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March 2017 Archives

Drunk drivers get many opportunities to harm others in Iowa

More than 90 Iowans die each year in alcohol-related car accidents. Roughly 40 percent of those accidents involve a driver who has been arrested in the past for drunk driving. One-third of Iowa drivers who are charged with vehicular homicide while intoxicated have been caught drinking and driving at least once before. Such a high percentage raises the question of whether Iowa is doing enough to get drunk drivers off the roads and keep them from re-offending.

Dresser-drawers and toddlers: A dangerous combination

A recent recall of millions of popular dressers sold by Ikea highlights the ever-present danger of dresser-drawers. Late last year, the largest furniture store in the world settled a lawsuit with the families of three toddlers who were fatally injured when Malm dressers tipped over on them.

New medical scope, same infection concerns

In January 2016, Olympus Corp. decided to voluntarily recall one of its medical products. The TJF-Q180V duodenoscope is a commonly used scope used in a number of procedures. In 2015, the Olympus scope was linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant bacteria, which led to the death of multiple patients. Olympus committed to redesigning the scope to address the risk of infection posed by the product. The company also released new guidelines concerning the proper cleaning of the devices by hospitals and medical staff.

When items are left behind in surgical sites

When people enter the operating room to have a surgical procedure performed, they may not expect to leave with a piece of surgical equipment still inside of them. Surprisingly enough, however, this horrible type of medical error continues to occur despite new technologies designed to trace medical equipment during procedures. Out of an estimated 50 million people who have surgeries in the United States each year, approximately 4,082 people are victims of these ‘never events’, according to an article published in Surgery. These numbers may be underestimated, as some people may not know that they have surgical equipment left behind in their operating sites.

Do you know how to identify a serious head injury?

Brain injuries are more common than most people know. A seemingly minor blow to the head can easily cause some level of brain dysfunction. Injury victims may suffer a variety of physical symptoms immediately after sports injuries, car accidents, acts of violence, falls at work or any number of other incidents involving head bumps. Some signs of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may not appear until long after an injury has occurred.

Mild brain injuries can cause long lasting damage

People who are involved in minor fender benders or catastrophic collisions run the risk of receiving a traumatic brain injury. A sudden jolt to the head can cause whiplash, where the soft tissue of the brain hits against the hard interior of the skull. The resulting brain damage can range in severity, from mild to severe, depending on the force of impact, as well as what area of the brain was injured. Traditionally, more attention was paid to patients who suffered moderate to severe brain injuries, as this damage was thought to have more long-term effects. Research shows, however, that people who have mild brain injuries may suffer from long-term cognitive damage as well.

Granting "Informed Consent"

Generally speaking, doctors must gain the informed consent of their patients before pursuing a course of treatment. Informed consent means that the patient agrees to the treatment after having been informed of the potential risks and consequences. The reality of consent in the medical field is often murkier than this definition might imply.

Causes of medication errors

Medication errors in Iowa can lead to devastating effects. At Galligan Reid PC, we know that an error of this type can claim lives, lead to extended suffering or cause serious side effects. That is why it is important to understand how they occur and what you can do to help prevent an error happening in your care.

Old habits die hard in the medical field

Serious problems often inspire people to seek expert opinions. If an issue is complex, technical or otherwise confusing, we are often left at the mercy of people who have made it their business to address those issues. Doctors are the experts when it comes to medical care. Unfortunately, too many patients assume that their doctor is an expert on whatever is ailing them at the time.

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