Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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Baton Rouge Personal Injury Blog

Turn off the car's infotainment system

A lot of new cars are amazing pieces of technology -- with integrated "infotainment" features that were unimaginable only a few years ago.

Unfortunately, research done by AAA indicates that the infotainment systems in many modern cars are taking drivers' attention away from the task of driving for as much as 40 seconds at a time -- and sometimes more! Given that it only takes two seconds of inattention to double the likelihood of a crash, this is an unbelievably frightening statistic.

Women: Can you recognize a heart attack?

Doctors and hospitals still seem to miss some of the most obvious signs of heart attacks -- especially where women are involved.

Even though heart disease is the primary killer of women in this country, heart attacks in women are often overlooked -- at least a few thousand times every year. Women make up over half of the victims of heart attacks -- but men are far more likely to receive a proper diagnosis.

The other "never events" that could endanger your life

If you have ever heard the term "never event" when it comes to medical mistakes, you probably know that these encompass medical mistakes for which there is no excuse, and which are preventable. You may associate these types of events with surgical errors, and you would be right.

However, other never events happen that you may not be aware of that could also endanger your life or cause you serious injuries.

Drug company accused of risking patients' lives

Did a drug company purposefully slow down an HIV drug's development in order to keep selling a much more expensive version? Did the company do it in spite of the fact that the drug in use was clearly more dangerous to patients?

That's the allegations being made by two different claimants in California. They claim that Gilead Sciences Inc., put profits ahead of patients in regards to the drug known as TDF.

If you wave another driver on, are you responsible for a wreck?

Almost every driver has waved another driver on at one time or another.

It happens all the time at intersections or in heavy traffic. You may find yourself looking directly in the eyes at some poor soul who just wants to find a break in the traffic and make his or her way home from work. You pause your car and give a little wave, signaling the other driver to move ahead.

Problems after an early discharge from the hospital

When you're sick and in the hospital, you should be discharged when your condition is resolved, not just because your insurance company wants you out of there in a hurry.

Unfortunately, that may be exactly what happens to far too many patients. Within a month of being discharged, bout 20 percent of patients develop serious complications — and the majority of those are preventable.

Pedestrian safety in rural areas

Who doesn't love a walk in the country?

Walking for both health and pleasure is enjoying a resurgence in popularity all over the country as people strive to live better lives and get more physically fit. Unfortunately, however, pedestrians in rural areas may be at an increased risk of injuries from cars and other vehicles on the roads around them. More than half of the nation's traffic fatalities as a whole happen in rural areas -- including 28 percent of pedestrian deaths.

Nurses may be the last defense against medication errors

When you are admitted to the hospital, you expect to receive the care you need in order to get well. The last thing you expect is to end up in worse shape than when you went in, especially if it's due to a mistake on the part of a member of the medical staff supposedly providing you with the appropriate standard of care.

One of the ways in which you may end up suffering harm at the hands of a medical professional is through medication errors. Even with all of the new safeguards in place to prevent such errors, they still occur.

Beware of safety risks at summer carnivals and fairs

Carnivals and fairs have been part of summer for just about as long as anyone can remember. Unfortunately, a lot of carnival owners and the operators of many of the rides don't do everything they can and should to ensure the public's safety.

The public is seldom aware of the risks until there's a horrific accident. Because these carnivals and fairs are mobile, they rarely get the same oversight that's given to permanent parks.

Hand washing woes: Why medical workers skip the task

The simplest thing medical professionals can do to prevent the spread of infection and disease is to wash their hands before touching a patient. So, why don't they do it?

Undercover researchers studying medical workers in a hospital discovered that about 78 percent of them failed to wash their hands properly before interacting with patients. Given the importance of the act -- and the level of education of the people involved -- that's a stunning rate of failure.