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Michael A. Kernbach, Attorney at Law
9253 Mosby Street, Suite 100, Manassas, VA 20110
(571) 292-9046
Virginia personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Michael A. Kernbach, P.C. handles injury cases including accidents, workers' compensation, and Social Security Disability.
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(571) 292-9046
9253 Mosby Street, Suite 100, Manassas, VA 20110
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Failure to Diagnose is Top Cause of Medical Malpractice Cases - A recent study found that the failure to correctly diagnose a patient’s illness is the most common cause of a malpr...
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The Greatest Risk to Teen Drivers: Parents worry when their children get their driver’s licenses. They know that teen drivers are more likely to be involved in a serious accident than any other group.  Of course, parents tell their teenagers not to drink and drive. They emphasize that talking on a cell phone or texting takes a driver’s eyes, and mind, off the road.  They worry about teen drivers being on the road late at night and the risks of fatigue.

The single biggest risk to teen drivers is teen passengers
There is just one simple risk factor that parents and teens often overlook. The AAA foundation has proven conclusively that for young drivers, the chance of being involved in a fatal crash grows dramatically for every additional passenger in the car under the age of 21. On the other hand, having a passenger above the age of 35 greatly decreases the chance of a crash.

In a situation with a driver under the age of 18, having one passenger under the age of 21 increased the chances of a fatal accident by 44 percent, as compared to driving alone. Having two young passengers doubled the risk, and three passengers quadrupled the risk. Drivers with young passengers were also more likely to be involved in a less serious crash, but interestingly the risk was not statistically significant.

Having one older passenger decreased the risk of a fatal crash by 62 percent versus driving alone. In this case, having an adult present also decreased the risk of a less serious crash by 40 percent. The AAA foundation noted that the risk of fatal crashes in this age group has declined in recent years, at least in part because of state laws that limit the number of passengers that young drivers may carry.

It is clear that having younger or older passengers does not magically change the chances of a serious accident. The issue is how the behavior of a young driver changes based on the other passengers in the car. Teen drivers who are carrying even one young passenger are more likely to be distracted. On the other hand, a driver who has an adult on board is more likely to be on their best behavior.

Should I forbid my child to drive with passengers in the car?

Parents who see these statistics may decide not to allow their teens to drive with young passengers at all, and that is not an unreasonable decision. Though there is another way to use this information. Show this study to your teenager, and ask them what they think. How can they use this information?  Is it more likely that they may be more likely to take risks when their friends are in the car?  Do they think that they may be a safer driver when you can physically be there?

Many teen drivers have at least one car accident in their first years of driving, and if it happens, call us. Children fall when they are learning to walk, and often they also make mistakes when they learn other new skills, like driving. And remember, even a young driver is not necessarily at fault in an accident.

#VirginiaAutoAccidentAttorney #TeenDrivers #Safety
AAA foundation has proven conclusively that for young drivers, the chance of being involved in a fatal crash grows for every passenger under the age of 21.
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My SSDI Claim Was Denied – What Can I Do? If you have paid FICA taxes in the past and you are covered by SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), you assume that the benefits will be there if you ever need them. SSDI benefits are not welfare; they are part of a national insurance plan in which workers pay premiums during their careers so that they can put in claims if they ever become ill or injured and can no longer work. Unfortunately, many workers learn only after they need these benefits that most SSDI claims are denied.

If you have received a denial letter, all is not lost. A significant percentage of claims that are denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are granted on appeal. But you have to act fast, and you have to understand how you can fix your claim so that you can receive benefits.

You must appeal the denial within the 60 day limit

If your claim has been denied, you will receive a letter stating that you have 60 days to appeal the denial, counted from the date on the letter that you received. There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule. Arguing that you were unable to appeal in time because of your health problems will not work, because SSDI is designed for people with serious health problems.  Calling an attorney immediately after you get your denial letter gives you the best chance of getting a successful appeal in on time.

Hiring a lawyer for your appeal will increase your chances of success

Most people try to apply for SSDI benefits on their own, either by filing online or making an appointment at a local SSA office. The system is designed to be user-friendly. Unfortunately, even most attorneys do not understand the rules that SSA uses to determine disability in a particular case. SSA uses a book called the Blue Book that describes different diagnoses and the tests and criteria that SSA uses to determine whether a diagnosis meets the level of what SSA calls a “listed impairment.”  It is an actual book – a thick one – filled with medical jargon. Having your doctor say that you are ill and injured and cannot work is a good place to start, but it is far from enough to convince Social Security.

