Monthly Archives: September 2011

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Orange Beach reaches settlement agreement with BP

The city of Orange Beach, Alabama, and BP reached an agreement Wednesday over tourism revenues the city lost during and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The settlement came after a year of negotiating, with BP agreeing to pay $1.27 million to cover lodging and retail taxes and other “small claims” the city has tried to recover since the BP oil spill fouled Alabama’s coastline. Although a step in the right direction, the agreement does not settle a number of claims for other lost revenues the city wants to recover. According to the Associated Press, Mayor Tony Kennon said that ... Read More

Prescription drug overdose and abuse now the leading cause of death in U.S.

Public health experts are warning that an epidemic of pharmaceutical drug injuries has broken out nationwide, likely fueled by the ever-growing number of prescriptions written for the relief of pain and anxiety. According to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of drug deaths exceeded the number of traffic fatalities in the U.S. for the first time in 2009, becoming the leading cause of death in the U.S. At least 37,485 people died from prescription drug injuries in 2009 — 1201 more than the number of people killed in traffic accidents during the same ... Read More

Reducing fatigued driving: six tips to help you stay awake and alert behind the wheel

A commercial truck driver lost control of his five-axle dump truck on a U.S. highway in North Carolina Wednesday and crashed into a ditch. Authorities responding to the scene told Eastern North Carolina’s that the 53-year-old driver, who received some minor injuries in the crash, dozed off behind the wheel and drove off the right shoulder of U.S. 70 in La Grange, NC. Fortunately, no other vehicles were involved, but the driver was cited for reckless driving. Driver fatigue is a top safety concern for commercial drivers, motor carriers, and safety regulators alike. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ... Read More

Boxing isn’t for children, pediatric doctors warn

It seems the more doctors and researchers understand traumatic brain injury (TBI), the more overshadowed some youth sports programs become, especially those that pose a significant risk of concussion – a mild form of TBI that can have serious consequences if ignored or not properly treated. Football, hockey, and soccer have all fallen under the scrutiny of safety advocates who push for better awareness and stricter rules. Now, youth boxing programs are taking a blow. “Children and teenagers should not enter the boxing ring,” a report by the Palm Beach Post begins. The warning isn’t a new one, as the ... Read More

Study: SSRIs may be dangerous to elderly

Recent studies have shown that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may cause birth defects in developing fetuses. Now a new study suggests the antidepressants may be dangerous to the elderly as well. SSRIs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States and include brand names such as Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, Celexa and Prozac. The popularity of these drugs has eclipsed the sale of older, generally less expensive tricyclic antidepressants. Both types of antidepressants are considered equally effective and were considered equally as safe as well. However, a study published in a recent issue of the British Medical ... Read More

GOP lawmakers poised to fight Hours of Service changes

Proposed Hours of Service (HOS) rules that restrict the number of consecutive driving hours for commercial drivers and increase their required periods of rest are being met with staunch opposition from some key Republican lawmakers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) expects to issue the new rules by the end of October. Opponents of the rule changes, including John Mica (R-FL) who serves as the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and three other Republican legislators, have vowed to intervene if the proposed changes are included in the final rule. In a letter to President Obama and ... Read More

LSU study finds BP oil spill damaged fish at the genetic level

A slew of upbeat public relations and advertising campaigns, together with a healthy dose of political spin, have helped rehabilitate the public’s perception of the Gulf Coast, left battered by the BP oil spill. But while tourists return to the Gulf in record numbers, the results of a new study by a group of scientists from Louisiana State University offer strong evidence that, despite appearances, all is not right in the Gulf. The study, published this week in the National Academy of Sciences Journal, has found that BP’s oil spill is taking a toll on an abundant species of fish ... Read More

Australians affected by hip implant recall file lawsuit

Attorneys on behalf of Australians affected by a massive artificial hip recall have filed a lawsuit against the maker of the implant in Federal Court this week. The claimants are seeking compensation for harm as well as punitive damages. Plaintiffs allege that the company, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of the medical giant Johnson & Johnson, allowed the products to remain on the market despite sufficient evidence showing the devices were causing patients harm. DePuy Orthopaedics introduced its ASR XL Acetabulator and Resurfacing hip replacement systems across the globe in 2006, claiming the metal-on-metal construction made the devices more durable than ... Read More

Autopsy suggests SSRI may have contributed to newborn’s death

Amery Schultz thought he was rocking his newborn baby boy to sleep in his arms, but instead, the baby was taking his last breaths. “Imagine … watching your child die before your eyes, very traumatically,” Schultz told CBC News. “We still relieve it every day.” An autopsy did not determine the cause of death, but it did list as a contributing factor the antidepressant drug Effexor his mother Christiane was taking during her pregnancy. Now the Schultzes want to warn others of the dangers of using antidepressant during pregnancy. Effexor is type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor ... Read More

Women should discuss with doctors safety of transvaginal mesh

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gears up to determine the fate of surgical mesh used to treat pelvic floor disorders, women who suffer from these conditions are left asking what options they have for treatment. Surgical mesh is a device used to repair various conditions including stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP). SUI is a type of incontinence caused by leakage of urine during moments of physical stress. POP occurs when a pelvic organ, such as the bladder, drops from its normal position and pushes against the walls of the vagina. This can happen if ... Read More