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More exhausted residents = more dead patients?

More exhausted residents = more dead patients?

Think you work long hours? Medical residents, those who have graduated medical school and are working in hospitals to get hands-on experience, can currently work up to 16 hours a shift. The private group overseeing physician training in the country is proposing that it be increased to 28 hours, reports the Los Angeles Times. That may mean exhausted residents treating patients in New Jersey hospitals in the future. Have you ever been awake for more than 24 hours? If so, how well did you function? Do you think you would be able to make life-and-death decisions after being awake that long or perform a medical procedure without making mistakes? The 16-hour limit was a reduction in 2011 from 24 hours, after evidence showed exhausted residents were endangering both their patients and themselves. Studies show the longer residents work, the more likely they are to make potentially deadly errors when caring for patients. Nearly 20% of residents at the University of California Los Angeles stated in a 2007 survey that they had fallen asleep while driving, because of work-related fatigue. Doctors who want the increase claim that current shift limits may endanger patients by forcing residents to leave at critical times and that the grueling hours are preparation for the future, when they will be unsupervised. This training is compared to getting ready for a marathon. “With enough experience comes resilience and the ability to perform under expected, sometimes challenging conditions,” Thomas Nasca, chief executive of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, stated when announcing the proposed change. The proposal is rightly coming under criticism from both physicians and...
NJ Insurers Wrongfully Denying Hurricane Sandy Claims?

NJ Insurers Wrongfully Denying Hurricane Sandy Claims?

New Jersey homeowners who carry flood insurance willingly pay hard-earned premiums every month for a reason: they want to know they’ll be protected in the event of disaster. What happens, though, if disaster does strike and the insurance companies simply shrug their shoulders and deny policyholders’ claims? That happens more often than you might think, and it’s becoming a major issue in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Insurance Companies Denying Claims for Hurricane Sandy Victims Superstorm Sandy caused unfathomable destruction, much of it due to water damage and flooding. Insurance companies were alarmed by the amount of money they might have to pay out, and so they decided to dispatch investigators to their policyholders’ homes. The goal, they said, was to make sure that homeowners weren’t fraudulently blaming preexisting damage on the hurricane. Unfortunately, as is all too common, the insurance companies may now be using those investigations as an excuse to deny perfectly legitimate claims. If that’s true, it serves as a glaring example of insurance bad faith in New Jersey. As reported in The Huffington Post, thousands of homeowners are taking action to prove that some of the inspectors created “bogus reports to give skeptical insurers ammunition to deny claims.” Now both FEMA and New York’s attorney general are investigating, and homeowners who’ve been denied a claim may now stand a better chance than ever in taking legal action against their insurers. Claim Denied? Get Help from a New Jersey Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Insurance companies have a legal obligation to investigate claims fairly. If they don’t — or if they deny a valid claim without adequate justification —...
Hepatitis A Outbreak in New Jersey: Where It Happened

Hepatitis A Outbreak in New Jersey: Where It Happened

The New Year holiday brought two alarming reports of a hepatitis outbreak in Hamilton Township, NJ. Both involved the highly contagious hepatitis A virus, and now officials are sounding the alarm for those who might have been exposed. How the New Jersey Hepatitis A Outbreak Happened The victims are both female — one a hairstylist and the other a gym instructor — and had both eaten at the same restaurant not long before exhibiting symptoms. Authorities aren’t yet sure whether the restaurant is responsible. If you visited any of these locations between December 5th and December 29th, 2014 — and you have not be vaccinated for hepatitis A — you should visit a doctor immediately for screening, even if you do not exhibit symptoms: YMCA (the JKR branch on Whitehorse-Mercerville Rd in Hamilton, NJ) New Jersey Athletic Club (Lawrence, NJ) South Broad Street Salon (Hamilton, NJ) Mercer County Board of Social Services. Additionally, you may want to exercise precaution if you visited The Hair Port Salon or Rosa’s Restaurant and Catering during the relevant time period. For more information on the New Jersey hepatitis A outbreak, follow the Times of Trenton report. Hepatitis A: Signs, Symptoms, and How It Spreads Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause liver damage or inflammation. Cases range from mild to severe, though it is rarely deadly. The virus spreads by contact with contaminated food or water, or through direct contact with an infected person. You may have already been vaccinated for hepatitis A. If you aren’t sure, or if you display symptoms despite vaccination, you should talk with your doctor as soon...
How to Prepare for National Preparedness Month

