November 29, 2012
A hospital fire earlier this month in Durham, North Carolina, was responsible for claiming the life of one patient and injuring three employees of the facility. The Huffington Post stated the incident happened at around 2:15 a.m. on Tuesday, November 6, at the Durham Regional Hospital’s Select Specialty Facility.
A Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson, Jim Jones, explained the fire broke out when staff attempted to revive a terminal ill patient. As the nurses attempted to use a defibrillator on the patient, a spark ignited a fire that caused the nurses to suffer burn injuries.
Chief of Operations at Durham Regional, Katie Galbraith, stated officials are looking into the exact cause of the fire, where it began, and if it could have been prevented.
Experts say that as many as 195,000 patients per year die as a result of hospital errors each year and thousands more are injured or killed by defective medical devices. Data also shows these types of accidents are often the result of sheer negligence on the part of hospitals and their staff.
That is why the North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers with HensonFuerst Injury Lawyers believe medical professionals should be held to the standards of care established by the law and are here to help you in any way possible if you have suffered an injury while under the care of a physician.
If you can purchase a medication or cream in a supermarket without a prescription, it has to be safe…right? Not necessarily.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released an advisory for common over-the-counter (OTC) topical muscle and joint pain relievers, including Bengay, Capzasin, Flexall, Icy Hot, and Mentholatum. The various formulations–which include creams, lotions, ointments, and patches–have been reported to cause rare cases of serious skin injuries, such as third-degree chemical burns where the products were applied. Some of the burns had serious complications requiring hospitalization.
The FDA recommends that consumers using an OTC topical muscle and joint pain reliever who experience signs of skin injury where the product was applied (such as pain, swelling, or blistering of the skin) should stop using the product and seek medical attention immediately. The products are not being recalled; the FDA simply wants to make consumers aware of the potential for injury.
March 8, 2012
Recovering from an injury suffered in an accident can be a long process. Take, for instance, the story of a truck driver from Goldsboro, North Carolina, that was recently highlighted by WRAL News. The truck driver was involved in an accident on October 29, 2009, along I-95 near Godwin in Cumberland County.
Reports say that the trucker was heading north when he swerved to avoid a stationary car. The driver of the stopped car was pushing a disabled vehicle off the road. While swerving, the truck driver hit the trailer of another 18-wheeler and ricocheted back into the guardrail of the median. The truck burst into flames, trapping the truck driver inside.
A passing southbound motorist who witnessed the crash jumped into action, running to the burning truck and working to free the trapped driver. He was eventually able to pull the man to safety.
The driver spent the next two months in a coma at a local hospital after suffering third-degree burns to more than 40% of his body, and he now requires daily physical therapy. He says that he will never be able to drive a truck again, but is thankful to be alive.
The Raleigh Truck Accident Attorneys at HensonFuerst Injury Lawyers would like to wish the truck driver a speedy and successful recovery after this terrible accident. His positive attitude toward his recovery is an inspiration to others.
December 15, 2011
An early morning fire in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Wednesday sent a child and his infant sibling to the hospital. According to WRAL News, firefighters received the two-alarm call to the 1500 Block of N. Raleigh Boulevard at around 4:30 in the morning.
Witnesses stated that a single mother of four lived in the apartment where the fire originated. Rescuers were able to pull the family to safety, but the eldest child soon went into respiratory arrest and had to be revived by paramedics. Both the child and his infant sibling were taken to WakeMed to be treated for smoke inhalation. The children’s mother was taken to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill to have several cuts examined that happened when she fell as she was fleeing from the fire.
Investigators say the cause of the blaze was unattended food cooking on a stove top.
One of the most common and deadly injuries one can suffer in a fire is smoke inhalation. Coroners often find that victims in fatal fires were dead from inhaling the surrounding fumes long before they are ever burned. Some of the common side effects of smoke inhalation are:
Some overseas studies have even linked smoke inhalation to an increased risk of lung cancer later in life.
If you have suffered a fire and burn injury that was caused at no fault of your own, contact the North Carolina Fire and Burn Injury Lawyers with HensonFuerst today to discuss your options with an experienced team of attorneys.
I had heard about fires that break out during surgical procedures, but I thought that they were exceedingly rare. But according to a notification by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), every year about 650 patients are injured by surgical fires. In some cases, the injuries are life threatening. In addition, more fires start but are put out before they reach the patient. So while the fires are not common, they are not as rare as many people think. Here are “Things Patients Should Know,” from the Empowered Patient Coalition.
