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Research a surgeon to give yourself peace of mind

If you come to find that you require surgery to address a medical concern, it's important to learn as much as possible about the many surgeons who can perform the procedure. The information you collect will help you make a confident decision that gives you peace of mind.

In addition to asking your doctor for guidance and feedback, there are other steps you can take to research a surgeon in Pennsylvania before deciding to rely on their expertise. Here's a good place to start:

  • Confirm their credentials and certification: Don't assume that a surgeon has all the credentials and certifications required. Instead, double-check this by contacting the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and American Board of Medical Specialties. It's likely that everything will check out, but you won't know for sure until you dig deeper.
  • Search for professional reprimands: For example, if a licensing board has sanctioned a surgeon in the past, you must learn what happened. This may lead you toward crossing the surgeon off your short list and continuing your search.
  • Read online ratings and reviews: There are plenty of websites devoted to sharing information, ratings and reviews for all types of surgeons and medical professionals. You shouldn't use this information as the sole factor in making a decision, but it's a good place to start. If other patients are unhappy with the service they received, you may want to reconsider that particular surgeon.

Protect yourself when making an insurance claim after a crash

If you're injured in a motor vehicle accident, your immediate attention will turn to your health. This includes everything from receiving treatment at a local hospital in Bensalem to discussing your long-term prognosis with your medical team.

As soon as you're able to do so, contact your insurance agent to file a claim. This will put the wheels in motion, thus moving you closer to receiving compensation for your injuries and getting your car fixed.

Pew: EHR usability issues can harm pediatric patients

Electronic health records are known for their usability issues, which can reduce clinical efficiency and raise the risk for errors, especially those relating to medication. Pennsylvania residents who work in the medical field should know that such issues can have a great impact on pediatric patients. This was the subject of a report from Pew Charitable Trusts.

When pediatric patients are given medication, the dosage must be adjusted based on their weight and age. Yet federal requirements for EHRs do not address the challenges that can arise in a pediatric setting. ONC is currently drafting voluntary rules for EHR use in such settings, and Pew conducted its study to inform the policymaking process. The report gives 12 examples of potential patient safety events.

How to discuss estate planning with your elderly parents

As your parents age, you will have many concerns. From their health to their living situation, it goes without saying that you'll always have something on your mind.

It's important to discuss estate planning with your elderly parents, as this will give everyone involved the peace of mind they deserve. However, this is never an easy conversation to have, as overstepping can cause more harm than good.

Volvo to prevent DUI with in-car cameras and sensors

Volvo Cars has announced a plan to install new technology in its vehicles that would prevent drunk driving crashes. Starting in the early 2020s, it will use in-vehicle cameras and sensors to observe driver behavior and check for any indications of intoxication or distraction. Volvo owners in Pennsylvania may want to know more.

The cameras and sensors are designed to provide warning signals when they detect those symptoms of intoxication or distraction. Potential signs include weaving out of lanes, displaying extremely slow reaction times or barely touching the steering wheel over extended periods of time. If the driver does not respond to the onboard warning signals, the vehicle could intervene by limiting the speed or by slowing down and parking.

June 4 kicks off 72-hour International Roadcheck of 2019

Truck, bus and other CMV drivers in Pennsylvania will want to keep the date June 4 in mind because it kicks off the three-day International Roadcheck. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds this annual inspection spree as a way to enforce federal CMV and driver regulations. The majority of inspections will be at Level I, which is the most comprehensive and covers both regulations.

CMV drivers throughout the U.S. will be stopped at random and have truck components like the steering, suspension, brakes, tires, wheels, lights and cargo securement devices checked. They will also be asked to present their CDLs, Medical Examiner's Certificates and work logs. If they pass, they will receive a CVSA decal to indicate this. If not, they will receive an out-of-service order.

Springtime in Pennsylvania will bring rain, strong wind

With the winter months having officially just come to an end on the calendar, it won't be long before you're looking forward to warmer spring weather. While this is coming soon enough, our Pennsylvania readers are well aware that springtime also brings quite a bit of rain and strong wind.

Inclement weather may not bother you when you're inside your home, but it's a different story when operating a motor vehicle. If you find yourself driving in heavy rain this spring season, here are some tips to follow:

  • Slow down: The best thing you can do is slow down, as this helps you maintain control over your vehicle. Also, leave more time to reach your destination, as this lessens the likelihood of speeding.
  • Use your headlights: Not only does this improve visibility, but it helps other drivers, such as those driving in the opposite direction, see your vehicle.
  • Leave more space to stop: It takes longer to stop your vehicle on slick roads, so you should leave an additional one to two car lengths. Doing so can be the difference between avoiding an accident and striking someone from behind.

Highway work zone crashes often caused by distracted drivers

Distracted driving, whether caused by phone use or by talking with other passengers, is a major problem in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. A vehicle going 55 mph will cross the length of a football field in five seconds, and the average text takes about the same amount of time to read. This shows how dangerous driver inattention can be.

Highway work zones, with their narrow lanes, have long been considered a challenge to road safety. Speeding in these zones has always been correlated with serious accident-related injuries. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that distracted drivers are 29 times more likely to crash in these zones.

Important steps to take if a dog bites you

Dogs have long been known as man's best friend. Unfortunately, not all dogs are friendly, and some are downright aggressive. This can result in all types of trouble, with the most serious being when a dog bites or attacks an innocent person.

If a dog appears aggressive or distressed, it's best to keep your distance. The same holds true if you don't know the dog. Attempting to get too close increases the risk of an attack.

How non-technical skills help surgeons

About 45 percent of adverse medical events involve candidates for surgery, according to a doctor from Moorfields Eye Hospital. Furthermore, up to 66 percent of these events take place in an operating room or other surgical site. However, Pennsylvania surgeons who possess skills that are not technical in nature may have lower odds of making an error.

At a minimum, those who possess traits such as humility will be able to acknowledge their mistakes or state that they don't know why a medical error occurred. Aptitude, ability and ambition are other qualities that good surgeons have. The ability to think critically and engage with other people are also skills that serve a surgeon well. This allows the provider to think through a situation before making any decisions. Finally, a surgeon needs to be able to stay calm under pressure.

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