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Penn State Speaker Advocates For Patient Safety

In interesting news, Penn State-University Park recently hosted a speaker who advocates for patient safety in the area.  The speaker, Sorrel King, told the story of her 1 1/2 year old daughter who died as a result of medical error.  According to a news article released by Penn State, King's daughter Josie died due to dehydration and an incorrectly administered drug while being treated at a hospital in Baltimore. As a result of her daughter's death, King wrote a book and started a foundation to advocate for patient safety and help facilitate changes in the health care industry.  As King noted in her speech, she felt that her daughter's death was due to a lack of effective communication, and not from doctor/nurse mistakes.  

How can you help your loved ones avoid medical errors?  First of all, it is important to be very aware of what your loved one is being treated for, what medication and dosages they are on, and where/when they are scheduled for surgery.  It is also important to be alert for signs of infection, such as unusual redness or swelling at wound sites. In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate if your loved one died as a result of a medical error. If you have been the victim of a hospital error/unsafe situation (including infections, accidents, and additional injuries) and have suffered significantly as a result, it may be time to seek legal counsel.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is skilled in taking these types of claims and is your local hometown lawyer who can get the job done! Contact his Altoona, PA area office at 814-946- 4100 for your free initial consultation. 

For more information on the Penn State article, please visit this link:

http://news.psu.edu/story/404643/2016/04/15/academics/mother-shares-story-students-hopes-preventing-fatal-medical-errors

Water Temps May Be Dangerously Cold For Boating, Even In Summer

Are you aware of the boating/water dangers during this time of the year?  Once such article through the Standard Examiner took a close look at this issue.

During the transitional times of the year, especially from winter to spring, it is easy to get fooled by the warm, comfortable air temperatures.  However, this does not mean that local water temperatures  are also just as warm.   According to the article mentioned above, many large bodies of water in the country have temperatures of 50 degrees or lower. Sometimes, these low temperatures can exist well into summer.

Additionally, about half of boating accidents that result in water exposure at those low temperatures are fatal.  This is partially due to the fact that most adult boaters don't wear life jackets, and hypothermia is a real concern.  The article states that "Emergency exposure to cold water can incapacitate an individual in just 5 to 15 minutes; hypothermia can start in 30 minutes."  This prolonged exposure can lead to a decrease in physical ability to move, as well as confusion and drowsiness.  

Boating accidents see an expected and marked increase in the spring and summer, including incidences involving intoxication while driving a boat.  In this area, Glendale and Raystown lakes are arguably the most susceptible places in our local area for such occurrences.  Victims of boating accidents injured due to the fault of another may have lasting and extensive injuries that result in compounded medical bills and significant changes in mobility and ability.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is an attorney serving western and central Pennsylvania that handles cases involving personal injury. If you would like to consult with him about your case, please contact our law office.

For the original article, please click here:

http://www.standard.net/Recreation/2015/04/25/Cold-water-danger

What Is Adhesion Pain?

Have you heard of adhesion pain before? Chances are that you have not heard of this medical term unless you or a loved one has had very extensive or invasive medical treatments.  However, adhesion pain is a very real and painful medical problem.  So what is the condition, anyway?  Adhesion pain can best be described as "pain resulting from internal scar tissue that fuses together, most often in the abdominal region."  

Curious and want to learn more? Here are some fast facts about adhesion pain (resources from Pain Pathways magazine):

  • Adhesion scars can come not only from surgical procedures, but from injuries that do not require invasive surgery, such as getting hit in the stomach or being in a car accident.  
  • Adhesion scars can result in a serious medical complications, including chronic abdominal pain, fusion of internal organs, obstruction of the bowels, and infertility.
  • Adhesion scars don't not appear on medical scans, such as CAT, PET, or x-rays.  So, that means that they can sometimes be tricky to diagnose!
  • Treatment normally involves attending to the symptoms, and not the actual adhesion scar.  Although surgery is available to cut adhesion tissue, it may actually lead to more scar tissue and potentially worsen the problem. 
  • As a result of the recognition and diagnosis of adhesion scar pain, some foundations and support networks have been formed around the country for those suffering from adhesion scar pain.

The formation of adhesion scar tissue can occur after a wide variety of accidents and injuries, such as car accidents.  It is very important to monitor your pain and consult with a knowledgeable physician if you suspect that you may have a case of adhesion scar pain, especially if it leads to bowel obstruction or other painful disorders.  If you experience adhesion pain as the result of a car accident, it may be time to consult with an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer located in Altoona, PA and serves the central and western Pennsylvania area.  For more information on him and his firm, please call his law firm at 814-946-4100. 

