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Posted on in Personal Injury

By Robert Geimer

Researchers from Michigan State University claim that riding a rollercoaster may help patients pass kidney stones.  According to an article in the current issue of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, after learning that a number of patients described passing kidney stones after riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad rollercoaster at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, researchers constructed an artificial human kidney - complete with kidney stones - and took it for a ride.  They found that in the front seat, a stone was passed in 4 of 24 trials; in the back of the roller coaster, a stone was passed in 23 of 36 trials.  The authors theorize that the motion of the roller coaster helps knock stones loose so they can be passed out of the kidney.  This is research that can safely be described as, ahem, thrilling.

By Robert Geimer

Devices used to heat and cool patients during heart surgeries have been found to spread Legionella bacteria, the source of so-called Legionnaire’s disease.  According to an article in the Seattle Times, these devices may be designed in a way that does not allow them to be properly cleaned.  If so, the problem would be similar to the one identified with the use of endoscopes that spread deadly CRE bacterial infections at hospitals around the country, including Lutheran General Hospital outside of Chicago. TKK is presently representing patients who were infected in that outbreak.  If you or a loved one have been notified of an infection associated with an operating room heating-cooling device, contact TKK right away for important information.

Posted on in Personal Injury

By Timothy Tomasik

inpatent suicides, illinois personal injury attorneysAccording to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care of Organizations (JCAHO), suicide ranks as the eleventh most frequent cause of death (third most frequent in young people) in the United States, with one person dying from suicide every 16.6 minutes.  Suicide of a care recipient while in a staffed, round-the-clock care setting has been the number one most frequently reported type of Sentinel Event since the inception of the Joint Commission Sentinel Event Policy of 1996.  Behavioral health hospitals and staff have a responsibility for the identification of individuals at risk for suicide, while under the care or following discharge from a health care organization.  Assessing a patient’s risk for suicide is the first critical step in protecting and planning the care of these at-risk individuals.  JCAHO 2007 Patient Safety Goals on Suicide

The vast majority of inpatient suicides are attributed to a failure of psychiatric staff to properly assess a patient’s risk for suicide and order the appropriate safety precautions, such as constant view or one-on-one observation.  Further, the American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines for the assessment and treatment of patients with suicidal behaviors has warned against the ineffectiveness of “suicide contracts” stating, “. . . patients in crisis may not be able to adhere to a contract because of the severity of their illness.  Suicide prevention contracts are also ill-advised with agitated, psychotic, or impulsive patients when the patient is under the influence of an intoxicating substance.”  Recognized experts who specialize in suicide study have plainly stated in literature that suicide contracts are unreliable.

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Tagged in: Inpatient Suicides

Posted on in Car Accidents

By Daniel Kotin

For half a century, roadway deaths caused by motor vehicle collisions were consistently dropping.  Many factors contributed to this good news.  Manufacturers have consistently improved the crashworthiness of their vehicles.  Use of 3-point seatbelt systems became the law and have now become the habitual practice of virtually all drivers and passengers.  And, perhaps most importantly, increased police and judicial intolerance of drunk driving as well as the tireless efforts of groups like MADD have created a societal shift whereby far fewer drivers dare operate vehicles while intoxicated.

As a result, data showed that fatal roadway crashes were in a near constant decline over the past 50 years.  But suddenly, this trend has reversed.

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Public transit certainly has its benefits. Used by millions of Illinoisans each year, it gets people to and from work, school, and their daily appointments. Children, teenagers, and adults alike use it to see a movie, go shopping, or just spend some quality time with friends and family. But there is also a side of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) that few take into account: our city’s mass transportation accident rates are highly concerning, and innocent victims are often severely injured in those crashes.

CTA Has One Accident Every 36 Hours

Late last year, an ABC7 investigative team took a look at the startling number of accidents involving CTA buses. Hundreds of incidents were uncovered; enough to place an average of about one CTA crash every 36 hours. In those accidents, hundreds of public transit passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle drivers were injured or killed. Yet, during the investigation, CTA officials attempted to downplay their incident rates and responsibility. That unwillingness to admit any wrongdoing is exactly why so many victims struggle to receive fair and just compensation for their CTA accident.

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