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West Virginia dams to be inspected for safety

The Kingston, Tennessee coal ash spill last month has spurred the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a review of coal fly ash contaminant dams across West Virginia, according to the Tennessean. The inspections are a precautionary measure to ensure that the dams across the state are structurally sound and that there is not threat of another dangerous spill occurring. The dam safety program will require dam owners to provide updated inspection reports and evaluations of the structures including any risk of impoundment breaking through into inactive or abandoned mines. State engineers also will conduct inspections both on ground at ... Read More

Beware of side effects from meds this season

If you happen to fall ill during this season from colds and flu, take note of the prescriptions your doctor hands you, especially those for common antibiotics. Two years ago, my doctor prescribed Ketek for a lingering sinus infection that other meds just weren’t knocking out. He warned me to only take it if I really felt I needed it. He said it was a very strong antibiotic. I thought that comment was odd. But a week later, my sinus infection had not improved. I took the prescription to my pharmacist. I told him that my doctor had told me ... Read More

Caregiver leaves patients alone at ball game

When the Manatee, Florida, high school volunteer saw the two developmentally challenged men sitting alone in the gymnasium after a basketball game, she notified sheriff’s deputies. The deputies questioned the two men, ages 51 and 65, but found them both to be “very confused.” An hour passed before North West Care Center employee Leticia Odessa Peay returned for the men. She said she had taken them to a ball game but that she understood another nursing home employee would be picking them up, according to the Bradenton Herald. She also gave authorities a false name, for there was a warrant ... Read More

CNA punches, slaps nursing home patient in face

Jenette Sloan went every day to the Williamsburg Village nursing home in Muncie, Indiana, to visit her 94-year-old mother, Verna Talbott. But one day in June 2007, Sloan was startled to see her mother drugged to unconsciousness with a red, swollen face, according to The Star Press. Sloan questioned nursing home employees but no one would tell her what had happened to her mother. Shortly after she left, one nurse called to tell her that they were sending Talbott to the hospital because she was hit by one of the certified nursing assistants (CNA). Sloan gradually began to hear the ... Read More

One month later, impact of spill hard to grasp

A month after a holding pond at a coal-fired electric plant in Kingston, Tennessee, spilled over and poured more than 2.2 million pounds of toxic materials over 300 acres in East Tennessee, authorities are still trying to get a grasp of the economic toll it will take on the area, according to The Institute for Southern Studies. A team of scientists from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., have begun collecting water, sediment and fish samples from the Emory, Clinch and Tennessee rivers, and what they have found is alarming. Many of the fish collected by the scientists had large ... Read More

Wife files lawsuit against drug maker

Amy Clanton says her husband Ralph would not have taken Phenytoin to control his seizures if he knew the drug could have serious side effects, according to the West Virginia’s The Record. Without forewarning of the potential dangers, Ralph took the prescription medication and a month later noticed odd skin disruptions on his body. As his condition worsened, his eyelid peeled off while Amy applied eye drops to his eyes. Ralph was rushed to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton and was diagnosed with toxic epidermal necrolysis, or TEN. TEN is a severe form of the hypersensitivity disorder known as Stevens ... Read More

Another J&J patch causing deaths in users

Drug maker Johnson & Johnson is recalling another one of its patches, the Duragesic fentanyl pain patch. According to BNet Business Network, the fentanyl patch is highly addictive and has been linked to deaths caused by the patches to leak too much medicine into the body. This is the fifth recall of Duragesic fentanyl patch since 1994. Patches have caused much pain for Johnson & Johnson. Last year, the company paid $68 million to settle lawsuits against the company’s birth control patch, Ortho Evra. The patch was linked to at least 40 deaths caused by blood clots. Ortho Evra was originally ... Read More

Albert Lea abusers meet with judge, enter pleas

Brianna Marie Broitzman and Ashton Michelle Larson, the two nursing home aides facing misdemeanor charges in the Albert Lea “abuse-for-thrills” case that has garnered national media attention in recent months, will face a judge for the first time this week, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota Star Tribune/Associated Press. The women are not expected to enter pleas until a pretrial hearing scheduled for March 23. Broitzman and Larson are charged with abusing seven nursing home residents at the Good Samaritan Society. As many as 15 residents were abused and each had a previous diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. A ... Read More

Czech 'heparin murderer' gets life in prison

Petr Zelenka liked the excitement around crisis situations and the constant activity of hospital staff, which is why he pursued a position at an anaesthesiological-resuscitation ward at Havlickuv Brod hospital in the Czech Republic. To further his excitement, he administered heparin to patients between May and September 2006, which resulted in serious health complications and even death in some patients. Heparin is a blood thinner used to prevent blood clots. It is often given before surgery and during treatments such as kidney dialysis to prevent clotting. In appropriate use or overdosing can be fatal. This week, Zelenka – known to ... Read More

Caution advised with free antibiotics offer

Supermarket pharmacies throughout Pennsylvania are offering free antibiotics for those with prescriptions in an effort to ease the economic crisis for customers. However, some health care providers fear the free meds may do more harm than good, according to ABC Action News 6 in Philadelphia. The latest supermarket to jump on the free antibiotics bandwagon is Genuardi’s in Montgomery County, and the public is all ears. The supermarket says it is giving away the nine antibiotics that are most common and frequently prescribed during the winter months. To get the free drugs at Genuardi’s, customers just need a prescription and ... Read More