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April 2013 Archives

Robots used in surgery may cause errors

Patients requiring a surgical procedure may learn that the surgeon will use a special assistant during the procedure. The assistant is not a medical resident or surgical nurse. Instead, many surgeons are utilizing a high tech robot called the Da Vinci to help guide the scalpel and create the necessary incisions. An explosion in robotic assisted surgeries has led some patients and professionals to question whether the devices are responsible for causing surgical errors.

Failure to obey stop sign results in car accident

There are many reasons why a driver might not stop at a stop sign. The driver may be distracted and improperly speaking on a handheld phone or texting, a practice that is against the law in Maryland. A driver might miss a stop sign due to fiddling with the radio or talking to passengers. In many cases, a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, a driver is elderly and does not realize that reflexes and attention to detail may be slowing. Whatever the reason, the result is often the same, a car accident that results in serious injuries.

Increased medical errors result from shorter doctor shifts

Anyone who has spent time in a hospital has seen the tired and haggard faces of the first-year residents who seem to work endless hours without sleep. Most doctors describe their residencies as a time when they typically spent over twenty-four continuous hours seeing patients at busy hospitals in Baltimore and around the country. A concern that exhausted doctors were causing medical errors has fueled a movement to limit the hours of first year doctors. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education issued regulations in 2011 mandating that residents may only work sixteen hours each day.

Maryland Court of Appeals considers dram shop laws

Drunk drivers cause horrible accidents every day in the United States. The unfortunate victims of these car accidents typically incur medical bills, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and time lost at work, among other expenses. In order to recover these sums, the injured parties can file a lawsuit against the drunk driver. Moreover, in forty-two states across America, the bar or restaurant that improperly served too much alcohol to the driver can also be held responsible for payment of the victim's damages. To date, Maryland remains one of the minority states that has not adopted this type of "dram shop" rule. A recent lawsuit argued before the Maryland Court of Appeals could change the current law.

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