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Metairie Louisiana Maritime Law Blog

How can I help my signifcant other live with a TBI?

If you are the spouse or partner of a person in Louisiana who has experienced a traumatic brain injury, perhaps after a serious motor vehicle accident, you will know that life as you once lived it will be forever changed. The exact challenges that your loved one may face might be slightly different than someone else with a TBI but there are often types of tasks that present common challenges to people with TBIs. Learning how to work around these will be important for you and your partner.

Brainline notes that tracking time is one of the things often hard for a TBI patient to do. Using a timer or means of providing alerts at certain time stamps can help your partner stay on track and know when to move to a new event, activity or task. Many people find technology a great asset as there are apps to track time and also to manage appointments and daily activities.

Medical and mental health care needs for seafarers

Seafaring workers have a lot of stress to deal with on a daily basis. The nature of the job comes with many hazards that can make it hard to get through a shift. Knowing these risks should spur employers to take steps to ensure the safety of the employees physically, but also mentally. With the constant pressure of this type of work and the environment, a comprehensive plan must be in place.

Two of the most common issues that seafarers face in regard to their health is the difficulty receiving medical care for problems that come up while they are out to sea and the lack of mental health care during their time on the water. Together, these can lead to catastrophic impacts for the seafarer.

Should you worry about falling overboard?

As you may already know, working aboard a vessel can be dangerous. In addition to regularly dealing with complicated equipment and needing specialized seafaring knowledge, things like rough seas, equipment malfunctions and a slippery deck can make life at sea more hazardous than routine. One of the many dangers you and other Louisiana boat workers must face is falling overboard.

Man overboard situations are more common than many people may think. According to HowStuffWorks, about 100 passengers went overboard on cruise ships from 1995 to 2007. When you consider that cruise ships are designed to prevent people from easily falling off the deck, it can be sobering to realize the risk of falling overboard on smaller cargo and fishing vessels, which are designed for experienced professionals and not for paying passengers.

Traumatic brain injury affects your earning potential

When people suffer traumatic brain injuries in Louisiana, they may worry about their financial future. How will they care for their families? How will they care for themselves? Will they become an economic burden on their loved ones? These are just some of the many questions a person may feel overwhelmed by.

According to the CDC, these concerns are not without merit. TBI accounts for 288,000 hospitalizations and a significant portion of lifelong disabilities. Some people with TBI only suffer short-term symptoms and then make a full or near-full recovery. For others, TBI may have long-lasting effects that seriously compromise their quality of life.

Life aboard a barge is dangerous and can be lonely

Life as a deckhand aboard a barge on the Mississippi River is not for the faint of heart. It's long hours toiling under the unforgiving southern sun and frigid mornings when the decks are encased in a dangerous patina of ice. It's missing out on the routines of family life — children's birthdays celebrated late, empty chairs at holiday celebrations and the growing distance between disconnected spouses.

In short, it takes a certain kind of man or woman to choose a career working on the river. The rugged individualists are the ones who tend to gravitate toward it. Also, many families have generations of river workers who began their careers as lowly deckhands but managed to persevere and earn a spot in the pilot's wheelhouse.

How the Jones Act protects offshore oil and gas workers

The waters off the coast of Louisiana are a major source of business revenue and employment income for people across the state. While many people work in fishing and shipping, others may work in the oil and gas industry. Locating and extracting oil and gas deposits from deep under the sea requires special infrastructure and massive amounts of human work.

Deep-sea rigs, as well as the supply ships that travel from these massive installations to the shore, require large numbers of skilled personnel to operate. Although these jobs often command a premium wage, they can mean leaving loved ones back on land for days or weeks at a time. Even more concerning is the fact that working far from land with dangerous, flammable materials can easily give rise to workplace injuries.

Human errors and surgical adverse events

Many Louisiana residents must undergo surgeries every day. Regardless of age or prior health condition, these events are often necessary to save a life, treat a serious disease or improve a person's condition. Some surgeries are even elective but can still be essential ways of improving a person's everyday lives and happiness. Sadly, every one of these surgeries comes with some level of risk to patients.

Surgical errors have long posed a problem and resulted in countless patient deaths or other complications. Many people find that it is helpful for them to understand what might cause or contribute to these types of mistakes. Several studies have focused on this exact topic and the results of one have recently been published in the JAMA Open Network. Becker's Hospital Review indicates that it highlighted a serious finding.

Medical errors the nation’s third-most-common cause of death

When you visit your Louisiana doctor or hospital, you probably do so with the hope that your physician will recognize what is ailing you and tell you what you need to do to make it better. At Gennusa, Piacun & Ruli, we recognize that doctors, like everyone else, make errors from time to time, but we also recognize that the mistakes doctors make can have gravely serious consequences.

Just how common are medical mistakes? According to CNBC, medical errors are alarmingly common in the United States, and so much so that they are now the third-most-common cause of death among Americans. To put this in perspective, only cancer and heart disease kill more Americans annually than medical errors. It is not, however, entirely clear just how many Americans lose their lives each year because of medical mistakes, though current estimates suggest that this number falls somewhere between about 250,000 and 440,000.

3 tips for sharing the road with larger vehicles

As a resident of Metairie, you are probably used to seeing large commercial trucks transporting heavy loads. In addition, you probably know how devastating a wreck with one of the large vehicles can be. A collision with a semi truck can be fatal, cause a catastrophic brain injury or cause any number of serious injuries. This is why it is vital to practice safe and defensive driving techniques when you are sharing the road with large vehicles.

Whether you are commuting for work, out for an afternoon drive or leaving town for a weekend road trip, the chances are high that you will find yourself in close proximity to a semitruck. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe in such a situation.

The dangers behind electronic medical files

In this day and age of advanced technology, electronic medical records have taken the healthcare field by storm. Not only does this technology save doctors from filing papers and organizing patient charts, but it speeds up certain processes, such as transmitting electronic prescriptions to the pharmacy. Electronic medical records are designed to minimize errors medical professionals may make due to hard-to-read handwriting, disorganization and other clerical issues. Yet, medical record technology may not be as safe as some may believe. 

In fact, glitches and errors in electronic healthcare records have led to injuries and deaths of many across the country. Instances have occurred where lab orders are not transmitted properly to the lab, and certain screening tests are not performed as a result. Lab results may not get back to the physician, and patient notes may be populated under the wrong patient. One faulty software program used in a long-term care facility involved errors with the start and stop dates of medication and patients were getting other residents’ medication as a result of the errors. 

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