Your doctor can be very helpful in making your case to SSA, but most doctors do not understand how an SSDI application works and the kinds of evidence that SSA needs to see in your file in order to approve your claim. It is the combination of your lawyer and your doctor, working together, that has the best chance for success.

There are no legal fees until you win benefits

The Law Offices of Michael A. Kernbach, PC is based in Manassas and Roanoke, but we help claimants throughout the tri-state area.  Our mission is to fight for people who do not have a voice.  Don’t hesitate to call us because you believe that you cannot afford our help. You will never receive a bill from us; we will be paid by SSA once your claim is approved.

Call us today for a free consultation. The longer you wait to call, the longer it will take before your claim is approved.

#VirginiaSSDAttorney #SocialSecurityDisabilityClaims #SSDIAppeals
A significant percentage of claims denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are granted on appeal, but you have to act fast to be successful.
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Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability Payments? If you have been injured or have a chronic illness and are incapable of working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments. These payments can replace some of your lost wages, and after two years of receiving SSDI payments, you will be eligible for Medicare, which can help you pay your medical bills.  However, you must meet three separate tests to qualify for SSDI, and even in the best case scenario, it will take months for your checks to arrive.
Three criteria for SSDI eligibility

You must meet all three of these criteria to be eligible for SSDI benefits:

1) You have worked "on the books" and paid FICA taxes
In most cases, you must have worked five out of the last ten years in order to be eligible for SSDI. However, this does not mean that you must have worked five full calendar years.  If you are young and had a limited time to participate in the work force, you may qualify even if you have not worked for five years. You can request a statement of your Social Security earnings from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you are not sure you meet the required amount of earnings.

2) You must be "disabled", as defined by the SSA
The fact that your doctor believes that you cannot work is helpful, but it is not sufficient. SSA uses a document called the Blue Book that defines various disabilities. If you have a specific diagnosis listed in the Blue Book and have the degree of impairment that SSA requires, then you have a “listed impairment” and you qualify for SSDI payments. If you do not have a listed impairment but you have more than one diagnosis, and if SSA believes that your illnesses or injuries, taken together, are similar to the severity of a listed impairment, then you can also qualify for SSDI.

3) Your disability must be expected to last for at least 12 months or to result in death

How quickly can I get my first check?

Review of an SSDI application generally takes 2-3 months. Even if you win benefits on this first level of review, your checks will not start until the end of a waiting period of 5 full months from your date of disability. For example, if you were unable to work starting on January 15, then you will have to wait until July 1 to become eligible. Depending on your monthly payment date, your first benefit payment should arrive sometime in August.

In some cases, your date of disability can be backdated to a date before you filed your application. In that case, your benefits would start based on this earlier date.  Your attorney can advise you on whether you may qualify for an earlier date of disability.

Be aware that most applications are not approved the first time they are reviewed. It is estimated that 30-35 percent of applications are approved immediately, and another 30-35 percent are granted only after one or more appeals. In many cases, it can take two to three years before your benefits start. You will receive back pay – the benefits for the months in which you would have been eligible if your application had been approved initially – but you have to be able to survive financially until you are approved, and some claims are never approved at all.

For all these reasons, SSDI is designed for people who have serious physical or mental disabilities but who can survive without earnings until their Social Security Disability benefits are approved. If you believe that you may qualify for SSDI, contact our office to start the application process.  The longer you wait, the longer it will take for you to get the benefits to which you are entitled.

#VirginiaSSDAttorney #SocialSecurityDisability #Eligibility
SSDI payments can replace some lost wages, and after two years of receiving benefits, you will be eligible for Medicare to help pay your medical bills.
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Is Your Auto Accident Case Really a Products Liability Case in Disguise? If you have been in an auto accident, you probably assume that one of the drivers was at fault for the crash. If you saw the other car and stepped on the brakes, but your car did not stop in time, you might automatically assume that you must have not been paying attention. If you lost control of your car on a curve and it flipped over, you will most likely conclude that you must have been traveling too fast, even if you originally thought that you were driving at a safe speed.

However, many auto accident liability cases are really products liability cases, in disguise.  What if you saw the other car in plenty of time, but your car did not stop soon enough because your brakes failed, due to a problem in the factory that manufactured them or because of a mistake by the factory worker who installed them?  What if you were in fact driving at a safe speed but your car flipped because the design of this model of car is known to flip easily?

