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Pushing the FMCSA for sleep apnea screening rules

Obstructive sleep apnea leads to poor sleep during the night and drowsiness during the day, which makes it a particularly dangerous condition for truck drivers. Accidents in Illinois and throughout the U.S. can be attributed to undiagnosed OSA.

In 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was developing a rule to help doctors judge if truck drivers should be tested for sleep apnea. The Medical Advisory Board was called in for advice, as were several trucking industry stakeholders, but in the summer of 2017 the FMCSA stated that it would table the rule.

Men can be diagnosed with breast cancer

Many Illinois residents likely believe that breast cancer only affects women. However, this is not the case. Although it is extremely rare, men can develop breast cancer. Those who are most at risk for male breast cancer are between the ages of 60 and 70 and who have a family history of breast cancer. An estimated 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. every year.

The symptoms for breast cancer in men are the same as the symptoms for breast cancer in women. They can include nipple discharge, an unusual mass in the breast tissue and changes in the skin. Like many breast cancer cases in women, the disease may go undetected in men until the cancer has already spread to other areas of the body by the time a diagnosis is made.

Maximizing time with a physician

People in Illinois who have medical concerns should make sure that their appointments with their physicians are long enough to have their medical concerns addressed. According to health care professionals at Saint Vincent's Healthcare and Billings Clinic, there are certain things patients can do to get the time they need with their physicians and to make the most of that time.

It is suggested that patients remain focused and detail the symptoms for which they scheduled the appointment. If there are other issues that have to be addressed, patients should not hesitate to request a follow-up appointment so that those issues can be properly addressed.

The dangers of driving at night

When driving on Illinois roads at night, drivers may face a unique set of hazards that could result in a car accident. In order to stay as safe as possible, drivers should be aware of some of the potential issues that they may face when the sun goes down.

At night, all drivers have a harder time seeing the road due to decreased visibility. The lack of daylight often makes it difficult to see road signs, pedestrians, cyclists and even other drivers. It can also make it difficult to gauge the distance between other vehicles. Some drivers could also suffer from night blindness, a condition that makes it even more difficult for these drivers to see hazards at night. Drivers who suffer from night vision may have poor peripheral vision and may even have trouble with their central vision.

Medical malpractice and the disclosure of HIV status

Illinois residents who are concerned about how their medical information is handled may be interested in a New Jersey lawsuit regarding a physician's unauthorized disclosure of a patient's HIV diagnosis. The plaintiff was being treated by a nephrologist who disclosed the patient's health and HIV-positive status in front of a third party during an emergency consultation in the private hospital room occupied by the patient.

The plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that the physician's disclosure was in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. However, the HIPPA does not allow for a private right of action. The complaint was then amended to allege that the disclosure was a form of medical malpractice, that the AIDS Assistance Act had been violated and that the release of the sensitive information to the public had been damaging and qualified as a common law invasion of privacy.

The dangers of fall driving in Illinois

With the autumn season comes cooler weather, falling leaves and football season. While different people can take or leave some or all of these trappings of fall, there is one thing everyone will definitely want to avoid -- traffic accidents.

There are some definite seasonal trends that can increase the risks of fall driving. With school starting in the fall, buses hitting the road and parents taking their children to and from school will increase the overall traffic. Some children also walk to and from school, increasing the pedestrian traffic. Furthermore, it's important to remember that the fall season also brings more precipitation. This can create slippery conditions -- particularly when combined with falling leaves that can pile up on streets and roadways.

Volkswagen recalls popular cars because of fuel pump issues

Illinois Volkswagen owners should be aware of a recall issued by the company covering CC and Passat models. The German car maker announced a recall of nearly 281,000 cars because of problems with their fuel pumps. According to documents filed by VW, the computer that controls the fuel pump can lose power, stopping the flow of gas to the engine. The same problem can also cause the fuel pump to continue running even when the vehicle has been shut off.

The recall covers Volkswagen CCs from model years 2009 through 2016 and Passats from 2006 through 2010. VW says there have been no reports of injuries or accidents in the U.S. resulting from the fuel pump problem. The company intends to notify car owners in October and follow-up later, when computers are available to replace the originals. VW dealers will change out the computers for the drivers and move them to reduce heat and mechanical stress.

Vehicle warning systems save lives

Illinois drivers who use blind spot alerts or lane departure warning systems may be interested to learn that these types of collision avoidance features dramatically reduce the number of car accidents. Despite the obvious benefits, officials with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety say these warning systems have not been widely adopted.

An IIHS researcher discovered that the rate of sideswipe accidents, single-vehicle accidents and head-on collisions was 11 percent lower for cars that had warning systems active in 2015. Furthermore, the number of injury crashes in these vehicles was reduced by 21 percent. However, the IIHS believes that if all vehicles had lane departure warning systems, more than 55,000 injuries would have been avoided.

Causes and risks of traumatic brain injury: What you should know

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be caused by anything from a simple fall to a major car accident. In fact, falls attribute to most TBIs that occur, especially for people 75 years of age or older. While this particular demographic often winds up in the hospital after suffering a TBI induced by a fall, the truth is that anyone of any age can suffer from a traumatic brain injury.

The medical field divides brain injuries into three different classifications. These are mild, moderate and severe. A doctor will determine the severity of a brain injury based the specific circumstances surrounding each patient. For example, if an individual loses consciousness for an extended amount of time or has other symptoms that the doctor considers severe, then the attending physician might classify the injury as severe. However, if the patient does not lose consciousness and only has a slight concussion, a doctor might declare the injury mild. Read below to learn about the causes and risks of TBIs.