Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that begins in the mesothelium, the protective layer of bodily organs. Typically, mesothelioma develops in the protective layer of the lungs, but it is also known to develop in the lining of the abdominal cavity and in the membrane around the heart.
The most common cause of mesothelioma is asbestos, a mineral used in construction and insulation. Asbestos has been commonly used in various industries in the 19th and 20th century, and even though it is limitedly used today, there are still known cases of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma development.

Who is at Risk?

Mesothelioma lawsuit attorneys even exist, because of how serious unwarranted cancer development is. These days, the people who are most vulnerable to asbestos exposure are those who work directly with asbestos, such as asbestos plant employees, those who contact products with asbestos, such as military ship employees, and those who are in high-risk industries, such as construction workers and auto mechanics.
But take note that they are not just the ones vulnerable. Their families may also be at risk, because once these workers go home with asbestos all over them, their loved ones are also exposed to the substance. Other people at risk include those who live in residential areas near asbestos plants and those who are having renovations in homes that have asbestos.

What are the Effects?

Asbestos has a fiber-like structure, so it is not surprising that it breaks down and gets inhaled by those around it, especially the workers. This is what triggers mesothelioma. What is worse is the fact that the symptoms don’t even show itself immediately. There are instances where it takes years before these symptoms to occur, and many times, the mesothelioma is already on bad stages.
Symptoms may vary depending on the affected area. As said earlier, the affected area can be the lungs, abdomen, or heart. If the lungs are affected, the patient may experience chronic coughs with blood. If the abdomen is affected, the patient may experience abdominal pain and bowel movement issues. If the heart is affected, the patient may experience chest pain and heart beat problems.

Some Burn Injuries Will Not Go Away with a Kiss

The most common burn injury is from scalding. It could be a spilled cup of coffee, or steam rising from a pot of noodles. In most cases, these are minor injuries, and many of us have had our mothers had made the “boo-boo” go away by planting a kiss on the spot. As Sampson Law Firm personal injury lawyers say on their website, not all burn injuries are so easy to treat, unfortunately.

There are three levels of burns. The best kind (because it heals more quickly) is a first-degree burn. It only affects the first layer of skin, but since it also exposes the nerves, it is quite painful. The burned area becomes red and slightly swollen. It is important to run cool water or a wet cloth immediately on the area to keep the swelling down and minimize blisters. Do not use ice, as it will damage the skin more. Keep it open and apply an antiseptic solution if the skin breaks to prevent infection.

Second-degree burns are more serious and painful than first-degree burns because they go deeper down the skin layers. The skin looks wet, very red and blotchy. Second-degree burns can lead to fluid loss, so extensive injuries (more than 10% of the body area) can send a person into shock. There is also a greater risk of infection. A medical professional should treat any burn area more than 3 inches in diameter. For first aid of second-degree burns, cover any open blisters with a clean cloth or gauze pad. Do not attempt to remove any clothing stuck to the area. Healing takes about two weeks and you can expect some scarring for extensive burns.

The most serious is of course third-degree burns. These burn injuries go all the way down the inner skin layers, and may even penetrate deeper. The skin is effectively dead, so there will be no pain, but the surrounding skin tissue will be very painful and tender. People with third degree burns will experience considerable body fluid and heat loss, and can easily go to shock. They need immediate medical treatment. If the burn victim survives, they will have to undergo debridement (removal) of the dead skin, and skin grafting. This is a long, painful process, and scars are inevitable.

In many cases, negligence plays a part in causing serious burn injuries. If you have been a victim of negligence, you will need to seek compensation. You may face high medical costs, and long-term disfigurement. Contact a burn injury lawyer in your area for more information.

Uterine Sarcomas and Morcellators

The use of a power morcellator is the key factor that differentiates a laparoscopic surgery or minimally invasive surgery, such as hysterectomy (which is the removal of the uterus) and myomectomy (or the removal of uterine fibroids), from traditional hysterectomy procedures. A power morcellator is a medical device that is made capable of mincing or dividing large masses of tissues into tiny shreds for easy removal through small incision sites. Compared to Abdominal hysterectomy, one particular traditional procedure that requires a long incision on the abdomen (about 5 – 7 inches long), a laparoscopic surgery, however, due to the use of a power morcellator, only needs (four) 0.5 – 1cm tiny incisions, just enough opening to allow certain devices to be inserted into the body.

One major reason for a laparoscopic surgery is for the removal of uterine fibroids, which grow in the uterus. Now, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, up to 80% of women, especially those aged between 40 and 50, will develop fibroids.

These uterine fibroids, also called leiomyomas or myomas, are actually non-cancerous tissues, and most of which do not even have symptoms. However, according to the website of Williams Kherkher, potential symptoms may include pelvic pressure or pain, prolonged or heavy menstrual bleeding, rectal pressure, and frequent urination, making medical or surgical therapy quite a necessity.

Based on analysis of available data, the US Food and Drug Administration found that 1 in 350 women undergoing myomectomy or hysterectomy can possibly be infected with uterine sarcoma, which is a cancerous tissue. The problem with uterine sarcoma, however, is that its actual presence cannot be detected due to the lack of a method reliable enough to do so. Thus, during a laparoscopic surgical procedure, as the fibroids are morcellated or minced, the uterine sarcoma tissues get minced too and made to spread in the abdomen and pelvis, causing the further growth of cancer.

With alternative ways of removing fibroids (through traditional procedures) and the risks posed by the use of a power morcellator, the FDA decided to discourage surgeons, through the safety alert it issued on April 17, 2014, from further using the device in laparoscopic surgical procedures.

