Orthopaedic Surgical Procedures

Orthopaedic patients have access to many options as they look to remedy frustrating persistent pains caused by injury or age. Arthroscopic techniques provide surgeons with minimally-invasive methods when operating on patients. In arthroscopic procedures, doctors make an incision and insert a small camera called an arthroscope, a specialized type of endoscope, through the body to aid in precision and accuracy. People needing knee or spinal disc reconstruction often opt for arthroscopic procedures. Sometimes patients require more invasive surgery depending on their condition. In more dramatic cases, patients undergo arthroplastic surgery.

During an arthroplasty, orthopaedic surgeons repair and realign flawed joints. One of the most common arthroplastic surgeries is total hip replacement surgery. Hip replacement surgery is considered an elective procedure as it’s not required for survival. The goal of a total hip replacement is to relieve pain and restore function. In 2005, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, released the metal-on-metal ASR hip implant. During the five years that it was used in surgical procedures, millions of patients were the recipient of the DePuy ASR system.

Unfortunately, the hip implant proved to have a high failure rate, as one in eight recipients experienced complications within five years of their initial arthroplasty. Complications spanned from cup misalignment, femoral socket fracture, allergic reaction, and blood clots. A skilled surgeon has a large influence on the post-op success of an orthopaedic procedure; however, many of the complications stemming from DePuy ASR installations related to design defects, not surgical error. In 2010 after reviewing a post-market evaluation, DePuy Orthopaedics decided to issue a worldwide recall for the ASR Hip System.

People that have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have a varying range of injury related to the hip implant. Some people have required numerous hip reconstructive surgeries after the implant dislodged. Other patients have experienced tissue damage and toxic blood poisoning due to metal shavings releasing into their system. A recent projection claims that Johnson & Johnson is considering paying $3 billion in 2013 to settle DePuy ASR lawsuits.

Yaz is Not for Older Smokers

The official Yaz website emphasizes that the contraceptive is contraindicated for women who smoke and are over the age of 35. It seems that age and smoking increases the risk of developing side effects with Yaz, including blood clots, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Women over age 35 who don’t smoke have less risk than those who do, while smokers in general should just forget about taking Yaz.

That’s all well and good, but what happens when a young non-smoker suffers from side effects? This is what is carefully not addressed by the manufacturer. Marketing efforts tout Yaz as a triple threat: prevent pregnancy, treat moderate cases of acne, and alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, Yaz is not approved for use for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Why this is so is not really explained.

The fact is, Yaz does increase the risk for dangerous side effects 6 times more than other contraceptives for anyone who uses it, and many women are not aware of this. Moreover, the risk is greatest in the first year of use, so side effects can develop within a few weeks of first use. This should be emphasized to the general public so that women will know what they are getting into. Doctors would be able to warn them, but Yaz is now sold over-the-counter so that’s one control out the window.

Bayer HealthCare, already tangled up in more than 12,000 Yaz lawsuits for serious Yaz and Yasmin side effects, has to inform the public in no uncertain terms about the dangers of using either formulation. There are great benefits to using Yaz for the right women, but they need to be carefully screened for contraindications such as a history of liver or kidney problems, high blood pressure, and so on. This may cut back on sales, but it would solve a lot of problems for everyone in the long run.

London Skyscraper Reflects Sunlight, Melts Cars

London pedestrians have reported that a newly-built skyscraper is melting cars and bicycles with light reflected from its windows. The 37-story building, nicknamed the “Walkie Talkie” for its undulating, phone-like design, is covered by flat mirrors that focus and reflect intense light and heat onto a short stretch of sidewalk.

Several residents have suffered property damage, including a Jaguar owner whose car had its mirrors and panels melted and its frame buckled, and several cyclists whose bike seats were ruined by the harsh rays.  Construction companies Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group have already compensated affected residents for any damage, and are collaborating with London city officials to cut down on the glare problem.

The blinding light emanates from the building for several hours a day, when the sun is in a particular position in the sky. Drivers and pedestrians have complained about poor visibility in the area, which has experienced temperatures of more than 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Physicists from London’s Institute of Physics helped identify the source of the problem, and offered several solutions for the construction firms. The cheapest option would be to coat the windows in a non-reflective covering that would cut down on the amount of light bouncing off the building. Another, more expensive choice would entail adjusting the windows to a position that does not focus light in one spot.