Many products liability cases go undetected

The first, and most important, step in determining whether your car accident may have been caused by a defective product rather than driver error is to be aware of that possibility. If your airbags suddenly inflate while you are driving down the highway, or if your car suddenly shifts from park to drive and lunges forward, you will probably realize that your car may be defective.

But if your accident can readily be explained by a common type of driver error, such as speeding, taking a curve too sharply, and the like, you and your lawyer will simply assume that you — and not your car — were the cause of the accident.  This is a mistake, because many accidents are caused by a combination of factors. Even if you were driving too fast, for example, the injuries and damage caused by the accident may have been much less severe if the car was not defective.

Types of product defects

There are three different types of product defects that justify bringing a products liability case under Virginia law. The first is a design defect.  A car might be designed in such a way that makes it more likely than others in its class to fail in a certain way and cause injury. An example of this is the Ford Pinto models of the 1970s, which were liable to burst into flame after being rear-ended due to the design of the car's gas tank.

The second type of defect is a manufacturing defect.  In this situation, there was a mistake made in the factory (or at the dealer, in the case of an aftermarket option) that causes the car to be more likely to cause injury. The third product defect is one involving lack of adequate warnings. For example, if a child safety seat is liable to come loose in an accident and the manual accompanying the product did not explain how to prevent the problem, failure to warn is a type of product defect.

How can I find out if my car is defective?

The first place to start your research is at SaferCar, a website run by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Association, which publicizes all recalls of cars and automobile parts in the United States.  Even in the absence of similar accidents involving your type of car, an experienced attorney, working with an investigator or car accident reconstruction specialist, will know what questions to ask and what signs to be aware of as they investigate your accident. They will look at both the crash itself and the type and severity of the injuries and property damage in determining whether a product defect may have contributed to your damages.

The Law Offices of Michael A. Kernbach, PA has more than 25 years of experience helping Virginia drivers protect their rights to compensation in complex auto accident cases.

Many auto accident liability cases are really products liability cases in disguise, like manufacturer defects, design flaws and failures to warn drivers.
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Texting While Driving is Dangerous, But Teens Are Not the Culprits: In the last few years, everyone has been bombarded with the admonition that you should never text and drive. Whether the message is delivered by a PSA or an episode of Glee, the warnings always feature a fresh-faced new driver whose life has been forever altered by their ill-fated decision to take their eyes off the road to respond to a text message.

The danger is real, but the message is not getting through to the people who need it most. A study conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide found that adults are more likely than teenagers to text while driving.  While 43 percent of teen drivers admitted that they have texted behind the wheel, almost 50 percent of adults have done the same.

Mothers would do anything for their babies – other than put their phones away

Some 78 percent of mothers admit to talking on a cell phone while driving with their infants present, and 26 percent admit to texting or checking e-mail.  The mothers feel that they have become better drivers than they were before they had children — but their behavior shows otherwise. Ten percent of the survey participants have had a crash while driving with their children in the car — a rate three times that of the general population.

The Huffington Post cited previous studies showing that texting while driving is six times as dangerous as driving drunk.  Based on these types of data, 39 states have already forbidden texting while driving. However, the law does not seem to be changing driver behavior.

If people know that texting behind the wheel is dangerous and illegal, why do they continue to do it?

The Safe Kids study found that the drivers were afraid of not being productive, and that it made them feel good to be connected at all times.  However, 43 percent of the drivers said that it was simply a matter of habit to immediately respond to a message.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you may not even realize that the other driver was texting at the time of the crash. You need to consult with an experienced auto accident attorney, who can help you get the other driver’s phone records.  If you have been fortunate enough to avoid a crash until now despite texting and driving, promise yourself today that you will change your behavior and learn new habits. Your life and the life of your child may depend on it.

A study conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide found adults more likely than teenagers to text while driving, distracting them from paying attention to the road.
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Failure to Diagnose is Top Cause of Medical Malpractice Cases: A recent study found that the failure to correctly diagnose a patient’s illness is the most common cause of a malpractice suit.  The study, which was reported by Fox News and published in the BMJ Journal, included the U.S., Australia, France and Canada, showed that missed diagnoses were the cause of 26 to 63 percent of lawsuits. The second most common cause was medication errors, such as prescription errors or adverse reactions to a drug.

Malpractice claims and medical errors are not the same

The researchers were careful to point out that the issue of malpractice suits is different from the question of the most common causes of medical errors.  Most patients do not file a malpractice suit after an adverse medical event, and many cases that are filed do not succeed.  The fact that the study showed that the most common outcome of a malpractice suit was the death of the patient confirms the fact that lawsuits are more common when a patient dies as a result of a medical error, as opposed to less serious outcomes.

