Occupational Lung Diseases

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Workers Compensation | 0 comments

In the United States, lung diseases are documented as the most common workplace-associated illnesses.  The inhalation of hazardous chemicals and particles present in dust can become potentially life-threatening.  Repeated exposure to irritants in the air can cause serious damage to an individual’s lungs, and some work environments expose employees to airborne particles at disproportionally higher rates. Lung diseases are preventable if employers provide proper safety equipment and training.

The type of lung disease and the resulting symptoms are dependent upon the type of inhalant, the rate of exposure, and whether the inhalant is organic or inorganic. Inorganic inhalants are those which do not contain carbon, such as carbon dioxide, and organic inhalants are those which do, such as mineral dusts.

  • Asbestosis is an inorganic dust disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Given that asbestos is present in many older buildings, construction workers are especially vulnerable to exposure.
  • Silicosis can occur when workers are exposed to crystalline silica, found in dust in mines, stone, glass, and clay manufacturing operations. Victims experience lung scarring and may be more susceptible to diseases like tuberculosis.
  • Asthma is the most common occupational lung disease, and is reversible if treatment is sought early on. Individuals who work in occupations that expose them to gases, vapors, and fumes are especially susceptible. This includes individuals in the manufacturing, refining, or processing industries, farming, or textile/cotton industries.
  • Beryllium disease results from the inhalation to Beryllium: a light, non-magnetic metal widely used in manufacturing operations. Beryllium is present in cars, computers, and electrical equipment.
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an organic lung disease caused by the inhalation of fungus spores. Workers in farming and livestock industries may inhale organic dusts such as moldy hay or bird dropping particles which contain fungus spores. Victims will breathe abnormally and experience inflamed air sacks in the lungs.
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Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Spinal Cord Injuries | 0 comments

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based regenerative medicine company Bioquark, Inc. – which specializes in the development of novel biologics for complex regeneration and disease reversion – is partnering with Noida, India-based Revita Life Sciences – which is a pioneer in therapeutic applications of adult stem cell therapy that makes use of the patient’s own cells – to brainstorm on alternative treatments and breakthroughs that could possibly help spinal cord injury patients.

According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, the amount of direct medical costs, disability support, and the loss of earning capacity of patients with spinal cord injuries in the United States is a staggering $20 billion annually.

Revita Life Sciences managing director Dr. HImanshu Bansal says the possibility of combining both cellular and biologic approaches to combating this illness represents “the next step evolutionary step in achieving complete regeneration and return of full functionality in this devastating disease”.

This recent development in the field of medical breakthroughs for spinal cord patients is by no means the first of their kind. By April 2014, four spinal cord injury patients received the gift of electrical stimulator units implanted on them over the lower part of the spinal cord to activate lumbar circuitry. Such electrical stimulator units allow the patients to make use of their limbs when the apparatuses are turned on, so that the patients have the ability to “walk”, that is, move their legs on command.

Aside from this improvement, the patients were reported to have gained autonomic recovery – functions such as bowel, bladder, sexual, and temperature control are more operational than before the use of electronic stimulator units. It was scheduled by around September 2015 that around 36 patients would have been given use of such devices.

Another medical breakthrough in the works for spinal cord injury therapy is that of the chondroitinase and gene therapy being researched on by King’s College London’s Dr. Elizabeth Bradbury, University of Cambridge’s Dr. Elizabeth Muir, Royal Holloway, University of London’s Dr. Rafael Yañez-Muñoz, and Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience’s Professor Joost Verhagen. This therapy involves a bacterial enzyme called chondroitinase, which helps degrade the scar caused by the spinal cord injury and in so doing allows recovery via the growth of the axon away from the lesion area.

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Implant-based or Autologous Breast Reconstruction

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Surgeries | 0 comments

While the removal of a breast due to the treatment of cancer and other disease can be daunting experience for many women, according to the website of the breast reconstruction experts at Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery, new medical techniques and devices have made it possible for a breast to come close in both form and appearance to a woman’s natural breast.

Two common reconstruction processes include implant-based and autologous breast reconstruction techniques.

