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Types of Birth Injuries

Monday, September 27, 2010

Birth injuries occur when a doctor in charge does not respond in time, or respond appropriately enough, when the fetus begins to show signs of fetal distress. The results of such a late response or inaction can be devastating for a baby. For instance, a delay of even a few seconds can be enough to cause a decrease in oxygen supply to the brain, and long-term brain injury.

Some of the most common types of birth injuries that Arizona medical malpractice lawyers come across a re:

  • Bruising
  • Skin irritation
  • Bone fractures
  • Shoulder Dystocia
  • Brain-damage from cerebral hypoxia
  • Cerebral palsy - This is one of the most severe results of injuries during birth. Cerebral palsy leads to a lifetime of restricted sensory, emotional and cognitive abilities. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, and a child's only options for living a near-to-normal life involve the use of specialized aids and devices.
  • Brachial Plexus palsy, which occurs when the baby’s shoulder is stretched in the birth canal, during the delivery process. The baby's hands and arms may be injured, and this can lead to paralysis or diminished feeling and reduced muscle control.
  • Klumpke’s Palsy
  • Erbs Palsy that can result in paralysis of the hand with lack of muscle control
  • Spinal column damage
  • Babies may also suffer from paralysis, internal hemorrhage, prenatal asphyxia and infections.

Many of these injuries are caused because doctors delayed a surgical intervention, or mistimed a vaginal delivery. In any case, families suffer long-term expenses from such injuries. Any of these birth injuries can have effects lasting from a few years to a lifetime. That means parents are looking at years of increased medical costs, assisted care, special devices and equipment to help them care for their child, modifications to their house and car, and other expenses.

Avandia Sales Restricted in US, Drug Banned in Europe

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will place some restrictions on the sales of Avandia in the American market. However, European health regulators have moved to ban Avandia from the market altogether. Both decisions were announced simultaneously this week.

The Food and Drug Administration decision will allow doctors to prescribe Avandia only in certain situations, where the patient's blood sugar levels cannot be controlled with any other drug. Before starting the medications, doctors will have to note that these patients are eligible to receive the drug, and that they have been informed about all its risks. California dangerous drug lawyers and even the FDA’s own experts have stated for years that Avandia use increases the risks of developing cardiac problems in diabetes patients.

The agency however has stepped back from an outright ban of Avandia, content with merely placing significant restrictions on its use. It's the second time in three years that the FDA has decided to let Avandia remain on the market, in spite of calls for pulling it off the market from health experts, legislators and California pharmaceutical liability attorneys.

The stance that the FDA has taken is in marked contrast to the European Medicines Agency, which announced that it will stop authorizing the marketing of the drug in the Europe, and that it will pull the drug off the market within the next few months. It's not easy to understand what is behind the FDA's decision. An all-out ban would have been more beneficial to patients, who have been found to be at a higher risk of developing heart disease and heart attacks from taking Avandia.

If you are on Avandia, don't stop taking the medication on your own. Instead, consult with your physician immediately, and discuss your options before making a decision.

PG&E Spent on Political Campaigns but Neglected Pipeline Repairs

Monday, September 20, 2010

Last week, a deadly explosion tore through a PG&E-owned pipeline in San Bruno, killing four people and injuring scores of others. Hundreds of houses were damaged in the explosion, many of them too seriously for residents to return.

The explosion has been traced to a ruptured gas transmission line. The National Transportation Safety Board is looking into several reports from residents in the area that they had complained about the smell of gas in the neighborhood before the explosion. PG&E says it has currently no records of any complaints that were made by residents, but it is still probing the matter.

The pipeline was installed in 1948. According to PG&E's own records, released by federal regulators, the risk of failure in this section of pipeline was “unacceptably high.”

According to the Huffington Post, PG&E recently spent about $45 million in ratepayer dollars in a political campaign to oppose government-run power providers. $45 million could have gone a long way in repairing the thousands of miles of gas pipelines owned by PG&E that run across the state of California. It would seem to California gas main explosion lawyers that the utility company was more interested in funding political campaigns and furthering its own objectives, than conducting repairs of its old, defective pipelines that are close to falling apart.

We shouldn't have to wait for the next explosion to hold PG&E accountable. The company showed some of its worst colors soon after the explosion. At first, some at the company tried to deny that PG&E owned the pipeline, and after it couldn't deny its ownership any longer, tried to buy some more hours by denying that it had received any complaints from residents about the smell of gas in the area before the explosion. PG&E must be forced to undertake an audit of other stretches of pipeline in the state to determine the condition of these lines.