How studying malpractice suits can help patient care

Even with these caveats in place, studying malpractice suits can teach doctors about patterns of missed diagnoses and can improve medical care. Dr. David Troxel, medical director of The Doctors Company, the largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer in the U.S., pointed to heart attacks in women as an example of how studying missed diagnoses can improve health care. Doctors now know that women are more likely to present with “atypical” symptoms of a heart attack, such as gastrointestinal symptoms, rather than the “classic” symptoms of chest or arm pain.

Dr. Troxel warns that the downside of these studies is the increase in defensive medicine. Doctors decide that they must order tests in every case even if the doctor does not see a reason for the test in a particular case, because they can be sued if they do not order the test and the patient has a bad outcome.

Defensive medicine – a double-edged sword

Defensive medical practices have costs, but so do missed diagnoses. Many of these female heart attack victims would still be alive today if their doctors had ordered tests even though they did not have “typical” symptoms. And many patients who have been misdiagnosed and their families do not realize that they were the victims of a medical error at all until they learn about other cases similar to their own.

If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed, or if you have had a bad medical outcome and you do not know why, you need to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately. The first step toward building your case against a negligent doctor or hospital is to realize that you have questions that need to be answered.

#VirginiaPersonalInjuryLawyers #MedicalMalpractice #FailureToDiagnose
Studies show that missed diagnoses were the cause of 26 to 63% of medical malpractice claims, seconded by prescription errors & adverse reactions to drugs.
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Maryland Court of Appeals Again Says No to Dram Shop Liability: Virginia Has Same Outdated Law - If you have been injured in an accident by a drunk driver, you can sue the driver for any personal injuries and property damage that resulted from the driver’s conduct. In many cases, you may also be able to sue a bar or restaurant that served alcohol to the driver. Under the theory of dram shop liability, if a business serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated patron, then the business can also be held liable for any injuries that result to a third party.

Dram shop laws are now on the books in 43 states and in the District of Columbia, but not in Maryland or Virginia. In both of these states, the law sees the decision of a person to drink and drive as an intervening cause that breaks the chain of liability between the business that served the alcohol and the resulting injuries to innocent third parties.

The case of Michael Eaton

The Maryland Court of Appeals agreed to hear a case that could have added Maryland to the growing number of states that impose liability in this situation.

Michael Eaton was a regular patron at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg. Eaton drank 17 beers, plus a shot of vodka, over a period of several hours. At around 10 p.m., the bartender cut him off, and offered to call Eaton a cab. He refused, and a short time later, in what he called as a “drunken blackout,” Eaton rear-ended a car on I-270, killing ten-year-old Jazimen Warr. Eaton was sentenced to eight years in prison for Warr’s death.

In a 4-3 decision, the Maryland Court of Appeals refused to impose liability on the Alehouse, reaffirming Maryland’s rule that a business cannot be held liable for the acts of a patron after they leave the premises.

Can the law be changed?

The Maryland state legislature could also change the law. Bills have been introduced in the last few years but have died in committee, opposed by the powerful restaurant and insurance lobbies, but legislators will try again in the 2014 session.

If you believe that dram shop laws are outdated and that people who have been injured by drunk drivers in the Commonwealth and in Maryland should be able to seek damages from those who have served visibly intoxicated patrons, call your representative. And if you have been injured by a drunk driver in Virginia or Maryland, you need to find an experienced attorney who is not afraid to take your case and challenge the bars and restaurants that are not afraid to put intoxicated patrons on the roads without regard for the consequences.

#VirginiaAutoAccidentAttorney #DramShop #Liability
Virginia law sees the decision of a person to drink and drive as a break in the chain of liability between the bar and injuries to innocent third parties.
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Single-Serving Instant Soups Can Cause Severe Burns in Children: Instant soups are a popular meal or snack for both adults and children. They are inexpensive and only take a few minutes to prepare. A foil cover is peeled back, and boiling water is added up to a line imprinted on the cup. You put the cover back and wait for a minute or two for the noodles to soften, and the meal is ready.

However, some burn doctors refuse to have this product in their homes because of the risk. A survey of Washington, DC hospitals found that some of the hospitals saw this scenario five to six times a week, especially in the colder months.

Why is instant soup so dangerous?

