Lexington Kentucky Personal Injury Law Blog

Report claims that Tesla's Autopilot feature is dangerous

The automotive innovations from Tesla might excite some consumers in Kentucky. However, the Autopilot technology in Tesla failed to impress researchers with Consumer Reports. The respected publication known for its product reviews reported that Tesla's Navigate on Autopilot feature took actions more dangerous than human drivers. The publication's senior director of auto testing described monitoring the system as more difficult than simply driving. He said the system required human intervention as if an inexperienced child operated the vehicle.

The automatic lane changing function, an optional feature in the Autopilot, troubled car testers because it changed lanes when other vehicles were too close. In some cases, the system initiated car passing in violation of state laws. The testers reported that they frequently had to take action to stop the Autopilot from making unsafe maneuvers.

How time outs affect the chances of wrong-site surgery

Wrong-site surgeries are all too frequent in Kentucky and the rest of the U.S. In fact, some reports say there are 20 to 40 wrong-site surgeries every week in this country. Orthopedic, dental and spinal surgeries are often wrong-site surgeries. WSS most often occurs with the laterality surgery, where an organ or extremity on the left or right side is operated on.

A WSS can arise from many issues, such as lack of teamwork (often the result of a silo mentality), lack of communication, communication errors on written or electronic orders and failure to educate employees on new policies. Above all, errors are rife wherever there is no safety-minded culture.

Preventable pregnancy deaths keep rising

One of the key traits of a highly developed country is usually that the country has a low rate of pregnancy-related deaths, both for women and their children. However, the numbers in the United States are frightening, and they are only getting worse.

Per new reports after a government study, about 700 women lose their lives every year while they're pregnant, during delivery or from complications after delivery. The numbers continue to rise every year, as they have been doing for decades. African American women face the greatest risks.

Electronic health records systems may be harmful to children

Persons in Kentucky as well as in other parts of the country may not realize the potential harm that electronic health records (EHR) may be exposing to children and infants. A study conducted by Pew Charitable Trusts in two separate children's hospitals identified system lapses that could contribute to errors in prescribing drugs as well as the administration of patient care.

Among the issues uncovered by Pew were the inconsistencies in software parameters for a child's weight, allergies, and vital statistics. When prescribing medications for adults, a weight variation of a few pounds means virtually nothing. When prescribing medications for children, a weight variation of even 1-2 pounds can result in a dangerous error.

An overview of robotic surgical procedures

Patients in Kentucky and throughout the country may see better outcomes if they opt for a robotic surgery. However, this type of surgery is often more technically challenging than an open surgery. Therefore, it is important that it be performed by a surgeon who has experience doing so. Ideally, it will also be done by someone who performs an adequate volume of a given procedure. This is because experienced surgeons are less likely to make a mistake.

By avoiding mistakes, it is likely that a patient will avoid some or all complications that could occur. When done correctly, the benefits for a patient who undergoes a robotic surgery include less time out of work and less physical disfigurement. Other benefits include a shorter recovery period as well as a lower chance of infection. Prior to agreeing to a robotic surgery, a patient should ask questions about the surgeon who will perform the procedure.

Smartphone use while driving may not be going down

For the past few years, many sources have warned Kentucky drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. Some states, including Kentucky, have sought to prohibit certain practices that cause distraction while operating a motor vehicle. However, a recent poll by a national insurance carrier suggests that the warnings may not be getting through to many.

The data was taken from two separate polls. The first was a survey of 1,000 consumer drivers. The other poll consisted of 1,000 business executives. It was conducted on a nationwide basis.

Truck crash fatalities rise, NHTSA criticized for inaction

Fatal truck crashes are going up in Kentucky and across the U.S. There were 4,102 large truck crash fatalities in 2017, representing a 28 percent jump from 2009. Rear-end accidents are especially widespread, yet it is these types of accidents that can most easily be avoided with new safety technology, according to truck safety groups.

The National Transportation Safety Board, in particular, recommends that all heavy trucks be required to have forward crash warning and mitigation systems. These systems can alert drivers when advancing toward stationary or slow-moving objects. On at least 10 different occasions since the 1990s, the NTSB has made this recommendation to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, yet the latter has failed to propose any regulations.

3 warning signs of a negligent nursing home

Many nursing homes are safe and positive places for elderly citizens to enjoy their golden years. At least, this is what you hope for your aging mom or dad. There are also elderly care facilities that are outright abusive and hazardous. 

Then there are the nursing homes that fall somewhere in the middle. In negligent nursing homes, residents may not be victims of physical or sexual abuse, but they may not get the adequate care they need and deserve. Here are some red flags of a neglectful nursing home

How non-technical skills reduce chance of surgical errors

Experts say that 45 percent of adverse medical events involve surgical patients. Of those events, 35 to 66 take place in the operating room. Kentucky residents should know that complications during surgery do necessarily develop because of any lack of technical skills on the part of the doctor. Rather, they can develop because surgeons fail to react to a situation in an appropriate way.

When things go wrong, surgeons need not only ability and ambition but also adaptability and humility. Part of this means admitting when they did something wrong. Another part is working calmly when under pressure.

What to do after a vehicle accident

Kentucky drivers should know what to do if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. Taking the proper steps is not only important for their safety, but it can also help make the insurance claim process a lot easier.

Remaining calm is very important in the aftermath of a vehicle accident. People who are calm will be better able to help others and retain vital details about the accident that can be valuable to an insurance agent or attorney. Calm individuals will also have an easier time recording details.

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O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC

O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC
921 Beasley Street
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Lexington, KY 40509

Phone: 859-554-4727
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