ISMP Reports on Xarelto Adverse Events

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Drugs and their Effects | 0 comments

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), a nonprofit organization that serves as a consumer watchdog for the safety of drugs and other medication, provides quarterly reports on whatever pharmaceutical products are currently in the spotlight in the medical community. In the first quarter of 2013, it reported on the apparent rising number of adverse events associated with Xarelto, also known generically as rivaroxaban. It stated that the number of adverse events reported in that quarter was 680, significantly higher than that for its older cousin Pradaxa, known generically as dabigatran, with 528.

The report went on to speculate that this higher incidence may be due to the fact that Xarelto, which was introduced to the market later than Pradaxa, has been rapidly gaining popularity, outstripping Pradaxa in terms of prescriptions 2 to 1. Because more people are using the product, the statistical possibility of an adverse event is correspondingly higher.

However, this does not mean that Xarelto is not more dangerous than Pradaxa. In fact, the first lawsuit brought against the drug’s manufacturer (Bayer Corp) and US distributor (Janssen Ortho LLC) alleged in its lawsuit filed with the Pennsylvania state court that Xarelto posed too high a risk to patients to have been sold in the first place. This is in the wake of a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that indicated drug makers or distributors who sold products they knew or should have known posed a significant risk to consumers may be held liable for any harm or injury that resulted from their use.

This is a precedent that effectively raises the bar on the duty of care these drug makers and distributors have towards the consumer, and has the potential to broaden the number of cases for past and present drug-related injuries that may still qualify for civil litigation. As pointed out on the website of Williams Kherkher, those seriously injured from using dangerous drugs should not have to bear the consequences on their own. At the very least, they should be able to get compensation for their medical expenses which can be great enough in the more serious cases to lead to bankruptcy.

If you have suffered serious injury that has been identified as having been caused by Xarelto or any other drug, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. Find out more about by consulting with a Xarelto lawyer experienced in handling dangerous drug cases.

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Your Camera’s Aperture

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Photography | 0 comments

Fancy cameras have numerous complicated settings to fiddle with on them. Even minor changes in some of these settings can have a huge impacts on the resulting photographs, so it is wise to have at least a small understanding of what’s happening when you change them.

One of the most important settings on nice cameras is the ability for the photographer to adjust the lens’s aperture. The aperture controls how large of a hole the camera is allowing light to pass through. Light is what makes photography possible, so changes in the area of light the camera is allowing into its sensors translate into changes in the photograph.

The aperture is designated by the letter f and a number, as in f/22. The larger the number below the f, the smaller the aperture. Most people will tell you this is counter-intuitive at first, but they are wrong as this notation is clearly fractional. When you look at it that way, it’s clear that an f/1.4 is larger than f/8.

Photos taken with larger apertures have less depth of field. This means that less of the photograph will be in focus. This can be useful when you really want to focus on a specific aspect of your subject. Smaller apertures create wider depths of field, meaning more of the image is in focus. Here is a picture to help illustrate the relationship between depth of field, aperture, and distance from the subject.


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Paxil Birth Defects

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Drugs and their Effects | 0 comments

Paxil (paroxetine) is a brand-name antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class associated with a number of side effects. Paxil birth defects have been the focus of some concern following claims of causation as well as indications in a cohort study of 958 women who took the drug in their first trimester of pregnancy.

In the study, it is suggested that there is a 1 in 25 chance that women taking Paxil in early pregnancy will give birth to a child with a birth defect, and a 1 in 50 chance that the child will have a heart-related malformation. These numbers represent a significant increase in the risk for birth defects for women who are not on the antidepressant.

The most common heart defect observed in the study was a ventricular septal defect, which is a hole in the heart that may resolve on its own or corrected surgically. Cleft lip and cleft palate (malformation of the mouth) as well as digestive system malformations were also observed in the study group. An example of the digestive problems that developed is pyloric stenosis, the thickening of the pylorus (valve connecting the stomach to the small intestines) muscles, making it difficult for food to enter the small intestines.

