R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors at Law
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Toms River, New Jersey, Personal Injury Blog

Symptoms and risk factors of Erb's Palsy

During childbirth in New Jersey, newborns face a number of risks that could result in birth injuries. Some of these birth injuries are minor and temporary while others can have an impact on the infant for the rest of his or her life. Erb's Palsy, for example, has symptoms that could result in damaged nerves and a lifelong condition.

Erb's Palsy is a form of obstetric brachial plexus disorder that can occur during the birthing process. This condition occurs when the nerves in one of the baby's arms becomes damaged as a result of shoulder dystocia. Infants and children suffering from this condition may be able to wiggle their fingers but may not be able to move their shoulder and upper arm. In severe cases, Erb's Palsy can have an impact on a newborn's entire trunk. This usually means that the spinal cord has been impacted, preventing the infant from being able to use the entire arm.

Slip-and-falls can happen anytime, but winter increases risk

Comedies and cartoons would have you believe that the worst fallout from a slip-and-fall would be a bruised bottom and ego. Contrary to how they are depicted for entertainment sake, slip-and-fall accidents typically don't involve banana peels. Also, when a slip-and-fall incident happens in the real world, it is often anything but funny. They can happen to anyone, but can be particularly devastating to the elderly. Many times, serious injuries or even death can result from a slip-and-fall.

Slip-and-fall incidents happen both to employees at work and to those traveling or patronizing businesses. In fact, they send more than a million people to emergency rooms for medical care every year. These unfortunate events can happen any time of year or day, but winter weather can often increase certain risk factors for slip-and-falls.

Reasons for delayed HIV diagnosis

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, patients may live with HIV for an extended period of time without being diagnosed with the condition. This may be true even for New Jersey residents and others who see their doctor. As of 2015, it took an average of three years to get diagnosed, but that is better than the three years and seven months it took to diagnose the condition in 2011.

In 2015, there were 40,000 people who were diagnosed with the condition, and 20 percent had advanced from HIV to AIDS before receiving a diagnosis. Of those who were diagnosed that year, roughly one in four had been living with HIV for seven years without knowing it. A timely diagnosis may create favorable outcomes for patients and prevent others from getting the virus. Ideally, a person will be tested at least once during their life at some point after turning 13.

Deadly sore throat bacteria is often misdiagnosed

New Jersey parents may be shocked to learn that a common throat infection could be deadly to teenagers and young adults. Worse, it is commonly missed by doctors, who often only test for strep throat.

A 2015 study found that sore throats caused by a bacteria known as Fusobacterium necrophorum, or F-throat, were more common than those caused by strep throat. For the study, researchers examined 312 university students that presented with sore throat symptoms. Of those students, 20 percent had F-throat while 10 percent had strep throat. If left untreated, F-throat can lead to extreme sickness and death. However, since the infection is not widely recognized, many doctors do not know what the appropriate antibiotic treatments are. For example, F-throat responds to penicillin and metronidazole while strep throat responds to a different list of antibiotics.

The blurred line between independent contractor and employee

Many New Jersey residents have seen changes in what is required when finding suitable employment. People are becoming part of the gig economy. This umbrella term describes work that is done on a piecework basis. Instead of hourly pay or a yearly salary, those in the gig economy get paid per job that they do.

A lot of gig work is done on the Internet, but some is done off-line. Examples of this include ride-hailing services, like Lyft or Uber, or bike couriers who are paid per delivery. Gig work has a unique set of health and safety risks without the protection that comes from working as an employee. The risks vary depending on task performed as well as the number of hours a person dedicates to gig employment.

Thanksgiving season can be deadly for drivers

Drivers in New Jersey should be extra careful on the roadways during Thanksgiving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There's a good reason why -- Thanksgiving may be the deadliest holiday for travelers in the U.S.

Based on the NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 764 deadly crashes during Thanksgiving in 2012, with about 400 of them involving motorists. In comparison, Christmas 2012 saw 654 fatal crashes. Almost 50,000 non-fatal crashes also took place during the Thanksgiving season that year.

Truckers are at high risk of suffering from back pain

Driving a truck for hours on end can easily lead to severe back pain. When an individual sits for long periods of time, it causes the lower spine to compress and puts pressure on the discs and nerves. This can cause damage to the back that only gets worse the longer the person stays in a seated position. Also, heavy lifting can contribute to back issues as well. Both of these scenarios are ones that truck drivers face every day.

Studies have shown that almost 80 percent of the American population suffers from back pain and that truckers make up a significant amount these people. In some cases, the pain can become so severe that truckers have to look into other career options. If you are a Tom Rivers area trucker, the below tips can help you avoid back pain on your next haul.

Low daylight conditions lead to more animal-related crashes

While motorists may gain an extra hour of sleep with the end of daylight saving time, they'll have to watch out more for wildlife on New Jersey roadways. The return of standard time falls during mating season for many of these animals, and heightened animal activity levels between dusk and dawn can pose particular dangers for drivers as they make their daily commutes.

Motorists who find themselves traveling during the early morning or evening hours may want to remain mindful that roaming animals might be difficult to see in low daylight conditions. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, more wildlife-related crashes occur in November than during any other month.

Study shows third type of diabetes often misdiagnosed

New Jersey readers have likely heard of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, there is a third category of diabetes that is lesser known, and research shows that it may be prone to misdiagnosis by doctors. The study was recently published in the journal "Diabetes Care."

Researchers at the University of Surry found that type 3c diabetes, which is also called diabetes of the exocrine pancreas, is often incorrectly diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. While type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can't produce enough insulin, type 3c is caused by damage to the pancreas. As a result, typical treatments for type 2 diabetes may not work to correct type 3c diabetes, leaving a patient vulnerable to high blood sugar levels.

Industrial mirrors deserve more credit for workplace safety

Blind spots in work areas can pose significant dangers to employees. Business owners and workers in New Jersey should be aware of the potential hazards presented by blind spots, as well as the ways in which they can be made safer. Forklifts and other vehicles that make loud beeping noises when they go into reverse are a good step, generally speaking, but the precautionary noises they produce can be drowned out by other sounds at the workplace.

The simplest fix for workplace blind spots may be an industrial safety mirror or dome. These mirrors may be weatherproof and shatter-resistant, and they can be customized to fit the requirements of the particular blind spot. In determining which mirror or mirrors to use, the facility manager should take into account the sizes and types of vehicles used in the space, the number and frequency of pedestrians and other traffic, and the overall layout.

Contact R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors At Law

Call our Toms River office at 732-505-1212, our Manchester office at 732-408-WILL (9455), our Brick office at 732-451-0800, or call us toll free at 800-556-SHEA (7432). You can also contact our firm online.

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R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors at Law
244 Main Street
Toms River, NJ 08754

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Phone:
732-505-1212
Tollfree:
Manchester Area:
Brick Area:
732-451-0800