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file0001812797650If your doctor is on probation due to medical negligence or for committing a serious surgical error, how will you know? According to a recent report from KQED News and California Healthline, proposed legislation “would have required doctors and other medical [professionals] to notify their patients if they were on probation for serious infractions.” However, as the report explains, the California Senate rejected the legislation, meaning that there will be no law in place—at least not in the very near future—that will require physicians to inform their patients about their severe mistakes.

Details of the Proposed Legislation and its Limited Application


As the report explains, the proposed legislation did not aim to require all doctors and other healthcare professionals who have been cited for any and all forms of medical negligence to tell their patients. The bill only “would have applied to a tiny pool of practitioners—those disciplined for serious offenses such as gross negligence, sexual misconduct, substance abuse, or a felony conviction related to patient care.”

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MAILMANHow often are mail carriers in California injured by dog bites and animal attacks? According to a recent news release from the U.S. Postal Service, 6,549 mail carriers and other employees were the victims of dog attacks last year. Where did most of the dog bites occur? According to the USPS, Houston, TX was the city with the highest number of dog bites (77 in total), but San Diego was a close second with 58 dog attacks in 2015. Both numbers show an increase from 2014. For example, dog bites rose in Houston by 22%, and they actually rose by 23% in San Diego. In numerous cities across the country, the rate of animal attacks rose. As such, the USPS has made recommendations to help prevent employee dog bite injuries.

Taking Steps to Improve USPS Employee Safety

Given that dog bite injuries are on the rise in many of America’s cities—including in San Diego—the USPS has announced new safety initiatives that are aimed at preventing animal attacks on its employees. As USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo explained of the recent increase in dog bites, “dogs are protective in nature and may view our letter carriers handling mail to their owner as a threat.” Yet just because dogs are protective of the properties on which they live does not mean that USPS employees do not have options to be safer when they are doing their jobs.

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brain scanGiven the enormous attention to sports-related concussions and the long-term implications of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) for professional athletes, it should not come as a surprise that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed a brain injury study. What has come as a surprise, however, are allegations that the NFL “improperly attempted to influence the grant review process” for that study, according to a recent report from NFL.com. The allegations came through a report issued by New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone following concerns about bias.

Do the recent allegations suggest that certain studies may not be providing accurate information about the dangers of NFL concussions and rates of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) among ex-football players? To better understand the implications of Pallone’s report, we should take a closer look at the specific allegations levied against the NFL.

Details of the Congressional Report

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file0001308286258Most San Diego residents do not have to wait until summer to enjoy trips to the beach or afternoons by the pool. However, given that most children are on vacation during the summer months and likely will be engaging in recreational activities in and around the water, it is important to think about water safety and ways of preventing serious and even fatal child injuries. Parents in California should understand the risks and symptoms of both dry drowning and secondary drowning, and how to react in the event that an accident happens. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, dry drowning and secondary drowning are not especially well understood, and it is important to learn more about how these incidents can occur.

Risks Continue After a Child Leaves the Water


One of the scariest features of both dry drowning and secondary drowning is that the child typically appears to be safe after being pulled from the water, only to exhibit life-threatening symptoms at a later point. Dry drowning is a little bit different from secondary drowning in terms of the timing. To better understand the symptoms of each, we should take a closer look at what each type of drowning entails.

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file0001569965691According to a recent report from NPR, car accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers, and in a surprisingly high number of those crashes, alcohol plays a role. About 25% of all teenage traffic collisions involve alcohol. In states where there are substantial restrictions on alcohol usage and serious repercussions for impaired driving, the rate of teenage auto accident fatalities tends to be lower, according to a recent study reported by NPR. What do the findings of this new study tell us? California and states across the country should put policies into place that help to curb teens’ purchase and use of alcohol, and to take steps to make the consequences of drinking and driving more severe.

