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California 1273 articles

Nursing home staff arrested for administering mood-altering drugs

Here’s a terrifying story that goes beyond comprehension. KGET-TV reports that three employees of a nursing home in Kern County, California were arrested this week for forcibly administrating psychotropic drugs to patients to make them easier to control. Authorities began to investigate Kern Valley Healthcare District’s Lake Isabella facility in January 2007 after an ombudsman reported to the California Department of Public Health that a patient had been held down and given an injection by force. An investigation revealed that at least one patient was given injections of mood-altering drugs because she was biting, hitting and kicking others. She never ... Read More

Another nursing home resident becomes a victim of financial abuse

There was plenty of money for Margaret Palko’s long-term care – nearly $375,000 in her bank account. The 88-year-old woman relied on Elizabeth DeLeon to provide her care, giving her power of attorney over her finances in 2005. Six months later, Palko’s Alzheimer’s Disease had progressed to the point that she was admitted to Schuylkill Center Nursing Home in the Norwegian Township, according to the Morning Call. It was DeLeon’s job to make sure Palko’s care was paid for. Instead, she went on a shopping spree, even paying cash for a new car and using Palko’s vehicle as a trade-in. ... Read More

Billboards honor rollover victims, promote roof crush awareness

A couple of weeks ago we reported that Paula Lawlor, founder of the nonprofit organization People Safe in Rollovers, was given the honor Consumer Advocate of the Year by Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. A former legal assistant, Lawlor has spent a decade pressuring government and automobile manufacturers to the toughen standards for automobile roof crush resistance. Part of People Safe in Rollovers’ mission is to educate the public about how dangerously weak most car and truck roofs are. Government regulations for minimum roof crush strength are as archaic as they are weak, and few car manufacturers hold themselves to ... Read More

Drop in breast cancer rates linked to reduction of HRT use

A new study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests a sudden decrease in breast cancer in several countries worldwide is likely linked to the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) finding that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause can dramatically increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer and other serious health problems, the Wall Street Journal reports. Prior to the initiative in 2002, more than 200,000 American women were diagnosed with breast cancer each year. After 2002, that rate dropped below 190,000 each year since. Statistics from other countries show similar results. Despite the findings, some ... Read More

Toy spa kits recalled for exploding jar cap hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and JAKKS Pacific Inc. of Malibu California, announced a voluntary recall of Spa Factory ™ Aromatherapy Fountain & Bath Benefits Kits. Eighty-eight incidents of exploding jars were reported to JAKKS and the CPSC combined, including 13 reported injuries. The Spa Factory ™ Spa Fantasy Aromatherapy Fountain kit and the Bath Benefits kit are toys that allow children to make their own spa and bath products. Both kits come with jars that have purple caps, which are used to combine ingredients to make bath bombs, bath fizzies, and other concoctions. Pressure from the accumulation ... Read More

Roof crush activist named as consumer advocate of the year

Paula Lawlor, founder of the nonprofit organization People Safe in Rollovers, is being honored by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego as Consumer Advocate of the Year. Lawlor is a resident of Del Mar, California in San Diego County. She has worked as a consumer safety advocate for 10 years, pressuring government and automobile manufacturers to improve the strength of automobile roofs. Lobbying Washington and petitioning car manufacturers for better roof crush standards have led Lawlor, a former legal assistant, to become one of the highly regarded and widely consulted experts on the subject of roof crush standards. She serves ... Read More

Vytorin No. 3 on list of Top 10 medical stories of 2008

Vytorin has come in at the No. 3 spot on a list of the Top 10 Medical Stories of 2008 – and not in a good way. Dr. Kate Scannell, columnist for the Contra Costa Times, which serves the California Bay Area, listed the drug under the header “statin madness.” Dr. Scannell said the drug made her list as a result of two studies that revealed Vytorin, which is a combination of simvastatin (Zocor) and ezetimibe (Zetia), did not reduce artery-clogging plaque buildup, although tests showed it reduced “bad” cholesterol levels. However, she said Vytorin’s bad year wasn’t all bad ... Read More

California man injured in Rhino rollover sues Yamaha

A California man has filed a complaint against Yamaha Motor Corporation for severe injuries he sustained when his Rhino ATV rolled over. 44-year-old Troy Bithell, a father of four, was riding in the Rhino with his daughter during a family camping trip. The two were driving in a dry lake bed in Johnson Valley when the accident occurred. Heading back to his family’s campsite, Johnson turned the Rhino when it suddenly flipped. At some point during the accident Bithell’s left leg protruded from the vehicle. The half-ton vehicle flipped over onto the driver’s side, shattering the lower half of Bithell’s ... Read More

CPSC recalls window blinds that pose risk of strangulation

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced another voluntary recall of window blinds that may be unsafe to use, especially in homes or other areas where children can be found. The blinds were distributed by Cost Plus Inc., of Oakland California and sold in Cost Plus and World Market stores from February 2006 to August 2008. The recall was announced after the CPSC found looped pull cords and exposed inner cords on the back of some models of the Roman blinds. Some models of roll-up blinds also had looped pull cords, as well as two cord loops that ... Read More

Quaid-Cedars-Siani lawsuit over heparin overdose finally closed

Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly now have closure in their year-long heparin overdose lawsuit against Cedars-Siani Medical Center, according to OK! and Entertainment Tonight. The entertainment media reported that a Los Angeles judge has signed off on the $750,000 settlement the couple reached with Cedars-Siani last month. According to the settlement, the hospital did not admit wrongdoing in the potentially fatal overdose of heparin that was accidentally administered to the couple’s newborn children Zoe Grace and Thomas Boone Quaid. The settle also allows for the couple to pursue claims for their children in the future. The California Department ... Read More