Categories
Motor Vehicle Accidents

‘Zoom Zombies’ Behind the Wheel

So much has changed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have all been forced to use our phones and computers more, whether for purchasing goods online, virtually visiting friends and relatives, or virtually meeting with business associates and/or clients. Social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions have given rise to Zoom becoming one of the most popular apps.

Could “our dependence on Zoom and other video chat software…be turning us into bad drivers?” (USAToday.com) Increased screen usage and reliance on technology is turning some drivers into “Zoom Zombies”, causing distracted zoning-out.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has warned that “risky driving and fatal crashes have risen sharply” in the last year, despite Americans driving less. (USAToday.com)

“A new study by Root Insurance found 54 percent of the 1,819 American adult motorists surveyed said they have had trouble concentrating on the road after videoconferences.” (NBCNews.com) This survey was taken between March 12th and March 17th, and involved drivers aged 18 and above. See the online report here.

Russ Rader, an official with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said, “There’s the risk of cognitive distraction, looking at the road while your thoughts are elsewhere. That zoning out may mean you don’t notice a dangerous situation soon enough to react.” (NBCNews.com)

According to the Root Insurance report, South Carolina has the most distracted drivers out of the 29 states surveyed, with 21.91 distracted driver events per 100 miles. These events can be avoided.

How can you prevent distracted driving?

  • When you get in the driver’s seat, commit to focus fully on driving, and to avoid distractions.
  • Never attempt to multi-task while driving. Ask a passenger for help, or pull over to perform other tasks, like changing a CD or updating directions on the GPS.
  • Silence or store your cell phone out of reach so that you’re not tempted to look at it or use it while driving.
  • Adjust seats, mirrors, headrest, seat belt, etc. before getting on the road.
  • As a passenger, discourage distracted driving, and help when needed.

(DefensiveDriving.org)

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – SERVING CAR ACCIDENT VICTIMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you have suffered a collision in South Carolina, the legal team at The Law Offices of David L. Hood will help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after an accident. After gathering all the necessary information, we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to court if the need arises.

Our entire team has years of experience representing various clients and car accident victims in South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.

You can find our contact information on the page here and schedule your free consultation session.

Other online resources used in writing this article:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210406005760/en/Beware-of-the-Zoom-Zombie-54-of-Americans-Who-Drive-After-Video-Chatting-Report-Trouble-Concentrating

Categories
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Occupational Hearing Loss

Most workplace dangers are obvious. One that is not quit as apparent is damaging noise levels. “Some of the most prevalent workplace hazards aren’t seen–they’re heard.” (EHSToday.com)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most commonly reported workplace-related injury is hearing loss. 22 million Americans are being exposed to harmful noise levels at their place of work per The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). (CDC.gov)

What are the causes of occupational hearing loss (OHL)?

  • Loud noise – “The NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit for occupational noise exposure is 85 decibels….Exposures at or above this level are considered hazardous.” (CDC.gov) A good way to know that you may in danger of OHL is if someone has to raise his/her voice to talk with you from an arm’s length.
  • Ototoxic Chemicals – “Ototoxic chemicals can cause OHL, make the ear more susceptible to the damaging effects of hazardous noise, or both. For example, a person taking certain ototoxic pharmaceuticals may lose hearing, become more susceptible to noise, or both.” (CDC.gov)

Top 10 jobs that can cause hearing loss:

  1. Textile machine setters, operators, and tenders

> Average decibel level: 89.9 dBA (0.1% lower than the OSHA limit)

Employees bleach, dye, cut, knit, or wind textiles, using loud equipment.

  1. Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers

> Average decibel level: 90.0 dBA (right at the OSHA limit)

Employees work in movie theaters, concert and performing art venues, and spectator sporting events, all of which can be very loud.

  1. Control and valve installers and repairers

> Average decibel level: 90.3 dBA (0.3% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees work with “mechanical regulating and controlling devices, such as hydraulic doors, electric meters, gas regulators, thermostats, safety and flow valves, and other mechanical governors. Hydraulic systems can often produce loud noises, from the mechanisms themselves and from doors loudly slamming shut.”