Soup, like any liquid, can cause burns if it is too hot. But the doctors believe that the problem lies not with the soup itself, but with the cups in which it is packaged. The cups tend to be wider at the top and narrower at the bottom. If the soup falls toward the child, they can end up with serious burns. The problem is even more likely if the child is strapped into a high chair or booster seat, so they cannot jump out of the way of the scalding soup or quickly peel off their clothes. A 2007 study found that hospital stays for burns caused by noodle soups are twice as long as scald injuries caused by other liquids. The noodles stick to the skin, causing deeper, more serious burns.

Doctors at Shriner’s hospital in California wondered whether there is a difference between brands. They designed a simple study: they bought 11 different brands of the soup cups, and measured to see at what angle they would have to be tipped in order to fall over. Not surprisingly, the results varied by more than a factor of three. A tall, narrow cup would spill at a 17 degree angle, while a wide, shallow bowl would have to be turned at a 63 degree angle in order to spill

After years of injuries, a lawsuit is filed

NPR reported these results in 2011, but the various soup companies refused to comment. They may be paying attention now, since a California mother has filed suit against Nissim Foods. Three-year-old Jolan Belcher suffered second and third degree burns in his lap and groin area. He has already had four skin graft surgeries, with more to come.

Nissim Foods says that its products are “prominently labeled” and that the company’s “hearts go out to children and families who have suffered burns of any type.”  That answer isn’t good enough for Latisha Beam, Jolan’s mother. Her goal is to get the design of the cup changed so that other children do not have to suffer as Jolan did.

If you or your child has been injured by any product, contact our offices immediately. The problems with these soup cups have been known for years. Unfortunately, many companies have “no comment” until they are sued by an injured consumer.

#VirginiaProductsLiabilityLawyer #DefectiveProducts #Injury
Doctors believe that the problem with the scalding hot microwave soup lies not with the soup itself, but with the cups in which it is packaged are faulty.
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Second Lawsuit Filed Against Monster Energy Drinks for Wrongful Death: Caffeine has been used for centuries by people who want to stay awake and perform normally at school or work even if they are short on sleep.  Most naturally occurring sources of caffeine are beverages, such as coffee and cola drinks.  In recent years, the stimulant has been added to many other products, from gum and water to jelly beans, marshmallows and potato chips.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned about the safety of caffeine in food products, especially food products that are marketed to children and adolescents. The FDA is concerned about the cumulative effect of these products and whether children are more vulnerable to caffeine’s side effects.

The FDA’s investigation was announced in early May, and is continuing. At the same time, at least two wrongful death cases have been filed against the manufacturer of one of the most popular products that allegedly combines the dangers of caffeine with a deliberate appeal to children and teenagers: the energy drinks produced by Monster Beverage Corporation.

Have teens been killed by energy drinks?

Alex Morris was pronounced dead in a California emergency room in July 2012. Alex was 19 and according to his mother, Paula Morris, Alex drank two cans of Monster Beverage Corporation’s energy drinks every day for the three years preceding his death. The hospital found that Alex’s death was caused by cardiac arrhythmia – an irregular heartbeat. Earlier this year, another lawsuit was filed in Maryland by the parents of Anais Fournier, who died after drinking two 24-ounce cans of the company’s product.

Fournier’s lawsuit states that the cause of death was “caffeine toxicity,” but Monster claims that there were no blood tests performed that would confirm or deny these claims. Monster claims that Fournier’s death may have been caused by an undiagnosed heart problem. The company has not yet responded to Morris’s lawsuit.  The city attorney of San Francisco has also sued Monster, claiming that its products are dangerous and should not be marketed to children.

Both lawsuits claim that Monster is liable for its failure to warn its consumers of the dangers of high doses of caffeine. The FDA has noted that at least five deaths have been linked to energy drinks, but says that at this time, there is no proof that the deaths were caused by the beverages.

Warn children and teens of the risks

People who have heart rhythm disturbances may never experience obvious symptoms, until a high dose of caffeine puts too much stress on the heart. Even healthy people can die of an overdose of caffeine, and young children, who are smaller and have little experience with how caffeine affects them, are particularly susceptible.

Parents should be aware that energy drinks and other highly caffeinated products are popular with children, and that they can be sold to consumers of any age.  A cup – or two – of these drinks is unlikely to cause harm in most instances.  However, habitual use of such products, especially in high doses, can be dangerous. And for some vulnerable children, their first taste of an energy drink could be their last.

If you or your child has experienced unusual symptoms after using any caffeinated product, contact our offices immediately. We have more than 25 years of experience helping Virginia plaintiffs collect damages from manufacturers, distributors and sellers of potentially dangerous products. Your claim might save another child’s life.