How to Prepare for National Preparedness Month

What if disaster struck right now? Would you know what to do? Where to go? How to get in touch with your family? What if all the lines of communication were down? No one likes dwelling on worst-case scenarios, but giving them a little thought now could save your life later. Emergencies are a fact of life, and the more prepared you are, the better. That’s why September is National Preparedness Month. It’s just a few weeks away, but are you… prepared? Fear not. We have everything you need to know about National Preparedness Month, including simple Disaster Preparedness Tips you can use to ensure your safety and survival. National Preparedness Month: Expect the Unexpected The purpose of National Preparedness Month is to encourage people to come up with a plan of action for themselves and for their loved ones. The tricky thing about most emergencies is that they arise without warning. That’s why you have to put together your reaction strategy before you need it. A disaster could happen at any time, right here in Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ. While we always hope for the best, we also want to plan for the worst — just in case. National Preparedness Month specifically contemplates emergencies both large-scale and small: tornadoes, fires, floods, power outages, and even terrorism. Of course, we here in New Jersey are all too familiar with the destructive capacity of sudden disaster, given the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. As we saw then, emergency responders are often overwhelmed in the face of disaster, and you may not be able to rely on everyday methods of...
Bus Safety Tips Can Help You Prevent Accidents

Bus Safety Tips Can Help You Prevent Accidents

Just the thought of a bus accident is enough to terrify. Given their sheer size, not to mention the number of passengers they carry, buses can be especially intimidating on the road — and potentially catastrophic if something goes wrong. That’s especially true with school buses, which carry the most precious passengers of all. Sadly, bus accidents are on all our minds following this month’s head-on, multi-vehicle crash with a NJ Transit bus in East Orange. Tragically, the incident claimed three innocent lives. It wasn’t a school bus, and no children were reported among the injured, but several other passengers were referred for medical care. Now, parents and passengers alike are giving more careful thought to bus safety tips. Why Bus Crashes Happen Buses are defined by several key characteristics that can make them difficult to navigate and more prone to catastrophic injury. These include: Limited driver visibility Bigger vehicle size and heavier weight Failure of other drivers to behave carefully around buses and bus stops Different legal safety standards that can leave bus passengers less secure than car riders Increased risk of vehicle rolling Fuel volume that can lead to fire damage and burns Larger number of passengers with greater likelihood of catastrophic damage Susceptibility of children to injury in school bus accidents School Bus Safety Tips Now’s a good time to sit down with your kids and review school bus safety tips. Consider the following good advice for riding, boarding, and departing a bus: Don’t get on the bus until the driver says it’s okay. Wait safely away from the road. Never wait at a bus stop...

Social Sharing information while in a Lawsuit

“Privacy settings” on Facebook do not mean that your posts are confidential, especially if you are involved in a lawsuit. If you are serious about your case, don’t be your own enemy by letting social media destroy it. Thankfully, due to our thorough discussions by our staff at Law offices of James C. DeZao none of our clients have had a case thrown out due to exposure on social media sites. Our advice is to stay off of it completely, never mention the case, the lawyers, or the people involved. But we have heard of many cases thrown out because of spontaneous Facebook posts. For example, just days after a lawsuit, the plaintiff’s daughter posted, “won the case … the defendant is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.” The court concluded that the defendant was not obligated to pay the fee because the post violated the confidentiality provision in the...
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