Implant-based reconstruction involves placing an implant that recreates the breast form. One is known as a one-stage reconstruction, while the other is known as a two-stage reconstruction. In a one-stage reconstruction, a silicone or saline implant is inserted directly without expanding the breast pocket. In a two-stage implant, a tissue expander is first placed in the breast pocket. This allows surgeons to insert a salt-water solution into the expander until the desired size and form is reached. Once the skin and muscle over the breast has expanded to a desired size, the expander is removed and a long-term implant like that of a one-stage process is inserted.

Advantages associated with implant-based reconstruction include no donor site complications, shorter surgery, quick recovery, and no movement of abdominal or back muscles.

Autologous breast reconstruction is process by which existing muscle, fat and skin tissue is used to form a new breast. Four common areas from which tissue is used to create the breast are the stomach (with or without additional muscle from the abdomen), upper back and shoulder, and buttock. It is important to note that not everyone is eligible for autologous reconstruction.

Advantages associated with autologous breast reconstruction include a more natural look and feel, no implant related complications, and a more natural functioning breast that fluctuates in size with weight gain or loss.

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Misconceptions Regarding Out-of-state Arrests

Posted by on Aug 9, 2015 in Arrests | 0 comments

Whether on business, visiting family, or on vacation, out-of-state arrests can often be a complicated process due to the logistical problems of having to appear in court several times over the course of a case. In addition, misconceptions regarding out-of-state arrests can also lead to further fines and charges for both misdemeanors and felonies.

One common misconception is that many people believe charges brought about them in one state will not affect them in their home state. Unfortunately, charges such as those involving a DUI can have consequences in both the prosecuting and home state. For example, if you find yourself arrested while on vacation in Florida for a DUI, if convicted you may be forced to pay for penalties in Florida and lose driving privileges in your home state as well. In addition, charges one is convicted of can often make into the public record which can be seen by potential employers in any state.

Another misconception is that once bail is posted, one can simply return to their home state. Though bail often means a person can await trial from the comfort of their home, for out-of-state arrests involving felonies, many states require the defendant first obtain permission from a judge regardless of having made bail. Failure to do so may result in further charges, an arrest warrant, and extradition.

Due to the complications of having to appear in court multiple times, many states allow for an attorney to represent a defendant in several of the criminal proceedings. This allows a defendant to return to their home state and take care of a charge without acquiring any further expenses as a result of missing work or traveling back and forth between states.

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Consumer Protection Act and Claim Cut Off Periods

Posted by on Aug 8, 2015 in Dangerous Medication | 0 comments

In 2012 Stryker, a medical device manufacturer, issued a voluntary recall for two defective hip implants, the ABG II and the Rejuvenate. When introduced in 2007, these metal-on-metal devices were considered to be innovative due to their long-lasting components that allowed patients to go longer periods of time without needing further hip surgery. Unfortunately, the metal-on-metal construction of these products meant they were susceptible to a process called fretting, the shedding of small particles of metals. These metals, absorbed by nearby tissue, are recognized as foreign objects that the body attempts to attack leading to a wide array of minor to serious health issues such as internal hemorrhaging, kidney damage, liver damage, DNA mutations and increased risk of cancer.

Other complications associated with these defective products include nerve damage, limited mobility, and tissue necrosis.

Though many laws are in place to protect consumers, some laws could potentially limit a victim’s ability to seek compensation for a defective product. Known as the statute of limitations, the ability to seek compensation for a defective product can range from 1 year to 6 years. However, there are some exceptions. For example, those affected by dangerous pharmaceutical products such as Risperdal, an anti-psychotic drug that, according to the website of Williams Kherkher, has been linked to several health problems, may have an extended period of time due to the fact that side effects and links may not be established for several years. The same applies to defective medical devices.

While several lawsuits have been filed since the recall in 2012, according to the Consumer Protection Act, many people affected by these defective devices may soon be running out of time to seek compensation for their injuries.

According to the CPA, legal action must be taken within ten years of the date the product was put into circulation. For Stryker victims, this means they only have until 2017 to file a claim regardless of the date they had the hip replacement surgery. Unfortunately, due to the long-lasting components of the device, patients may not begin to be affected by the faulty devices until several years after the surgery, usually about five years later. Therefore, it is recommended that those seeking to potentially file a lawsuit seek immediate legal advice before it is too late.

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