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The fact is that hospitals are full of sick people. The spread of illnesses and infections through a hospital is a risk that many Texas residents who are hospitalized have no choice but to take. They rely on the hospital to maintain as sterile and sanitized an environment as possible to prevent the spread of viruses, bacteria and other germs that could result in a worsened medical condition for many patients whose immune systems are already compromised.

Contracting an infection in the hospital could threaten your life and/or cause you unnecessary harm. The harm does not always come from the infection itself, although it can. A serious infection often complicates matters for the underlying condition that put you in the hospital in the first place.

An infection could be caused by the hospital failing to take the appropriate measures to minimize any risk to patients. In the alternative, a hospital can do as much as possible to prevent infection, but you could still contract one. If it is not diagnosed quickly, the infection could worsen and spread to the point that you suffer permanent harm. In either case, the hospital could be responsible for what comes after.

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The National Transportation Safety Board joined forces with the Texas Department of Public Safety to determine what caused the erratic driver of a pickup truck to crash into a bus. As they continue the accident investigation, a number families mourn the loss of their loved ones. Another family wonders whether their loved one will leave the hospital where she is currently in critical condition.

On the day of the accident, 911 dispatchers received several calls regarding a pickup truck being operated erratically. As police attempted to locate the out-of-control vehicle, they received one final 911 call. This time, the call was to report a catastrophic crash. Apparently, the pickup careened from the northbound lane into the southbound lane and slammed head-on into a bus occupied by the driver and 13 people.

The 20-year-old driver of the pickup survived the crash with serious injuries. The only other survivor was a woman on the bus. At last report, she remained in critical condition in a San Antonio hospital. Because the investigation remains open, no word regarding what charges the driver of the pickup could face was reported. Not only do officials need to know what factors led to the crash, but the answers could help the families of the victims.

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On today’s roads, drivers are more distracted than ever. Whether it is using the cell phone, feeding the kids or even putting makeup on, it is often difficult to keep your eyes and focus on the road when you are driving. Keeping your focus where it should be is easier said than done, but distracted driving consistently ends up as one of the most common causes of deaths caused by accidents.

The consequences of an accident caused by distraction may affect your life for years to come, so you should be aware of the three main types of distracted driving before you hit the road.

1. Manual distractions

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Throughout the school year, students across the country travel for sporting events. Their parents anticipate their safe return home at the end of every event. For the parents of one boys track team here in Texas, a near head-on collision shattered that expectation.

The parents of the 18 students injured in the crash have the track coach to thank for their survival. The bus was headed south on Highway 271 in Texas when a semi-truck careened into its path. The coach managed to avoid a head-on collision with the truck, but the two large vehicles still collided. The 30-year-old assistant coach for the girls track team was in a car behind the bus. Her vehicle was also involved, and she died from the impact.

The 50-year-old driver of the 18-wheeler also died. The coach who was driving the bus remained hospitalized in critical condition at last report. The 18 students injured were all taken to the hospital for a variety of unknown injuries. One of those students was hurt seriously enough to be taken from the scene by helicopter. The conditions of the survivors were not reported.

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You and your parents love the nursing home they are in. It is cheerful and spacious, and the staff members are attentive. However, you hear that the nursing home is making staff reductions. Is that reason to worry? Possibly, since lower staff numbers may lead to increases in abuse. Sometimes, the abuse may even be unintentional like, for example, when there are not enough staffers, and important information falls through the cracks, or medication distribution gets delayed. However, a decrease in staffing is not necessarily cause for alarm.

Communication is key

The hope is that the staff reduction announcement includes solutions. For example, something such as, “Although we will have 10 fewer nurses, our new shift management software ensures that coverage remains as robust as ever,” may be reassuring. Even something along the lines of, “Despite the streamlining of our staff, we will still exceed staff/resident ratios, and will have X nurses for each resident,” is straightforward.

