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Grassley, Kohl reintroduce legislation to improve care at nursing homes

Two senators have reintroduced legislation aimed at improving the quality of care in nursing homes.  The Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act,  reintroduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Herb Kohl (D-WI), would give consumers more information about the quality of care at nursing homes, provide the government with better tools to enforce high quality standards, and encourage nursing homes to improve on the care they provide, according to Trading Markets. “Improving the quality of care in nursing homes is a constant challenge. More transparency, better enforcement and improved staff training are needed, and this legislation works to make changes in those areas and ... Read More

Iowa nursing home fined for indifference to sexual abuse claims

An Iowa nursing home has been ordered to pay $7,000 in federal fines for not investigating complaints from staff and residents about sexual abuse from a male nursing aide. Eight separate incidents of abuse against different residents had been made to managers and supervisors at New Homestead Care Center involving staffer Juan Bautista-Meraz, according to the Des Moines Register. The most shocking complaint involves a mentally disabled female resident. One worker says she had to force her way into that resident’s room because the door had been secured with a chair. When she entered, the worker says she saw Bautista-Meraz ... Read More

Nation observes 48th Poison Prevention Week

This week (March 15-21) is the 48th observance of National Poison Prevention Week, and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents, grandparents and caregivers to have layers of poison prevention protection in the home. An estimated 80,000 children are treated each year in emergency departments for unintentional poisonings, according to CPSC. Children younger than age 5 account for the majority of the non-fatal poisonings. Seventy percent of the poisonings involve children 1 or 2 years of age. Oral prescription drugs, non prescription drugs and supplements were involved in more than half of the incidents. CPSC recommends that parents ... Read More

New provision would help lower cost of contraceptives for college students

A new provision in the proposed budget signed by President Barack Obama last week could help significantly reduce the cost of birth control for young women by allowing pharmaceutical companies to reinstate discounts on contraceptives that they had previously offered to family planning clinics. Those discounts had been slashed because of a 2005 federal law designed to save taxpayers money on Medicaid reimbursements for drugs. An unfortunate side effect of that law financially dissuaded pharmaceutical companies from selling their products to these pharmacies at reduced prices. So women began to see contraceptive pills and product costs rise from $5 to ... Read More

Traumatic brain injury: Jason’s story part one

Carol Stanley’s life took an unexpected turn one day in January of 2007 when her son Jason, a student at Auburn University, was physically assaulted by three other men. The attack left Jason with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that might have eluded medical staff if it weren’t for his worsening symptoms and his mother’s persistence in finding the right care for her son. The life-altering incident set Jason on a path to recovery and led Carol on an often frustrating crusade for better laws – laws that are more favorable to victims and less protective of those who commit ... Read More

Senator asks for more regulation of coal-burning plants

Sen. Benjamin Cardin of Maryland is asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review, inspect and regulate coal ash impoundments from all coal-burning plants in the country, instead of just those run by utilities. Cardin’s request is fueled by last week’s coal ash leak at New Page Corporation, a Maryland paper mill, that spilled 4,000 gallons of toxic coal ash into the Potomac River. The spill caught the attention of lawmakers and environmentalists alike, who are debating how such coal ash ponds should be regulated by the government after the disastrous coal ash spill at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) ... Read More

Defibrillator manufacturer issues class 1 recall notice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and medical diagnostic equipment manufacturer Welch Allyn have issued a notice to health care professionals and consumers of a voluntary worldwide Class 1 Recall on more than 14,000 of its AED 10 Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and the MRL JumpStart AED. A Class 1 Recall is the most serious type of recall and involves situations in which there is a reasonable probability that use of the product will cause serious injury or death. AEDs are devices used to emergency or medical personnel or by others who have completed CPR AED training courses. It is ... Read More

Beasley Allen files two gadolinium lawsuits

Today Beasley Allen filed two complaints in multidistrict litigation (MDL) on behalf of clients injured by gadolinium. Gadolinium is linked to adverse health effects on patients with renal insufficiency or kidney failure, including Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF), which causes fibrosis of the skin and connective tissues and scarring of organs including lungs, heart, and liver and may lead to death. Beasley Allen attorneys Andy D. Birchfield, Jr., and Benjamin L. Locklar filed the complaint in United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division under Judge Dan Aaron Polster on behalf of plaintiffs Caroll L. Jett, a resident of ... Read More

Obama administration focuses on clean coal practices

President Obama’s new energy policies are pitting mining companies and environmentalists against each other as the federal government explores new ways of storing carbon emissions. Mining companies and the lawmakers who support them say that establishing these new measures could cost billions while environmentalists say the price is not important in comparison to the ecological damage of continuing common practices. According to, “The Department of Energy will soon announce whether it will use $1 billion in stimulus funds to resurrect FutureGen, a proposal to create in Illinois the world’s first coal-fired power plant designed to capture and bury carbon ... Read More

Hannah doing much better a year after battling SJS

One year ago this month, life was normal for Hannah. Then 15, she had been placed on trileptal to treat her bipolar diagnosis. She overlooked the initial side effects – every morning she would vomit and had lost a lot of weight. But otherwise, she led the active life of the average teenager. But last March, things went terribly wrong for Hannah. She noticed rashes developing all over her body. Those rashes began to blister and become painful. They also formed in her mouth and were so debilitating she couldn’t even speak. She had to write on a pad just ... Read More