Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

Roanoke Personal Injury Law Blog

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When surgical sponges are left behind

Patients in Virginia might imagine that anything used during the surgery is removed and accounted for before the site is closed and stitched. However, for thousands of people in the U.S. every year, this is not the case, CNN reports. Roughly a dozen patients each day leave the operating room with a surgical sponge or instrument still inside them. 

Why is this number so high? One of the reasons is that surgical sponges, in particular, are so difficult to keep track of. There may be 50 to 100 of these gauzy pads used per surgery, and these make up about 70 percent of all retained objects. Sponges are also often difficult to detect with imaging immediately after the operation, where a needle or scissors would be glaringly obvious on an x-ray. Sponges are most likely to be left behind after an abdominal surgery, although there are documented cases of retained sponges after nasal and brain surgeries, as well as other procedures.

Was the driver who hit you running late for a lunch date?

Speeding has been a major factor in fatal vehicle crashes in our country for more than two decades.

One reason for speeding is the problem of packed schedules. Was running late for a lunch appointment the issue when that SUV smacked into your compact car?

Motorcycle crashes, TBIs and other injuries

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may have many questions about where to go from here. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to bodily harm while driving because they are more exposed and less protected as someone would be in a car wearing a seat belt. We all know that wearing a helmet can dramatically reduce your risk of brain injury during an accident, but sometimes a head injury can still occur.

Having a brain injury can leave you dependent on others to help you sort the situation out, you may have a hard time remembering details and you may be worried about your recovery and the recovery process you will undergo. You can be the most careful, thoughtful motorcyclist on the road but circumstances outside of your control can lead to an accident. It's devastating when you undergo such turmoil. No matter the reason you suffered due to somebody elses negligence, there are people who will help pull you through these unfortunate times. You may have hospital bills, and therapy sessions to help you recover both physically and emotionally.

What happens inside the skull after a motor vehicle accident

Anyone in a motor vehicle accident in Virginia, whether a car occupant, a motorcycle rider or even a pedestrian or cyclist, may sustain a traumatic brain injury. In fact, TBIs can occur even if there is no blow to the head. According to MedicineNet, even if a person never loses consciousness, the trauma of a car accident can cause initially minor issues that could turn into life-threatening injuries.

The skull keeps the brain from being damaged when something hits the head, but it can't absorb the impact. So, a direct blow may cause brain damage at that site, but the force could cause the head to snap back and the brain to smash against the skull, causing damage to a different part of the brain. The forward and backward motion that causes whiplash could also cause the brain to collide with the skull. 

Mild to severe road rash after a motorcycle crash

Any areas of a motorcycle rider's skin that are not protected may sustain road rash in a Virginia accident. RideApart.com notes that wearing a riding suit or jacket and pants with built-in armor is the best way to keep skin from coming into contact with the road as the rider slides or rolls across it. Gloves with palm sliders are especially important, as people naturally try to catch themselves in a fall with the palms of their hands.

Healthline.com explains that road rash is the typical name for the abrasions that occur from the friction between the skin and the road. Any wound that involves scraping the skin away can be very painful, even if it is not serious, because of the nerve endings in the skin.

  • A first-degree abrasion is a scrape that takes only the top layer of skin off. These don't usually bleed, and riders can treat them at home by washing them gently and removing dirt and other particles from the skin. It is usually better to leave a first-degree abrasion uncovered rather than applying a bandage.
  • A second-degree abrasion will probably bleed, as the dermis is damaged. Even though this second layer of skin is affected, a rider may still be able to treat the wound at home. However, if there is bleeding that does not stop after five minutes of applying pressure, it may be a good idea to see a doctor. 
  • A third-degree abrasion penetrates the dermis and causes harm to the tissues underneath. Riders with a wound this severe may need immediate medical attention. 

Misdiagnosed diseases: Speaking up for a timely diagnosis

Your health is an investment you take seriously. You go to the gym in Vinton regularly, maintain a somewhat healthy diet and take supplements to keep your energy up. Every few weeks when you have unexplainable symptoms that cause you extreme fatigue, pain and discomfort, you rely on your physician for treatment. Currently, your physician has ruled your condition as allergies and overexertion. You are concerned about your doctor’s efficiency and if you have been misdiagnosed. 

You should be wary of any diagnosis you receive from your physician. Many conditions mimic the symptoms of other, more serious diseases than allergies. There is also the risk of you being misdiagnosed by the doctor you trust with your life. Here are a few health disorders you might want to have your doctor run tests for to ensure you get a timely diagnosis and prevent further complications with your health: 

What causes so many tanker truck rollover crashes?

Tanker trucks carry liquid loads on the roadways of Virginia and across the United States. As you may expect, cargo is often hazardous chemicals, such as gasoline, which, in a crash, could lead to fires, explosions and other catastrophes. With these additional dangers, safe transport becomes even more important. Unfortunately, this type of truck has additional stability factors that make a crash more likely.

AIG notes that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more than 1,300 tanker truck rollover accidents each year, compared to 500 large truck rollovers. More than 60 percent of the 1,300 crashes cause fatal injuries. There are a number of elements that may contribute to these rollovers.

Common types of medical malpractice

Doctors and other healthcare providers go through years of training to gain the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs. People defer to their medical opinions, and in most cases, this trust is justified.

However, just like everyone else, doctors make mistakes. When this happens, the consequences can be extremely serious and, sometimes, even fatal. If the mistake was made negligently, a patient who suffers, as a result, may have cause to sue for medical malpractice.

Going over different driver distractions

As a driver, you have to watch out for many different hazards on the road, including the behavior of other drivers. From alcohol use to prescription medication and fatigue, all sorts of risks are present on roadways across the U.S. Unfortunately, distracted driving remains particularly problematic and many drivers do not even realize that certain habits or activities take their attention off the road. There are a wide variety of reasons why drivers become distracted and these distractions can cause a fatal accident and leave survivors with devastating injuries. For now, we will review some of the distractions that affect drivers in Virginia.

Common distractions include changing the radio station, eating, and using a cell phone. In fact, cell phones are especially problematic, whether a driver takes their hand off the wheel to type or is not looking at the road because they are reading a text message. Moreover, those who are listening to loud music or trying to find a particular song may also become distracted. Using a GPS or reading a map can be distracting and this is especially problematic for those who are driving in a new area. Moreover, talking to other people in the vehicle can interfere with a driver's ability to stay focused on the road.

Narrow roads and the risk of an auto collision

There are many different environmental factors that contribute to motor vehicle accidents, such as the prevalence of ice and snow on roadways. However, there are many other ways in which the obstacles a driver may face on the road can lead to a collision. For example, driving on certain roads may be especially dangerous because the lanes are very narrow, or a driver may even have to drive down single-lane roads. If you regularly find yourself on roads that are narrow or ever come across an extremely narrow road, it is vital to be vigilant.

A narrow road can lead to an accident in different ways, from crashes involving multiple vehicles to single-vehicle wrecks. For example, drivers may not have enough room to avoid colliding on a narrow road, especially if one vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed after driving around a bend in the road. Moreover, a driver who is moving along a single-lane road may slam into a tree or become stuck due to an obstacle on the road, such as a fallen tree or a muddy hole.

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