  1. Miscellaneous agricultural workers

> Average decibel level: 90.9 dBA (1.0% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees (including equipment operators, crop, nursery and greenhouse laborers, animal workers) use noisy equipment like tractors, combines, chainsaws, and grain dryers

  1. Forming machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

> Average decibel level: 91.0 dBA (1.1% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees work with machines that extrude, draw, forge, and roll metals and plastics, and are often employed in large industrial settings, like iron and steel mills, machine shops, and motor vehicle part manufacturing plants. These places often have loud machinery running.

  1. Tailors, dressmakers, and sewers

> Average decibel level: 91.1 dBA (1.2% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees make, alter, and repair garments. Large industrial sewing machines produce noise around 90 dBA.

  1. Butchers and other meat, poultry, and fish processing workers

> Average decibel level: 91.1 dBA (1.2% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees work with noisy machinery and equipment all day.

  1. Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders

> Average decibel level: 92.5 dBA (2.8% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees use saws, drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines (which can all be very loud) to cut, shape, and craft wood.

  1. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

> Average decibel level: 92.5 dBA (2.8% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees often use equipment that is very loud such as lawnmowers, tractors, and chainsaws.

  1. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics

> Average decibel level: 98.4 dBA (9.3% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees are within earshot of sirens, horns, diesel motors, radios, shouting, power tools, and alarms on a regular basis.

“No job faces more consistently noisy working conditions than emergency medical technicians and paramedics. These workers are first responders to medical emergencies, and they perform medical care and transport patients to medical facilities.”

(MSN.com)

Preventing OHL:

  • Avoid loud environments as much as possible.
  • Wear industrial earplugs, earmuffs, or noise-cancelling headphones/earplugs. Make sure to choose equipment that doesn’t go too far down into the ear canal, as this can cause damage to hearing as well.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can damage cells throughout your entire body, including your ear canal.
  • Have your hearing checked on a regular basis.
  • “Reduce or stop exposure to chemicals that may damage your hearing: wear gloves, long sleeves and eye protection; wear a respirator or other protective equipment, as appropriate; read and follow all chemical safety instructions.” (CDC.gov)
  • Download the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Sound Level Meter App . “This is a tool available to the public to download on mobile iOS devices that measures sound levels in the workplace and provides noise exposure parameters to help reduce occupational noise-induced hearing loss.” (CDC.gov)

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – REPRESENTING INJURED WORKERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

The Law Offices of David L. Hood have been fighting for the rights of injured workers in North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Georgetown, Charleston and all across South Carolina for over 25 years. We have a dedicated team that will strive to take care of your claim professionally and treat you with respect. Over the years we’ve represented hundreds of injured workers and their families, working hard to get them the medical treatment and compensation they deserve.

To learn more about what we can do for you, contact our offices to set up a free initial consultation. If you choose to work with us, we will handle your case on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we make a recovery for you. To get in touch with us, you can call our offices at (843) 491-6025 or email us here.

Other online resources used in writing this article:

https://www.ehstoday.com/ppe/hearing-protection/media-gallery/21917796/preventing-hearing-loss-noise-infographics-photo-gallery/slideshow?slide=1

Categories
Medical Malpractice Lawyer Pharmacy Malpractice

Pharmacists: Overworked and Understaffed

Covid-19 has made an already tough situation even tougher. Pharmacists at chain stores are now being pushed more than ever to do more with less. “They’re working faster, filling more orders and juggling a wider range of tasks with fewer staff members at a pace that many say is unsustainable and jeopardizes patient safety.” (NBCNews.com)

In the past decade, this had already become a huge issue that needed to be resolved. Now, add Covid-19 testing and vaccinations to the mix, and new concerns are being raised “about what will happen if they aren’t given enough additional support for yet another responsibility.” (NBCNews.com)

Marilyn Jerominski, the pharmacy manager at a 24-hour Walgreens says she began working as a pharmacist 13 years ago. At that time, things were very different. “There were more staff members and more time to counsel patients about their medications.” Now, she says there is so much stress, she is often exhausted and overwhelmed, worried about making a mistake that will put customers’ health on the line.

