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Admiralty / Maritime Law

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Metairie Louisiana Maritime Law Blog

What is a “never event,” and what are its implications?

When medical industry participants in Louisiana or elsewhere reference a “never event,” they’re spotlighting something that flatly never occurs, right?

Not exactly. They are actually referring to medical outcomes that do happen, but never should because they are so egregious.

How to prevent a traumatic brain injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have lifelong ramifications for Louisiana residents. This potentially severe head injury occurs in many different ways, such as from playing sports, falls or as a result of maritime, workplace, traffic or recreational accidents. It is important to learn how to best prevent these brain traumas from happening. 

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, there are approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries that take place each year in the United States. Furthermore, there are about 5.3 million Americans living with a disability that was caused by this type of head injury and the costs are immense. Many of these cases could have been avoided if certain precautionary actions had been taken. 

Life after a brain injury can be challenging

If you were injured in an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), life as you knew it may never return. This means that TBI survivors will have to learn how to adapt to the new normal that has become their lives.

Family members and other loved ones will also have to adjust their relationships with you in order to accommodate the changes wrought by the accident. This can have a deleterious effect on some of the closest relationships you may have. Below are some tips to help with the adjustment process.

Is the maritime industry really that dangerous?

You can watch plenty of reality TV shows about the dangers of working on the water, but maybe you find yourself wondering just how risky it can be. After all, travel by water is ancient. This is something humans have been doing forever, and now we have incredible technology to help keep people safe.

In an age in which we can put a man on the moon, is it really that dangerous to work on the water?

3 of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions

When seeking medical treatment, you do whatever it takes to consult with an experienced doctor who has your best interests in mind. Doing so can reduce stress, while increasing the likelihood of dealing with your illness or injury head on.

Unfortunately, just like any other profession, doctors are at risk of making mistakes. This can result in a misdiagnosed condition, which puts you in an even worse position.

Looking at the consequences of surgical errors

Many different things can go wrong in a medical setting, and for many different reasons. From medical professional negligence that results from rushing and not taking enough time to perform procedures properly to inexperience and misunderstanding, medical malpractice keeps happening for diverse reasons. Moreover, there are many different types of malpractice that patients struggle with, but victims of surgical errors often have an especially long road ahead. Sadly, surgical errors have claimed many lives, and even those who have been able to survive such a mistake may face various difficulties from a physical, financial and even emotional standpoint.

Aside from the loss of life, which can be absolutely devastating for the loved ones of those who die, people may struggle with severe physical consequences following a surgical error. They may be injured or scarred, immobilized for a lengthy period of time or forced to take a considerable amount of time off work. Emotionally speaking, these errors can lead to mental trauma and fear of medical professionals, anxiety, depression and other mental hardships. The financial consequences of surgical errors can be extremely difficult too, especially with how costly surgical operations and related expenses can be.

How can I protect myself against medication errors?

Medication errors are a huge issue in the medical field. They occur for many reasons, but you have the power to protect yourself against them. Being proactive when it comes to your medications can protect you from serious side effects, harmful medication interactions and deadly reactions. So, when you get a prescription from your doctor in Louisiana, you should follow this advice from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to prevent medication errors.

Make sure that whenever you get a prescription or a healthcare worker gives you medication that you vary what it is. Ask why you must have and what it will do for you. Clarify that the dosage is correct as well. Always doublecheck the name and ask if you can see the medication to verify it looks to be the correct one.

Diving illnesses: Protect yourself

As a commercial diver, you're part of a specialized field that offers unique experiences every day of the week. Although this may be your dream job, you don't want to lose sight of the fact that you're putting your health at risk every time you hit the water.

There are a variety of diving illnesses that can cause pain, discomfort, and in the most serious of cases, death. Here are four of the most common:

  • Ear barotrauma: This occurs when the pressure outside of the ear is greater than the pressure in the middle ear. If you fail to equalize, you could face symptoms such as: feeling of water in the ear, severe ear pain, nausea, vertigo, dizziness, hearing loss, pain when swallowing and fluid coming from the ear.
  • Pulmonary barotrauma: This lung injury occurs if you fail to hold your breath or exhale in the proper manner. Since the lungs don't feel pain in the same manner as other body parts, this illness can sneak up on you quickly. Pulmonary barotrauma can lead to a variety of serious conditions, such as subcutaneous emphysema, arterial gas embolism, pneumothorax and mediastinal emphysema.
  • Decompression sickness: This results from a rapid decrease in pressure, with symptoms including itching, joint pain, dizziness, fatigue and skin rash. These symptoms typically occur shortly after reaching the surface, but may not set in for up to one day.
  • Marine envenomation: Some marine animals have the ability to use toxins to ward off predators. Marine envenomation occurs if you come in contact with any type of toxin, such as through a puncture or sting. Common symptoms include burning, itching and other forms of irritation.

Kids' brain injuries from sports can be lethal

With Super Bowl LIII officially over, another sports season draws to a close. This might be a good time for South Louisiana residents to reconsider their children's participation in football and other contact sports in 2019 and beyond.

Gridiron stars are worshipped here in the south. Each summer, kids from all walks of life with athletic talent and that intangible quality coaches call "heart" run foot drills and mix it up against weighted tackling dummies under the relentless sun and intolerable heat, waiting for their moments to shine under the lights on football fields all over the region. But could they be risking their futures with every hit?

Professional fishers face major risk off the coast of Louisiana

The United States has a seemingly bottomless appetite for fresh seafood and fish. Many people in Louisiana find that catering to that appetite is a great way to make a living by catching the fish that winds up on someone else's table. Professional fishing can more than cover the salary of the individuals working on a boat off the coast of Louisiana.

Unfortunately, those workers incur some serious risk every time they go out for a catch. Even in the best weather, the ocean is unpredictable and dangerous. Many people also wind up caught offshore when a storm brews up suddenly. It is important for those injured on the ocean to understand their rights as a worker.

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