Regulations on Alcohol Sales for the General Population


When we talk about regulations aimed at limiting the purchase of alcohol and its consumption by underage teen drivers, what kinds of regulations are we thinking about in practice? According to the NPR report, there are a number of regulations that can accomplish these goals with relative ease, and all of them target the general population. In other words, policies aimed strictly at teens do not tend to have the results we want. Rather, it is important to consider regulations that would limit alcohol purchases for everyone, including San Diego residents who can legally purchase it. Examples of these policies include but are not limited to:

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Opened First Aid Kit

Opened First Aid Kit

When you visit a hospital in San Diego for a routine procedure, you should not have to worry about sustaining a serious injury as a result of medical negligence. However, medical mistakes happen much more often than any of us would like to think. According to a recent article in Yahoo! Finance, up to as many as 440,000 people in the United States suffer fatal injuries every year because of hospital mistakes. In addition to those deaths, it is likely that around 722,000 American develop preventable infections while they are staying at a hospital, and around 75,000 of those infections turn out to be fatal. Yet, as the article points out, we can take steps to prevent some of the harms associated with common hospital errors.

Preventing Falls at the Hospital


You might not think immediately of a fall-related injury when you think about a medical error, yet falls in a hospital setting often result from medical negligence. Hospitals need to take steps to ensure that patients do not slip and fall and that they have the proper equipment to move around the facility without getting hurt. According to the article, about one million American patients suffer falls every year when they are in the hospital, and the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that about one-third of those falls are preventable.

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brain scanJust how pervasive are concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among professional athletes? According to a recent article in MedPage Today, a recent study determined that more than 40% of all former NFL players show signs of having experienced TBI. In other words, many—if not all—of those former players could be at risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease of the brain that results from a “history of repetitive brain trauma,” according to an information sheet from the Boston University CTE Center.

Will these new findings impact the ways in which players approach the game? Or do we need even more evidence of the severity of football injuries in order to change the way the sport is played?

MRI Scans Showed Signs of Brain Injury

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234461207_9f28bf606fWhen you drop off your child at a daycare facility each weekday morning, should you be worried about safety issues? According to a recent report from NBC News, there may be more child injury risks at daycare locations that most parents in San Diego would like to believe. Indeed, the article cites a recent report from the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which “said that 96 percent of the 227 commercial day-care centers and in-home providers that its auditors visited were found to be in violation of at least one state safety or health regulation.”

When your child suffers a preventable daycare injury, you deserve to seek compensation. An experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer can assist with your case.

Infractions at Daycare Centers and Facilities

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Mini Lada amarilloAre we going to see more self-driving cars on California’s roads in the upcoming weeks and months? According to a recent article in The Washington Post, auto accident safety experts and representatives from the automotive industry expressed serious concerns about the likely link between self-driving vehicles and serious car accidents. Earlier this month the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked a number of different groups to provide input while it develops guidance for automated vehicles, but the federal agency quickly learned that many leaders in the field simply do not approve of the technology—and allowing it out on the roads—as it currently stands.

Self-Driving Vehicle Owners Will Need Time to Adjust


What is one of the primary reasons that Californians are not yet ready to own self-driving vehicles on a large scale? According to a representative from the National Safety Council (NSC), many of the features of these automated vehicles have been named and designed for marketing purposes. In practical terms, that means that it will likely be difficult for owners—both young and old—to understand how to properly engage the technology and to avoid a severe traffic collision.

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file0002014909352When an older adult suffers a spinal cord injury (SCI), is it more difficult to recover? According to a recent news release from UC San Diego Health, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the University of British Columbia suggests that “age diminishes ability to regenerate axons, the brain’s communication wires in the spinal cord.” In other words, as we age, it may be increasingly difficult to recover from SCI.

Impact of Age on the Central Nervous System


As the news release notes, more Americans aged 65 and older are continuing to engage in active lifestyles. However, this shift in lifestyles for the aging population means that seniors are at greater risk of sustaining serious personal injuries, including SCIs. The researchers involved in the study wanted to determine whether the older adults who do suffer spinal cord injuries are at greater risk of remaining debilitated—and not able to recover fully—after an accident happens.