Jerominski is not alone. Recent research by NBC News on 31 retail pharmacists and technicians reported that a good portion of them are working 12-hour shifts, and are too busy to stop for bathroom breaks, or to eat. Many report crying in their cars after work or “lying awake at night worrying about mistakes they might have made while rushing. They described an industry of health care professionals at the breaking point.”

Jerominski and other pharmacists say they are in dire need of more help.

Many large pharmacy chains, like CVS and Walgreens “give pharmacists a range of metrics to meet and monitors the time they spend on various tasks, from calls to patients to prescriptions filled and vaccinations given per week.” About 10 years ago, when profit margins started to drop for those chains, pharmacists began to be pushed that much more.

South Carolina pharmacists weigh-in on being overworked and understaffed through letters to the SC Board of Pharmacy:

“The mistakes I have seen occur in this environment are both frightening and understandable when we are under the gun to perform the impossible. I’ve had a technician mix two strengths of a critical blood pressure medication.” (NYTimes.com)

“We are being asked to do things that we know at a gut level are dangerous. If we won’t or can’t do them, our employers will find someone else who will, and they will likely try to pay them less for the same work.” (NYTimes.com)

“Thank the Lord I have not had any life-threatening misfills, but I have had a number of ‘minor’ misfills mostly due to having to be responsible for so many duties at once and constantly being pulled away from verification to multitask.” (NYTimes.com)

In response to letters, and phone calls from pharmacists regarding inadequate work conditions, the SC Board of Pharmacy wrote a statement to “promote the health and safety of patients, and to ensure compliance with the South Carolina Pharmacy Practice Act relating to operational standards, specifically S.C. Code Ann. § 40-43-86 (B)(4) which relates to adequate staffing of licensed personnel in the pharmacies.” You can find this statement here. (llr.sc.gov)

Protecting Yourself from Pharmacist Errors:

  • Speak with the pharmacist if you are getting a new prescription. Ask about side effects, and make sure the new drug is safe in combination with other medicines you are currently taking.
  • Open the bag to be sure your name is on the prescription bottle, and that the correct medicine name and strength are on the bottle. Also, check for the pill description on the bottle.
  • Open the bottle. Be sure the pills inside look the same as your previous prescriptions of that same drug. If it’s a new medicine, make sure the pills look the same as what’s described on the bottle.
  • Read the instructions on the bottle and on the leaflet you receive with the prescription.
  • If you notice any errors, do not take any of the medication. Report errors to the pharmacist immediately.

(NYTimes.com)

Mistakes can also be reported to state pharmacy boards. For South Carolina patients, that would be the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy.

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – REPRESENTING PHARMACY MALPRACTICE VICTIMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Prescription malpractice can cause serious health problems and even result in death for many innocent patients. However, if the matter is handled expertly, those responsible for the damages can be held accountable. The Law Offices of David L. Hood and his co-counsel have experience in handling pharmacy malpractice cases. With an understanding of the system, they utilize their network of medical experts and pharmacists to figure out the cause of the mistake and obtain (if possible) an expert opinion so a claim can be filed against those at fault.

If you have suffered at the hand of someone else’s negligence and incompetence, let The Law Offices of David L. Hood do whatever it takes to help you and your family get justice. We will fight until you get the compensation that you deserve.

If you or a loved-one has been a victim of pharmacy malpractice in South Carolina, contact us for a free initial consultation. If you choose us to fight for your claim, we will work with you on a contingent-fee basis, meaning, you won’t owe us a fee unless we get a recovery for you! You can call us now at (843) 491-6025 or contact us at any of our offices in South Carolina here.

Categories
Motor Vehicle Accidents

South Carolina – The Most Dangerous Place to Drive

1.35 million people are killed every year in traffic accidents around the world. In the United States, there were 36,560 deaths resulting from car accidents in 2018. (Reviews.com) Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 through 54. (CDC.gov)

Today’s automobiles are smarter and safer than ever, due to advanced safety technology in the last couple of decades. However, because of increasing driver error and carelessness, traffic fatalities have only decreased by 1% in the last three years.

