Oct 26, 2013

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Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can have life-threatening consequences. It may cause early strokes, heart attacks, and dementia, among other problems.

However, there are many factors everyone can analyze to better understand their likelihood of suffering high blood pressure and take preventative measures.

Your likelihood of having high blood pressure increases if:

  • Your parents have high blood pressure – One thing you can’t control is your genes. The likelihood of experiencing high blood pressure runs in families, so if you come from a family history of high blood pressure, it may be wise to watch your diet extra closely.
  • You’re male – Men are more likely than women to develop high blood pressure before the age of 45, according to the American Heart Association.
  • You don’t exercise – A regular lack of physical activity can cause a range of potentially life-threatening illnesses, including high blood pressure.
  • You eat too much fat, sugar, or salt – Consuming too many “junk” foods can directly cause high blood pressure.
  • You drink regularly – Studies show that if a man consumes more than two drinks per day, or a woman consumes more than one, the likelihood of high blood pressure increases greatly.

If you or a loved one suffers from high blood pressure, you may be able to claim Social Security Disability Insurance. However, it must be proven that the disease affects the individual’s daily life, and this may be difficult to prove. It may be wise to seek legal consultation before filing for benefits.

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Oct 14, 2013

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Why Is Speeding a Bad Idea?

Speeding is one of the most often cited reasons for getting in trouble with the law; even otherwise law-abiding citizens are often ticketed for speeding. The reason that speeding is so rigorously monitored is because it is also one of the leading causes of traffic accidents, and a factor in almost one-third of all fatal crashes. Even under the best of circumstances, speeding makes it more difficult for a driver to avoid trouble because the reaction time is that much shorter. It is unfortunate that most people don’t have the reflexes of Dom Toretto, but that is the sad fact.

Aside from shorter reaction times, speeding can lead to accidents because it decreases the amount of control the driver has over the vehicle, especially when it comes to curves. This is especially true when driving vehicles with a high center of gravity, such as SUVs, which are prone to rollovers. It is also unwise to drive fast when carrying heavy loads, because it makes it harder to stop; the load could also shift during a turn and cause the vehicle to tip over.

Below are some trends observed about speeding accidents. While trends do not mean it will happen to a particular person, statistically speaking it makes it more likely.

  • Most fatal speeding accidents happen on Saturdays
  • 40% of all deaths due to speeding happened on a curve
  • Men are more likely to die in a speeding accident
  • Most drunk drivers (41%) and some sober drivers (14%) involved in a fatal crash were speeding
  • Most fatal speeding accidents were single-vehicle crashes and happened on a rural road
  • A significant number of fatal speeding accidents involved a motorcycle
  • Those in Western states are more likely to be involved in a fatal speeding accident than those in the Eastern states

If you have been injured in an accident because of someone speeding, you may have a case for personal injury. Consult with a speeding accident lawyer and help put a brake to speeding motorists.

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Sep 3, 2013

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Are Nurse Specialists Helping Rheumatiod Arthritis Patients Better than Doctors?

A new study has revealed that clinics managed by rheumatology clinical nurse specialists can provide the same quality care and treatment as doctors do to many people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, but at a more affordable cost.

A chronic inflammatory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, if not treated, can lead to severe disability or even the patient’s death. Through better knowledge of the disease (for the past 10 years), however, as well as early diagnosis, use of more effective drugs and thorough treatment, the disease has been managed more effectively.

Though the study, which was conducted by the University of Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, was UK based, it shows one clear fact that can greatly benefit patients with rheumatoid arthritis around the globe – that with proper treatment, even from nurse specialists, their condition can improve much.

The study involved rheumatologists, nurse specialists and 180 people with rheumatoid arthritis. Half the number of patients, those assigned under the care of the nurses specifically, was required fewer x-rays, less changes in medication and reduced steroid injections. Surprisingly, the result showed that these patients had greater improvement in physical function, pain control, disease activity and contentment with their care, that their counterpart. For these nurse-cared patients, it also meant reduced costs in healthcare, consultation, hospital admissions, further medical treatments and purchase of over-the-counter medications.

