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Chronic Pain and Workplace Performance

One of the main problems surrounding symptoms of chronic pain is how it influences every aspect of your life.  Chronic pain is often not a disorder that changes its symptoms or decreases across situations.  Due to this, chronic pain can lead to problems in other aspects of your life, such as socially, athletically, and in workplace performance.


An article by Human Resource Executive Online addressed this problem in one of their online articles.  According to the article, HR professionals have an obligation to look for the signs of chronic pain and approach employees about it when appropriate.  Additionally, these professionals should familiarize themselves with the laws and regulations surrounding disabilities (professionally diagnosed chronic pain is considered both a medical condition and a disability). Workers with chronic pain do have rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act.  The article also acknowledged that chronic pain can carry stigma for the suffer, so HR representatives should be sensitive when broaching the subject.  Many companies also have infrastructure in place to support people with disabilities, so HR representatives should work to try and get those services put in place for the sufferer of chronic pain.   Overall, it is prudent on the part of the employee and HR representative to work together to discuss the medical condition and come to grips with how that will affect their job performance.


Chronic pain is a tricky diagnosis in terms of finding the right medication combination that will work, but will not lead to overmedication.  Working with your physician and seeing what is right for you is the only way to find an effective, realistic pain management treatment.  Chronic pain that is the result of an accident caused by another is even more frustrating!  If you would like more information about this page or central Pennsylvania attorney Doug Stoehr's areas of practice surrounding injuries that lead to chronic pain, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100.

Brain Injuries Have A Long Recovery Time

Sometimes, people who are victims of a car crash often experience concussions or another form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Although the signs associated with this injury may not immediately be present, the symptoms may manifest themselves days or weeks later.  Many common symptoms related to TBIs include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, changes in sleep patterns, and gaps in or loss of portions of memory.  Other more immediate symptoms may include vomiting and/or loss of vision.


Post-TBI, many patients find that the road to recovery is long, hard, and takes a variety of different professionals to manage the healing process.  Major news source NBC took a hard look at instances of TBIs in America and what the recovery process looks like for those victims.  The article can be found by clicking this link


If you have recently been in a car crash, it is important to closely monitor your body's response and recovery after the accident.  If you suspect a TBI, immediately seek help from a qualified physician who can diagnose you and develop a comprehensive treatment plan.  If your car accident was due to the fault of another, it may also be time to seek legal action.  This is especially true if your injuries cause you to miss extended periods of work or not be able to continue your line of work at all.  Other major expenses resulting from an accident may include medical bills.  If you or a loved one has recently been in a car accident due to the fault of another, please contact Altoona, PA area personal injury attorney Doug Stoehr to set up an initial, free consultation.  His law office can be reached by visiting his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or calling his firm at 814-946-4100.

Nursing Home High-Risk Times

When an elderly person is admitted to a nursing home, there are several periods of time that are higher-risk for injury than other periods.  This phenomenon has been studied and documented by numerous researchers.  One study by Doupe et. al. (2011) titled "Nursing Home Adverse Events: Further Insight to Highest Risk Periods" talked about some of these situations.  For example, some of the highest-risk periods including the following times and situations:

-New residents account for a disproportionately high percentage of nonhip fractures and bedsores
-Hospitalized falls, hip fractures, and respiratory infections are most common immediately before resident death
-Skin ulcers are most likely for new nursing home residents coming from a hospital; this is independent of mobility 

All in all, transition periods, either just being admitted to a nursing home or in the late stages of life immediately preceding death, are the high-risk periods for nursing home residents.  New nursing home residents transferred from hospitals pose an even higher risk for some conditions.  Applying this knowledge, if someone you know has been recently admitted into a nursing home, the first three months are critical to monitor for any changing conditions or health issues.  If you feel that your loved one needs more care than they are currently being given by the nursing home staff, you may need to discuss changes in your relative's individualized care plan.  


Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer who takes caes for victims of nursing home abuse and negligence.  For more information on his practice, please call his firm at 814-946-4100.