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Far too many Texas residents know how frustrating it can be to go to a doctor and not receive any relief. Obtaining the right diagnosis is sometimes like running a marathon. When a doctor takes the easy route and makes a diagnosis without further testing, the patient is the one who suffers the damage. A failure to diagnose a condition properly could end up leaving a patient with a debilitating and permanent injury from which he or she may never recover.

For instance, if a woman’s doctor had taken the time to perform additional testing when the woman first went to the doctor, she might not be suffering from severe brain damage today. Based on the woman’s symptoms, the doctor said she suffered from anxiety and failed to order additional tests. Over the next eight months, the woman’s condition worsened, and finally, she received an MRI that revealed she suffers from a hereditary condition called Wilson’s disease. Unfortunately, the diagnosis came too late to prevent the damage to her brain.

A jury agreed with the Missouri woman and awarded her over $28 million. The now 24-year-old was robbed of a normal life, and she will require care for the rest of it. The damage to her brain is so severe that she must be fed through a feeding tube.

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If you were arrested on suspicion of DWI, you need to know what is at stake. The potential consequences of a conviction can be harsh and could affect many aspects of your life. Texas law provides for jail or prison time, fines and the loss of your driver’s license for specific time periods, depending on whether this is your first conviction for drunk driving or your third. Depending on the circumstances, you could also face additional penalties for aggravating factors.

If this is your first offense, you face jail time between three and 180 days, the suspension of your license up to one year and fines that reach into the thousands of dollars. A second offense within five years of the first one raises the potential jail time to between one month and one year, the loss of your license for up to two years and escalating fines. A third offense could result in your incarceration for a minimum of two years and maximum of 10 years, higher fines and the loss of your license for two years. In addition, for a second or third offense, you could be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle that keeps you from driving if any alcohol is detected in your system.

If you refuse to take a breath test, are under the age of 21 or have a child in the car at the time, additional penalties could apply. If you are in an accident while impaired, you could be charged with intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, depending on whether someone is injured or killed. Drivers who hold a CDL can only have a blood alcohol level of up to .04 percent instead of the .08 that ordinarily triggers a drunk driving charge.

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When you turn to a doctor or other health care professional for treatment of a condition, you trust she or he has the knowledge and experience to come up with a successful treatment plan and prescribe you any medications that will help you feel better. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and issues with medication are a big part of that. Before you blindly trust your health care professional or pharmacist to have your best interests in mind, educate yourself about what you should do to stay safe from medication errors.

1. Discuss all medications with your doctor

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Driving the wrong way on a highway or otherwise ending up in the path of an oncoming car greatly increases the risk of being involved in a devastating crash. In Texas and elsewhere, a head\-on collision all too often results in fatalities. The damage done to the victims always inevitably extends to their families as well.

The families of four people changed forever on a recent Tuesday morning. Around 5:19 a.m., a 45-year-old man and his 38-year-old passenger were traveling north on U.S. 287. At the same time, a 69-year-old man and his 57-year-old passenger were traveling south on the same roadway. Unfortunately, the southbound driver was in the northbound lanes of the highway at the time.

The northbound driver more than likely had no idea that he was about to encounter a wrong-way vehicle. The two cars collided head-on on the dry roadway. Fortunately, these were the only two vehicles involved in the crash. Unfortunately, even though all four of the individuals were properly restrained, they suffered fatal injuries in the impact.

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A new birth should be an exciting time, but unfortunately sometimes things can go wrong. Birth injuries happen in many ways and affect one or multiple areas: the baby’s nervous system, face or brain, for example. In these cases, pinpointing an injury’s exact cause can be tricky. They may be the result of high risk factors, in which trained doctors and nurses did everything correctly. Other times, however, they result from medical mistakes that can be costly.


On occasion, a doctor must use forceps, a tool with pincers, to deliver a baby. Many babies end up perfectly fine, with nary a bruise. But in the worst cases, the infant ends up with nerve or brain damage. Inexperienced wielding of forceps may also lead to facial paralysis – although in many cases, there may be doubt about what exactly caused damage to the facial nerve. It could be a large baby, forceps, a long labor or a combination, in addition to other circumstances.