For many New Jersey residents, as well as many millions of other people across the country, the annual medical physical is an unquestioned and scrupulously adhered-to practice.
According to 2006-2010 statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, more fatal accidents involving pedestrians under the age of 21 occurred on Oct. 31 than on the neighboring days. Given that statistic, New Jersey parents are advised to take extra precautions for Halloween safety. Possible safety measures may include parental supervision, regular cell phone check-ins, and reflective clothing.
For obvious and compelling reasons, national attention has focused acutely in recent weeks on the tragic meningitis outbreak across the country, which -- as of the date this post entry was written -- has taken the lives of 19 people and materially sickened about 250 others. Estimates are that as many as 14,000 patients in nearly half of all the states have been potentially exposed to fungal meningitis attributed to a contaminated steroid that was administered for back or neck pain through epidural injection.
A decorated New Jersey police officer died in a car accident when his cruiser struck a utility pole in Teaneck in October 2010. He is included in what a recent Washington Post article calls "the roll call of officers who weren't wearing seat belts when they died in crashes."
After hearing about a multiple-vehicle turnpike crash resulting in lane closures and lengthy time delays for other motorists, it would be reasonable for most people to brace for the worst concerning details regarding the human toll.
Comparisons have been drawn many times in the past to safety protocols and outcomes in the medical industry versus what is in place in the aviation field. In the latter realm, the focus on safety and the highest level of unerring performance is absolute and exacting. Virtually every mishap is widely publicized and painstakingly examined and fixed by aeronautics authorities, with uniform applicability across all countries and airlines.
It is the type of story that fills many families with concerns when they contemplate an upcoming move by an elderly family member to an assisted living facility, or as they think about a loved one who is already living in a nursing home or residential care unit.
In a recent media commentary, a disability policy specialist takes a strong and critical aim at the New Jersey legislature for alleged passivity and inaction that is undermining the legal rights and adequate care of developmentally disabled persons in state nursing homes and other residential care units.
Medical malpractice is pervasive in hospitals across the country, including in New Jersey, but in many cases it fails to garner the headlines it merits. That owes to many reasons, including confidential settlements, gag orders and other methods of keeping patients from speaking out about harms they suffered as the direct result of medical negligence.