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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

Millions of pounds of chicken recalled due to foreign objects

A recall early this month of Pilgrim's Pride chicken has now been expanded. The new recall, announced on April 26, involves about 4.5 million pounds of chicken. This is in addition to the 41,000 pounds of chicken nuggets that the company previously announced were being recalled. All of the recalled chicken products are cooked.

The chicken is being recalled because consumers reported finding foreign materials including metal, plastic, rubber and wood in them. So far, however, there have been no reports of anyone being harmed by the materials.

Florida among the states with the most malpractice suits

If you judge the worst states in which to get ill or require surgery by the number of malpractice suits filed, Florida is one of them. A study of medical malpractice suits between 2004 and 2014 that involved major injury or death put us at 8th worst in the country. Florida had 41 such cases per 100,000 residents.

Interestingly, many of ten states with the dubious distinction of being the worst are in the eastern part of the country, led by Pennsylvania and New Jersey. New York and Washington, D.C. were also among the top five riskiest states for patients.

Nursing fatigue is a serious risk to patient safety

When we think about medical professionals suffering from fatigue, we often picture overworked residents catching a catnap between shifts. However, hospital risk managers are increasingly realizing that nurses often suffer from fatigue, and that fatigue is a threat to the safety of patients.

Now it's just a matter of getting hospital administrators to take the necessary actions to help reduce the problem. Risk management experts in the health care field say that if things are going to change, hospitals need to seek scheduling of nurses as a safety issue rather than a budgetary or human resources one.

Truck drivers can and do keep medical conditions a secret

Commercial drivers -- whether they operate trucks, buses or other vehicles -- are required by law to undergo and pass health screenings. However, that's no guarantee that they don't have medical conditions they're unaware of or failing to report to their doctor or the Department of Transportation.

When their career is at stake, some may be less than forthcoming about a medical condition, even one that can seriously affect their health. Some drivers go so far as to illegally obtain a fraudulent medical certificate indicating their fitness to operate a commercial vehicle.

Study: Popular heartburn drugs linked to dementia

For the millions of people who take medication like Prilosec or Nexium for their heartburn and acid reflux, recent news about the potential dangers of drugs like these, known as proton pump inhibitors, has likely been concerning. PPIs have been linked to kidney damage, osteoporosis and heart attacks, among other conditions. They have also been reported to be habit-forming.

Now a new study has linked PPIs to dementia in older people. The study, which appears in the journal JAMA Neurology, was conducted in Germany. Researchers looked at almost 74,000 people over 75 years old.

Study: More testing leads to fewer malpractice suits

"Defensive medicine" is intended by those in the medical community to reduce the chances of medical malpractice suits. According to one study conducted in Florida, defensive medicine, which includes conducting a greater number of tests of patients, whether they need them or not, reduces the number of medical malpractice suits.

The study focused on doctors in acute care hospitals who practiced internal and family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and general surgery. Researchers found that the more money that was spent on patients, the less likely they were to file malpractice claims.

Who is to blame when robotic surgery goes awry?

Robotic surgery has become increasingly common in our hospitals. It's one of the major surgical advances in recent years. Thousands of hospitals have one or more of them. The da Vinci Surgical System is used for everything from heart surgery to prostate removal to cancer surgery and more.

Surgical robots can operate with a precision that human hands cannot. They don't get tired or tremble as surgeons can do. Further, they can make surgery less invasive, which can speed recovery time for patients.

Study: Most headlights in mid-size cars underperform

When most people think about car safety, headlights aren't the first things that generally come to mind. However, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found most headlights in midsize cars lacking.

The IIHS looked at 31 popular midsize cars, with 82 different types of headlight systems. It studied headlight performance on both gradual and sharp terms as well as on straight roads, determining how far the beam reached. The study also looked at how much glare was created. If a car had automatic high beams, that was a plus in the scoring.

Jury gives historic award in fatal hysterectomy suit

The family of a woman who died during a hysterectomy in 2013 has been awarded over $5 million in their civil suit against the hospital and those involved in the surgery. The victim's father said that the procedure "was supposed to be an outpatient deal."

The 36-year-old woman went to a Peoria, Illinois, hospital for a hysterectomy. According to the suit, during the robotically-enhanced surgery, an artery was lacerated by an instrument that was being controlled by one of the surgeons.

Tips for protecting your newly-licensed teen

Although cars have generally gotten safer over the years, the number of teens injured and killed in car accidents is still disturbingly high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, on average, six teenagers lose their lives daily in accidents. Teens are most likely to be involved in crashes as newly-licensed drivers.

One researcher says that "the most dangerous two years of your life are between 16 and 17." While illness, suicide and other factors play a role, she says that "the reason is driving."

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