It is also suggested that pregnant women who take Paxil in the latter stages of pregnancy give birth to babies that exhibit withdrawal syndrome symptoms such as irritability, difficulty in breathing, and incessant crying. Paxil may also be passed through in breast milk in small amounts.

While there are indications that Paxil may increase the risk of birth defect, it is not considered conclusive fact that there is a causative relationship. The risk of these birth defects is always present even if the mothers do not take any kind of medication. However, because manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline continues to deny any causation for Paxil birth defects, it is the focus of much controversy. The drug is currently under fire from many patients claiming compensation for the injury to their affected offspring.

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Joint and Several Liability in New Hampshire

Posted by on Jun 22, 2014 in Hospital Mistakes | 0 comments

Legalese can be frustration to the average person because few people what the law is actually saying. Whether the use of obfuscating language is deliberate or not, when making a claim for medical malpractice in New Hampshire, for example, you will definitely need a New Hampshire medical malpractice attorney not only to help you understand the law, but also protect your rights under that law.

It may happen that upon assessment, the lawyer will tell you that there are two or more parties who may be held liable for the medical malpractice injury you or a family member sustained. Depending on the case, the lawyer may recommend that you file against all or just one of the possible defendants. This is because New Hampshire uses a modified form of the joint and several liability doctrine. That is a concept that is as complicated as it sounds.

In its pure form, joint and several liability means that in cases where there is more than one defendant, each and every one of those so named are liable for the entire amount of the damages awarded regardless of the degree of fault of each defendant. The plaintiff does not have to establish how much each defendant is to be blamed for the injury, or how the payment will be divided among the defendants. In general, solvent defendants become liable for the payments that should have accrued to insolvent defendants.

Under modified joint and several liability, a defendant is only liable for the entire amount awarded if they are found to be 50% or more at fault. Currently, there are 27 other states aside from New Hampshire which practice modified joint and several liability. This is embodied in New Hampshire law under the revised statutes under Section 507:7-e. If a case involves such a defendant, it would be easier although riskier to name only that majority defendant in a lawsuit because the amount of work involved can be narrowed to that one defendant, although if the court finds for the defendant, the plaintiff may end up with nothing.

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Higher Car Insurance Rates due to a DWI / DUI Conviction

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Drinking and Driving | 0 comments

In all US 50 states any car driver caught with a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level will be charged driving under the influence (DUI) offense; if the BAC level is more than the 0.08% limit, however, the charge will be driving while intoxicated (DWI) which, in some states, is a more serious offense.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported drunk-driving to be one of the major causes of car accidents in the US, killing about 10,000 individuals and injuring about a hundred thousand more; thus its strict implementation of the anti-drunk-driving law. Every year traffic enforcers and police authorities make more than a million DWI or DUI arrests.

People charged with drunk driving are meted out with harsh punishments, like heavy fines, time behind bars, compulsory attendance in a DUI school, community service and suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. In some cases, a court would require that an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) be installed inside the vehicle of an offender to make sure that he/she will not be able to drive while intoxicated. An IDD is actually a devise designed to measure the driver’s BAC level. If the device detects a level higher than 0.08% (or whatever determined limit) it will automatically keep the vehicle from starting. Many people turn to the help of a DWI lawyer to avoid as many of these penalties as they can.

Another unfavorable result of a DWI or DUI conviction is the need to apply for a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) form, more commonly known as the SR-22 form or FR-44 in some states. Besides serving as proof that a driver carries the state-required vehicle liability insurance, the SR-22 is also the only means that will allow a driver, who has been charged with DWI or DUI, to regain his/her driver’s license and enjoy driving privileges again.

An SR-22 requirement is usually imposed for three years; it also requires a convicted driver to pay higher car insurance rates. A state may only lift the SR-22 requirement if the concerned driver has had no traffic violations within the three-year period.

