Time is Brain – Timely Treatment Prevents Long Term Disability Following Stroke

A large scale study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA-June19), confirms that the earlier stroke victims are treated with tPA, the better the outcome. 

The study involves approximately 60,000 patients and finds that the earlier that the stroke busting medication, tPA, tissue plasminogen activator is administered to a patient, the chance for death is dramatically reduced and long term disability is drastically reduced.

The researchers urge that tPA be given to stroke victims within one hour of arriving at a hospital to greatly increase the chances for a better outcome.  In Europe, the new target is less than 40 minutes.

There is a well-known saying, “Time is brain”.  Unfortunately in our law practice we have reviewed many cases where patients suffering from a stroke were not administered tPA in a timely fashion causing unnecessary disability. Every minute counts and when hospitals and emergency department physicians fail to act in accordance with current guidelines, a medical malpractice case needs to be explored.

End Mandatory Secret Arbitration Agreements that Limit Your Access to the Courts

Do you know what is hidden in the fine print of the contracts you routinely agree to? Chances are you have signed away your right to access the courtroom and didn’t even know it! Included in many everyday consumer contracts are dangerous forced arbitration clauses that take away your right to go to court and instead force you into a private arbitration tribunal designed by the very corporation you have a dispute against. The process is secretive, costly and rigged so that corporations cannot be held accountable!

Act now to stop this abusive practice!  This is the second anniversary of a United States Supreme Court decision, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, that gave corporations broad authority to force consumers into arbitration. It is urgent that Congress act to protect consumers!

The ability of ordinary Americans to seek justice in our courts, even when up against the most powerful corporate interests, is an essential part of our democracy. When consumers lose access to the courts, corporations can get away with the worst!

Tell Congress to protect consumers from abusive forced arbitration by reintroducing the “Arbitration Fairness Act” to restore our rights to seek justice in the courts. Take Action Now!  Contact your congressional representative without delay.

Here is a suggested letter:

I am writing to encourage you to stand up for your constituents by supporting legislation to end the abusive practice of forced arbitration.  I encourage you to sign-on to the reintroduction of the “Arbitration Fairness Act.”  This legislation would protect our rights to seek justice and accountability through the courts by eliminating the use of forced arbitration in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases.

Forced arbitration clauses are buried in the fine print of everything from credit card, cell phone and nursing home contracts to employee handbooks and online user agreements. These are take-it-or-leave-it contracts that must be agreed to in-full in order to obtain products, services, and even jobs. 

In the event of a dispute, forced arbitration eliminates access to the courts and instead forces individuals into a secret arbitration forum designed by the very corporation the dispute is against.  Individuals are often faced with high costs, biased decision-makers and weak civil justice safeguards in forced arbitration.  Most have no idea that they have signed away their Constitutional rights until it’s too late. 

April 27th is the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, that gave corporations broad authority to force consumers and employees into arbitration.  Congress must protect Americans from this abusive practice.

The “Arbitration Fairness Act” would prohibit corporations from forcing individuals into arbitration and ensure that the decision to arbitrate is truly voluntary and that the rights and remedies provided for by our judicial system are not waived under coercion.  Please support the reintroduction of the “Arbitration Fairness Act” and help end forced arbitration.

Malpractice during surgery continues to occur despite technology to prevent foreign objects from being left behind

In a front page story in USA Today, “What surgeons leave behind costs some patients dearly”  it is reported that, more than a dozen times a day, doctors sew up patients with sponges and other supplies mistakenly left inside. The mistake costs some victims their lives.

Retained surgical items including sponges and surgical instruments are considered by the Federal government to be “never events” because they are not supposed to happen under any circumstances, yet amazing, these medical errors take place on a daily basis resulting in thousands of needless injuries each year.

What is truly amazing is although there is readily available technology that would eliminate these errors through the use of placing devices within sponges and instruments to alert surgeons and nurses that they have not been removed before a patient leaves the operating room, most hospitals do not use this technology.

The consequences are enormous. Many patients carrying surgical sponges suffer for months or years before anyone determines the cause of the searing pain, digestive dysfunction and other typical ills. Often, by the time the error is discovered, infection has set in.

If you have been a victim of medical malpractice or hospital malpractice, contact the New York medical malpractice attorneys at De Caro & Kaplen, LLP for a no obligation consultation.

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2013

This year, brain injury awareness day on Capitol Hill  sponsored by  the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force    will be held on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. As in years past, there will be an awareness fair, briefing and reception. The full schedule for the day is as follows:

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Brain Injury Awareness Fair – 1st Floor Foyer Rayburn House Office Building

2:30  PM- 4:00 PM- Congressional Briefing – Rayburn Room 2168, Gold Room, Rayburn House Office Building

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM – Congressional Reception – Rayburn Room B-254 Rayburn House Office Building

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) strongly encourages everyone that plans to attend Brain Injury Awareness Day to make appointments with their Representatives and Senators to advocate for increased funding for the programs authorized through the TBI Act.

Car Accidents Caused by Drivers Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel

Drowsy drivers are a leading cause of highway crashes according to new data released today by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

In a survey drivers were asked, “During the past 30 days, have you ever nodded off or fallen asleep, even just for a brief moment, while driving?” Drowsy driving was defined as those with an affirmative response, whereas no drowsy driving included those who responded “no,” “don’t drive,” “don’t have a license,” or “don’t know/not sure.”

Among 147,076 respondents, 4.2% reported having fallen asleep while driving during the previous 30 days (Table 1). Men were more likely to report drowsy driving than women (5.3% versus 3.2%). Drowsy driving prevalence decreased with age, from greater than 4.9% among adults aged 18–44 years to 1.7% among those aged 65 years or older.

Retired respondents (1.0%), students or homemakers (2.1%), and unemployed respondents (3.1%) were less likely to report drowsy driving than those who were employed (5.1%) or unable to work (6.1%). Educational attainment was not associated with drowsy driving. Among the states that used the sleep module, drowsy driving prevalence ranged from 2.5% in Oregon to 6.1% in Texas.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2.5% of fatal motor vehicle crashes (approximately 730 in 2009) and 2.0% of all crashes with nonfatal injuries (approximately 30,000 in 2009) involve drowsy driving However, other studies have estimated that 15% to 33% of fatal crashes might involve drowsy drivers.  Fatalities and injuries are more likely in motor vehicle crashes that involve drowsy driving compared with non-drowsy driving crashes

Drivers should avoid driving while drowsy and learn the warning signs of drowsy driving.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident with a driver who lost control of his or her vehicle because they fell asleep behind the wheel, contact the car accident attorneys at the New York personal injury law firm of De Caro & Kaplen, LLP for a no obligation consultation.