Increase in Basketball-Related Brain Injuries

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Brain injuries linked to football have grabbed many eyeballs over the past few years. However, a new study now indicates that the number of concussions and mild brain injuries among basketball players is also increasing. In fact, the number of brain injuries among this group of athletes has increased by a whopping 70%.

Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio say that this increase in brain injuries among basketball athletes is definitely a cause for alarm. The increase in brain injuries comes even as the total number of injuries in basketball has gone down by 20% over the 11 years included in the study.

Researchers considered data between 1997 and 2007, involving children who played basketball. They found an estimated 4,128,852 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for basketball-related injuries. That works out to an average of 375,350 injuries every year. While the total number of injuries decreased over the study period, the total number of brain injuries went up during the same period of time.

There's little information about the possible causes of increased concussions among basketball players. The researchers believe it could be because student-athletes are becoming bigger, or the sport itself is becoming rougher, causing more concussions. The latter idea is something that is agreed on by many California brain injury lawyers. They believe that there is an overall increase in the kind of aggressiveness and roughness that characterizes children's and school sports these days. This kind of play increases the risk of a concussion or mild brain injury. In fact, experts believe that we would find the same kinds of results in studies into other children's sports too.

However, the researchers believe that there hasn't been an increase in concussions and other brain injuries as much as there has been an increase in the awareness of concussions, which leads to increased reporting.

Medical Helicopter Crash Marks Yet Another Turnaround for Air Ambulance Safety

Friday, September 10, 2010

After a relatively safe 2009 in which there were only six fatalities in medical helicopter crashes, California medical helicopter crash lawyers are once again concerned about safety in the sector. 2010 has already seen a number of fatal crashes that have killed 21 people so far. The 2009 toll of 6, came after a bloody 2008 in which 28 people were killed in air ambulance crashes. That deadly toll led to a national outcry about the safety standards on these helicopters. There were allegations that the air ambulance industry has grown at lightning speeds, and that safety standards have been sacrificed in the process. Those concerns ultimately ended in a congressional hearing later that year.

The US air ambulance industry took off in the ‘80s, and today there are more than 800 medical helicopters and 150 other aircraft in the industry. In April 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration told Congress that it would develop new regulations for the industry. The National Transportation Safety Board has made a number of recommendations to the FAA. These include requiring EMS medical helicopter operators to install Terrain Awareness Warning Systems on their aircraft.

The systems are particularly effective in preventing crashes that occur during lowered visibility or nighttime. The systems work by warning a pilot about an impending crash into the ground, mountains or buildings. The NTSB believes that several recent crashes could have been avoided if the helicopters had been installed with such equipment. Approximately 40% of all medical helicopters in the country are now equipped with warning systems. That makes it 60% of the EMS air ambulance fleet in the country without the safety systems. The NTSB is also recommending that medical helicopters that only carry medical personnel follow the strictest of safety rules. However, the FAA needs to implement these recommendations if they need to have any meaning at all.

A Handshake for DUI

Thursday, September 02, 2010

This week, dozens of Alabama State Troopers made a mad dash to the Alabama-Georgia border for a momentous handshake. It's part of a yearly ritual around the Labor Day weekend event to signify the beginning of the annual “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However Alabama DUI lawyers always wonder about the significance of that handshake.

Every year, at this time, troopers race to the borderline in a convoy of vehicles with lights flashing, for the grand cross-border handshake. It is apparently meant to signify the two state’s dedication and commitment to cracking down on drunk drivers through the Labor Day weekend. Besides the meaninglessness of it all, it also begs the question about waste of resources. A lot of valuable time is spent in setting up a silly shindig like this, precious time that could have been spent actually cracking down on crime elsewhere in the state.

It seems to be a pointless little ritual that has been going on for years at this time of the year. These massive displays of power and authority are likely put on to place the fear of death in motorists about drinking and driving. It's highly debatable whether the shows actually accomplish much at all.

Just another reminder that state troopers will be high on adrenaline and pumped to rack up their DUI arrest tally when the holiday weekend begins. Avoid driving, if you have even the slightest doubt that your alcohol level could be more than the .08 limit. Ask someone in your group to be the designated driver, and drop you all home. If you are out alone, call a taxi or a friend. Trust an Alabama DUI attorney on this - the holiday weekend is not the time you want to be out driving drunk.

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