyze you?

If you become the victim of an Oregon car accident in which you injure your neck or back, you could find yourself paralyzed and consigned to a wheelchair for the rest of your life. If you have never consciously thought about it before, you should realize that your spinal cord and the nerves which it contains control the movements you make, both voluntary and involuntary, and the sensations you feel. Your spinal cord extends down your neck and back from your head to your hip area. Any injury it receives can drastically reduce the amount of movement you can make below your point of injury, as well as the amount of feeling, including pain, you can feel in that part of your body.

The Travis Roy Foundation explains that your spinal cord consists of the following four regions

  1. Cervical region: the seven vertebrae between your brain’s base and your neck’s bottom
  2. Thoracic region: the twelve vertebrae between your neck’s bottom and your waist
  3. Lumbar region: the five vertebrae between your waist and lower back
  4. Sacral region: the five vertebrae between your lower back and your tailbone

Oregon hospitals ranked high for safety, but dangers remain

Hospital patients want and deserve a safe care environment. So, readers here in Oregon may be encouraged by how the state did in Leapfrog’s hospital safety ratings last year.

Leapfrog graded hospitals in the U.S. for safety twice in 2018: once in the spring and once in the fall.

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