San Bernardino Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What are the risks of VBAC?

If you are a woman in California who has already had one baby delivered via cesarean section, and if you are pregnant again or thinking about having more children, you may want to have a discussion with your doctor about the risks of vaginal birth after cesarean section.

You may have heard that you cannot, or should not, deliver a baby vaginally after you have had a C-section, but that is not necessarily true. According to the Mayo Clinic, while some women are not good candidates to attempt VBAC, 60 to 80 percent of women who attempt a trial of labor after cesarean accomplish a successful vaginal delivery.

What are the risks of general anesthesia?

Many surgeries performed in California occur while the patient is under general anesthesia. If you are considering surgery, or have one scheduled in the near future, you may have questions regarding the risks involved.

Anesthetics are drugs used to prevent you from feeling pain during surgery. General anesthesia renders you completely unconscious, making it different from local anesthesia, which only numbs a small portion of your body. 

Birth injuries due to negligence or error

Starting a family in California is an exciting time. Choosing the best hospital and doctor for your family history and circumstances is critical, especially if complications arise. At Kampf, Schiavone & Associates we have experience taking action against medical professionals whose negligence causes birth injuries.

The majority of babies arrive without complications. However, according to Babygaga, unexpected risk factors often occur during delivery. When the attending personnel cannot identify these factors and act quickly, the result may be harmful to the mother and child. Failure to respond appropriately can cause birth injuries such as bone fractures and induce fetal distress. The most common delivery room mistakes include the following:

  • Incorrect use of forceps can cause injuries from a fractured skull and brain damage to cerebral palsy and developmental delays.
  • Delaying emergency C-section when labor is prolonged, there is fetal distress, the baby is breech or the placenta separates from the uterine wall prematurely.
  • Excessive anesthesia or wrong site injections for spinal epidurals.
  • Postpartum blood loss that may indicate there is a blood clot disorder, a hemorrhage or placenta accreta. 

Survival actions explained

A wrongful death lawsuit is typically filed following the death of a loved one due to the negligence of another. Yet what happens if your family member or friend is seriously injured in an accident, and then succumbs to those injuries weeks, months or even years later. Many come to us here at Kampf, Schiavone & Associates concerned that their lack of action during the time interval between the event that caused their loved one's injuries and the date of their deaths disqualifies them from filing a wrongful death lawsuit. If you share the same concern, you should know that there is still legal recourse available to you in the form of a survival action. 

Per California's Code of Civil Procedure, any cause of action that one has against another actually survives their death. Their successor in interest (which could be you, another family member or their personal representative) can the commence or resume the action in their stead. It would be as though your loved one were still pursuing a liability claim against the party responsible for their injuries, yet you are representing their interests. 

What’s the best treatment of a slipped disk?

A slipped disk is a serious back injury that can result in pain, discomfort and an inability to live life to its fullest. For this reason, it's essential to receive immediate medical treatment if you have reason to believe you're facing this injury.

Before discussing the best treatment strategy, it's critical to make note of serious side effects that require special attention:

  • Inability to move a body part
  • Weakness in the arms and/or legs
  • Tingling or numbness of the inner, upper thighs
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control

Does OSHA really keep work sites safe?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was designed to help keep workplaces safe. You probably have had some OSHA training regardless of where you work in California because OSHA oversees all types of workplaces. You may wonder, though, just how effective this agency really is at preventing accidents and keeping people safe at work.

According to Safety News Alert, OSHA uses fines as its main deterrent against violation of safety standards and requirements. While these fines may help, they are not always effective. One of the issues faced is that OSHA cannot inspect every single worksite on a regular basis. The agency is simply not equipped to do so. Essentially, inspections only occur when reports are made. If employees do not complain, OSHA will probably never know when something is being done incorrectly and putting workers at risk.

Screening method detects mild TBI

People who suffer from severe brain injuries may experience serious symptoms, such as seizures, sensory deficiencies and memory loss. Studies show, however, that people who have mild to moderate brain trauma may also experience long-lasting damage. Diffusion Tensor Imaging helps physicians detect mild to moderate brain damage by showing the structure of the brain’s white matter. In a healthy brain, the white matter is very structured, but when damage has occurred, the DTI shows a change in brightness in the white matter. Physicians are then able to find the exact location of the brain trauma and create a treatment plan and therapy targeting that area of the brain.

Prior to DTI being used to detect brain trauma, physicians relied solely on MRIs and CT scans to show if any brain damage has occurred. A study published in Neurology showed that even mild brain injuries can lead to serious damage that may affect a person’s life, including their ability to return to work and function in their daily activities. Researchers used the Glasgow Coma Scale to measure eye movement, general movement and verbal activity. On this scale a score of 15 is the highest. A person measuring 12 to 14 may be considered to have mild brain trauma, while a score below that indicates severe brain damage.

Worker fatally injured by iron beam

When workers arrive at the construction site, they put their lives in the hands of everyone who is working alongside them. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries when it comes to getting injured or killed while on the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 4,593 people were fatally injured while working in 2016. Of these deadly injuries, 991 or just over 21% were on construction sites. The most common hazards include falling, electrocution, being caught in-between objects and being hit by a falling object.

This is what happened to a Spring Valley worker who fell victim to a forklift accident. The 29-year old man was hit by three metal beams and later died of blunt force trauma. The I-beams that struck him were knocked off a trailer by a forklift that was being operated by another employee. As the forklift operator was piling the beams on the trailer, he knocked three of them off, hitting the man as they fell to the ground. The worker was unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at a Hillcrest hospital. OSHA is investigating the case to determine whether workplace violations or employee negligence was involved in the incident leading to the man’s death.

Returning to work after suffering a brain injury

Millions of people suffer from brain injuries every year in the United States. Whether they have been involved in an auto collision or were injured in a workplace accident, people may find it difficult to return to work and engage in daily life activities after suffering from a brain injury. The side effects of a brain injury may vary depending on the severity and which area of the brain was injured. Brain injuries can make it difficult to concentrate, plan, organize tasks and remember critical skills. Not to mention, injuries may affect a person’s sensory abilities, such as vision and hearing. Injuries can also cause physical deficiencies, including muscle weakness, dizziness and headaches.

In some cases, employers may attempt to accommodate an employee’s brain injury by enhancing their work environment. This is not possible, however, in some situations and so the employer may have to find another task for the employee to do. The employee may have to find another place of employment if they are no longer able to perform the same job.

Hospital sued for clinicians failing to call a Code Blue

Should one step into any hospital or medical center in San Bernardino, they will encounter a fast-paced, interconnected network of employees working in several areas performing different functions, all to ensure that the appropriate care is delivered to a single patient. From the registrar that checks a patient in to the clinician reviewing said patient's chart prior to discharge, every employee involved plays a critical role (even those in non-clinical functions). The failure of a single link in this caregiving chain can produce devastating results for a patient. 

This fact was on full display in the details of a lawsuit brought against a Michigan hospital. A newborn was brought into the hospital for a renal scan, yet while the required IV line was being placed, the boy's condition quickly deteriorated to the point of his skin turning blue (according to his mother's account). Hospital personnel, however, failed to immediately perform emergency treatment other than performing rescue breaths. By the time treatment was delivered, the boy suffered from a lack of oxygen to his brain, which resulted in him developing cerebral palsy. 

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