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Baltimore Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

2 dead in Maryland crash

On Feb. 5, an accident involving a van and a tractor trailer resulted in the deaths of two people in Maryland. State Police reported that the crash occurred at the Route 113 and Bishopville Road intersection in Bishopville.

Authorities stated that a 40-year-old man who was driving the van failed to stop at a red light at the intersection. Both the man and his 38-year-old female passenger died at the scene. It appeared that the driver of the tractor-trailer did not suffer any injuries as a result of the crash. The crash caused Route 113 to be closed for about eight hours following the incident.

Volvo's "death-proof" car promise

Swedish automaker Volvo has made a promise that could make the roads safer for drivers in Maryland and around the world. By 2020, Volvo promises that there will be no serious injuries or fatalities in its cars and SUVs. This comes after a history of research into the injury and fatality rates among Volvo's drivers and passengers. While Volvo is a leader in autonomous driving technology, the automaker is joined by Google, Ford and Tesla in its pursuit of safer driverless technology.

While 'death-proof" vehicles may not yet be available, Volvo has adopted many different technologies aimed at making vehicles safer. In combination, the smart technologies help minimize the effects of driver error and reduce the likelihood of a serious accident. Such technology includes adaptive cruise control, which allows drivers to set a maximum speed and applies the brakes if needed. Improved airbags and occupant restraints have also been adopted to make vehicles safer.

Researchers say some colon cancer patients need chemo

Some patients in Maryland who have been diagnosed with colon cancer might need chemotherapy in addition to surgery. Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have conducted a study on colon cancer and found evidence that a genetic marker may be used to identify patients who need more aggressive treatment.

According to the Stanford researchers, identifying a protein called CDX2 after surgery could help doctors to determine which patients need chemotherapy for colon cancer. After colon tumors are removed from patients with stage-2 colon cancer, the absence of the CDX2 protein is often an indication that a colon tumor will return. Stage-2 colon cancer patients who are CDX2-negative may benefit from chemotherapy after surgery, according to the lead researcher. At least 5 to 10 percent of stage-2 colon cancer patients are CDX2-negative.

The dangers of C-sections in Maryland

In 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study saying that a cesarean section rate of 10 to 15 percent may be too low. Although the World Health Organization advocates for this rate, research suggests that the optimal level may be closer to 19 percent. This was determined by analyzing 23 million C-sections that took place in 54 different countries during 2012.

According to the data, the number of fetal and maternal deaths decreased as the C-section rate climbed closer to 19 percent. The benefits of C-sections versus vaginal births seemed to level off at rates higher than 19 percent. In the United States, the C-section rate is 33 percent, and it also has one of the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations. This may suggest that there is a connection between C-section rates and patient safety.

Study compares safety of home births and hospital births

Some pregnant women in Maryland opt for a home birth assisted by a midwife rather than a hospital birth. According to a new study, home births are just as safe as hospital births when the pregnancies are uncomplicated and low-risk. The study, led by a doctor from the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University in Canada, was conducted by analyzing data from thousands of home and hospital births in Ontario.

Researchers on the study looked at approximately 11,000 planned home births and 11,000 hospital births that had no risk factors such as diabetes, heart condition, HIV and maternal drug dependency. Premature deliveries and breech births were excluded from the study. The data showed that the rates of stillbirth, newborn death and serious injury were nearly the same for home births and hospital births.

Fatal, head-on crash hospitalizes 4 U.S. Secret Service agents

Some Maryland residents have heard that four U.S. Secret Service agents were involved in a head-on car accident. The crash happened on Route 16 in New Hampshire on the evening of Dec. 29 and sent all of the agents to the hospital.

According to the police report, the four Secret Service agents, whose identities were not disclosed, were on duty in a Ford Taurus that was traveling on the highway when a Mercury Sable headed in the other direction crossed the double yellow line into their lane. The Sable hit the Taurus head on, causing serious but non-life-threatening injuries to the agents, a representative reported the following day. Emergency workers transported the agents to Frisbie Memorial Hospital. The 45-year-old male driver of the Sable died at the crash site. There were two passengers in the car with him, and they were both injured as well.

Doctors could be missing many cases of asthma

Maryland residents who are experiencing respiratory distress might have asthma, even if they have another diagnosis. Researchers from GlaxoSmithKline in Italy investigated the accuracy of respiratory diagnoses and found that asthma appeared to be missed by general practitioners for as many as one-third of patients who had been diagnosed with another respiratory disease.

The research team studied 2,090 patients. Among these patients, 991 already possessed an asthma diagnosis. The remaining 1,099 people had been diagnosed with other conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic or acute bronchitis. After researchers assessed the second segment of the study group, they discovered that 365 of the patients had responses consistent with asthma even though their physicians had not diagnosed them with it.

Tests reveal flaws in law-abiding self-driving cars

Maryland residents who are waiting for self-driving cars to become commonplace may wait a little longer as engineers deal with a conundrum that tests have revealed. By driving as safely as possible and obeying traffic laws, self-driving cars are twice as likely to be involved in accidents than cars driven by humans. The self-driving cars are not at fault. Instead, they are hit by human drivers after failing to make intuitive adjustments in their driving. The crashes have been minor.

For example, one self-driving car struggled to merge onto I-395 South near the Pentagon during heavy traffic. Because the self-driving car was unable to make the assumption that other drivers would allow the merge, a human had to take over the controls. In another case, a self-driving car creeping into the intersection to turn right on red was hit from behind by a car traveling 4 miles per hour.

Skin cancer and visual screenings

Maryland skin cancer patients should be aware that there is reason to doubt the effectiveness of current visual screening methods, according to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. On Dec. 1, 2015, the USPSTF released some of its findings on visual skin cancer screening in adults without any symptoms of skin cancer. The task force prioritized melanoma screening outcomes when it generated the report.

After a systematic review, the USPSTF determined that the current evidence for visual skin exams as a basis for the detection of melanoma in asymptomatic adult patients is not sufficient. More research is necessary in order to understand the balance between the harms and benefits of clinical skin exams. Patients are urged to speak with their doctors if they have concerns about their skin. The task force also found that the current body of research related to the defectiveness of full-body visual screenings is not enough to link the practice with reductions in mortality or morbidity.

Signs that Maryland residents have pneumonia

Although anyone can develop pneumonia, the people who are most at risk are children, older adults and people with existing respiratory problems, such as asthma and COPD. Individuals who smoke, have recently undergone a surgery or have a compromised immune system may also be at greater risk. Pneumonia is commonly a complication of an existing infection, like the flu, but there are dozens of reasons that people may develop this condition.

The symptoms and their severity may vary, but the most common signs that someone has developed pneumonia are coughing, a fever, chills and shortness of breath that occurs when walking up stairs. Someone who has a cough as a result of pneumonia may cough up colored or bloody mucus. People may also experience sweating, fatigue, loss of appetite and chest pains when they cough or breathe deeply.

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