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Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Obama Administration calls for new offensive in fight against HAIs

Both state and federal health officials have long known about the serious risks posed by hospital-acquired infections, which are responsible for thousands of patient deaths per year. However, despite this knowledge and the understanding that something more needs to be done, HAIs continue to emerge and continue to pose a deadly threat.

Consider the recent outbreak of the superbug known as carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae -- or CRE -- at several medical institutions across the U.S. that was later traced to the ineffective sterilization procedures for a certain type of medical scope used in an estimated 500,000 procedures every year.

Do you know enough about traumatic brain injuries? -- III

As Brain Injury Awareness Month -- the annual educational initiative sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of America -- draws to an end, so too will our blog's examination of traumatic brain injuries.

Indeed, our posts have touched on everything from the medical definition of a TBI to the rates at which Americans find themselves hospitalized after suffering a serious blow to the head. In today's post, we'll explore the difficult reality facing many TBI victims, and how exactly medical professionals can aggravate this condition.

Do you know enough about traumatic brain injuries? -- II

Last time, we started providing some background information on traumatic brain injuries as a demonstration of our firm's commitment to raising awareness during Brain Injury Awareness Month, an annual campaign put on by the Brain Injury Association of America.

In today's post, we'll continue this effort, discussing the incidence rates for TBIs here in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., as well as those who are most at risk of suffering this potentially life-altering trauma.

Do you know enough about traumatic brain injuries?

Now that spring is officially here and there are less than ten days left in March, many people are already mentally moving ahead to the warmer temperatures promised by April. However, before we turn the page on this month, it's important to recognize a very significant event that has been taking place for the last several weeks.

Every March, the Brain Injury Association of America observes Brain Injury Awareness Month, which serves as a valuable platform to educate people about this devastating condition, and how it affects the lives of both victims and their families. This year's theme is Not Alone, which the BIAA says is meant to "de-stigmatize the injury, empower those who have survived, and promote the many types of support that are available."

Understanding meningitis: Causes and complications -- II

Last week, we began providing some background information on meningitis, a potentially serious condition that can result in life-threatening complications and permanent neurological damage the longer it goes untreated.

In today's post, we'll take a closer look at some of the diagnostic tests available to physicians when confronted with a possible case of meningitis.

Study shows location may mean everything when it comes to surgery

To say that the choice of hospital to undergo a surgery "can mean the difference between life and death" may seem a bit disconcerting and perhaps even a bit overly dramatic.

However, that's exactly what one patient safety advocacy group said in a recently published study, which determined that the survival rates for four high-risk surgical procedures -- repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms, esophagectomies, replacement of the aortic valve and pancreatectomies -- can differ by upwards of 23 percent depending on the hospital selected by patients.

Understanding meningitis: Causes and complications

Anyone even the slightest bit familiar with meningitis knows that timing is of the absolute importance, as the longer the condition goes undiagnosed and untreated, the greater the potential for severe complications and lasting neurological harm.

Indeed, those who fail to secure the necessary treatment for meningitis are at an elevated risk of everything from hearing loss, memory problems and seizures to kidney failure, seizures and even death.

Examining the potential dangers of automatic prescription refills

Given the hectic pace of everyday life, most of us come to appreciate those little things that can save us an extra trip or spare us a few extra minutes. For instance, many people now pay their bills exclusively on their tablet computers or smartphones, avoiding the need to write out a check and drive to the nearest mailbox.

These conveniences also extend to the medical realm. Consider the automatic refill programs run by pharmacies, which ensure that customers never run out of their medications and even notify them -- via email or robocall -- when it's time to pick up their prescription.

What are hospitals doing to improve the safety of surgical patients? -- II

Our last post started discussing how many hospitals across the U.S. are now implementing innovative measures in an attempt to limit their exposure to so-called "adverse medical events," which can affect both their professional reputation and their profits.

In today's post, we'll continue this discussion, examining some of the other steps being implemented by hospitals to ensure the safety of surgical patients.

What are hospitals doing to improve the safety of surgical patients?

In recognition of the fact that so-called "adverse medical events" can cause harm to their professional reputation and their bottom line, more and more hospitals across the U.S. are now implementing innovative measures designed to keep patients safe and minimize the fallout from medical mistakes.

If you think that hospitals are perhaps being overly cautious and that most places are generally as safe as they need to be, you should perhaps consider the following statistics from both Johns Hopkins, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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