According to the SanFrancisco Chronicle, avoidable medical mistakes are on the rise in the Bay Area and throughout California.
A recent report entitled "Events that a never supposed to happen in state hospitals," spells out in frightening detail the frequency of "never" events - i.e. things that are never supposed to happen in California hospitals.
For example, just last year California hospitals reported close to 200 cases of foreign objects left in patents after surgery. At San Francisco General, a 4-by-8-inch piece of surgical sponge was left inside a patient after an eight-hour surgery. The patient had to undergo additional surgeries just to correct the physician's error.
Other alarming statistics include a 100% increase in surgeries performed on the wrong patient, a 78% increase in bedsores acquired after admission, a 36% increase in deaths associated with a fall and a whopping 131% increase in sexual assaults on patients.
Recent studies have shown safety measures are the key to reducing California medical malpractice.
As a California personal injury attorney concerned about medical malpractice, I am hopeful that these studies exposing the problems throughout many California hospitals will finally bring needed changes to the care provided.
According to the Central Valley Business Times, the Sacramento area will receive close to $250 million to improve its roadways. Significantly, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) has approved $45 million to widen Highway 46, a dangerous two-lane highway that serves as a major link to the Central Coast.
Highway 46 has received much notoriety as a deadly stretch of highway. Dubbed "blood alley," since April 2005 there have been 391 car accidents, with 130 injuries and 24 deaths on that stretch of road.
Most recently, on April 6 three people were killed and two seriously injured in a head-on collision, about 2 miles west of Lost Hills.
Other improvements include substantial rehabilitation of Highway 99 and resurfacing of Interstate 5 from Florin Road to the Sacramento/San Joaquin County line.
The projects are a welcome improvement for Sacramento's roadways. As a Sacramento personal injury attorney, I understand the impact dangerous and poorly maintain roadways can have on a driver's safety. Too often, even the best drivers are caught off guard - and injury accidents occur - when dangerous road conditions obscure their vision or require quick reflexes.
Hopefully, as a result of these changes and improvements, Highway 46 will lose its reputation as one of California's most dangerous roads.
On Wednesday, California lawmakers advanced a bill that would ban the use of metal bats in high school for two years.
This ban comes after a teenager was hospitalized and remains in critical condition with a severe head injury after he was hit by a line drive. Principals from the 10 highschools in the Marin County Athletic League have already banned the use of metal bats at games.
The accident has spurred discussions throughout Marin County, and now the legislature, regarding what is safe for highschool sports. Because metals bats can hit harder than wooden bats, the risk of head and brain injuries is greater. Despite the Marin County ban, the North Coast Section (which governs highschool sports from the Bay Area up the coast) did not pass a ban for their teams - arguing that using wooden bats would put their teams at a competitive disadvantage.
The dialogue surrounding the use of metal bats is similar to many discussions throughout the years pitting sports safety against fun, comfort, convenience and competition. Sporting event safety - both for players and spectators - is often not a concern until a highly publicized event calls people into action.
As an avid sports fan and California personal injury attorney, I believe the time to act on safety measures is before serious accidents occur.
After a 23-year ban, bicyclists were allowed back on the K Street Mall this week. Bicyclists can now legally ride on the Mall from 7th to 13th Streets and in the tunnel connecting 2d and 4th Streets.
Bicyclists were originally banned from the K Street Mall in 1987 to avoid bicycle accidents after light-rail tracks were installed.
The Department of Transportation stated in a news release that lifting the ban on bicycles on K Street Mall is "another important accomplishment toward creating and maintaining a safe and reliable multi-modal transportation for the city and the region."
Bicycling is an increasingly popular mode of transportation in Sacramento and throughout the area including the cities of San Francisco, Davis and Palo Alto which rank among the Top Ten Best bicycling cities the United States.
Keeping in mind a few simple safety tips will help prevent bicycling accidents and limit their severity if they occur. These include:
• Wearing your helmet. Wearing a helmet significantly decreases the possibility of sustaining a brain injury if you're in an accident.
• Obey speed limits and rules of the road. In crowded areas such as K Street it's important to be alert, not exceed the speed limit (10 mph) and use appropriate hand signals.
• Yield to Pedestrians. Not only can bicycle/car collisions lead to injuries, so can bicycle/pedestrians collisions.
As a Sacramento bicycling accident attorney and biking enthusiast, I applaud Sacramento's efforts to be a bike friendly city. If you have any questions regarding bicycle safety, or if you or a loved one has been in bicycling accident, please contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette.