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The Dangers of Hospital Discharge

The Dangers of Hospital Discharge

The time after a patient is discharged from hospital can be potentially one of the most dangerous. This is mainly because any mistakes that are made with surgery, diagnosis or medication are less likely to be monitored by the patients themselves, by home care agencies, nursing homes or any other of the plethora of care agencies that might be involved after discharge. Medication mistakes the most common post discharge problem Medication mistakes are regarded by federal health authorities as some of the most common causes of post discharge complications. Health inspectors found that over 3,000 ‘me health agencies between 2010 and 2015 had failed to review medications for patients released into their care after a period in hospital. In some cases, nurses failed to notice that medications that had been prescribed consisted of a dangerous cocktail of drugs. Typical health complications included kidney damage, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms and bleeding. The numbers represented 25% of agencies inspected. It is partly the diversity of providers that contributes to potential health problems post discharge. A lack of effective communication between these diverse providers is a common source of error. The chief medical officer at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a non-profit organization, has reported that none of the 30 billion dollars made available by Congress to digitize medical records has ended up in nursing homes, home care agencies working with individuals in their own homes or rehabilitation services. Roughly half of the individual patients discharged by hospitals have said that they are confident understanding instructions on packets of drugs they have been prescribed. A third of nursing homes have been found...
When am I Entitled to Punitive Damages?

When am I Entitled to Punitive Damages?

Personal injury lawsuits in Mississippi are like they are in any other state. They are designed to compensate an innocent victim of an injury for the harm that the injury has caused. Occasionally, the victim may have suffered from a wrongdoing that was particularly deliberate and intentional. If this can be proven, then the plaintiff may be awarded a separate payment on top of any others that have been paid out as a result of the lawsuit. This extra payment is known as punitive damages and its main purpose is to punish the wrongdoer for his or her actions, or for the actions of a company, if this is the wrongdoer. Economic and non-economic damages in a Mississippi personal injury lawsuit Punitive damages are not regarded as non-economic damages in Mississippi, even though like these damage awards, the amount awarded cannot have an easily determined monetary value, like medical treatment, the use of an ambulance or the repair to a vehicle or other property. Generally, a personal injury claim for damages is divided up between economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the easier of the two categories to define and show evidence for. The usual economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit include: medical treatment, including an amount for any future treatment if needed; transport costs related to the injury, especially if the plaintiff has lost the use of his or her vehicle after a car crash; lost earnings, wages, etc. as a result of not being able to work as normal including future lost earnings if necessary; repair or replacement of personal property damaged at the...

The Ever Present Danger of a Prescription Medication Error

Anyone who has unknowingly been given the wrong prescription for medication or the wrong drugs or pills could be seriously harmed or even die. Adverse drug events (ADEs) are extremely common and can cause long lasting health issues for those who are affected. The main sources of ADEs are as follows: A physician prescribing the wrong medication, either because of the wrong diagnosis or a simple error, e.g. the correct drug, but the wrong dosage, or the correct dosage but the wrong drug. A pharmacist or pharmacist’s assistant mixing up the prescription and delivering the wrong drug, or the correct drug at the wrong concentration, or both. The use of a defective or untested drug. An undetected or previously unnoticed allergy to a particular drug, precipitating a harmful reaction. There are many reasons why a prescription error can take place. The physician may make a mistake when prescribing a drug. There are many drugs that have very similar names, yet are prescribed for very different conditions. Some examples are Hydralazine and Hydroxyzine; Navane and Norvasc, Paxil and Plavix, Lovenox and Levemir. Pharmacists may be extremely busy and allocate prescriptions to pharmacists’ assistants. These assistants may have received insufficient training, or are too tired from overwork to make up the correct medication or misinterpret the prescription made by the physician. Case study of a medication error A 71year old woman was diagnosed as having acute kidney injury and uncontrolled hypertension amongst other health problems. She was prescribed a  drug called amlodipine (brand name Norvasc), as well as metroprolol, doxazosin and torsemide. Over the next 3 months her health deteriorated and...

Hit & Injured by a Drunk Driver – Do You Need to Sue?