West, Texas Schools to Receive FEMA Support

Many schools in West, Texas were leveled after a fertilizer plant explosion destroyed much of the town this past April. The town has been struggling to rebuild it’s educational facilities, homes, and businesses since the massive explosion, but was refused the near $40 million in federal aid it requested.

However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently decided to award West $2.75 million to provide temporary buildings that will serve as schools for the town’s 1,500 students.

Only one of the town’s schools survived April 17th’s detonation, an elementary school that teaches students up to 5th grade. The town’s other students were transported to nearby districts to close out the rest of last school year.

The federal aid will provide temporary buildings for these students to attend classes in their hometowns while their schools are rebuilt.

Hiker Suffers Head Injury at Malibu Creek State Park

A hiker has suffered a serious blow to the head after enduring a fall onto giant boulders at Malibu Creek State Park yesterday.

The  21-year-old man was climbing rocks when he fell, rolling nearly 60 feet before coming to a stop against a rock. He  suffered head injuries and was airlifted to a hospital.

The man was separated from his hiking companions, who were found by rescue crews at a later hour. They were unharmed.

Injuries like this highlight why it is always important to have someone with you when you are hiking, especially if you plan on doing a more perilous activity such as rock climbing. Wearing a helmet while climbing can also reduce the risk of head injuries.

Staying Safe on a Hike: Preventing Common Injuries

While hiking isn’t typically seen as a particularly dangerous activity, there are many ways a person can become injured on a hike. Luckily, many of the most common hiking injuries are the result of a lack of preparation. This means they’re easily preventable and shouldn’t pose a significant threat to hikers.

One of the most common injuries hikers endure is foot pain. Walking across rough terrain can cause painful blisters and sores, as well as increasing the odds of slipping, which can lead to ankle sprains. Making sure to have a good pair of hiking boots that offer ankle support can reduce the severity of both of these injuries. Additionally, using a walking stick can help take some of the strain off your feet, improve your balance, and even add a bit of an upper body workout to your hike.

Avoiding sunburns is important as well. Hikers should always wear appropriate sunscreen, including when it is cold out. Similarly, temperature regulation should not be taken lightly. Even on hot days, a sweaty hiker can become hypothermic with a strong enough breeze. Heat strokes and dehydration can also occur on tough, long hikes. Hikers should be sure to stay hydrated. One way to do this is to take a water break every half hour or so. The goal here should be to prevent becoming thirsty.

Hiking is a wonderful way to get exercise while being close to nature. Remember to tell someone where you’re going beforehand and when you’ll be back and pack a first aid kit in case of emergencies. Taking the extra precautions to stay safe during your hike may seem somewhat unnecessary, but in the event that something goes wrong, you’ll be glad you did.

Staying Safe on a Hike: Mountain Lions

Mountain lions (Puma concolor) are large cats that live throughout most of the western United States and Florida. They are known by many names, including puma, panther, and cougar.  There are significant populations of these wildcats as far south as Texas and as far north as Washington state.

While mountain lion attacks are rather rare, hikers need to know that when they are out in the wilderness, they may be in a cougar’s territory. These animals are typically independent and have huge individual territories that can span 25 and 500 square kilometers. This means that mountain lions sometimes seem to appear suddenly, since it may take years for them to wander to parts of this area. Therefore, if there were no mountain lions on your last hike, it does not necessarily mean you won’t encounter one on your next one.

There are indications that you may be in a cat’s territory. Avoid animal carcasses, especially those that have signs of being buried. This could be a mountain lion’s prey. The animals return to kills to feed later and defend their food ferociously. Mountain lions, especially males, mark their territory with piles of leaves (which they urinate on) and scratch marks on trees.

If confronted by a puma, there are some things you can do to hopefully scare the cat off. They are naturally afraid of humans and are unlikely to attack, but if a puma is threatening you by growling, crouching, and stalking, you should be careful. There are many reasons to never hike alone and being safe from animal attacks is one of them. Additionally, you may be able to scare it off by making your body physically appear bigger. You can do this by standing tall and spreading your jacket or shirt open. Be loud and intimidating. If you have a child with you, put him or her on your shoulders. This makes you both appear bigger, which can dissuade the lion from attacking.

You should never run from a mountain lion, because this is likely to make the animal chase you. Instead back away slowly. If you are attacked, don’t give up hope. Do everything in your power to remain standing and don’t hesitate to bash its head with a rock or any other possible weapons you may be able to find.