“According to CNBC, ‘Experts suggest driving hazards such as texting while driving and higher speed limits are offsetting the benefits of safety systems like automatic emergency braking and increased seat belt usage.’” (AutoInsurance.org)

A 2020 AutoInsurance.org study analyzing “the worst states for traffic-related fatalities, the lives lost in each state, and each’s best and worst categories,” reported that South Carolina had the most traffic deaths per 100 million miles driven, of any state in the US for three consecutive years, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Here are the Palmetto State’s traffic death rates for those three years:

2016 – Deaths per 100 million miles: 1.65 (ranked 1st place in the US)

2017 – Deaths per 100 million miles: 1.86 (ranked 1st place in the US)

2018 – Deaths per 100 million miles: 1.86 (ranked 1st place in the US)

Every one of these fatalities could have been prevented. “It’s easy to blame drunk drivers, lax laws, or dangerous roads…but just one mistake made by YOU can” cause a loss of life. (AutoInsurance.org)

“Model safe driving for your family and others on the road around you. Do everything in your power to keep our roads safe and save lives.” (AutoInsurance.org)

For driving safety tips, please go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – SERVING CAR ACCIDENT VICTIMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you have suffered a collision in South Carolina, the legal team at The Law Offices of David L. Hood will help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after an accident. After gathering all the necessary information, we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to court if the need arises.

Our entire team has years of experience representing various clients and car accident victims in South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.

You can find our contact information on the page here and schedule your free consultation session.

Categories
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Rising Injury Rates at Automated Amazon Warehouses

These days, a lot of us are staying away from shopping malls and department stores as much as possible to try to stay well. COVID-19 has caused Americans to do more online shopping than ever before. As of June 2020, Statista ranks Amazon the top U.S. company ranked by retail e-commerce sales, with sales estimated to reach to 269.41 billion U.S. dollars for the full year 2020.

Robots play a big part in Amazon’s success. In December of 2019, Amazon had “more than 200,000 mobile robots working inside its warehouse network…. This robot army has helped the company fulfill its ever-increasing promises of speedy deliveries to Amazon Prime customers.” (Vox.com)

When Amazon started using robots in 2014, the company claimed the automation would help reduce injuries to workers. Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting has obtained Amazon records that show the exact opposite. Amazon warehouses that use robots “actually have higher injury rates than warehouses without automation.” (TheVerge.com)

These “robots are apparently so efficient that quotas have increased substantially, requiring workers to do repetitive motions over long shift that can eventually lead to injuries.” For example, “workers at robotic fulfillment centers were expected to pick up and scan roughly 400 items an hour, compared with the standard rate of 100 items per hour at other facilities.” (CNBC.com) In other words, humans can’t keep up with the robots without hurting themselves.

Amazon internal reports show that between 2016 and 2019, in Amazon fulfillment centers that ship small and medium-sized items, the rate of serious injuries was 50% higher at the warehouses with robots, compared to those without. (RevealNews.org)

Despite measures recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “such as an extra rest break or rotating workers to other jobs during the day,” Amazon has not widely implemented the measures. Therefore, injury rates have continued to rise.

One of many problems keeping injuries at a high rate is low safety staffing at robotic warehouses, especially during peak seasons. In November of 2019, a spokesperson told Will Evans, author of How Amazon Hid Its Safety Crisis, RevealNews.org, “We ensure we have adequate leadership and safety staff on hand during these peak times.” Yet an August 2019 report showed robotic warehouse safety staff as “critically low”, and in October 2019 another report again warned of staffing problems at robotic warehouses.

Having access to Amazon’s internal records, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has created a chart “to show injury rates across more than 150 Amazon fulfillment centers from 2016 through 2019.” To see the number of injuries at an Amazon warehouse near you, go to RevealNews.org.

