Strokes

A stroke, also known as brain attack or Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), is a life-threatening occurrence that can either paralyze or kill a person instantly. It is usually the result of a blood clot in blood vessels which causes an interruption in the flow of blood to any area of the brain. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US and, though, it can affect anyone at any age, those 65 years old and above are the ones most susceptible to it.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), from 2001 to 2011, at least 795,000 people suffered a stroke; about 185,000 are recurrent stroke events, while 610,000 are first occurrences. Though a stroke may occur unexpectedly, it does have symptoms but, which, unfortunately, are not easily identified (as signs of an imminent stroke) even by doctors due to these symptoms’ similarities with other types of illnesses. The list of stroke symptoms include: numbness in the face, arm, and/or leg, especially if this occurs on only one side of the body; sudden trouble speaking, difficulty understanding speech or confusion; sudden dizziness, lack of coordination, loss of balance, and/or trouble walking; and, sudden trouble seeing (in one or both eyes).

The effects of a stroke depends actually on the area of the brain affected (the specific area where obstruction of blood flow occurs) and the extent of the affected brain tissues. If a stroke, for instance, were to affect the back of the brain, one highly probable result is disability in vision. If the affected area, however, is at one side of the brain, then neurological complications will be on the side of the body affected (which is the opposite side since one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body). This means that, if the right side of the brain were affected, then some of the effects may be memory loss, vision problems, and/or paralysis on the left side of the body. By affecting the left brain, however, it will mean paralysis on the right side of the body, plus speech or language problems and memory loss.

A major stroke is usually preceded by a Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA, which medical professionals commonly call a “warning or mini stroke.” TIA typically lasts for about 20 minutes; the flow of blood resumes after this.

For the effective treatment of stroke patients, as well as to help them recover fully, the American Stroke Association, the American Heart Association and the US Food and Drug Administration recommend that they be treated with a tissue plasminogen activator or tPA, a clot busting drug, within three hours of the start of stroke symptoms.

The website of Massachusetts lawyers Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, says that “stroke is a common and potentially life-threatening occurrence for patients of all ages.”

Reality, though, is proof that many doctors continue to err in providing appropriate medical treatment to potential stroke victims. By not fully examining these victims’ condition, not requiring them to undergo tests or by wrongly interpreting results of medical tests, doctors can be held liable for any harm any victim unnecessarily undergoes. When a doctor’s mistakes increase a stroke victim’s suffering, a Houston personal injury lawyer may be able to help the hurt person recover compensation for their medical expenses.

Rollover Accidents Involving Trucks

One of the deadliest accidents a motor vehicle can be involved in is a rollover, wherein a vehicle overturns or tips over onto its roof or side. A rollover accident can happen on any vehicle, depending on certain factors or conditions; however, due to the center of their gravity being higher from the ground,
compared to regular cars SUVs, minivans, pickups, and trucks, are much more susceptible to this type of accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover accidents total to more than 280,000 every year, claiming at least 10,000 lives. But while the accident more frequently involves SUVs, the much more serious results (such as severe bodily injuries, death and major damage to properties) get registered if the vehicles involved are trucks.

Aside from the strict federal requirements on knowledge and skills on how to operate a truck safely, drivers are also required to pass certain tests before getting to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also distributes printed publications on how drivers can prevent getting involved in accidents, especially rollovers. All these measures for safety are implemented by the both state and federal governments to help ensure that trucks never become threats to other motorists with whom they share the road.

Sadly, though, the yearly reported number of trucks rolling over is still high – at 239. There are various factors and situations that contribute to a truck rollover accident, but the three major contributors that have been identified are speed, poor control and inattention. FMCSA’s more extensive study about these three showed the specifics that greatly affect each of the contributors:

  • Speed: the load carried by the truck, road surface, condition of the brakes, intersection conditions and ability of the driver to adjust truck speed during road curves
  • Steering or Poor Control: failure to steer enough to maintain lane, over-steering that results to having to counter-steer in order to remain on the road, and over-steering which results to rolling over
  • Inattention: feeling drowsy, falling asleep, and driving distractions – all resulting to inability to react fast enough in emergency situations

According to the website of the Ausband & Dumont Law Firm, a truck’s load also greatly affects its overall stability, especially if its weight is unevenly distributed. This (load) and the contributors only show that, despite the demanding requirements for acquiring a CDL, many truck drivers are yet to learn how to actually handle situations that can lead to a rollover – lessons that many drivers do learn but only after having the misfortune of experiencing the accident first hand.