Probably also due to the more person-centered care provided by the nurses that the costly biologic drug treatment of their patients remained the same over a year, while those assigned to rheumatologists, actually doubled.

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Aug 5, 2013

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Environmental Effects of BP Oil Spill Equals Economic Damages

A majority of the livelihood in the coastal areas in the Gulf of Mexico is primarily marine-based. So much so that when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the water, economic activity came to a screeching halt. Amongst the most affected were oyster farmers, shrimpers, crab fishermen, and those engaged in recreational and sport fishing.

One of the biggest problems with the accident aside from the oil itself, was that when the dispersant was used by BP to control the spill, it was spawning season for blue fin tuna, a major component in the area’s seafood industry. Experts state that because tuna takes a minimum of five years to mature, there may not be any tuna on the Gulf in five years. Put this together with poor showing in the shrimping and crabbing sectors, and it could well mean that the fishing industry may no longer be a sustainable industry.

All formerly closed fishing areas have been opened even though tar balls are still being found along the coast. Recent reports on the levels of toxic chemicals found in seafood from the coast show that they are relatively safe to eat. There are toxins present, but they are at allowable levels with reasonable consumption. This is hardly something that would encourage people to eat them, however.

This frustrating state of affairs is something that locals in the Gulf of Mexico coastal towns have been living with for more than three years.  Despite massive efforts at clean-up and promotion of businesses in the area, the economic damages have been so extensive that it is difficult to contain.

Individuals should certainly exercise their right to sue BP and their partners in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, but it will not be an easy matter without the help of experienced legal assistance. Big businesses are notorious for minimizing their exposure, and will not make it easy for anyone to recover for economic damages.

Make sure that you find a law firm which has handled similar cases before if you plan to make an economic damages claim for the BP oil spill. The lawyer who will be assigned to you should have the necessary knowledge for negotiating claims with big businesses like BP.

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Jun 24, 2013

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Why PCBs are considered Dangerous Substances

While pharmaceutical product lawsuits are on the rise due to the bevy of defective products in the market, certain toxic substances continue to harm innocent people.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic odorless and tasteless compounds that were widely used in the prior to being banned in 1979. Their commercial applications included many household items and products including kitchen appliances that use transformers and capacitors, fluorescent light ballasts, oil-based paints, motor and hydraulic, adhesives, cements, even carbonless paper. PCBs are considered dangerous substances because they present serious health hazards to humans and they are persistent in nature.

PCBs are extremely stable compounds that have low flammability and high electrical insulation, which make them ideal for industrial and commercial use. However, these same properties that make them desirable also make them extremely difficult to dispose of safely. They do not readily oxidize or decompose in nature, which is why they were used so extensively in the past. PCBs are not easily destroyed even with the use of biochemical, thermal and chemical methods, and even when they are destroyed, they can persist in the air, water, and soil for up to 15 years.

PCBs are considered environmentally toxic and dangerous substances because of the causal link with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in humans after long-term exposure. Other health effects include disfiguring dermatitis, problems with the liver, kidney and central nervous system as well as the immune and reproductive systems. Prolonged exposure can also lead to respiratory problems, nausea, anorexia, gastrointestinal distress and eye irritation. Children exposed to PCBs in utero may also experience developmental problems.

The main reason PCBs are considered dangerous substances is because it is insidious. It is present in drinking water, in the soil and air in populated areas. Fish and plants may also accumulate PCBs, which serves as source of oral PCB when they are eaten by humans.

It is extremely difficult to avoid PCB exposure altogether, but in general the exposure is below toxic levels. If you suddenly begin experiencing symptoms of acute and prolonged PCB exposure, it may be because of illegal dumping or improper destruction of PCB material in your immediate vicinity. These dangerous substances can lead to significant health problems for you and your family, so it would be in your best interest to investigate the source of exposure. If you believe that there is negligence involved, contact a toxic substances lawyer who will know how to set about proving your suspicion.