Construction Season Safety Tips

Well, Pennsylvanians, "construction season" is unofficially here.  Need some tips as to how to keep your sanity and keep yourself/others safe on the road? Check out these tips below, courtesy of DrivingAmbitionInc.com.

  • The article from Driving Ambition notes that you should be aware that traffic delays in work zones aren't always confined to certain hours, and can occur late at night and early in the morning.  Be aware at all times. Also, be patient with construction workers.
  • Although obvious, always remember to slow down in work zones.  This will protect you, the other cars, and the construction workers!
  • Also, don't tailgate! Leave breathing room for other cars in case unexpected stopping/slowing down occurs.  
  • As always, DON'T text and drive.  You will need your attention focused on the road when going through work zones even more so than when driving regularly down the road.  Don't make a foolish mistake like texting and potentially cause long-lasting consequences for yourself and others. 
  • As noted in the article, "Expect delays and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination on time.  A great resource is the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse (http://www.workzonesafety.org/).  This website contains information on work zone delays throughout the country."

Car accidents are frightening, expensive, and time-consuming.  These accidents become more complicated and potentially lethal when they occur in a work zone.  Car accidents may also result in injuries that are extensive, painful, and long-lasting.  If you suffered an injury due to a car accident caused by another, it might be time to consult with an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania. For more information on his Altoona, PA law firm, please visit his website athttp://www.stoehrlaw.com or call his office at814-946-4100.

Please find the original article here:

http://www.drivingambitioninc.com/blog/bid/56989/Top-10-Work-Zone-Safety-Tips-for-CDL-Drivers

Being Aware Of Motorcycle "Trauma Season"

Recently, an article from Vanderbilt University highlighted the heightened dangers that motorcyclists face during the spring months.  According to the article, surgeons at Vanderbilt's medical center have noticed that there is a large increase in motorcycle accidents when the weather gets better.  Experts have coined the term "trauma season" from April through September and, at Vanderbilt, they typically see a 50% increase in patients injured by major trauma during this time period.  This year, the increase in trauma came early in proportion to the early onset of warmer weather.  

In an effort to avoid serious injuries, motorcyclists need to their part, too.  Motorcyclists and ATV riders should be especially careful to wear proper protective gear to avoid head injuries as a result of a traumatic brain injury.  According to the article's statistics, "motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 37 percent, reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by 65 percent, and save the U.S. approximately $3 billion each year in health care and societal costs." Vehicle drivers also need to be aware of motorcyclists on the road and be kind, careful, and alert drivers. 

Wearing a helmet is a common safety procedure that this law office feels should be followed at all times to protect yourself, whether you are on a bicycle or a motorcycle. However, we recognize that, at this time, mandatory helmet laws for those over 21 are not yet in effect. We also strongly feel that motorcyclists, cars, and bicyclists should share the road in a responsible and respectful manner. If you are a motorcyclist who has been wrongfully injured in a motor vehicle accident and may suffer from a spinal cord, brain, or other serious injury, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100 for a consultation at no cost to you.

To read the original article, please follow this link: 
http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2015/03/vanderbilt-trauma-surgeons-see-increase-in-motorcycle-crashes-with-springtime-weather-urge-proper-helmet-use/

Medical Errors Lead Mortality Causes in U.S.

When you hear about leading causes of death in the United States, what do you think of? Maybe car accidents, cancer, or other related illnesses? Well, it may surprise you to know that medical errors in hospitals are responsible for between 200,000-400,000 deaths per year. Some of these errors include hospital-acquired infections, medication errors, wrong operations, and diagnostic errors. These numbers don't even include deaths from medical errors committed in a hospital, but occur after the patient has been discharged.

So, what does that mean for you and your loved ones? First of all, it is important to be very aware of what your loved one is being treated for, what medication and dosages they are on, and where/when they are scheduled for surgery. It is also important to be alert for signs of infection, such as unusual redness or swelling at wound sites. Your hospitalized loved one should be also be asked questions relating to how they're feeling, their pain levels, and when they last took their medications.

In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate if your loved one died as a result of a medical error. If you have been the victim of a hospital error/unsafe situation (including infections, accidents, and additional injuries) and have suffered significantly as a result, it may be time to seek legal counsel. Attorney Doug Stoehr is skilled in taking these types of claims and is your local hometown lawyer who can get the job done! Contact his Altoona, PA area office at 814-946-4100 for your free initial consultation.

For more information on the medical error mortality study, please visit this link:

http://www.natlawreview.com/article/medical-errors-hospitals-are-third-leading-cause-death-us.

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