There are many reasons why you could end up on a stretcher after a car accident, badly injured. One reason is that you were unfortunate enough to be hit by someone who was drunk at the time of the accident. Surely the drunk driver will get arrested by the police and you will get some kind of compensation for the cost of your injuries? If the police charge the driver, do you need to sue the driver separately for damages? 30 year old Iris Franklin was killed by another driver, Natalie Duvernay, a year ago on Mississippi’s Highway 90 in Pass Christian. Duvernay has just been convicted of felony DUI as a result of the death, which happened when the35 year old woman crashed into Franklin’s vehicle at 70 mph in a 45 mph speed zone. Franklin was tested for alcohol and was discovered to have greater than three times the legal limit of alcohol in her blood at the time of the accident. Iris Franklin will never have the chance to wonder whether it was possible to sue the drunk driver who killed her, but it remains a distinct possibility for her dependent family, if she has one. Despite a conviction, the injured victim of a drink driving accident, or the family of someone who has been killed by a drunk driver, is not automatically compensated for the often huge financial burden which a serious injury can involve. A charge of DUI may lead to a criminal conviction, but it still leaves you without anything except a sense of satisfaction that justice has been done. To obtain compensation...

Be Aware of the Limits of the Law in a Personal Injury Case

If you have been injured anywhere in Mississippi and consider that you were not to blame for the accident that caused the injury, you may think that you are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or organization at fault. Injuries can be expensive if you are left having to pay for medical treatment and then there is the worry about your means of employment. If you miss time off work because of your injuries you could end up being seriously out of pocket. The worst case scenario is that you are so seriously injured that you lose your job altogether. While a personal injury claim is certainly an important option you will need to discuss the circumstances thoroughly with a Mississippi personal injury attorney before you file a claim. The attorney will run through the details of your case and make certain that there is a good chance of proving negligence, an important prerequisite for having a successful outcome. Each state has slightly different personal injury laws so it is worth acquainting yourself with some of the limitations that are used in Mississippi as they may have a bearing on your ability to make a claim. The statute of limitations Every state puts a time limit on making a personal injury claim. To be honest, the sooner you make a claim the better. This is not so much because of the statute of limitations but because it is simply easier establishing fault earlier rather than later. Witnesses are harder to find and become less reliable. Evidence that could have been used to support your claim...
Are Mississippi Motorcyclists Really Safer Wearing a Helmet?

Are Mississippi Motorcyclists Really Safer Wearing a Helmet?

Motorcyclist helmet rules vary from state to state. In some states, like Mississippi, it is compulsory to wear a helmet if you ride a motorcycle. 18 other states, as well as D.C., have the same or similar rules, leaving the rest with basically no helmet rules at all. If there are any compulsory helmet rules they are aimed at younger riders. So who’s right? Do state mandated helmet laws actually make it safer for motorcyclists, or is it simply an imposition on riders’ freedom to take a risk? Statistics show helmet wearing is inherently safer It’s not easy dissecting the statistics on motorcycle accidents and coming out with a conclusion. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps statistics on traffic accidents of all types and there is no doubt that riding on a motorcycle is inherently less safe than driving or being driven in an enclosed motor vehicle. NHTSA data shows that the number of motorcycle accident fatalities has spiked over the last few years, but the data doesn’t necessarily indicate that this is because riders are wearing helmets less. It may be because there are more people out riding motorcycles. The Advocates for Highway Safety (AHS), which campaigns for safer roads, including campaigning for helmet rules to be strengthened claims that in states like Texas that do not have helmet rules, riders that do not wear helmets have higher fatality rates than those that do. The U.S. wide figure is a 59% fatality rate for unhelmeted riders compared to 49% for helmeted riders. The rate by comparison for states that do have helmet laws like Mississippi is...
Mississippi Cell Phone Use While Driving Laws

Mississippi Cell Phone Use While Driving Laws

Many states across the U.S. have made laws about the use of mobile devices like cell phones while driving. Some of these have banned cell phone use outright. Others have just banned texting while driving. Others have allowed hands free devices only. And then there are a few states, including Arizona, but not Mississippi, that have essentially no cell phone rules at all. Mississippi’s cell phone laws have been strengthened in recent years. For a long time, they were very lax compared to other states. In fact, even as recently as 2014, the state was one of a small number of states with no cell phone laws. This has now changed. You are not allowed to text while driving in Mississippi. If you are a bus driver and have at least one minor on board or a learner driver you cannot use a cell phone at all. There is no hands free law in Mississippi at this time, so theoretically you can still use your cell phone for making voice calls or receiving them while you drive. The law in this regard makes the state still less rigorous than some other states like New York that bans the use of hand held devices completely, but still allows hands free devices. Mississippi’s cell phone laws have come under a lot of pressure to change in the last few years. This has come from pressure groups traditionally concerned with road safety as well as from the police, who have lobbied for stricter distracted driving legislation and stiffer penalties. As of July 1st 2016, any driver caught texting or using their device...
What to Do When Injured by a Road Rage Incident