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Jun 23, 2013

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IPAH may be linked to Pharmaceutical Defects

Primary Pulmonary Hypertension or in recent times referred to as Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (IPAH) is a progressive and currently untreatable rare lung disorder in which the pulmonary arteries, veins or capillaries constrict, inhibiting the blood flow to and from the lungs. There is no apparent reason for this condition; it is believed that it stems from a genetic or familial predisposition, and triggered by some event, such as pharmaceutical defects.

There are no established causative agents for IPAH. However, past events suggest that certain types of drugs bring about the onset of IPAH, typically presenting two years after taking the drug. Two widely separate waves of IPAH patients emerged which seemed to indicate the involvement of aminorex fumarate and fen-phen (fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine), both appetite suppressants. However, there are no definitive studies to substantiate these speculations. Other drugs that are suspected of triggering IPAH include cocaine, amphetamines and other anorexigens. The symptoms of IPAH include:

  • Chest pain
  • Cyanosis
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Edema
  • Fainting spells
  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations
  • Rapid pulse

There is no known treatment for IPAH. The most anyone can do is to alleviate the symptoms and to restrict physical activity to avoid exacerbating the load placed on the lungs. IPAH can significantly decrease the quality of life of the patient, and shorten his or her lifespan.

If you or someone close to you is diagnosed with IPAH, there is a good chance that you have been prescribed with medication that causes IPAH. Such defective pharmaceuticals should be taken off the market as soon as possible. Consult with a lawyer experienced in handling cases dealing with defective pharmaceuticals. This can be a major undertaking, especially since there are no documented studies that specifically link any drug or medication to IPAH. A good lawyer will know how to go about putting together a ground-breaking case against suspected pharmaceutical defects.

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Jun 20, 2013

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How Dangerous Products Get into the Home

The home is where one should always feel safe, and in general that is true. But there are times when the things and consumer goods that are regularly used in the home turn out to be dangerous products that can bring serious harm to household members.

In general, US manufacturers of consumer goods follow strict guidelines for ensuring the safety of products that they produce. This is partly from a sense of corporate responsibility, partly in fear of running foul with consumer protection agencies and risking fines and other sanctions. But there are many opportunities for slips between the cup and lip. This can be in the design, in the production, or in the proper consumer information for inherently dangerous products.
In the first instance, the design of the product is inherently defective and unsafe even with proper use. This could be the improper placement of a part that could lead to mechanical injury or a hazardous chemical reaction. For example, designing a sharp edge to protrude from a kitchen appliance could cause lacerations to the user.

In the second type of product defect, it is in some error made by workers or a malfunction in a machine that could turn out dangerous products. For example, a stuck valve in a dispensing machine could introduce too much of a caustic chemical to cleaning solution, resulting in chemical burns to the user. Or perhaps an absent-minded worker forgets to flip a switch, and the space heater is missing an essential safety feature that may cause a house fire.

The last type of product defect primarily lies in the label and user manual of the product. Some consumer goods are dangerous if used or handle improperly. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to provide clear and detailed warnings about the risks of purchasing and using the product. A good example is bleach, which most households have. The label for bleach should include the poison symbol, warnings about how it should be used and stored, and instructions about what to do if it is accidentally ingested. Most people are aware of these for common items like bleach, but there are some inherently dangerous products that are not so familiar. The failure to include pertinent information about the proper use, storage and hazards of the product is considered a product defect, and renders the manufacturer liable for any injury or death it may cause.

Most people take for granted that if you buy consumer goods off the shelf, it must be safe. Unfortunately, this is not always true. If you unknowingly brought home a dangerous product that caused harm to you or someone in your family because it was defective, bring the manufacturer to book by retaining the services of a product liability lawyer.

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Jun 19, 2013

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Typical Causes of Emergency Room Error

Levinson Axelrod, P.A.Stress is perhaps the one thing you will see reflected in everyone’s faces in an emergency room. These include patients, their companions, doctors, nurses and orderlies. The emergency room is by nature a place of tension, and it is perhaps inevitable that the occasional emergency room error will happen even in the best of hospitals in the US.

The standard of care expected in a modern hospital is high, but the emergency room is often the scene of chaos. Doctors and nurses are often rushed when patients needing urgent medical attention outnumber them and mistakes happen. The most common emergency room error is misdiagnosis, closely followed by delayed treatment and failure to order the appropriate tests. Every year, more than 200,000 people die from medical errors, and almost half of those happen in the emergency room.

