Tagged Articles

California 1273 articles

Heart device may eliminate need for heparin, warfarin

A small device implanted in the heart to stop blood clots from triggering strokes could serve as an alternative to blood thinners such as heparin and warfarin, according to a new study conducted by the device’s maker, Atritech, Inc. The device, called the Watchman, is designed specifically for patients with atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat. Blood tends to pool in the atrial chamber of individuals with atrial fibrillation, which can lead to clotting and an increased risk for strokes. Patients with atrial fibrillation are generally treated with blood thinners to help prevent blood clots from forming. However, blood ... Read More

CA long-term care facilities suffer from cuts to ombudsman program

California nursing homes are taking advantage of last year’s cuts to the state’s ombudsman program and slacking off on responsibilities to their patients, according to Ombudsman Services of Northern California. The organization lost two-thirds of its staff when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed $3.8 million in funding for long-term care ombudsman programs last year, according to News 10. Ombudsmen provide a valuable service to the elderly. Not only do they serve as advocates to nursing home residents, they also investigate and resolve complaints and make unannounced visits to nursing homes to ensure residents’ needs are being met. An estimated 40 percent ... 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

Denying disability may be just one of Unum’s profitability tricks

Barron’s ran an article this month that claimed the disability insurer Unum “may be casting its numbers in an overly rosy light” in an effort to appear profitable and attract investors. The article, which can be read here, casts doubt about Unum’s reported health: “To hear company officials tell it, Unum Group is emphatically on the mend, this after the disability insurer was wracked by scandal and losses earlier in the decade.” Lawsuits against the insurance giant began almost immediately after its merger in 1999. Unum (formerly named UnumProvident) was formed by the merger of Portland, Maine’s Unum and Chattanooga, ... Read More

Southern California communities march for safer alternatives to coal-burning

Southern California community members worried about the ill effects from coal-burning mines and power plants are conducting a 100-day national campaign uniting 100 communities in the area urging lawmakers to phase out of coal-based energy and transition to cleaner, renewable sources that would produce more green jobs, according to the Palm Springs (California) My Desert. As part of the campaign, protestors will march Saturday along Palm Canyon in Palm Springs and ask Congress to “quit coal and other fossil fuels and support a clean energy economy,” according to the report. “It is a major source of air and water pollution ... Read More

Study suggests higher risk of ONJ with Fosamax than previously reported

It seemed suspicious to the team of dentists at the University of Southern California (USC), the fact that so many patients treated at the university dental clinic were being diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw, or ONJ. So dentists there pored through the records of more than 13,000 patients and found that 208 of them had been taking the osteoporosis drug Fosamax, and of those 208, four percent had ONJ. “We’ve been told that the risk of oral bisphosphonates is negligible, but 4 percent is not negligible,” said researcher Parish Sedghizadeh to the Columbus Dispatch. ONJ was previously thought by ... Read More

LA police sue department for no-helmet order at demonstration

Los Angeles police responding to a pro-Palestinian rally outside the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard were told not to wear protective head gear. As the demonstrations mounted, one police officer received a head injury when he was struck in the head with a sign. The Los Angeles Police Protective League, a union for the city’s finest, has taken action in response to the no-helmet order, claiming that commanders jeopardized the safety of their officers. According to the Los Angeles Times, commanders were concerned that the appearance of helmeted police officers at the demonstration would send the wrong message and possibly ... Read More

Widow files suit against doctor, pharmaceutical companies

Wim Michna understood the power of medicine. He was a physician in Marin County, California. In the early 2000s, he received an arterial bypass and shortly thereafter was prescribed Digitek, also known as digoxin, by his personal doctor to strengthen and regulate his heartbeat. He remained on the medication for two years until another doctor advised him to stop. While taking the medication, Dr. Michna’s kidneys failed and he suffered from heart palpitations, dizziness, weakness and other symptoms that made another physician order a blood test. The test revealed what the symptoms were alluding to – that Dr. Michna was ... Read More

California lawmaker proposes bills to protect vulnerable seniors

A new bill introduced in the California legislature by lawmaker and longtime nursing home rights advocate Mike Feuer aims to reverse Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of $3.8 million in funding for local the Long Term Care Ombudsman programs late last year, according to the California Chronicle. Ombudsmen provide a valuable service to the elderly. Not only do they serve as advocates to nursing home residents, they also investigate and resolve complaints and make unannounced visits to nursing homes to ensure residents’ needs are being met. The cost to refund the program would come from penalty accounts, or accounts paid into by ... Read More

Jury sides with plaintiffs in Staples class action lawsuit

Misclassification of store managers is a ruse sometimes used by businesses to avoid paying certain employees overtime. As we reported in December, a federal appeals court upheld a $35.6 million judgment against Family Dollar Stores, Inc. for wrongly classifying store employees as managers and then denying them overtime pay. Last week, a federal jury in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey ordered Staples, Inc., the world’s largest chain of office supply stores, to pay nearly $2.5 million to 343 plaintiffs because of similar violations to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The store managers, represented in the class action lawsuit ... Read More