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CVSA: September 15 to 21 is Brake Safety Week

Truckers in West Virginia probably know that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds various inspection sprees throughout the year in the effort to enforce federal trucking regulations. If truckers do not follow these regulations, they only put themselves and others at risk because a poorly maintained truck will not prevent crashes as well or protect occupants in the event of a crash.

The next inspection spree that the CVSA has planned is Brake Safety Week. From September 15 to 21, inspectors in both the U.S. and Canada will be stopping CMVs at random and inspecting the brake systems. Brake Safety Weeks usually have a special focus, and this one's will brake hoses and tubing. All too often, truckers are driving with leaking, damaged or improperly attached hoses and tubes.

AAA urges drivers to replace faulty air bags

Some West Virginia motorists may still be driving cars that have Takata air bags in them and that were recalled in 2015. It is estimated that more than 15 million vehicles have them. Over 150 model and year combinations were released by 19 manufacturers that had the air bags installed. AAA is urging people to get the air bags replaced.

The replacements can be done for free at dealerships. When the recall was originally announced, drivers often had long waits before the repairs could be done because there was an insufficient stock of replacements. That problem has now been solved, but only about two-thirds of vehicles carrying the air bags have had them replaced.

Study highlights the costs of a missed or delayed diagnosis

One in three of the medical malpractice cases in West Virginia and around the country that involve patients who either died or were left permanently disabled are caused by delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. That was the conclusion reached by researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after studying 55,000 malpractice cases. The results of the study were released online by the medical journal Diagnosis on July 11.

The researchers estimate that about 12 million Americans fall victim to diagnostic errors every year and between 40,000 and 80,000 of them die as a result. The lawsuits filed by these patients and their dependent family members have cost the health care system and its insurers approximately $1.8 billion over the last 10 years. Almost three-quarters of the most serious of these cases involved the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancers, vascular conditions or infections.

Many patients misdiagnosed as having burning mouth syndrome

West Virginia residents should know about a condition known as burning mouth syndrome, which is characterized by a constant burning or tingling sensation in the mouth. Sometimes it goes together with dryness or a metallic taste in the mouth. There are many people who experience a burning sensation due to dry mouth, but this is not the same as BMS.

Unfortunately, because BMS is so complex and a standard definition for it does not exist, many patients are the victims of misdiagnosis. Being diagnosed with BMS, they receive treatments that wind up never addressing the real issue. It is only after they visit several healthcare providers that victims are typically given the correct diagnosis.

Bedsores may be an early sign of nursing home neglect

Few decisions are more difficult than choosing to move an aging parent into a nursing home. While you can likely depend on nursing home employees to provide effective care for your elderly loved one, you must realize that nursing home neglect happens. In fact, about 10% of Americans over 60 experience some type of neglect or abuse. Even worse, when abuse happens, an individual’s risk of death may increase by as much as 300%. 

There is no such thing as standard nursing home neglect. That is, your loved one’s neglect may involve poor hygiene, incorrect medication, substandard living conditions or something else. Often, though, bedsores are an early indicator of nursing home neglect. If you have an elderly loved one in a long-term care facility, you should know a few things about the condition. 

Why people lack trust in others

Trust can be critical for companies in West Virginia that want to grow or strengthen their brand. However, trust in people and companies has been declining, according to a variety of sources including the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. The Edelman Trust Barometer found that 73% of those who responded said that fake information could be used against them. There are many reasons why people aren't placing their faith in other people or institutions, such as the blatant release of false data.

Reports about business leaders and other leaders in society being taken into custody or indicted for crimes also leads to a lack of trust. However, there are ways that companies may be able to regain the trust of their employees. One idea to is replace control with empowerment of workers to make decisions. This may help middle managers get more done without worrying about what top leaders may think.

Why truck accident claims are complex

When an Arizona truck driver causes an accident that results in injuries or fatalities, the resulting claims will likely be more complicated than claims in accidents caused by other types of motor vehicles. There are several reasons why this is so.

Trucks are much larger and heavier than other motor vehicles. This means that when they are involved in collisions, they strike other vehicles with substantially more force. As a result, people in those vehicles are much likelier to suffer severe injuries or to be killed. Catastrophic or fatal injuries can lead to substantial financial damage claims that the insurance companies are likely to aggressively fight against.

Safe staffing requirements may protect nursing home residents

Family members in West Virginia often assume nursing homes will provide safe, reliable care when senior loved ones need it. Unfortunately, there are too many instances where lack of skilled medical care results in or contributes to loss of life. According to one study, approximately 100,000 of the 250,000 deaths attributed to medical mistakes in the United States each year are related to insufficient staffing.

A watchdog group wants to reduce the number of deaths in acute care and nursing facilities related to medical emergencies not detected in time because of staffing shortages. Another elder care organization trains caregivers on how to effectively demand care for loved ones in nursing homes by making their presence known so that call bells will be answered and residents will be properly fed and cared for. A committee co-chair for the group contends that better care is often provided when relatives are around.

Safety tech may be the answer to rise in truck crashes

Truck crashes are on the rise in West Virginia and other states. Florida, in particular, has seen its number jump from 23,515 to 32,513 between 2014 and 2018. The Florida Department of Transportation reports that the leading operator-related factor in these crashes is speeding.

When truckers are negligent, it is usually other drivers who pay the price. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration claims that 72% of truck crash fatalities are passenger vehicle occupants. It is therefore incumbent on all trucking companies to do something to reduce these crash numbers. This is where safety technology comes in.

NHTSA expands probe into deadly airbag controls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which already begun to investigate malfunctioning airbag controls on certain vehicles, is now expanding the probe to include 12.3 million vehicles from automakers like Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Fiat Chrysler. West Virginia residents who own any 2010 to 2019 model vehicle from one of these brands may want to see if it's on NHTSA's list.

NHTSA upgraded the probe on April 19 from a preliminary evaluation to engineering analysis. It has not yet announced a vehicle recall (though Hyundai, Kia and Fiat Chrysler have already announced recalls). The airbag control units under investigation were produced by ZF-TRW; there are claims that the malfunction prevents the airbags from inflating in a crash and that it may have contributed to eight deaths so far.

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