Workplace injuries for Amazon fulfillment centers here in South Carolina (data is excluded if there were less than 200.000 hours worked during a given year):

(per 100 workers)
North Charleston, SC (CHS1)(2016) 3.2(2017) —(2018) —(2019) —
Spartanburg, SC (GSP1)(2016) 2.6(2017) 3.7(2018) 5.3(2019) 7.0
West Columbia, SC (CAE1)(2016) 4.8(2017) 4.1(2018) 3.1(2019) 6.0
West Columbia, SC (CAE3)(2016) —(2017) 6.7(2018) 4.0(2019) 8.2

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – REPRESENTING INJURED WORKERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

The Law Offices of David L. Hood and co-counsel have been fighting for the rights of injured workers in Charleston, N. Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Georgetown, Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Greenville, Hilton Head, Rock Hill and all across South Carolina for over 25 years. We have a dedicated team that will strive to take care of your claim professionally and treat you with respect. Over the years we and our co-counsel have represented hundreds of injured workers and their families, working hard to get them the medical treatment and compensation they deserve.

To learn more about what we can do for you, contact our offices to set up a free initial consultation. If you choose to work with us, we will handle your case on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we make a recovery for you. To get in touch with us, you can call our offices at (843) 491-6025 or email us here.

Categories
Medical Malpractice Lawyer TBI

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability and death in the United States. According to Brainline.org, 2.8 million Americans are diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injuries each year. Of those 2.8 million: 2.5 million are treated in the emergency room and released, 282,000 are hospitalized, and 56,000 die as a result of the TBI.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a TBI as “a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” Anything that penetrates brain tissue can also cause a TBI (for example, a bullet or knife).

Common Causes of TBI’s:

  • Falls
  • Vehicle-related collisions
  • Violence (gunshot wounds, domestic violence)
  • Sports injuries
  • Explosive blasts
  • Other combative injuries
  • Penetrating wounds to the head
  • Severe blows to the head with shrapnel or debris

(MayoClinic.org)

Ways to reduce the risk of brain injury:

  • Always wear a seat belt in a motor vehicle.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, motorcycle, skateboard, or ATV.
  • Install handrails in bathrooms, and on staircases.
  • Keep stairs and floors clear of clutter.
  • Put a non-slip mat in the bathtub.
  • Get regular vision check-ups.

To avoid TBI’s in children:

  • Install safety gates at the top of staircases.
  • Install window guards to prevent falls.
  • Make sure there is shock-absorbing material on playgrounds.
  • Don’t let children play on fire escapes or balconies.

What are the signs and symptoms of a TBI?

The symptoms of a TBI usually fall into four categories:

  1. Thinking/remembering

Difficulty thinking clearly, remembering new information, and concentrating.

Feeling slowed down.

  1. Physical

Nausea/vomiting (early on).

Headache.

Fuzzy/blurry vision.

Dizziness.

Sensitivity to noise and/or light.

Balance problems.

Feeling tired/having no energy.

  1. Emotional/mood

More emotional.

Irritability.

Sadness.

Nervousness or anxiety.

  1. Sleep

Sleeping more or less than usual.

Trouble falling asleep.

Online resources for South Carolinians with TBI’s:

Brain Injury Association of South Carolina

Medical University of South Carolina

SCDHEC

Because of the tremendous costs and long-term health consequences associated with TBI’s, if you suffer a TBI that is through no fault of your own, it is a good idea to contact an attorney for help.

In May of 2018, Brett Baker-Goins received a $5.8 million lawsuit verdict after suffering two concussions while playing basketball for First Baptist School of Charleston. After suffering the first injury, Baker-Goins was treated at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and was diagnosed with a sports-related concussion.

After returning to school, “officials put him through the South Carolina Independent School Association’s ‘return to play protocol.’ ”(PostandCourier.com)

The lawsuit argued that Baker-Goins was rushed through the process, and did not follow proper ‘return to play protocol’. Therefore, when he suffered a second concussion less than five weeks later, this concussion “resulted in a permanent traumatic brain injury that has delayed Brett’s educational, social and emotional development.”

CONTACT THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD FOR A FREE TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY CONSULTATION

If you or someone you care about has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury. At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

Other online resources used for this article:

https://www.neuroskills.com/about/media-center/

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

FDA Warns Some Hand Sanitizers May Be Toxic

Hand sanitizer demand has skyrocketed during the Coronavirus pandemic. Health advisors have advised American consumers to wash our hands often with soap and water to limit the spread of COVID-19. If soap and water are not available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends we use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

The high demand for hand sanitizer, along with shortages of standard brands “have sparked a rush of new brands onto the market.”(WashingtonPost.com) Some of these new brands, already on store shelves are questionable. “Unfortunately, there are some companies taking advantage of the increased usage of hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic and putting lives at risk by selling products with dangerous and unacceptable ingredients,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn in a statement on July 2.(NBCNews.com)

In June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first warned consumers that some hand sanitizers tested positive for methanol (wood alcohol) contamination. The FDA warned consumers to stop using these products, since methanol is a potentially fatal ingredient. “Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects.”(USAToday.com)

What is Methanol?

According to the CDC, methanol is “used industrially as a solvent, pesticide and alternative fuel source.”

Methanol is toxic if absorbed through the skin.(CNN.com) It can be life-threatening when ingested.

Exposure can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, agitation, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, amnesia, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system and death.

The FDA says if you have been exposed to hand sanitizer that contains methanol and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please seek immediate treatment “for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.”(FDA.gov)

The FDA is also keeping an eye out for other quality issues with hand sanitizers such as:

  • Not containing a sufficient amount of ethyl or isopropyl alcohol.
  • False, misleading, unproven claims that a hand sanitizer can prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Products claiming “FDA-approved”; no hand sanitizers are approved by the FDA.
  • Products that are packaged to look like drinks, candy, or liquor bottles, since their appearance could result in, or encourage accidental ingestion. Ingesting only a small amount of hand sanitizer can be lethal in a young child.

For more information, and to find out which hand sanitizers have been recalled, please go to FDA.gov.

CONTACT DAVID L. HOOD IF YOU’VE BEEN HURT BY A DEFECTIVE PRODUCT IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you or a loved one has been injured by a recalled or defective product, please schedule a free consultation with attorney David L. Hood by calling (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the effects of product defect-related injuries and the untold pain and suffering they cause. At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to protect your rights and make things simple for you and your family so you can focus on healing. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

Categories
Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Telehealth Expands Access to Healthcare During COVID-19 Pandemic

Prior to COVID-19, the use of telemedicine or telehealth was very minimal, and seemed more like a luxury. Many of us are under shelter in place orders due to the Coronavirus; and those who aren’t have been told to social distance, and stay away from people as much as possible, to keep the spread down.

“As clinicians seek new ways to serve patients and stem the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States, policymakers and insurers have looked to telemedicine or telehealth to provide care to patients in their homes.”(kff.org) Telemedicine has exploded across the United States in a few short weeks, after many years of slow growth, helping healthcare providers to continue responding to the needs of Americans who have COVID-19, and to those who just need to touch base on the status of their health.(healthcareitnews.com)

Dr. Ronan Factora, a geriatrician says there’s greater urgency for telemedicine during the pandemic because “we do not want to expose our older patients who are more vulnerable to its complications in the risk of illness.” (AARP.com)

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine “is commonly defined as the remote provision of health care services using technology to exchange information for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.” Patients use basic communication tools, like phone calls, text messages, emails, or online portals to communicate with their doctor virtually. This way, the patient doesn’t have to actually go into the provider’s office for a visit; they can have a doctor’s visit right from home!

