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Property owners may be liable for construction zone injuries

As a major contributor to New York's economy, a healthy and booming construction industry means consistent employment for many of the state's residents. While construction is generally considered to be a dangerous career field, federal and state law and local ordinances require extensive safety measures to be in place on construction projects. Nevertheless, the rate of construction workplace injuries has recently soared. An early 2018 report indicates that the construction industry is on pace to report its highest number of job-related injuries in a decade.

The upward trend in construction-related accidents has emerged despite government efforts to increase workplace safety for construction workers. While an increase in construction projects and accident reporting may be contributing factors to the trend, preliminary reports only reflect accidents that occurred prior to the end of the year. Therefore, a full report on the number of construction-related injuries for the year will likely reflect a higher number.

How doctors can prevent medication errors

Every year, roughly 1.3 million people throughout New York and the rest of the U.S. are hurt by preventable medication errors, according to the FDA. The agency annually receives about 100,000 complaints from people suspecting they were the victims of such errors. Medication errors can arise at the prescribing, dispensing and administration stages of providing health care.

Two studies published in the BMJ medical journal, one analyzing a U.S. pediatric facility in 2006 and the other analyzing family practices in 2008, show that different errors are prominent in certain specialties. In the pediatric facility studied, 41 percent of medication errors were administration errors and 30 percent were from prescriptions. In the family practices, 70 percent were prescribing errors.

ADHD may make distracted driving more likely

New York drivers may be interested to know that according to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents caused 32,744 deaths across the U.S. in 2015. Distracted driving was a factor in 3,477 of those traffic fatalities. One group that may be more susceptible to distraction while driving is people who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but research indicates their crash risk is reduced when proper medication is taken.

Researchers working with the Karolinska Institutet of Sweden conducted a study beginning by examining claims against health insurance made between 2005 and 2014. They identified 2.3 million adult Americans who had been diagnosed with ADHD and compared this group with emergency room visit data to isolate 11,224 people who both had ADHD and visited an emergency room following a motor vehicle accident. Those who had filled a prescription for ADHD medication during a particular month were less likely to be involved in car accidents.

Why do car accidents increase after the Big Game?

With the big game coming up soon, you are likely feeling a lot of excitement. Not only are you looking forward to watching the game, but the parties are always fun, too. Unfortunately, you may be in danger of getting in a car crash once everything is over.

According to researchers, there is a 41 percent spike in car accidents during the aftermath of the Super Bowl. Alarmingly, the first hour after the end of the game sees an increase of 70 percent. Here is why you should stay alert if you drive after the Super Bowl.

Stressed surgeons could make more medical mistakes

New York readers may be alarmed to learn that surgeons could be much more likely to make a medical mistake if they suffer stress in the operating room, according to a recent study. The study, which was conducted by researchers at Columbia University, was published in the open access journal BJS Open.

For the small-scale study, a surgeon at Stanford Medical Center agreed to wear a high-tech "smart shirt" under his scrubs for 25 surgical procedures. The shirt was designed to monitor his heart rate for signs of elevated stress. During the procedures, a researcher also documented any errors the surgeon made and the time they occurred.

Adverse drug events, the world's fourth leading cause of death

Every year across the world, more than 100,000 people are hospitalized for adverse drug events. These refer to any medication-related injury, such as injuries due to allergic reactions, overdoses and medicine errors. New York residents should know that among adults in this country, most ADEs are caused by anticoagulants, antibiotics, diabetes medication and opioids.

Diabetes patients treated with canagliflozin are most susceptible to ADEs. In August 2018, the FDA warned against the increased risk for rare infections that patients experience when taking canagliflozin and other sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors. In fact, legal proceedings have started against the marketer of canagliflozin, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, because the medication raises the risk for bone fractures and leads to many patients getting lower-limb amputations.

Winter driving tips for New Yorkers

New York has one of the lowest rates of child deaths in car accidents, with a rate of 0.067 child car accident deaths out of every 100,000 child residents. The car accident rate typically increases during the winter when there is harsher weather. Snow, ice and water on roadways mean there are more obstacles motorists need to navigate through. Drivers need to be extra careful during this time of year, and all New York drivers need to be aware of these safety tips. 

Inspect your tires

Safety technologies could cut accident rate

Many New York motorists are excited about the potential for automobile safety technologies that could help to significantly reduce the number of serious accidents. According to an analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the growth of these technologies has the potential to reduce the upward trend in car crashes seen in the past seven years. Since 2011, there has been a 30 percent increase in motor vehicle accidents across the country, but the firm predicts that the rate will shrink significantly over the next 10 years.

According to the report, there were a number of reasons that the crash rate has escalated by 3 to 4 percent each year. Higher employment and the growing economy led to more miles being driven. At the same time, the prevalence of mobile technologies led to a spate of car accidents caused by distracted driving. Others have pointed to marijuana legalization as leading to a growing number of crashes. Despite all of these factors, the analysts predicted that advances in collision avoidance technologies would make driving safer once again.

Errors in medical records

New York residents should know that a world-leading health IT expert states that an estimated 70 percent of health records have erroneous information. The wrong information contained in health records can result in medical care that is harmful or even fatal for patients.

According to a study conducted by John Hopkins, over 250,000 people in the United States are killed annually because of medical errors. This statistic makes medical errors the third-leading reason for death after cardiovascular disease and cancer. The results from other research show that the annual number of deaths attributed to medical errors may exceed 400,000.

Staying safe during the holidays

The holidays are a time for increased gatherings, activities and fun. Statistically, they are also a time for increased accidents.

If you are not careful, you may experience serious injury. To help avoid this, there are a few common hazards to keep in mind, as well as proactive ways to avoid possible injury.

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