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Nursing home resident’s son charged with theft by swindle

Nora Bekis trusted her son Larry to handle her matters. The 83-year-old woman had chronic lung disease and dementia and had moved into a Minnesota nursing home. She gave her son power of attorney to pay her bills and care for her home. Larry took out a $100,000 reverse mortgage on his mother’s home, but somehow Nora’s nursing home bill went unpaid to the point where she owed a whopping $49,000, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Rose of Sharon nursing home pressured Larry to pay his mother’s bill. He promised to sell her house, but instead took out ... Read More

Study finds nursing home social workers inadequately trained

Social workers play an important role in nursing homes, serving as an advocate for patients. However few are properly trained for the jobs they hold, according to the Iowa City Press Citizen, which referenced a national study on nursing home social workers. The study, conducted by the University of Iowa, surveyed more than1,000 nursing home social workers. The results were shocking. Only half of the nursing home social workers questioned had a degree in social work, and 20 percent reported not having a four-year degree at all. The study also found that only 38 percent are licensed in social work. Nursing ... Read More

New labeling for CLL, NHL drug includes TEN warning

The FDA has approved labeling for a drug to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), to include a warning of a rare but life-threatening reaction to medication known as toxic epidermal necrolysis, also known as TEN, according to MedScape Today. TEN is the most severe form of Stevens Johnson Syndrome, or SJS, a condition that affects the skin and mucus membranes. Rashes appear on the skin and blister over, causing the skin to peel off in sheets. More than 200 drugs are linked to SJS and TEN, the most common being ibuprofen, antibiotics and anti-seizure medicines. The ... Read More

Canada nursing home abuses linked to understaffing

Canadian officials blame inadequate staff-to-patient ratios for overworking, under training and simply frustrating Nova Scotia nursing home staff members, causing them to be abusive to their patients, according to The Canadian Press. As a result, 30 incidents of physical, financial or emotional abuse by staff members were reported over a one-year period. The Canadian Health Department, which investigated 73 reports filed under the Protection of Persons in Care Act, legislation that was passed and put into practice more than a year ago, qualified 30 of those reports. No details of the types of abuse were identified, but officials said that ... Read More

Consortium studies genetic markers, hopes to predict SJS

The International Serious Adverse Events Consortium (SAEC) is a global, nonprofit partnership between leading pharmaceutical companies, the FDA and academic institutions. It was organized just more than a year ago. Among its goals, the consortium hopes to identify genetic markers that predict which individuals are at risk for drug-related serious adverse reactions, also known as SAEs. Currently, the SAEC is conducting a study that addresses Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). SJS is a rare but life-threatening reaction to medication. SJS affects the skin and mucus membranes, causing blisters to form on the skin and the skin to peel off in sheets. Blisters ... Read More

2nd coal ash spill reported in Alabama

According to the Tenneseean, the TVA is investigating a leak from a gypsum pond at its Widows Creek coal-burning power plant in northeastern Alabama, a spokesman said at about 10:45 a.m. Central Time. The leak, discovered before 6 a.m. has been stopped, according to John Moulton, with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Advertisement “Some materials flowed into Widows Creek, although most of the leakage remained in the settling pond,” he said. Gypsum is a byproduct of coal-burning power plants when “scrubbers” are added that use limestone spray to clean air emissions. This pulls sulfur dioxide from the emissions. Tighter air emissions ... Read More

Beasley Allen files coal ash spill class action lawsuit on behalf of residents and property owners affected

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Montgomery, Ala. – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., has filed a class action suit on behalf of property owners damaged by the Dec. 22, 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant. Located 40 miles west of Knoxville, Tenn., the plant released 1.1 billion gallons of toxin-laden sludge into a rural neighborhood when a waste storage pond retaining wall failed. The suit is filed against the TVA, the nation’s largest public utility, over potentially the most significant environmental disaster since the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Beasley Allen will be working with ... Read More

Heparin a treatment option for Interstitial Cystitis

The blood thinner heparin may be an effective treatment for Interstitial Cystitis (IC) according to the Interstitial Cystitis Association. IC is defined as pelvic pain, pressure or discomfort related to the bladder. It is typically associated with urinary frequency and urgency without infection or other pathology. It also is referred to as chronic pain syndrome (CPPS), painful bladder syndrome (PBS), and bladder pain syndrome (BPS). Most often occurring in women, IC is often mistaken for chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The cause is largely unknown, however some factors may be connected to the disease, such as bladder trauma, ... Read More

Veterans home cited for putting residents at risk of harm

A U.S. Justice Department report claims that residents at William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette, Alabama, suffered significant harm and risk from the facility’s inadequate medical and nursing services, accoding to the Mobile Press Register. The report was released last month and is based on the outcome of a February inspection and interviews at the nursing home. It alleges that the home had “inadequate nutritional and hydration services; improper and dangerous psychotropic medication practices; inadequate pressure-sore treatment and skin care; inadequate restorative care and specialized rehabilitation services; failure to protect residents from harm due to falls; failure ... Read More

Herbal remedies may cause severe adverse reactions

Natural health products may be all the rage in alternative medicine, however many herbal remedies are linked to serious adverse reactions and potential health risks, according to the January 2009 edition of Health Canada’s Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter. Health Canada recently updated its report of adverse reactions to some of the more common herbal products, including Echinacea, ginko and St. John’s Wort. According to the report, some people have reported experiencing rashes after taking St. John’s Wort. St. John’s Wort is an herbal treatment for major depression and is available over the counter in the U.S. Ginseng is another common ... Read More