Causes of Emergency Room Error

According to the website of Joe Miller Law, Ltd, one of the most common cause of errors is fatigued and stressed healthcare professionals and support staff. Other causes for emergency room error are:

  • Inadequate resources and equipment
  • Too many patients
  • Not enough staff Inexperienced or untrained staff
  • Not enough beds
  • Failure to follow standard protocol
  • Patient hopping
  • Failure to obtain a complete medical history

While these do contribute to making mistakes, emergency room staff are trained to deal precisely with these problems and take them in stride. There is no excuse for a breach in the standard of care that patients need and expect from healthcare professionals. When an emergency room error leads to unnecessary hardship for the patient, it can render the staff and hospital liable for a medical malpractice suit. If you or someone close to you has suffered injury or death due to emergency room error, consult a medical malpractice lawyer to get a case evaluation. You may be eligible for recovery of actual and exemplary damages.

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Jun 18, 2013

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Roadway Defects that Lead to Injuries

Driving has its risks; even when you are enclosed in the strong protection of your vehicle, a car accident can cause severe injuries to you, your passengers, or to other motorists. If the accident occurred not because of your fault but because of another’s, then they can be held liable for compensation. Financial compensation for the damages acquired can be given once you have the help of competent car accident attorneys who can represent your plight in court effectively.

There are many reasons why road accidents occur. Some are due to human error or mechanical issues, where both can be prevented and can be under the driver’s control. There are incidents, however, where the driver is entirely is not at fault, such as where roads are not in the best shape. Road hazards such as poorly lit roads, damaged roads, malfunctioning traffic lights, and such can pose a threat to any motorists, even the most careful ones. When accidents occur because of such road hazards, the state, municipality, or the government can be the one responsible.

Potholes are one of the reasons for many road accidents. Even though they are often looked at as mere annoyances on the road, they can inflict damages to the vehicles and the driver. Potholes occur mainly because of two reasons: first, the long term wear-and-tear of the road and second, poor temporary road fixes. According to the website of Ravid & Associates, P.C., when these potholes appear on the roads, they can either cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, or severely damage the vehicle.

There are things to consider when you think the potholes on the road are the ones that caused your accident. First, make sure that the government has been negligent of their duty to ensure the safety of the roads, and second, that their negligent behavior caused the injuries that you have sustained. Gathering evidence, witness reports and proper documentation is vital in ensuring that you have a strong case against the government, therefore getting expert help from car accident attorneys is the best way to ensure you will have the compensation you deserve.

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Jun 16, 2013

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The Role of Negligence in Personal Injury

A legal term used for an injury that is physical, mental or emotional is called personal injury. A person who has been injured due to the negligence of another person can be held liable to a personal injury lawsuit. Negligence occurs when prevention, or lack thereof, of a person on reasonable mind would or would not do in a particular situation leads to damage, injury, or loss. If you have been a victim of such situation, it would be advisable to contact experienced personal injury attorneys to help you file a lawsuit against the person or persons responsible.

There are factors that should be considered once you are planning to file for personal injury lawsuit. To ensure that you have a strong case against the person responsible for your injury, you should make sure that:

  1. There is a breach of the “duty of care”. An average person can foresee the possible injury that can result from an action or situations, and it is the person’s duty of care to avoid it from happening.
  2. Demonstrate the cause of the injury. It should be shown that the injury was caused by the reckless behavior or action of another person.
  3. The injured person should prove that he or she has suffered damages due to the injury resulting from the carelessness of another person. There should be evidence of the monetary value of the injuries sustained.

For most personal injury cases, it should be proven that the negligence of another person is what caused the injuries. If there is a serious injury caused by negligence, then it can result to large settlements, provided there is help from professional personal injury attorneys. There are many types of negligence that can provide you a strong case to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. However, it should be remembered that every state has their laws pertaining to filing of personal injury lawsuits and the type of injury, damage, or harm that the person has sustained. Talking with a legal counsel would considerably help in attaining the right results in your lawsuit.

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