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Eatontown Personal Injury Law Blog

Study finds surgery not always necessary for prostate cancer

Men in New Jersey and throughout the country who have surgery for early-stage prostate cancer may not benefit from it according to a study that was published in a peer-reviewed journal on July 13. The study took place over 20 years and dated from the early days of the routine prostate-specific antigen blood test. At the time, it was thought that early detection and surgery was the best approach to treating the disease.

However, the study found that complications including erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence and infection could result from the surgery while overall, it did not tend to prolong life. Because prostate cancer grows slowly, observation and treatment only in the event that symptoms appear may be a better approach. The study did find better surgical outcomes for men who had longer life expectancies and whose prostate cancer was at an intermediate stage.

Young workers face higher risk of on-the-job injuries

A New Jersey teenager getting a first job might not receive adequate safety training or supervision, which could increase the risk of workplace accidents. When the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health looked specifically at employees younger than 24, it found that 403 such workers were killed on the job in 2015, and people under age 18 accounted for 24 of the fatalities. An analysis of the period of 1998 to 2007 showed that young workers needed treatment at emergency rooms twice as often as employees age 25 and above.

NIOSH identified the leisure and hospitality industry as the largest employer of teenagers. This category includes food service. Retailers came in second place for the number of teenage workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, over 2 million youths under age 20 work around hazards in the agricultural sector.

Another request to postpone crane rule

Construction workers i may be interested to know that on June 20, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a proposal to postpone the enforcement date of its crane operator certification mandate to Nov. 10, 2018. OSHA also requested an extension to the same date for the existing requirement for employers to make sure that crane operators are able to safely operate equipment.

The proposal for an extension is the third request since the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard was established by OSHA in 2010. The reactions to the OSHA request have been varied and have included qualified agreements as well as emphatic disagreements.

Nursing home residents at risk for improper anticoagulant usage

New Jersey families who have loved ones living in a nursing home may not be happy to learn that staff may not be properly administering anticoagulants. These anticoagulants, such as Coumadin and Warfarin, are quite deadly according to many medical experts. However, nursing home residents are often not properly monitored for adverse medical events once they are given them.

Anticoagulants reduce the risk of stroke in patients that have blood or heart conditions that could cause the formation of blood clots. However, the anticoagulants prevent the patient's body from being able to clot in the event the patient suffers internal bleeding. The medication can also be deadly if the patient is given an insufficient dose or an excessive dose. While the anticoagulants can prolong a patient's life, there are patients who suffer adverse effects when they are not properly monitored after being given the medication.

Surgeons test experimental drill on brain tumor surgery

Researchers have designed a new surgical drill that could one day aid brain surgeons in New Jersey during the lengthy process of opening skulls. Delicate work that requires a surgeon to focus for at least two hours could be reduced to minutes with the use of the drill.

The collaboration of a surgeon and a mechanical engineer resulted in a technique that maps a patient's skull with a CT scan and then feeds the information into software that runs the drill. The surgeon programs in safety barriers around delicate tissues. If the drill approaches a barrier, it automatically shuts off.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

As New Jersey residents get ready for the upcoming summer season, they might want to be aware of some information about melanoma, a rare but serious form of skin cancer. May is Melanoma Awareness Month, and some tips from a dermatology expert could help people to be safe.

Early detection is the key to surviving melanoma, according to a professor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. When the rare skin cancer is detected early, the cure rate is 94 to 100 percent. But if melanoma spreads to other areas of the body, it is usually fatal. The rate of survival is only 20 percent for melanoma that has metastasized.

Stopping injuries at chemical plants

New Jersey residents who work in chemical manufacturing plants are routinely exposed to dangerous chemicals that can cause grave injuries or death. They are also at risk of falls. Both the workers and their employers should be aware of the common injuries that take place in chemical plants, why they occur and how to prevent them.

Chemicals, which can be extremely flammable and toxic, contribute to some of the common chemical manufacturing plant injuries. Typical injuries include chemical exposure, chemical burns, abrasions and cuts, overexertion, inhalation of chemicals and trips and falls. These injuries can occur even if there are safeguards in place. Inadequate training, human error and complacency and the use of safety equipment that has not been properly maintained are the main reasons accidents occur in chemical plants.

Silica regulation for construction workers delayed

For decades, worker safety advocates and unions have urged the federal government to create safety standards for construction workers in New Jersey and around the country who work with materials like sand and granite that contain silica. The inhalation of silica dust can lead to chronic lung problems and even lung cancer. Workplace safety regulations established by the Obama administration included protections from silica hazards, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced that the new rules would be delayed by three months.

A representative from the AFL-CIO expressed concern that the delay would lead to an ultimate weakening of the original regulations. The regulations could have improved safety for the 2.2 million workers exposed to silica dust annually.

Study suggests hypertension is often misdiagnosed

Thousands of New Jersey residents take medications each day to control their blood pressure, but a recent Canadian study suggests that as many as one in five of them may be taking these powerful drugs unnecessarily. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 75 million Americans have been diagnosed with hypertension, and the agency says that treating the condition costs the country about $46 billion each year.

Hypertension is diagnosed when a person's diastolic pressure surpasses 90 millimeters of mercury and his or her systolic pressure is higher than 140 millimeters of mercury. However, scientists from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre believe that the manual equipment usually used to take these measurements is highly unreliable. Patients often become tense when their blood pressure is being monitored, which can skew test results and lead to unnecessary prescriptions.

Misdiagnosing acute kidney injuries

New Jersey patients who were told that they have an acute kidney injury may be interested to learn that the way in which these conditions are diagnosed may be misleading. Approximately 5 to 7 percent of patients who are admitted to U.S. hospitals are ultimately diagnosed with this condition.

Acute kidney injuries are often diagnosed through a blood test, which looks at a patient's serum creatinine levels, a waste product that the kidneys remove from the body. However, initial creatinine levels can be misleading as it can take time for them to adjust following an injury. Additionally, they only offer a snapshot of how the kidney is functioning at the time the blood test is taken. In some cases, the blood tests could even give a false positive for the condition even if the kidney was not damaged in any way.

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