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Web site lists ratings of all nursing homes in country

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week posted a new system on its Web site, Nursing Home Compare, that rates all Medicare– and Medicaid-certified nursing homes with a five-star system. Measuring the quality of a nursing home is not always clear-cut. More that 1.5 million people live in 15,000 nursing homes throughout the country. Each facility is inspected annually and must meet federal standards in order to participate in Medicaid and Medicare. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has established the site to give the public a better understanding of how nursing homes compare to others. The ... Read More

Woman recovering from TEN hopes to form YouTube community

“I was a fairly attractive woman before. Now I’m just butt-ass ugly,” says Rachel, known as SpunkyRachel on YouTube. She says this on one of the videos she has posted to the site. She hopes they will spur a YouTube support group for others like her, who have lived through the pain and are recovering from Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). SJS is a rare but life-threatening disorder usually caused by an adverse reaction to common medication such as antibiotics, anti-seizure medication and ibuprofen. Its most serious form is toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). SJS and TEN are defined as hypersensitivity disorders ... Read More

Federal Appeals Court renders important decision against Family Dollar in FLSA case

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a $35.6 million judgment against Family Dollar Stores Inc. originally handed down by a Tuscaloosa, Ala., federal jury in 2006. The jury said the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by wrongly classifying employees as store managers in order to deny them overtime pay. The 1,424 employees were regularly required to work more than 60 hours a week, and to perform duties not usually associated with store management such as mopping floors, unloading trucks, stocking shelves and running cash registers. The jury awarded $17.8 million in back overtime pay and an ... Read More

Tuscaloosa judges uphold $35M Family Dollar ruling

Three federal judges this week upheld a $35.6 million ruling against Family Dollar Stores Inc., saying the chain denied employees overtime pay by classifying them as store managers. A three-judge panel in Tuscaloosa agreed with a 2006 jury that found the Matthews, N.C.-based company in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and awarded back pay to 1,424 employees, who routinely worked 60 to 70 hours a week. Their duties often included mopping floors, unloading trucks, stocking shelves and running cash registers. The jury “reasonably determined that Family Dollar failed to meet its burden of proving that Plaintiff store managers’ ... Read More

Man shares SJS struggle on YouTube video

Rev. Samuel Irwan Santoso of Indonesia speaks with a heavy accent, but the meaning of his words are clear – he has no tears. “I have no tears for five years,” he says on his YouTube video. “You must be happy because you have tears. You can cry.” In January 1998, Santoso came down with a fever and sore eyes. He went to two different doctors and received medication for his condition, but he became increasingly sicker. “Suddenly all my skin blistered. My eyes became blind,” he says as disturbing photos of him flash on the video. Santoso was admitted ... Read More

Sexual intimacy among residents not unusual in nursing homes

Most people don’t want to even think that their parents have having sex – much less their grandparents. However, researchers from Kansas State say that physical and sexual intimacy is alive and well in many nursing homes and caregivers should be trained on how to handle situations that arise, according to The Hays Daily News. Working off of a grant from the Kansas Department of Aging, researchers trained staff at three Kansas nursing homes on what sexuality means to older adults, identifying barriers to fulfilling the sexual needs, finding strategies to help residents and how to discern appropriate from inappropriate ... Read More

Father asks why he wasn’t warned of possible reaction to drug

Last month when Kim Oake was bitten by a feral cat while working as an animal control officer in Canada, she was given Clavulin, a common antibiotic to ward off infection. The antibiotic nearly killed her. Her family wants to know why people aren’t told about the serious, life-threatening reaction that could occur by taking common drugs, according to CBC News. Kim experienced a rare reaction to the antibiotic that started with a headache and progressed quickly to toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), a severe form of Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a reaction to medication where the skin blisters and peels ... Read More

Jury awards paralyzed man $48 million for work injury

An Indiana man who was injured on the job has been awarded $48 million in damages. 42-year-old Anthony Arciniega of Westville, Indiana, fell from a ladder at ISG Burns Harbor, the steel mill (now known as ArcelorMittal) where he is employed. The fall, which occurred on November 20, 2004, rendered Mr. Arciniega paralyzed from the waist down. Court documents state that the ladder from which Arciniega fell was covered with refractory concrete, which constituted negligence on the part of subcontractor Minteq International. Minteq produces materials for surfaces or applications exposed to extreme high temperatures. “This tragedy was not the fault of ... Read More

Family says nursing home didn’t reveal black box warning

The black box warning on the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal says it all: “Increased mortality in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.” But Bruce Bowman’s children claim they were never told by the nursing home staff that cared for their father that the medication he was being given could kill him. “I’d never give any kind of consent for any of that,” says Martin Bowman, Bruce’s son and legal guardian, to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Martin approved all his father’s medication but said he was never told that the drug given to control his father’s agitation and physical aggression could kill him. ... Read More

Quaids get settlement in heparin overdose case

The highly publicized lawsuit between the family of actor Dennis Quaid and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has been settled, according to The Lowell Sun/Associated Press. Documents show that the Quaids have agreed on a $750,000 settlement with the hospital. The Quaid twins nearly died after they were accidentally given 1,000 times the intended dose of the blood thinner heparin shortly after birth. The settlement allows the couple to pursue claims for their children in the future. Heparin is generally used when a patient – adult or infant – receives fluids through a central line to prevent a blood clot from forming, ... Read More