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Biloxi Personal Injury Law Blog

When is a doctor's lie considered medical malpractice?

Do you remember the classic Bette Davis film from 1939 called Dark Victory? Modern viewers are often shocked to see the leading character's doctor lie to her after an unsuccessful surgery to remove a brain tumor because he doesn't want her to know that she only had months to live.

That kind of behavior would be unthinkable today. However, doctors do sometimes lie to their patients. It typically isn't so that they can live out their final days blissfully unaware that they're dying. The reasons may be considerably more selfish.

Some insomnia medications can leave people impaired the next day

When people take prescription medications at night to help them sleep, they don't expect to feel the effects of the drug the next day. However, research and anecdotal data have increasingly shown that some sleep medications can make driving unsafe the following morning.

In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned manufacturers of medications containing zolpidem (particularly those considered "extended-release") to lower the recommended dose for women by as much as half but also to lower it for men. The agency says it has received about 700 reports of incidents where zolpidem impaired a person's ability to drive and in some cases resulted in accidents.

Why a still-developing brain makes teen drivers more dangerous

Ask just about any parent of a teen if they think their child's brain is fully formed, and they'll probably tell you it doesn't seem like it sometimes. In fact, the frontal lobe isn't fully developed until a person is in their early 20s.

Here's why that's a problem for teen drivers (and those who share the road with them). The frontal lobe is where working memory resides. That's the ability to remember complex, moment-to-moment tasks. That's necessary for safe driving.

How often are patients incorrectly diagnosed with MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition where the body's immune system destroys tissue around the nerves. It impacts people very differently.

For some, the condition is progressive, eventually leaving them severely disabled. Others have what is called relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) where they have bouts of symptoms followed by partial or even complete recovery.

Drunk drivers have no place on the roads

You were traveling home from a friend's house when you saw an unusual pair of lights ahead of you. You thought for a second that someone was driving in the opposite lane, but it didn't take long to realize that they were actually headed straight for you.

Despite efforts to avoid a crash, you ended up in a head-on collision with that driver. You were knocked unconscious and woke up hours later in a hospital bed. It wasn't until later that you were told that the driver had been intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Why lack of racial diversity among doctors can be dangerous

It's an unfortunate reality in this country that there are significant health disparities between white patients and those of other racial and ethnic groups -- particularly black patients. Some of these are caused by unequal treatment by physicians and other health care providers. At least part of the problem is that black patients are less likely to trust white doctors than black ones.

One doctor who studies ways to improve health care delivery and racial health disparities says that increasing what he calls "patient-provider racial and ethnic concordance" would help improve health outcomes for non-white patients. Studies have shown that when a patient is the same race as the doctor, the doctor spends more time with them, they wait less time for treatment and they share more in treatment decisions than if the doctor is of a different race. However, over half of the doctors in this country are white. By contrast, only about 6% are black.

Evidence can be key to a successful claim after a fall

Many people who are injured in falls are reluctant to file a claim against property owners who may bear some responsibility for a dangerous situation. Victims may be embarrassed about the fall and not want to call any more attention to themselves than they already have. They may believe that their own clumsiness caused it. Older people or those with mobility issues may fear that they won't have a chance for a successful claim because the property owner will blame the fall on their physical limitations.

However, if a condition such as spilled liquid on a floor or a tripping hazard like an electrical cord caused your fall, you may be able to hold the property owner and/or manager liable for their failure to keep the property reasonably safe. This can help you get compensation to cover your medical care, physical therapy and other expenses resulting from your injury.

What is left-digit bias, and how can it impact your medical care?

We all know that doctors' personal biases can impact the level of care they provide their patients. They may not even be aware of these biases. However -- like all humans -- they have them. They can involve gender, race, weight and a host of other characteristics. For example, one study found that emergency department physicians were less likely to give black patients pain medication than white ones suffering approximately the same amount of pain.

However, studies are increasingly finding that doctors -- again, like all humans -- have cognitive biases. These can impact their treatment decisions. Cognitive biases are "mental shortcuts" people take that can result in erroneous decision-making. A key one that can impact medical treatment and have serious consequences for patients is "left-digit bias."

How do you know if your booster seat is safe?

Federal safety laws require that child booster seats pass tests that simulate head-on collisions. However, there are many other types of collisions that can endanger little ones who are strapped into one of these seats. Nonetheless, manufacturers can decide what other kinds of safety tests (if any) to run and what kind of results are considered failing.

A recent report from ProPublica found that the Big Kid booster seats made by Evenflo have caused serious injuries to children in side-impact crashes. Although the company conducts side-impact tests using child-size crash test dummies, ProPublica found that the only time a test was considered a "fail" was if the seat broke apart or the dummy landed on the floor.

Watch for drunk drivers in a casino parking lot

Drinking is part of casino culture. Most people who go out to play have at least one drink, even if they're not staying long. It's a big part of the revenue for the casino, and many people simply like that atmosphere for drinking more than they like a normal bar or a club.

If you're leaving the casino, though, that can put you in danger. How many of the other drivers in that parking lot had a bit too much to drink? They haven't left the lot yet, so the police haven't had a chance to pull them over, but they could still back into you, drive the wrong way down an aisle, sideswipe your car or make all sorts of other mistakes that could put you in the hospital.

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Biloxi, MS 39530

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