Telehealth visits can be used to:

  • Screen patients who have symptoms of COVID-19, then advise them.
  • Provide low-risk urgent care for non-COVID-19 conditions, then advise patient.
  • Recommend primary care providers and specialists for chronic health conditions.
  • Provide coaching and support for patients managing chronic health conditions.
  • Participate in therapy.
  • Monitor clinical signs of certain chronic medical conditions.
  • Engage in case management for patients who have difficulty accessing care (those with limited mobility, or in very rural settings).
  • Follow up with patients after a doctor visit or hospitalization.
  • Plan and counsel to document preferences for a life-threatening event or medical crisis.
  • Provide non-emergent care to patients in long-term care facilities. (CDC.gov)

What to expect in a telehealth visit:

The doctor will have your chart in front of him/her just like an in-person visit. The doctor will go through your medical history with you. Make sure you have paper and pen ready, so you can take notes. Depending on your symptoms, the doctor may have you take your temperature, measure your heart rate, and/or take your blood pressure (if you have a blood pressure monitor at home).

Limits to Telemedicine:

Michael Hochman, MD says, “You’re definitely limited as to what you can do, compared with a physical exam. But you can tell a lot about a patient by how they look. Are they breathing hard? Do they look like they are in distress? 90 percent of a diagnosis is observation and taking a careful history.” Of course, the other 10%, things like listening to your heart or lungs, or feeling your abdomen can’t be accomplished through a virtual visit.

If you are in South Carolina, and are in need of a telemedicine visit, the Medical University of South Carolina can help. The website (MUSCHealth.org) states: “If you are concerned about coronavirus (COVID-19) or experiencing respiratory or flulike symptoms such as fever and/or cough, MUSC recommends you speak to an online virtual care provider. Virtual COVID-19 screenings are free. Just use the code COVID19 when you log in. Online care on your schedule by MUSC doctors and providers you know and trust! No appointment. No wait. Accessible 24/7 for the whole family.”

CONTACT THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD FOR A FREE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CONSULTATION

If you or someone you care about has suffered because of medical negligence, please schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a serious malpractice-related injury. At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Medical Malpractice Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

Categories
Motor Vehicle Accidents

Self-Driving Cars May Not Prevent the Most Common Car Accidents

Last year, Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk had all intentions of starting to operate a fleet of self-driving robotaxis sometime this year. Now he says he’s hoping “to deploy the system with humans monitoring it in early 2021, depending on regulatory approval.”(WUSA9.com)

In the last several years, other companies have pledged to start a fully-robotic ride share service without human backup drivers as well. However, things were delayed when an Uber self-driving test vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian in March of 2018. The car was unable to predict Elaine Herzberg walking her bike across the street in front of the vehicle.(BusinessInsider.com)

Believe it or not, the idea of self-driving cars first came about in 1939! General Motors (GM) introduced an autonomous car into the New York World’s Fair Futurama section (as part of its vision of the future of America in 20 years-time) that year.(Kambria.io)

“Self-driving vehicles are cars or trucks in which human drivers are never required to take control to safely operate the vehicle. Also known as autonomous or “driverless” cars, they combine sensors and software to control, navigate, and drive the vehicle.” (UCSUSA.org)

“Self-driving car technology has long been lauded for its ability to prevent crashes related to human error.” More studies in the past several years have shown that autonomous vehicles may not be able to prevent all accidents caused by human error. In fact, a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that self-driving cars will only stop about one-third of accidents caused by human error. Human error is the cause of about 94% of all U.S. car crashes. “To avoid the other two-thirds, they would need to be specifically programmed to prioritize safety over speed and convenience.” (IIHS.com)

Alexandra Mueller, lead author of the IIHS study says it’s difficult enough to build self-driving cars that drive as well as people drive; but they’d actually have to drive better than humans “to deliver on the promises we’ve all heard.”

The study shows that self-driving cars excel in these instances:

  • the driver is distracted
  • visibility is low
  • a potential hazard is recognized too late
  • the driver is impaired by drugs and/or alcohol

“For self-driving vehicles to live up to their promise of eliminating most crashes, they will have to be designed to focus on safety rather than rider preference when those two are at odds.”

The study imagines a future where all cars on the road are automated. Researchers found that accidents due to sensing and perceiving errors, as well as driver incapacitation would more than likely no longer happen, “because cameras and sensors of fully autonomous vehicles could be expected to monitor the roadway and identify potential hazards better than a human driver and would be incapable of distraction or incapacitation.” However, sensors would have to work perfectly and functions could never malfunction.