Surgeons began using power morcellators in 1995, after the device was approved by the FDA for use in laparoscopic surgeries. From the different brands that were made available in the market, three were highly acknowledged due to their great engineering design and capability to ensure optimum performance and reliability: the Gynecare X-Tract, the Gynecare Morcellex and the Morcellex Sigma – all from Ethicon, the power morcellator manufacturing unit of Johnson & Johnson.

Ethicon was actually the first manufacturer to respond to the FDA’s notice, which other manufacturers and some surgeons seemed to have ignored as there were some who still continued using the device. In the same year that the alert was issued, a number of women had already been diagnosed with an advanced stage of leiomyosarcoma, the type of cancer that developed from the spread of uterine sarcoma. While lawsuits have already been filed by these women, many others are expected to follow, considering the fact that more than 50,000 laparoscopic surgeries are performed all across the nation every year.

The Basics of Child Injury

The known lyrics of the song will probably go on for all the rest of time: “…the children are the future.” This statement has been echoed in most of literature alike for it resounds in its truth. And yet children are given the temporary privilege of ignorance and cannot, usually, be accounted for the misfortunes that are upon them. And so, the duty to carry on with life as safely and as responsibly as possible, is bestowed upon those who know better – for their own sake and for the sake of the children.

It is in that principle that allowing harm to come to children is one of the most appalling things one could ever accomplish and it is then the right and responsibility of parents or guardians of these wronged children to pursue justice when there has been wrong done to the child. Children are also highly impressionable and are likely to be shaped by traumatic experiences that might result in psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar personality disorder, et cetera.

If a child suffers injury due to the negligence of another party, the offending party is liable to provide due compensation for the damage done, says the website of injury law firm Crowe Mulvey.

Children are also more fragile and delicate, ergo more susceptible to retain damage from an accident or injury. The most common charges that can come from a child injury are for medical costs and, if the child is employed, lost wages that incur as a result of the incident. Some accidents or injuries, however, can be lengthy – to the point that the child must then live with the injury, as well as the costs that come with the injury, for the rest of the child’s life. Compensation for those added costs must then be added to the charges pressed against the opposing party.

If your child has been injured due to the negligence of another party, it is recommended for you to seek legal aid immediately.

Electrocution as a Construction Site Hazard

We are surrounded by gadgets that use electricity so electrocution can happen anywhere at any time to anybody. Remember that teenager who woke up to find her pillow, blanket and some of her hair burnt off by an overheating smart phone because of a defective battery? While this was not a direct electrocution, the potential for injury through the resultant burn was high enough to cause concern.

But there are certain construction worksites that are undoubtedly a place where there is a high probability of electrocution, such as working on or near power lines. As pointed out in the website of Hach & Rose, even being in the vicinity of a power line or source in a construction site can pose a hazard such as when using a tool or machine running on electricity which isn’t grounded, or when the working surface is wet.

Construction workers often think of themselves as tough guys who are not afraid of getting a bit of juice now and again. But most people will die from a strong enough surge of power no matter how tough they are. In general, a 120V line will discharge 15 to 20 amperes of electricity which can give anyone a hard enough jolt to knock you off your feet. An electric shock of 50 or more amperes can kill you.

When dealing with electricity directly or indirectly on a construction site, it is best to take the following protective measures:

  • Keep as much distance from the electricity source especially power lines as the job will allow
  • Ensure the electric equipment you are using are double insulated and/or grounded
  • Use protective gear such as insulated gloves
  • Make sure the electrical source is equipped with circuit breakers to prevent overloading from a sudden spike in supply
  • Keep dry as water conducts electricity

In many cases of electrocution, the worker was inadequately trained or equipped to work with or in the vicinity of an electrical source with fatal consequences. When the contractor was negligent in preventing electrocution, the injured worker may have recourse in a civil lawsuit. Consult with a construction accident lawyer to discuss how.

Hypertension and Benicar

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition wherein the pressure on the blood vessels is elevated above the normal. More than 90% of hypertension cases have no obvious cause (primary), but continued unmanaged hypertension can lead to many serious complications. According to the CDC, more than 30% of Americans over 20 have hypertension in 2012, about 67 million, and less than half have it under control.

There are many types of medication designed to control primary hypertension, and one of them is what is called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) or sartans, sometimes also called angiotensin II receptor antagonists. They all sound pretty fancy, but what they basically do is keep the blood vessels from constricting (vasodilation) so that the blood flows more freely and the heart doesn’t have to work that hard. There are many ways to do this, but ARBs specifically blocks angiotensin II, a natural protein produced by the liver which narrows blood vessels.

Benicar (olmesartan) is a brand-name drug of the ARB class produced by Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for sale in the US in 2002. There were some side effects associated with taking Benicar including dizziness and diarrhea, and it is a Category D drug, meaning that it poses serious dangers to a fetus and should not be taken by a pregnant woman.

However, it wasn’t until 2012 when the Mayo Clinic reported 22 cases of unexplained gastrointestinal problems which mimicked the symptoms of Celiac disease but tests showed it was not that it was suspected that Benicar may be more dangerous than was known. In the 22 cases reported, all were taking Benicar, and they had chronic diarrhea and significant weight loss from failure to absorb nutrients, which as an article on the Williams Kherkher website points out can lead to a number of health complications. It is now known Benicar can induce severe intestinal problems such as sprue-like enteropathy or villous atrophy, and the FDA ordered the label to reflect these risks.

In the meantime, patients who have been on Benicar for a prolonged period have found that the damage is extensive and irreversible. One patient was hospitalized for 100 days and now requires a feeding tube. If you have been seriously harmed from taking Benicar, you may be eligible to get compensation. Contact a dangerous drugs lawyer in your area and get more information on how to go about it.