What to Do When Injured by a Road Rage Incident

Have you experienced an incident of road rage recently? Road rage is thought to be a leading cause of auto accident fatalities and serious injuries. If you are caught up in a road rage incident, is there anything you can do to ensure you are not harmed and if you are injured because your vehicle is hit by the other driver, what can you do? Definition of road rage The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) defines road rage as behavior that a driver exhibits when he or she deliberately commits multiple traffic offenses in order to endanger the lives and / or property of others. Another way of describing road rage is “aggressive driving.” Road rage can take many forms. It might be unnecessary hooting the horn, swearing, waving, giving the finger, shouting, facial signs, tailgating, swerving close to the affected vehicle and in the most extreme cases, actual physical contact. According to the NHTSA, driver error, or driver behavior, is responsible for a vast majority of traffic accidents (94%). It’s hard to put an accurate figure on the contribution that road rage behavior has, but the NHTSA estimates that it could be as high as two thirds of all serious accidents. Responding to aggressive drivers Research suggests that many drivers exhibiting aggressive behavior have reasons for their behavior that have nothing directly to do with the conditions they are dealing with on a highway. It may be that they are stressed out at work, have marital or family problems or are genuinely emotionally or psychologically disturbed. The immediate of a road rage incident may be when another...
Hazardous Truck Accidents Potentially the Worst on Mississippi Roads

Hazardous Truck Accidents Potentially the Worst on Mississippi Roads

  If you pass a truck accident on a stretch of highway, or more likely, find you are stuck in a queue of blocked traffic because of yet another truck accident, you probably don’t even think what the truck was carrying. Some of the worst potential accidents are caused by trucks carrying hazardous materials. The danger of one of these truck accidents rolling over or bursting into flames could happen and affect other road users. The product being carried could potentially cause far more damage to buildings and to people near the scene of the accident. Hazardous truck accident examples in Mississippi A typical hazardous truck accident happened the other day on US 49 in Simpson County MS near the town of Legion Lake. The truck veered off the highway and overturned. The driver was apparently not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the truck as it overturned and was killed on the spot. The truck was carrying propane, a potentially flammable product. In this case the only fatality was the driver and the only nuisance factor was a blockage of the highway for an hour before the crash was investigated and the truck removed. Another recent hazardous material truck accident happened near the Mississippi town of D’Iberville on Highway 10. In this accident, the truck apparently collided with another vehicle. Both the two drivers were killed. Driver error the most likely cause of all truck accidents It has not yet been determined what the cause of these two accidents was. In the majority of truck accidents it has been found that the driver is usually at...
Hernia Surgical Mesh Implant Lawsuits

Hernia Surgical Mesh Implant Lawsuits

These days, surgical mesh implants are being used more and more in hernia repairs. Not all of the products are safe, however, and a number of them have been recalled after hernia patients complained of a number of symptoms, some of them severe, like internal bleeding. Where surgical implants have been used to repair a hernia problem and the implant proves to be a serious health risk and must be removed, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against either the mesh implant manufacturer or the medical personnel who inserted the mesh. The role of hernia mesh implants If hernia mesh implants are such a problem, why are they used at all? That’s a good question. In fact, in most cases, the right hernia mesh implants can make a lot of difference to the person with a hernia. However, there is a certain amount of discussion in medical circles about whether hernia mesh implants are used too much and whether other surgical procedures can be used instead, especially with smaller hernia intrusions. Also, there is disquiet about some of the products on offer and that disquiet has grown as the number of complaints has risen and the number of lawsuits have followed suit. Hernias are very uncomfortable protrusions of part of an internal organ through the abdominal muscle or connective tissue. Every hernia is different, and there are no hard and fast rules about what causes them, although vigorous exercise, awkward posture, heavy lifting and genetics all play a part. Sometimes, a hernia patient will be monitored by a doctor for some time before surgery is...

Contact the Diaz Law Firm today for a free consultation

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, please contact the Diaz Law Firm. You can reach us online or by calling our toll-free number at 800-459-2222. Our team is available to speak with you about your potential case. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us nothing unless we recover for you. The Diaz Law Firm is a national firm that represents clients across the United States.

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