Truck Drivers Guilty of Distracted Driving

When you see tractor-trailers moving along our country's highways, you expect their drivers to be safe, alert, and vigilant. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  A local New York City news source posted an article a few years ago about the increased occurrence of truck drivers who text and drive.  According to the news report, through local ABC news station 13WHAM,  "A hidden camera investigation has uncovered a dangerous trend on highways. WABC-TV in New York City set up camera on several of highly travel roadways, catching truckers texting and talking on their phones and one driver even talking on two cell phones at once. The New York State Department of Transportation said nearly 16,000 truckers were ticketed for distracted driving in 2013, but only four of them were suspended and taken out of service." 4 out of 16,000 drivers who were caught texting while driving seems like a tiny percentage!  

 
If you are involved in a car accident, most states, including Pennsylvania, have at least one section on the incident report dedicated to distracted driving violations.  Fines and charges may increase if you are cited with one of these violations.  Distracted driving is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents on the highway.  If you have been injured as the result of a distracted driver, it might be time to consult an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  Please call his firm at 814-946-4100 for more information. 

CARIE Works For The Rights Of The Elderly

This post is a version of a story we originally brought to your attention several years ago, but is, unfortunately, still very relevant today.  Please read this article to learn more about advocating for the rights of our state's senior population!

Interested in advocating for the rights of the elderly?  Are you or an elderly loved one currently undergoing some type of neglect or physical, financial, emotional, or sexual abuse? You might want to consider visiting the following website for valuable resources on educating and protecting yourself from elder abuse.  The Center For Advocacy Of The Rights And Interests Of The Elderly, known as CARIE, has set up a detailed resource page for education on many forms of elder abuse.  Please visit their website for more valuable information. 

Pennsylvania has also stepped up to protect its state's aging population.  The state has set up a statewide elder abuse hotline, which can be accessed by calling this number: 1-800-490-8505.  The hotline is open 24 hours a day and can be used a tipline to report activity related to abuse, neglect, exploitation, identity theft, or abandonment of an elderly PA resident.  Pennsylvania also has local Area Agencies on Aging that can assist in these situations. 

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for older Pennsylvanians who have been abused or neglected.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area practice, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.  Attorney Stoehr takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties.

Be Cautious When Driving This Winter

Unfortunately, there have been many recent reports in central and western Pennsylvania involving accidents due to winter road conditions. Ice, snow, sleet, and freezing rain can cause accidents for even the most careful of drivers.  There are some important things to consider when driving this winter, which, even though they may be second nature to most native Pennsylvanians, are worth checking out to see if there is anything you're missing!  

Areas you may wish to double-check in your car are: making sure your car's radio works properly, making sure your wiper blades don't streak, and having an emergency kit in your car.  Some things you should put in that emergency kit include a flashlight, jumper cables, blankets, and a first aid kit.

Winter car accidents are frightening, expensive, and time-consuming.  These 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 call his office at 814-946-4100.

Social Media In The Office

Ever wonder how different employers regulate the use of social media? The Huffington Post released an interesting article that, although a few years old, covered some interesting trends that arose in social media use in the office.  Some of the more interesting points include the following:

  • Almost 100% of companies now use social media in some way for their businesses
  • There has been a 20% increase in the number of organizations that have formal social media policies from 2013-2014
  • Fewer than 20% of organizations have provisions that protect against social media misuse by ex-employees
  • To read more, please visit  the original article from the Huffington Post by clicking here


Social media use has many implications for clients pursuing a personal injury claim.  Similar to applying for a job or being an employee within a company, your social media activity is not as private or as protected as you may think.  For example, an innocent picture of you enjoying a short walk after your accident may be misconstrued as a full and complete recovery.  Additionally, posts/comments from friends suggesting that you're healthier than you really are may come across as you being insincere about your injury as well.  Social media may become dangerous for a case when certain pictures or comments are taken out of context and may be used against you.  For this reason, if you are hesitant about posting a picture or writing a comment that you feel may be used against your case, use discretion and do not post that item.  It may be even be better to not discuss your injury, and especially your legal claim, over Facebook at all.  The only way to keep your personal life as private as you want it to be is to not post anything you wouldn't want everyone to know about.


If you would like more information about this page or central Pennsylvania attorney Doug Stoehr's areas of practice, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100.

Throwback Thursday: Snowmobile Safety and Accident Prevention

This blog post, originally highlighted on our website several years ago, bears repeating as we enjoy winter sports outside. Please take a minute and review this article, which can be found below, to make sure your snowmobiling practices are as safe as possible!

