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Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

Protecting consumers from harmful cosmetics

In recent years, a number of lawsuits have been filed on behalf of individuals who have suffered chemical burns, hair loss and other challenges simply because they used certain cosmetics. In particular, a number of popular hair care products sold to both men and women have resulted in significant injuries.

Why are certain hair care products allowed to remain on the market despite their dangerous nature? And why are lawsuits so important to the future safety of cosmetics? The answers to these questions begin and end with the authority of the Food and Drug Administration. 

New federal recommendations address driverless car safety

Iowa farmers are discussing automated tractors. Driverless Ubers are being tested on the streets of Pittsburgh. But until this week, the federal government had little in the way of regulations addressing the new technology.

The new recommendations issued September 19 by the U.S. Department of Transportation are a long-awaited start for getting automakers, transportation companies and government entities on the same page.

Samsung recall raises smartphone safety concerns

If you own a Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, power it down immediately and visit Samsung's website to see if your phone might have a defective battery. The recall of 1 million smartphones announced last week was prompted by over 100 reports of phones overheating and bursting into flames, resulting in burns, property damage and even house and car fires.

As CNET reports, other brands and models have exploded in recent years, including iPhones, so no smartphone is 100 percent safe. Yet the sheer number of explosions in a short period of time has made the Note 7 seem particularly dangerous.

The difficulty of identifying hernias in imaging tests

According to a hernia specialist who spoke at the 2016 annual meeting of the Americas Hernia Society, radiologists often overlook inguinal hernias when they are unable to identify them using imaging tests despite patient symptoms that suggest them. A radiologist replied that they may notice but not report on certain inguinal hernias. He said that the link between pain and the existence of these types of hernias is not conclusive. However, based on the specialist's recommendation, patients in Iowa and throughout the country might want to have additional imaging tests done if they have hernia symptoms.

One problem is that the most commonly used imaging tests are more accurate in their positive identifications than in their negatives. For example, an ultrasound is a good tool for positively identifying a hernia, but a negative from an ultrasound is much less reliable. With CT scans, negatives are accurate only 4 percent of the time.

Radiology and medical malpractice

In order to accurately diagnose the conditions of their patients, many Iowa doctors rely on imaging technology. Sometimes, radiologists read the images incorrectly, resulting in patient harm caused by failures to diagnose, delays in diagnoses and incorrect diagnoses. If you have suffered because your images were read incorrectly, you may be able to recover damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Several things may lead to inaccurate diagnoses with imaging technology. Sometimes, people's images are mixed up with those of other patients. Communication problems between the medical staff may also cause an issue. In some cases, the images are simply not read correctly. You will need to investigate to determine what happened in your case.

Keeping track of medication

For Iowa patients who have serious illnesses such as cancer, managing medication can be challenging. However, there are some tips that they and their caregivers can use to make sure that they are taking the right medication and taking it as directed. First, it is important for patients or their caregivers to ensure that the patient has the right medication. Patients should also make sure that they know how much of their medication to take.

Up to 50 percent of patients take the wrong dosage of their medication because they don't understand the directions. Therefore, it is critical to ask a pharmacist anytime there a patient or a caregiver has questions about how much of a medication to take at a given time. Once it is clear how to take a medication and when, it is important to take it exactly as prescribed.

Breach of doctor-patient confidentiality can lead to lawsuit

When you go to see your doctor, one of the last things on your mind is whether or not that doctor will release or reveal information about your visit to other people. This is because of doctor-patient confidentiality, an incredibly important concept that every doctor must uphold. If doctor-patient confidentiality didn't exist, there would be many people who would simply avoid going to the doctor out of fear that their embarrassing medical condition would be broadcast to the whole world.

Doctor-patient confidentiality is mutually beneficial. For the patient, they feel secure in going to the doctor and revealing very personal, and important, information to a trusted medical professional. For the doctor, it helps to know that the patient is secure so that he or she gives you all of the relevant and necessary information you need to make a decision or prognosis about their condition.

Medical mistakes a leading cause of death in the U.S.

Stories of surgeons leaving surgical tools in patients or nurses confusing medications between patients command headlines. Yet these stories remain easy to dismiss. When you're a patient, you want to assume you're in good hands. Usually, you are. Nevertheless, even the best doctor or nurse can make mistakes. A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine indicate that the prevalence of such mistakes can be eerily high. In fact, "medical errors" in health care settings account for the estimated loss of 151,000 lives every year, surpassing the number of deaths from stroke, Alzheimer's, accidents and respiratory disease. While the numbers are staggering, few people know about them. The reasons may surprise you. 

When the surgeon is negligent, elective surgery can be dangerous

Elective surgery is still surgery, and can carry the same risks as any other type of operation. Errors in the administration of anesthesia, operating on the wrong body part and leaving surgical instruments inside your body, to name a few common surgical errors, can leave you with a permanent disability.

For example, some patients undergo cosmetic surgery, only to end up badly injured because of their surgeon’s negligence. In one particularly sad example, a young woman suffered severe brain damage while undergoing a breast augmentation procedure in 2013.

How to Avoid ATV Injuries

At Galligan & Reid, P.C., we have made it our work as personal injury lawyers to help make the world a safer place. We take that work very seriously and always aim to help people avoid having to come to see us to protect their rights when they have been injured.

It is not infrequent that clients come to us after having suffered a serious injury as a result of using an ATV. A brief understanding of ATV vehicles can help you and your loved ones avoid such an injury.

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