For the other two-thirds of accidents, autonomous cars would have to be specifically programmed to avoid these common errors:

  • “Predicting errors, for example, when a driver misjudges a gap in traffic, incorrectly estimates how fast another vehicle is going or makes an incorrect assumption about what another road user is going to do.
  • Planning and deciding errors, for example when a driver is going too fast or too slow for road conditions, driving aggressively or leaving too little following distance from the vehicle ahead.
  • Execution and performance errors, for example inadequate or incorrect evasive maneuvers, overcompensation and other mistakes in controlling the vehicle.”

Those developing autonomous vehicles say it could be 10 years or more before they will be carrying passengers in every city. There are a number of obstacles that they have to conquer first.

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – SERVING CAR ACCIDENT VICTIMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you have suffered a collision in South Carolina, the legal team at The Law Offices of David L. Hood will help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after an accident. After gathering all the necessary information we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to court if the need arises.

Our entire team has years of experience representing various clients and car accident victims in South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.

You can find our contact information on the page here and schedule your free consultation session.

Categories
Motor Vehicle Accidents

Should the Blood Alcohol Concentration Legal Limit Be Lowered?

In 1998, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implemented “a national limit, under which it would be illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher” to deter impaired driving. (one.nhtsa.gov)

At that time, the number .08 BAC was chosen for the following reasons:

  • Most drivers are substantially impaired at .08 BAC
  • The risk of being involved in a crash increases substantially at the .08% level
  • .08 BAC is a reasonable level at which to set the legal limit – it’s not normally reached with a glass or two of wine with dinner, or with a couple of beers after work
  • The public supports BAC levels below .10
  • “Most other industrialized nations have set BAC limits at .08 or lower and had these laws in place for many years.”

A study published in the March 2020 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that a .08 BAC may actually be too high of a limit for drivers. That study, using data from the National Highway Traffic Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System between the years 2000 and 2015, showed that “one in seven alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths involves drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC’s) below the legal limit.” (Minnpost.com)

Of the 223,000 car crash fatalities, in which one or more drivers were impaired, 15% (nearly 34,000) of those crashes involved drivers with a BAC level below .08. “These drivers tested positive for alcohol, but not enough to be considered legally impaired.”

The study points out that the risk of a driver crashing climbs significantly once the driver’s BAC exceeds .02.(USNews.com)  Since 2013, The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended reducing the legal BAC limit to .05 or lower. It is estimated that this would save up to 1,790 lives a year. (Fortune.com)  There has been resistance to making that change. Other countries that have adopted the .05% limit have seen declines in traffic crashes.

Robert L. Sumwalt with the NTSB says the goal is to separate drinking from driving. “We don’t tell kids, you should only drive a little drunk. We teach them not to drink and drive…Americans can drink responsibly. And they can drive responsibly. But nobody can responsibly drink and drive.”

Drunker than you realize? A few facts that may make you a bad judge:

  • A full stomach can slow the absorption of alcohol, but it does not mean alcohol can’t creep up on you.
  • Coffee will not make you sober. Only time will.
  • Carbonated beverages can cause quicker alcohol absorption.
  • Stress can cause alcohol to enter your bloodstream faster.
  • Women get drunk faster than men, even at the same body weight. (com)

THE LAW OFFICE OF DAVID L. HOOD: FIGHTING FOR VICTIMS OF DRUNK DRIVING AND NEGLIGENCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a serious drunk driving crash or other type of auto accident in South Carolina, contact The Law Office of David L. Hood for help right away. We have served South Carolina accident victims for over 25 years by standing up to insurance companies, demanding fair compensation, and helping our clients rebuild their lives. Contact us online or call us at (843) 491-6025 to schedule your free, no-risk initial consultation with David L. Hood today.

Other online resources used for this article:

http://thenationshealth.aphapublications.org/content/50/3/E13

https://thenewswheel.com/early-history-of-drunk-driving-laws