An online article, which can be accessed by clicking this link, talks about The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association's (ISMA) global campaign to raise awareness for snowmobile safety and training.  According to the publication, different countries' laws governing snowmobile operation are extremely variable, and there are generally fewer regulations for snowmobile operation than for other, similar vehicles like ATVs.


Most fatal snowmobile accidents occur when excessive speed and/or alcohol consumption play a role.  Not only does alcohol impair judgment and inhibit responses, it can also lead to hypothermia.  Night driving is also a particular hazard, and some reports estimate that most fatal accidents occur between the hours of 8PM and 3AM.  Interestingly, many snowmobile accidents also result in drowning.  When children are involved in fatal accidents, the majority of deaths tend to result head and spine injuries from impact against an object, such as a tree or wall.


The online article also offered several easy and practical snowmobile safety tips, several of which can be found below:

  • Wear warm, water repellant clothes with a windproof outer layer.  Don't forget gloves and goggles.
  • Tell others of your estimated time of arrival and let them know your route.
  • Always ride with someone else--don't travel alone.
  • Carry a first aid and safety kit.  A tool kit, flashlight, maps, and flares may be useful.
  • Be alert to potential avalanche concerns.  If you live in an avalanche-prone area, consider traveling with ice picks and poles to help you out in the case of an emergency.
  • If you go through the ice on your snowmobile, a special snowmobile suit may help you stay afloat for a short period of time.  Pull yourself onto the ice and roll away from the hole!  Keep your mittens/gloves on during this time, even though they are wet.
 
Off-road vehicles, such as snowmobiles and ATVs, are potentially dangerous vehicles for many of our state's youth.  Improper ATV use is leading cause of serious injury among Pennsylvanians.   Attorney Doug Stoehr of Altoona, PA handles cases involving injury as a result of accidents involving off-road vehicles.  For more information about Attorney Doug Stoehr and his central Pennsylvania practice, please call his law firm at 814-946-4100. 

What Is Adhesion Pain?

Adhesion pain:  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 disorder.  Adhesion pain can best be described as pain resulting from internal scar tissue that fuses together, most often in the abdominal region.  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.  Pain Pathways magazine has reported on this phenomenon in past issues.  Adhesion scars can result in myriad medical complications, including chronic abdominal pain, fusion of internal organs, obstruction of the bowels, and infertility.  Unfortunately, adhesion scars are more complicated to treat and diagnose since they do not appear on medical scans, such as CAT, PET, or x-rays.  Treatment normally involves attending to the symptoms, such as bowel obstruction, and not the actual adhesion scar.  Surgery is available to cut adhesion tissue in the abdominal cavity, but may in fact lead to more scar tissue, so it is not the normal course of action.  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.  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 office at 814-946-4100.

Chronic Pain and Workplace Performance

One of the main problems surrounding symptoms of chronic pain is how it influences every aspect of your life.  Chronic pain is often not a disorder that changes its symptoms or decreases across situations.  Due to this, chronic pain can lead to problems in other aspects of your life, such as socially, athletically, and in workplace performance.

An article by Human Resource Executive Online addressed this problem in one of their online articles.  According to the article, HR professionals have an obligation to look for the signs of chronic pain and approach employees about it when appropriate.  Additionally, these professionals should familiarize themselves with the laws and regulations surrounding disabilities (professionally diagnosed chronic pain is considered both a medical condition and a disability). Workers with chronic pain do have rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act.  The article also acknowledged that chronic pain can carry stigma for the suffer, so HR representatives should be sensitive when broaching the subject.  Many companies also have infrastructure in place to support people with disabilities, so HR representatives should work to try and get those services put in place for the sufferer of chronic pain.   Overall, it is prudent on the part of the employee and HR representative to work together to discuss the medical condition and come to grips with how that will affect their job performance.

Chronic pain is a tricky diagnosis in terms of finding the right medication combination that will work, but will not lead to overmedication.  Working with your physician and seeing what is right for you is the only way to find an effective, realistic pain management treatment.  If you would like more information about chronic pain as it relates to your personal injury claim, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100.

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer practicing in the western and central Pennsylvania region.  For more information on his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

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