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Kansas City MO Personal Injury Law Blog

Yes, traffic is bad - so, are we going to get 'smart' about it? p2

We are talking about traffic lights, the cause of more than 10 percent of traffic delays, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. There are certainly environmental risks associated with sitting in traffic -- air pollution, fuel consumption -- but there are safety risks as well. The more people wait, the more likely they are to be impatient when their turn comes. Impatience, frustration and exasperation can easily cloud a driver's judgment.

For the past 20 years, cities around the country have been using adaptive traffic control systems. These "smart" traffic lights do not operate on a schedule. They respond to traffic conditions. Construction ahead? The light's timing mechanism will adjust to accommodate the slowdown. Bad weather, accidents, rush hour -- the system can help to improve traffic flow in both expected and unusual circumstances.

Yes, traffic is bad - so, what are we going to do about it?

A friend of ours was driving to Oregon to see her father last week, and she was making good time until she came across some road construction. She said the cars were backed up for a mile and at a complete standstill, but she couldn't complain. First, it was sunset. Second, they were sitting right at the foot of the Grand Tetons. It was breathtaking.

It didn't take long for drivers and their passengers to get out of their cars and start snapping pictures. They started to chat and someone passed around a bag of cookies. It was the best part of the trip, she said. Things would have been a lot different if they had all been stuck on I-70 during rush hour.

Missouri motorists may benefit from new anti-fatigue technology

Following the discovery that the Walmart truck driver who severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan in 2014 had been awake for 28 hours prior to the accident, more people are taking note of the potential dangers of driving while tired. While researchers with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute observed that the number of overly-sleepy drivers on the road has long been cause for concern, one said that the dangers have probably grown worse with time. Other scientists noted that truckers like the one who injured Morgan and killed comic James McNair aren't the only drivers on the road who are subject to fatigue-related errors.

According to scientific accounts, people who go more than 24 hours without sleeping display similar cognitive impairment to individuals who have .10 percent BAC levels. Drivers who are tired and those who are intoxicated may also share the tendency to experience accidents of increased severity.

Study shows certain antibiotics could cause hearing loss

According to a new study, an antibiotic used to treat deadly bacterial infections may place patients at a high risk for hearing loss. The medication is frequently given to newborns battling life-threatening infections in Missouri and across the U.S.

The study examined the impact of aminoglycoside antibiotics, which are typically used to treat bacteremia, meningitis and respiratory infections in cystic fibrosis patients, on the hearing of mice. Researchers found that healthy mice given small amounts of the antibiotic suffered mild hearing loss. However, mice with infections similar to those treated with aminoglycosides in humans experienced much greater hearing loss when they were given the medication.

Additional monitoring may help prevent medical errors

Missouri residents may know about malpractice suits that are filed against physicians, hospitals and other health care workers because of reported negligence. Medical errors might cause a worsening of symptoms of the patient or misdiagnosis of a condition. Reportedly, the number of injuries occurring in the health care industry is over 1 million annually, and around 85,000 lawsuits are filed.

Joan Rivers suffered irreparable harm during an endoscopy exam, which is considered routine and performed on many individuals every year without incident. In her case, a physician took the opportunity to have photos taken with the star while Rivers was under sedation and performed an unscheduled biopsy, which had not been approved by the patient beforehand.

Proposal to improve nursing home standards

Missouri residents who have elderly loved ones in nursing homes may be interested in new standards proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to improve care patients who are living in those types of facilities and guard against elder abuse. By increasing governmental oversight and requiring training of individuals who care for the elderly in nursing home situations, the CMS is hoping to increase care and safety.

The proposal includes such areas as training of health care givers who are providing care to elderly patients with dementia. This wide-ranging proposal includes elder neglect, sexual abuse and other forms of abuse, training and appropriate hiring practices. Emphasis is placed on improving the rights and wishes of those in nursing home situations.

Maternal deaths in United States rising

As some Missouri residents may know, the death rate from complications due to pregnancy has been going up in the United States. Because of this, professional organizations are joining together to try and cut these fatalities in half within five years.

There may be multiple causes for the rising maternal death rate. Until the 1930s, one of every 100 women died due to complications of pregnancy. That number had dropped to eight out of 100,000 in 1987. Since that time, however, the number has increased and was 18.5 out of 100,000 births in 2013. According to statistics, a woman in the United States has a risk of dying due to pregnancy complications at a rate three times higher than women in Japan or Great Britain.

Health conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed

Doctors in Missouri do not always have the right answers when they are asked to diagnose a patient's condition. If the right tests are not performed, a correct diagnosis could elude a patient for months or even years. Patients who are misdiagnosed with conditions that they do not actually have may continue to suffer from their original condition while experiencing adverse side effects from unnecessary medications.

According to a doctor and author of the book 'Thyroid Power," thyroid disorders may be the most misdiagnosed conditions. Every cell in the human body is affected by thyroid hormone, so a variety of different symptoms can emerge when it is off balance. Another commonly misdiagnosed condition is celiac disease, which causes patients to experience allergies to gluten. People with celiac disease often have gastrointestinal symptoms, but they can also display symptoms like dental enamel defects and anemia. Other commonly misdiagnosed health problems include Lyme disease, lupus and fibromyalgia.

Understanding Lyme disease misdiagnosis

Missouri residents may want to learn more about how problematic the misdiagnosis of Lyme disease can be. A 2015 study published by LymeDisease.org revealed that over 60 percent of more than 6,000 respondents with the disease claimed that it took up to two years to receive a correct diagnosis for their condition. Less than 25 percent reported receiving a correct diagnosis within six months after the first onset of potential symptoms.

Nearly 50 percent of the respondents in the survey said that their medical tests were delayed or denied because Lyme disease was not a part of their physician's expertise. About half of the respondents were reportedly ill for over a decade because of the disease. Almost 75 percent of the patients described their own heath as being either in fair or poor condition. Lyme disease is usually most devastating when patients are unable to receive treatment during its early stages.

New COPD guidelines may lead to misdiagnosis for some patients

Missouri residents may be surprised to learn that new guidelines for diagnosing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, may be causing older men to be over-diagnosed and young women to be under-diagnosed, according to new research. The authors of the study, which was published in the journal The BMJ in July, recommend that the guidelines be modified to correct the issues.

According to the study, up to 13 percent of people diagnosed with COPD, the third deadliest disease in the United States, using the new guidelines have been misdiagnosed. In 2001, the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease, or GOLD, established a new diagnostic threshold for determining airway obstruction as an alternative for the old threshold, known as the "lower limits of normal," or LLN. As a comparison, the GOLD threshold estimates COPD prevalence to be around 22 percent in people over the age of 40 in the United Kingdom while the LLN threshold estimates it to be around 13 percent. Meanwhile, the GOLD definition misses one in eight cases of airflow obstruction in young women when compared to the LLN criteria.

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About Monsees & Mayer Missouri Lawyers

The attorneys at Monsees & Mayer handle cases where people have been injured. If you need a lawyer for personal injury representation in Missouri or Kansas, call 866.774.3233. http://www.mmmpalaw.com