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Dangerous Pharmaceutical Products: Yaz

Posted by on Jun 9, 2014 in Drugs and their Effects | 0 comments

When a particular medication or drug fails to provide the needed treatment for the illness it was intended for, and, instead, causes a severe side-effect that puts a patient under a more serious condition, then the patient is afforded the legal right to file a lawsuit against those responsible (could be the doctor who prescribed the drug or the manufacturer who failed to make sure that the drug is truly safe and effective).

It is a fact that dangerous pharmaceutical products continue to be made available in the market and be prescribed to patients, whose only wish is to find the remedy for their illness. This is despite the clinical tests that these medications have supposedly undergone and the probing of the US Food and Drug Administration regarding the truthfulness of manufacturers’ claims that their drugs are safe for use.

Many drugs, despite their having been linked to adverse effects, have actually been manufactured properly and have been subjected to tests. Now if this is the case, then how does one explain the adverse effects?

Well, one probability is, since pharmaceutical companies also fund the tests that will prove the safety and effectivity of their drugs, some resort to reporting to the FDA only the positive results of such tests. And despite holding on to claims that there is nothing wrong with the drug, the continues increase in the number of patients who get harmed or injured by its use will eventually make the manufacturer a guilty party and be required under the law to compensate their drug’s victims.

This was the case of a certain drug called Yaz, which even became the most commonly doctor-recommended oral contraceptive. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Yaz’s manufacturer, claimed that the birth control pill was totally safe to use and could effectively prevent pregnancy in women (14 years old and up) by keeping the female’s egg from evolving (without the egg the male spermatozoa will have nothing to inseminate). Besides preventing pregnancy, Yaz was also said to be an effective treatment to premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), bloating and acne.

Yaz and Yasmin, another Bayer product, were later linked to the sudden death of 23 Canadian women, who were using either of the contraceptives. Both pills were said to have caused heart attack, cerebral thrombosis (blood clot which prevented the blood from going to the brain) and pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs).

Yaz was linked to the development of so many other health problems. Despite this, Bayer kept its claim that the drug was safe and effective. Having been prescribed to millions of women all across the US, lawsuit against Bayer are expected to pile. And, with too strong evidences that will link the drug to the identified adverse effects, Bayer will eventually have to answer by compensating all these women for having been injured after taking Yaz. Those who have suffered from Yaz injuries are urged to speak with a Yasmin lawyer to learn more about this option.

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The Harsh Realities of Medical Malpractice in the US

Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 in Hospital Mistakes | 0 comments

Some of the worst mistakes, believe it or not, are committed by some of the most intelligent individuals in world and in places where safety and quality care are supposed to be prime priorities, especially for those who are suffering from serious illnesses. The persons guilty of grave mistakes are doctors (some of whom have been practicing for decades) and the places where the mistakes are committed are in hospitals, specifically surgery rooms.

It may be absurd to hear or read about three different doctors who injured each of their three patients after committing the blunder of operating on the wrong side of the patient’s brain. And while having left a medical instrument inside a patient’s body (and finding out about it a number days after the operation’s conclusion once the patient begins to experience unexplainable pains) may already be a common, but definitely a serious, concern, how about cases where patients, while being operated on, are accidentally set on fire? And a patient whose healthy kidney, instead of the damaged one, is removed (another case is removal of the wrong testicle) or a wrong leg being amputated.

At least 200,000 thousand cases of errors, resulting to serious injuries or patient death, are registered in the list of medical malpractice every year, according to an article posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The real actual number can be much greater, though, as many other cases are said to be kept hidden by hospital administrators themselves.

Likewise, thousands of doctors have been reported to have committed, and still continue to commit, medical errors, as the investigations that will prove them either innocent or guilty, are still pending. Meanwhile, patients could only pray that they do not end up under the care of these doctors.

Patients (and their families) have the right to know that if they have been victims, or become victims, of medical malpractice. They have the legal right to file a lawsuit against their doctors. A medical error presumably is never intended, making it an undoubtedly avoidable occurrence. Errors or accidents, including those committed by erring medical professionals, are mostly due to negligence or carelessness. Thus, all liable parties, under the rule of law, have the responsibility of compensating their injured patients for whatever consequences their unprofessional acts lead to.

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