The Empowered Patient Coalition is a consumer- and advocate-led effort to inform, engage, and empower the public to assume a greater role in their own medical treatment and in becoming a driving force for meaningful health care reform. You can learn more about their work here: www.EmpoweredPatientCoalition.org
If you were injured by a surgical fire, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries. To speak with a attorney, feel free to call HensonFuerst anytime at 1-800-4-LAWMED. You can learn more about our firm at www.lawmed.com. If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.
Imagine that you have been in a car wreck and are unable to work because of your injuries… or that you have ongoing hospital bills due to medical malpractice. You’ve done everything right. You took your case to court and won a settlement for your losses. How long do you think it might take to receive the money you need to pay your mortgage or other bills?
If you are younger than age 65, you could receive your settlement check within weeks. That sounds right, right? Here’s the problem: If you are age 65 or older, your settlement check could be delayed by years. Yes…years. The difference is due to the red-tape run-around involving something called the Medicare Secondary Payer System (MSP).
The MSP was the product of good intentions. It was designed to help keep Medicare solvent by reimbursing the Medicare Trust Fund if another insurance or compensation source is available to pay for health care costs. The timeline (ideally) would go like this:
Again, that’s the ideal. In reality, this is what happens (differences are highlighted):
The funds that have been won in a lawsuit can be tied up for years due to the red-tape and inefficiencies of the MSP system. And remember, we’re talking about senior citizens–many of them die before they see a dime of the money that could improve their lives.
What Is Being Done?
There is currently a Bill before Congress that would streamline the process of Medicare reimbursement. The Bill (HR 4796: The Medicare Secondary Payer Enhancement Act) will do several things. Most importantly, it will require that Medicare respond to requests for recovery information within 60 days… that Medicare develop an appeals process for repayment determinations…and that there be a 3-year statute of limitations, so that Medicare can’t ignore injured seniors forever.
One has to wonder why the system would allow this kind of bureaucracy or incompetence to continue. Don’t they want funds repaid in a timely manner? Who benefits from keeping the law in place as it is? It seems like no one: The bill was introduced in March 2010 by Reps. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.). It is co-sponsored by 26 other Representatives–Democrats and Republicans–and is backed by a varied group of organizations and businesses, including Walmart, the Defense Research Institute, the American Insurance Association, and Safeway.
HensonFuerst also supports the bill. We have seen many of our clients suffer needlessly–additional suffering on top of their injuries–because of the current difficulties with Medicare reimbursement. If you want to read the full bill and see its status, click here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-4796
And if you want to send a message of support to your Representative in Congress, go to the website for People Over Profits (http://www.peopleoverprofits.org), or click here to be taken to their dedicated web page: Support HR 4796.
May was Electric Safety Month, but today WRAL.com reported a story that puts the topic back in the news.
Two people were shocked with 23,000 volts of electricity after they touched a live wire at a Progress Energy transformer substation. They are currently being treated at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center. The incident also caused major damage to the substation and temporarily left about 12,000 homes without power. To read the full story, click here: Trespassers Badly Burned.
But most electrical accidents happen in and around the home. And don’t forget that in North Carolina, summer brings flash lightning storms that can down power lines. For a quick and easy refresher on how to protect your family from electrical hazards from Rocky Mount Public Utilities, see the attached Electrical Safety Page. And check out the Kid’s Corner on their website to play interactive games and learn about how to stay safe around electricity and natural gas. (http://www.rockymountnc.gov/utilities/kidscorner.html)
January 22, 2008
The North Carolina fire and burn injury victim suffered severe burns in the fire accident, but his pregnant wife was out of town at the time of the incident.
A fund has been established to help the burn injury victim and his family. Their entire home was destroyed in the blaze and the victim’s wife is seven months pregnant.
November 9, 2007
The Fayetteville Observer reported that a man sustained third-degree burns in a fire caused by a North Carolina car accident Thursday night. The 42-year-old Fayetteville man was taken to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill in critical condition.
Witnesses told police the North Carolina auto accident victim revved his engine before flames erupted from the bottom of the car. A police sergeant said the victim appeared to have veered off the road and slammed into a power box around 8 p.m.
October 30, 2007
MSNBC.com reported that seven students died of North Carolina fire and burn injuries Monday after a blaze erupted in the beach house where they were staying for the weekend. Six of the seven fire and burn victims who passed away were University of South Carolina students; the other attended Clemson University.
The fire ignited before 7 a.m., destroying the first and second floors of the beach house, which was built on stilts, forcing firefighters to use a ladder to get to the first floor.
Several college students were staying in homes on the beach that weekend to enjoy some of the season’s last nice weather. Police taped off the area, including several vehicles, one of which was burned out beneath the home.
Officials from the State Bureau of Investigation as well as the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives are investigating the North Carolina fire accident. A cause has yet to be determined.