As previously noted, mountain lion attacks are incredibly rare. Knowing what to do to when one of these powerful creatures is behaving as a threat can keep attack this rate low.

Dangers For Pedestrians Near Construction Sites

While the construction industry is one that millions of people rely on on a daily basis in the U.S., it is important that everyone in charge of construction sites are attuned to the safety of the site. This does not just apply to workers on a construction site, but also to the pedestrians who have to walk near or through a construction area. Pedestrians should have the right to feel safe, even if they are walking past a construction area, but sometimes they are injured because of construction site negligence or reckless behavior.

Construction injuries are rather common, especially among those who have to work on sites. However, many safety measures are regularly taken in order to prevent undue accidents from occurring. Sadly, according to the website of personal injury law firm Crowe Mulvey, some people are injured significantly because construction sites sometimes fail to uphold these safety measures. This is irresponsible and such negligence can be punished in civil court.

Common Accidents

Pedestrians who have to pass near construction sites face significant dangers if construction site managers are not careful. Some common accidents that arise often involve:

  • Falling objects
  • Scaffolding collapse
  • Crane collapse
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Debris in walkways

All of these accidents can increase the risk of an innocent pedestrian being involved in a dangerous accident. If he or she sustains significant injuries, he or she might even have to go to the hospital for medical treatment. Many people cannot pay for costs like this, but sometimes construction site managers can be held legally accountable for any injuries that happen because a construction site was unsafe.

If you or someone you know has suffered any kind of injury or expense because of an unsafe construction site or construction site negligence, you could qualify for financial compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney today to discuss your options for potentially pursuing that compensation.

Construction Accidents and the Four Elements of a Tort

Anytime someone is injured in a serious accident, they are typically met with costly medical bills, loss of income from missed work, and a range of painful physical and emotional issues that they must deal with. When their injury was caused by another individual or group’s actions-or lack of action- they may have grounds for a lawsuit under what is known as “tort law”. Under tort law, if a certain person or entity acted negligently, and the result was an injury or illness befalling another individual, they may be liable for that injury. With legal action, they be forced to offer financial compensation. When it comes to tort law, there are four elements which make up the “Tort”. If you were involved in an accident on a construction site, you may have a legitimate cause for legal action on your hands if the following criteria are met:

1.) Duty of Care – The construction company in question had a responsibility to the injured individual to avoid actions that could lead to an accident.
2.) Duty of Care Breached – The construction company violated that responsibility by failing to train their employees, failing to warn people of hazards, or some other instance of negligence
3.) Someone was injured – Construction companies may act negligently, but there must be an injury to accompany that negligence in order for a civil suit to take place
4.) Proximate Cause – Finally, in order for a legitimate tort to exist, the injury experienced by the plaintiff must be a result of the breach of duty of care. If the injury was due to something other than the construction company’s negligence, then there are no grounds for a lawsuit

If you or a loved one was injured in a construction accident and all of these elements were present, it is likely that you have a case for a personal injury lawsuit. To learn more about your legal options, contact an experienced construction accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sexual Harassment And Employer Responsibility In The Workplace

Employers may not be able to prevent the occurrence of every sexual harassment incident at work, but they are responsible for setting up boundaries and prevention measures which are clear to everyone, as well as protocols to deal with sexual harassment incidents when they do occur. When a company fosters an environment that is not protective of its employees, they risk putting themselves in the path of legal action by employees who experience harassment from fellow employees, including from management as well as subordinates.

Preventing, Punishing, and Ending Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

If a company does not implement procedures and policies which deal with sexual harassment in a reasonable and affective manner, employees who are sexually harassed at work have a right to pursue legal action against their employer. In order to establish a safe working environment, companies should take the following action:

  • A clear policy on sexual harassment should be established by the company and everyone should be made aware of the policy
  • The company should make it clear that sexual harassment will be taken very seriously and met with strict penalties
  • All employees should receive training in regards to the policies
  • All employees in management and supervisor positions should have training in how to deal with complaints

If you feel uncomfortable in the workplace, it might be a sign that you are being sexually harassed. You should take action as soon as possible and tell someone in charge.

With these policies in place, a company should be able to handle their own sexual harassment complaints effectively. If a company does not have such measures in place, it may be necessary for employees to seek outside means of addressing the harassment they have been subjected to in the workplace. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace and your employer has failed to act appropriately in addressing the situation, you may need to seek legal representation. Contact a knowledgeable employment lawyer today to discuss your situation and find out more about your legal options.

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