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Is anesthesia really as safe as doctors say it is?

For a long time now, patients have been told that modern anesthesia methods are safer than ever, with mortality rates falling drastically over the last 30 years to only around one anesthesia-related death out of every 200,000 to 300,000 patients.

However, not all may be as it seems.

Handle leftover fireworks carefully

July 4 has come and gone. If you are like many people, fireworks played some role in your celebrations. Perhaps you went to see a spectacular show or put on a display of your own. Hopefully, there were no injuries.

However, now may actually be the time of the most danger because your guard is down — and everyone else’s is too. Follow these tips to stay safe for the rest of the summer.

Truck accident liability can be complicated territory

Truck accidents are common on the nation's highways -- but their capacity for devastation far outstrips that of an accident involving two ordinary-sized vehicles.

One of the hardest things to sort out in any truck accident is liability. Even when the trucker is clearly at fault for the accident, the question of actual liability doesn't end there because other parties may share some of the responsibility.

Why do police officers use excessive force?

Police officers are often lauded as heroes and protectors of their communities. In most cases, such characterizations are accurate, but in some, it could not be further from the truth. South Carolina has certainly seen this to be true. According to The Post and Courier, an officer was fired last year for using excessive force. It is worth questioning: why do police officers use excessive force?

There is no single reason to attribute to all of these offenses, but there are patterns that emerge in such cases of abuse. In identifying these common causes, perhaps communities can fight against them and reinstate the reputation of police that citizens and precincts alike would like to see upheld.

New law takes aim at mopeds in South Carolina

The state of South Carolina's laws regarding vehicle safety had a curious loophole: Mopeds were virtually unregulated.

Think you might want to ride one without a helmet, even though decades of research have proven that helmets save lives? It was legal.

What happens when the driver who hit you goes to jail?

Most ordinary car accidents don't end with one of the drivers in handcuffs -- but that's exactly what can happen if you're hit by a drunk driver.

That may leave a lot of victims wondering what happens next? Will the fact that the driver is in jail affect your ability to file a claim? What if you're seriously injured and you need to file a lawsuit? Do you turn to the prosecutor to help?

Avoiding pharmacy errors

One-third of adults in the United States take five or more medications. The definition of adverse drug events includes any harms a patient experiences as a result of taking medication. Although ADEs account for only about 100,000 hospitalizations each year, they are still one of the most common inpatient errors, affecting about 5 percent of patients in hospitals. According to the Patient Safety Network, not every ADE is an error, nor does it indicate poor quality of care. However, when there is an actual error, it is generally preventable. 

Medication errors typically occur at different steps along the pathway from prescription to the administration of the medication. From the time the doctor orders it through the dispensation by the pharmacist and the time the patient receives the medication, errors can occur. The majority of errors occur at the prescribing stages, and hospitals and pharmacies have a lot of safety protocols in place to prevent errors.

Obey 'move over' laws to avoid accidents

Do you know what South Carolina's "Move Over" law is and how to follow it?

If you don't, you're hardly alone. A Move Over law requires drivers who happen across emergency vehicles on their side of the road to make safety adjustments to their driving. However, many drivers are unaware that such laws exist and continue to put emergency workers and others in significant danger.

Why should you worry about Lyme disease?

Spring is here -- and that means spring flowers, spring showers and the sudden arrival of insects back on the scene, including the tiny tick.

Ticks are known for spreading Lyme disease, a particularly debilitating bacterial infection that causes human beings diverse health problems, ranging from a bullseye rash and flu-like symptoms to chronic pain and paralysis. If treated with a heavy course of antibiotics early on, it can be cured and the victim is left with no lingering issues. If it isn't, the disease can turn chronic and the patient can really struggle to gain back lost ground.

How much would it cost to add good safety tech to your car? $500.

The National Transportation Safety Board has urged automakers to make forward collision avoidance system -- automatic braking when an upcoming object is detected -- standard on all vehicles sold in the United States. Last year, the safety agency released a 60-page report arguing that manufacturers should have to shoulder the cost, too.

"You don't pay extra for your seat belt," said then-chairman Christopher Hart, "and you shouldn't have to pay extra for technology that can help prevent a collision altogether." Currently, these and other important safety features are optional, or are standard only on high-end vehicles.

Wilson & Luginbill, LLCAttorneys at Law

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