The trucking industry has a significant positive effect on the nation’s economy. However, being on the road, trucks pose risks of serious injuries to drivers of smaller vehicles in case of an accident. This is why their insurance providers have to be ready for just about anything. The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® has more information about how these sorts of things ultimately end up working out.

Some of the Dangers of Modern Medicine

Whether due to poor health or to help keep someone healthy, to deliver a child or try to save someone from death, there is one person who is always surely present: a doctor. Trained to care for and save lives, to a doctor, therefore, is entrusted this great responsibility of helping people maintain good health and live long. To be able to help people, though, trust will be a necessary factor; this is probably why when a doctor makes a prescription or recommends that a person undergoes laboratory tests or a surgical procedure the possibility of a refusal is close to nil, especially if the doctor making such prescription or recommendation is one highly esteemed in the medical profession. There is just one element for major caution, though; the fact that a doctor, regardless of how good or famous he or she may be, is still human and, thus, also likely to commit mistakes.

“Death by Medicine,” a study that was first published in 2006, is a compilation of statistical data that revealed alarming information on the negative effects of modern medicine. Besides revealing more than 750,000 deaths in the US every year (all due to poor medical care), the study also showed these yearly estimates: 20 million unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics in treatment of minor viral infections; up to eight million people being subjected to surgical or invasive medical procedures that are actually not necessary; and, about nine million people being hospitalized despite the lack of real need for it.

One example of a particular prescription medicine that proved harmful to many of those who took it was Actos. This oral medication was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1999 for Type 2 diabetes. Also known under the name Pioglitazone, Actos was formulated to help control the blood sugar level in Type 2 diabetics by increasing their sensitivity to insulin, while decreasing the amount of glucose released by the liver.

Another pharmaceutical product, the actual safety of which is now being questioned, is the da Vinci Surgical System, a multi-armed surgical machine that was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in minimally invasive surgical procedures. (Compared to open or invasive procedures, which require incisions that are about 4 inches long, a minimally-invasive surgery requires a number of very tiny incisions which will serve as entry points of the surgical instruments to be used in the procedure).

Both Actos and the da Vinci Surgical System proved effective, performing the purpose for which these were approved, especially during the first five years after they were made available in the market. Later, however, reports that linked both products to adverse effects started to be made, followed by lawsuits filed by patients who actually suffered harm due to the use of either product. Many of those who filed an Actos lawsuit, in particular, have sought compensation (from the drug’s manufacturer).

According to the website of the Actos lawyers at Williams Kherkher, aside from increasing the risk of developing bladder cancer, Actos has also been linked to the following: upper respiratory infection, heart failure, tract infection, lactic acidosis, liver failure, macular edema, muscle pain, diarrhea and, worst of all, death. The ill-effects being linked to the da Vinci Surgical System, on the other hand, include: infections, burns and internal bleeding, one of the mechanical arms accidentally hitting the face of a patient; puncture on the colon during prostatectomy; death of patient after a spleen surgery or during a hysterectomy procedure; and, failure of the robot to function properly right before the start of the surgery.

According to the website of the National Injury Law Center, the da Vinci Surgical Robot continues to be used in hundreds of thousands of procedures, which include thyroid cancer surgeries, removal of gall bladder, gastric bypass, prostate removal surgery and hysterectomy. The Center also includes excessive bleeding, serious injury to the bowels, and punctured blood vessels or ureters, in the list of harms caused by the da Vinci robot.

While the effects of some injuries may be irreversible, seeking the help of highly-qualified lawyers could help the victims seek the compensation which will help them undergo the medical treatment that they need. This compensation should also cover the wages lost by the patient (that is, if the patient were employed, but was rendered incapable of reporting to work for some days due to the harm caused by the said medical products).