#VirginiaProductsLiabilityLawyer #WrongfulDeath #Lawsuit
Both lawsuits claim that Monster is liable for its failure to warn its consumers of the dangers of high doses of caffeine and warn against repetitive use.
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A Simple, Easy Way to Reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections: In recent years, a number of studies have shown that tens of thousands of hospital-acquired infections are diagnosed in the United States each year. Doctors are always looking for ways to curb the rate of spread of these infections. All patients, even those who appear to be healthy when they are admitted, are tested to see whether they are carriers of one or more of a list of dangerous germs. If they show signs of infection, they will be isolated from other patients.

A different idea to reduce the spread of drug-resistant germs

A large study that was recently released showed the promise of attacking the issue from another angle. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Susan Huang and her colleagues designed a study that was recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Rather than attempting to characterize patients as ‘contagious’ or ‘healthy’ and channeling resources to keep the two groups of patients apart, Huang’s team decided to attempt to cut down  the number of bacteria on each patient’s skin. The researchers targeted methicillin-resistant staph infections, known as MRSA, which cause many of the most serious infections in the hospital.

Some 26,000 patients participated in the study. The patients were given nose swabs with an antibiotic ointment twice per day, and they were washed daily from head to toe using special antibiotic wipes.  In the hospitals that tried the new protocol, the incidence of new bloodstream infections dropped by more than 40 percent. In fact, some hospitals did not wait for the end of the study to decide that the results were so clear that all patients should start on the new regime immediately.

Can the new protocol contribute to the problem it tries to prevent?

There are possible caveats to these findings. The researchers realized that decontaminating all patients meant that more patients would be using antibacterial products on a routine basis, and more widespread use of these products is one of the reasons cited for the increase in antibiotic resistance, generally.  The study showed that on average, 54 patients would have to be decontaminated throughout their hospital stays in order to prevent one bloodstream infection.

On the other hand, the study was limited to patients in the ICU, who tend to be sicker, weaker, older and more likely to be infected with dangerous bacteria such as MRSA.  Adoption of decontamination regimens can make sense in the ICU, but may not be necessary in other parts of the hospital.

More research is needed to fine-tune hospital practices

Because this protocol of decontaminating all patients could end up leading to the further spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, more research is needed to determine how to proceed.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta already recommends decontamination in certain cases, and is studying whether it should recommend it more widely. Some hospitals are not waiting – the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) has already announced a policy of ICU decontamination in all 162 of its member facilities throughout the country.

If you or a loved one is in the hospital, especially in the ICU, ask the doctor whether all patients follow a decontamination regimen. Whether or not decontamination is the hospital’s general policy, you should always wash your hands and put on fresh gloves before you touch any patient. Remind hospital staff to do the same. As long as your request is friendly rather than hostile, most people are grateful for the reminder.

If you still contract a serious infection while in the hospital, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice cases. People do catch contagious diseases in the hospital, and sometimes they die. The only way to figure out whether you were the victim of bad luck or of medical negligence is to consult an expert and begin an investigation.

If you or a loved one is in the hospital, especially in the ICU, ask the doctor whether all patients follow a decontamination regimen.
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Dealing with a serious injury can present various health, time and financial challenges. Although in some instances you feel you can handle your own personal injury case without an attorney, you should definitely consider hiring an attorney to help you protect your interests, particularly if your case involves a serious injury. Here are some of the ways a qualified personal injury attorney can help you:

Identify the appropriate compensation for your loss – in addition to the medical bills related to your injury, you may also lose time from work which can result in loss of income during you recovery period. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your lost wages and other forms of compensation that your attorney can identify and handle in your best interest.

Deal with insurance companies – serious injuries require hospital treatment, which will require insurance companies to get involved. A qualified attorney knows how to deal with insurance companies. Experienced attorneys can also get you just compensation in situations where the other party does not have coverage or when your insurance company did not handle your claim fairly.

Receive compensation for seemingly minor injuries – The expertise of a strong advocate can help you identify the actual extent of your injuries, including any future complications, and fight for your rights.

Proving damages in your personal injury case can be difficult. You need a legal professional to protect you and ensure you receive just compensation.

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You never know when or how you might suffer a serious physical injury. Sometimes injuries occur in most the innocuous places. Investigators recently reported a crash that injured two adults and a child who stood at a bus stop. Officials say a 79-year-old woman drove her car onto the sidewalk and hit the three would-be bus passengers. The child suffered a foot injury and paramedics transported one of the other victims to the hospital in serious condition.
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