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Toms River, New Jersey, Personal Injury Blog

Test may improve diagnosis of lung conditions

Misdiagnosis can be a serious concern for people in New Jersey with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. One company has announced that it is expanding an early access to a genetic test for the disorder, and it expects to make the test available across the country in 2019. By comparing genomic patterns from patients, the test allows physicians to differentiate between cases of IPF and other lung disorders.

In many cases, doctors may struggle to correctly diagnose this type of pulmonary fibrosis. Even advanced imaging technologies can lead to confusion, especially when it comes to determining the specific type of lung problem a patient is experiencing. However, in order for patients to receive proper care, a correct diagnosis is essential. There are several options that are available to help people with IPF, but it is important to determine the problem with the patient first. Indeed, over half of all patients with these types of lung disorders are at least initially misdiagnosed. Antifibrotic therapies can be used to slow the progression of the disease but only once an IPF diagnosis is confirmed.

Keeping retail workers safe during the holidays

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding retail employers throughout New Jersey and the rest of the country to be proactive about keeping workers safe during the holidays. The reason for the reminder is because of the flood of customers that can create added stress for both permanent and seasonal employees who routinely stock, pack, deliver and sell various products. This is also the time of year when workers tend to put in extra time on the clock to accommodate extended store hours and increased customer traffic.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health notes that employees don't always benefit from extra holiday pay. However, workers sacrifice sleep and time with their families to meet extra demands during the holidays. Such sacrifices could increase workplace stress or fatigue. A lapse in paying attention to safe working conditions during the holidays may also boost instances of worker's compensation claims due to slips, falls, back pain and other common injuries associated with retail work.

Helping patients could leave hospital workers with major injuries

People pursue jobs in the medical field for a number of different reasons. For some people, an early experience with a compassionate medical professional may inspire them to care for others. Some people go into medicine because it provides excellent job security and livable wages. Regardless of why you want a career in medicine, it's important to understand that you will face dangers on the job.

While working in the hospital may not seem as dangerous as driving a commercial vehicle or working in a factory, hospital workers actually have some of the highest levels of risk among any professionals in the United States. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hospital workers have a higher annual rate of injury on the job than construction or manufacturing workers.

Nurses favor capping work hours for surgeons more than surgeons

Transportation workers in New Jersey, like train operators and airplane pilots, routinely have restrictions placed on their work hours to promote safety. A poll that sought the views of surgeons and operating room nurses on work hour caps discovered a disparity between the two professions. Caps on operating room work hours received 87 percent approval from nurses and advanced-practice nurses compared to only 57 percent of surgeons.

Nursing professionals also favored capping work hours for all operating room workers, including anesthesiologists and nurses, at a rate of 89 percent of nurses versus 62 percent of physicians. One orthopedic surgeon expressed concerns about comparing surgeons to airline pilots. Unlike pilots who have co-pilots ready to take over at any point, surgeons do not have a replacement standing by. Additionally, people probably would not want to pay for two surgeons.

Wrongful death time limits and discovery rule considerations

Surviving family members in New Jersey have a right to pursue legal action if wrongful death is suspected. Since such a claim is considered a civil action, however, there are inherent time limits that normally determine how much time is allowed to pass before the right to file a claim expires. New Jersey's wrongful death statute of limitations is two years from the date of the deceased person's death.

In some cases, the time limit to file a wrongful death claim may begin at the point when the cause of the decedent's death is discovered. What's termed the "discovery rule" applies in situations where there is a need to determine if the decedent should have known or knew what caused their injury or illness prior to death. If this is the case, the limitations period may actually begin before the affected party passes.

Five winter safety tips for construction sites

The following are just five tips that construction site owners and managers in New Jersey can consider when preparing for winter. This way, they can prevent employees from being injured on the job. The first step is to inspect the premises for any potholes or uneven surfaces. Any fluids in work equipment should be replaced if they are not rated for the area's low temperatures.

The next tip concerns snow removal. Employees with a high risk for heart attack, especially men over 45 and women over 55, should generally not be allowed to shovel snow. If snow removal equipment is used, workers should distribute grit over the slippery surfaces it creates.

Surgeon removes woman's kidney by mistake

New Jersey residents who are considering orthopedic surgery may be alarmed to learn about the case of a Florida woman who underwent such a procedure in 2016. The woman was scheduled to have some bones in her lower back fused to relieve pain caused by a serious car accident, but she later found that one of her kidneys had been removed during the operation. Records reveal that the surgeon who made the mistake was only supposed to expose the site of the surgery and was not tasked with performing the procedure.

The doctor who made the mistake says that he mistook the woman's pelvic kidney for a cancerous tumor. Pelvic kidneys, which generally function properly, are kidneys that do not rise from the pelvis to their usual position in the womb. The doctor also blames the medical facility involved for not informing him that the woman had such a kidney. Medical records reveal that the doctor is the chairman of surgery at a major Palm Beach County hospital and has privileges at several others.

Avoiding the nightmare of a wrong-site surgery

Wrong-site surgery, quite simply, should never occur. Hospitals have protocols in place, they have safety procedures that doctors have to follow and they have high standards.

Even so, thousands of operations go wrong every year. A doctor operates on the wrong eye or amputates the wrong arm. A lung transplant replaces the wrong lung. These are just a few potential examples out of many cases.

OSHA to inspect open trenches and excavation

OSHA instituted a National Emphasis Program for trenching and excavation safety that went into effect on Oct. 1. Employers in New Jersey, especially those in the private construction industry, should be aware of the changes that will come with the NEP.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows how urgently needed the NEP is. Between 2011 and 2016, there were 130 fatalities from trenching and excavation operations. Nearly half of them occurred between 2015 and 2016 alone. Roughly 80 percent took place at private construction sites -- usually in industrial places, at private residences and on streets and highways.

Excavation and trench workers have dangerous jobs

For construction workers in New Jersey, excavations can be particularly dangerous. Workplace injuries and even fatalities linked to excavations and trench-digging have been rising throughout the nation. In response to the concerns about dangerous workplace environments, OSHA has refreshed its National Emphasis Program on trenching and excavation. The 2018 update replaces an earlier instruction written over 30 years earlier in 1985.

From 2011 through 2016, there were 130 workers who were killed on the job while engaged in these types of jobs. Of the deaths, 80 percent were related to the private construction industry. One of the most concerning things about the fatalities was the sharp uptick in recent years. A full 49 percent of the construction accident deaths took place between 2015 and 2016. Following the spate of severe workplace accidents, OSHA announced that it would impose an escalated enforcement presence. It noted that excavation work can be inherently dangerous as collapses and cave-ins are always possible. Therefore, workers engaged in these types of jobs need protection before a cave-in occurs.

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