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West Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

Development in the treatment for pancreatic cancer

Iowa residents who are suffering from pancreatic cancer may be interested to know that if their cancer does not spread to other parts of their body, they are more likely to live longer while maintaining a four-drug regimen than taking a single cancer medication. This is according to researchers who presented their findings at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference.

The results of the study indicate that folfirinox, a potent chemotherapy treatment, is likely to be the standard course of treatment for small number of pancreatic cancer patients whose conditions were diagnosed soon enough to be excised by surgery. Nearly 40 percent of patients who took folfirniox no longer had the disease after an average of three years. This is compared to the just 20 percent of patients who were free of the disease after taking Gemzar, the standard drug for pancreatic cancer.

FMCSA analyzes 2016 data on Fatal truck crashes

The number of fatal crashes involving large trucks and passenger vehicles appears to be on the rise. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has just released a data drill-down report on the fatal large-truck crashes that occurred in 2016, finding a 3 percent increase from the year before. Drivers in Iowa will want to know what the most common factors were.

First of all, the number of actual fatalities rose from 4,094 to 4,317, and the number of large trucks involved rose from 4,074 to 4,213. The truck involvement rate (how many trucks were in fatal crashes for every 100 million miles driven) remained the same at 1.46. About 300,000 more registered trucks were on America's roads in 2016, bringing the total to 11.5 million.

Despite being treatable, broken bones present serious challenges

In the wake of a serious motor vehicle accident, you may feel lucky to only have relatively minor injuries. If you didn't hurt your head or spine, that can be a positive outcome in a major crash. Broken bones, after all, typically only require a cast, rest and some physical therapy for rehabilitation. Even severely broken bones and compound fractures that require surgery usually heal well with proper medical care.

However, just because the eventual prognosis for a broken bone is positive doesn't mean that the injury won't have a potentially devastating impact on your life. Broken bones can impact your career, your quality of life and your financial situation. While it's healthy to feel grateful to have avoided worse injuries, you still need to seriously consider how this injury will affect your quality of life.

Tesla CEO criticizes media's focus on self-driving car crash

Self-driving cars have recently seen a wave of accidents, so residents of Iowa who are wary about them may be wondering how the makers of self-driving technology are responding. In the case of one accident that occurred in May, the response is disconcerting. In this case, a Utah driver crashed her Tesla Model S into a fire truck, and although the Autopilot program was on, she was distracted by her phone. The driver survived with a broken ankle.

The Tesla CEO and the company's supporters came back with comments on social media criticizing what they felt to be the undue attention that the accident received. They say that news media should be focusing on the hundreds of fatal crashes that occur each day. However, anyone who watches the news knows that fatal crashes are being reported virtually every day. Many suspect that Tesla simply wants to avoid scrutiny into the crash.

LASIK surgery can come with risks

For some West Des Moines patients considering LASIK or other refractive surgery, they may wonder about the risks and complications that could accompany the procedure intended to improve their eyesight. It can be important to be aware of the potential risks before deciding to move forward with the procedure. Of course, while some risks may be unavoidable, other risks can be avoided when doctors are thorough and accurate in their approach to the surgery.

Some risks of refractive surgery can be particularly serious and must be kept in mind, particularly those caused by doctor errors. For some patients, LASIK comes with reduced vision or lost lines of vision that cannot be corrected with additional surgery, glasses or contact lenses. For other patients, refractive surgery can cause them to develop halos, glare or difficult night vision after the procedure. The surgery can also cause some patients to develop dry eyes to the extent that their vision is affected.

Serious surgical mistakes are more common than you think

Physicians and medical doctors hold a position of respect in our culture. It takes many years to complete medical school and the required residency, and these professionals usually have impressive skills to go along with that education. Surgeons, in general, are often venerated as incredibly gifted and intelligent. That may be true, but it doesn't mean that they are above making mistakes. Unfortunately, when surgeons make mistakes, it can have a serious negative impact on the patient.

You might imagine that surgical mistakes are relatively unlikely. After all, modern medicine is so advanced. How could a doctor with thorough medical records and plenty of support staff make a critical mistake when operating on a patient? The truth is that medical mistakes are horrifyingly common. While the reasons why vary, the outcome is often medical trouble for the patient.

Blood pressure test results may not always be accurate

Blood pressure tests are common during a visit to a doctor. Iowa residents may be surprised to learn that their blood pressure test results are not always accurate, and these inaccuracies could present health challenges. Small things such as sitting on the bed at the doctor's office with one foot dangling off the side, engaging in conversation with the nurse or medical assistant performing the test, or having the blood pressure cuff on top the patient's sleeve could be enough to make a patient with high blood pressure appear that their blood pressure is normal, and vice versa.

Until recently, the American Heart Association defined high blood pressure as 140/90. However, updated guidelines have established 130/80 as the threshold for determining high blood pressure. That relatively small change means that upward of 50 percent of Americans could now be classified as having high blood pressure.

Can I get pain and suffering damages after a car accident?

Car accident injuries may cause many kinds of harm, well beyond physical injuries and property damage. In addition to these, an accident may cause a victim to experience many kinds of personal, internal suffering that may also justify compensation, depending on the victim's experience.

If you're considering any kind of settlement in your own car accident injury claim, or if you recently experienced an accident and began the process of assembling your claim, make sure that any settlement properly compensates you not only for your physical injuries, property losses and lost income. You also want to pay attention to the portion of the settlement that addresses your general suffering.

Hospital responds to Bill Paxton wrongful death lawsuit

Iowa residents may be aware that Bill Paxton's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the medical facility where the actor died and the doctor who treated his heart condition. The family claim that the surgeon involved was inexperienced and not qualified to perform an unconventional procedure on the 61-year-old 'Big Love" star. The lawsuit seeks damages for the actor's allegedly negligent diagnosis, treatment and management.

The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has denied the allegations contained in the lawsuit. In a statement released on May 3, the hospital claims that Paxton's family was well aware of the dangers posed by the surgery and were informed about all aspects of the actor's treatment and care. The hospital also says that Paxton's family knew about an existing medical condition that made the operation even riskier.

Traffic fatalities could be eliminated by 2050, says coalition

Safer roads could be in the future for Iowa drivers if the Road to Zero Coalition is successful in its stated goal of reducing traffic deaths to zero by 2050. With traffic fatalities in 2016 rising around the country to 37,461, a 5.6 percent climb compared to the previous year, the coalition has identified a number of initiatives to bring these numbers back down again.

Large trucks were involved in accidents that resulted in 4,317 deaths, and some of the coalition's recommendations apply to both trucks and regular passenger vehicles. For example, half of people killed in traffic accidents are not wearing seat belts although 90 percent of all people wear seat belts. The coalition hopes to get this up to 100 percent. Another initiative is to emphasize safety and focus on reducing drunk driving, distracted driving and speeding.

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