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traumatic brain injury: Jason’s story part three

Carol found that both the legal proceedings and the laws themselves were far from perfect – representing an objectionable pairing of too much protection for offenders with too little justice for victims. As her son Jason struggled with the effects of a traumatic brain injury, the men who assaulted him were protected as youths and thus shielded from any real punishment. Adding insult to injury, the court system seemed to impede Carol’s quest just to stay informed of any legal activity concerning her son’s assault. However difficult, Carol’s mission for justice uncovered a valuable legal tool called a “victim’s impact ... Read More

Mentally ill threaten safety of nursing home patients

Thousands of young and middle-aged adults with serious mental illnesses live in U.S. nursing homes, putting frail nursing home residents at risk for serious injury or death, according to a report gathered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services prepared exclusively for the Associated Press. Mentally ill people ages 22 to 64 make up 9 percent of the nation’s 1.4 million nursing home residents, a number that has climbed 6 percent since 2002. That increase is attributed to the closing of state mental institutions and a shortage of hospital psychiatric beds. Allowing mentally ill patients, many with a history ... Read More

Camp Lejeune’s toxic water supply may have sickened half a million

As many has half a million people who lived on or near the Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina have been exposed to highly toxic chemicals that infiltrated the camp’s groundwater from 1957 to 1987. The U.S. government and the Marine Corps blame a now-closed dry cleaning company that once operated off-base but in the area of the camp, in addition to toxic chemicals that leaked from underground storage tanks and unsafe chemical disposal procedures on base.The Marine Corps began closing Camp Lejeune’s wells in 1984, after tests showed dangerously high levels of two industrial solvents in ... Read More

Dredging begins at Tennessee coal ash spill site

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has begun dredging coal ash from the Emory River as part of its $1 million-a-day cleanup effort following the massive coal ash spill from a damaged impoundment pond last December. The first hydraulic dredge began sucking the ash out of the river last week. Where they will send it is still anyone’s guess as the TVA and environmental regulators consider their options. The spill dumped more than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge on to 300 acres in an east Tennessee community. Dozens of homes were destroyed or damaged and property was left a ... Read More

FDA panel recommends agency approval of heparin alternative

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted last week to recommend agency approval of experimental blood thinner rivaroxaban, according to Forbes. The medication, made by Johnson & Johnson and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, is designed to be used on a short-term basis to prevent pulmonary embolism and deep-vein thrombosis in patients having total knee or hip replacement surgery. Blood clots are common after such surgeries. Rivaroxaban, a pill marketed in Europe as Xarelto, showed to be more effective than the anticoagulant heparin, while presenting no more side effects than heparin. Side effects of heparin and rivaroxaban include the risk ... Read More

traumatic brain injury: Jason’s story part two

Thursday we talked about the ordeal that Jason Stanley, a 20-year-old Auburn University student, endured after being physically assaulted by 3 other men in 2007. The assailants knocked Jason to the ground, causing him to lose consciousness after he hit his head on the concrete pavement. Doctors initially treated Jason for superficial wounds, not realizing until weeks later that he actually suffered from a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI). As senseless and horrible as Jason’s experience is, it is far from unusual. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 20 percent of the 1.5 million annual cases of TBI ... Read More

Nursing home receives steepest penalty in resident’s death

The choking death of a Fresno, California nursing home resident has resulted in the severest penalty under California state law and an $80,000 fine against the home for inadequate care, according to the Fresno Bee. The victim, 54, was a resident of Raintree Convalescent Hospital. He suffered from dementia and schizophrenia which caused him to have difficulty swallowing his food. When he moved into the home in June 2006, doctors ordered that he follow a soft diet and required supervision while he ate as he “stuffs his mouth with food.” On Nov. 19, 2008, the man was given a lunch ... Read More

Canadian groups issue label change on birth control patch

Canadian pharmaceutical company Janssen-Ortho, Inc. in cooperation with Health Canada has issued a press release updating information on the average daily release rates of contraceptive hormones from the EVRA Transdermal Contraceptive System (patch) that is marketed in Canada and approved for use for the prevention of pregnancy. EVRA is bioequivalent to Ortho Evra, the birth control patch that is marketed in the United States. EVRA’s product information now includes average daily release rates for norelgestromin (200 micrograms every 24 hours) and ethinyl estradiol (35 micrograms every 24 hours). This information replaces the previously labeled daily delivery rate of norelgestromin (150 ... Read More

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