Doctors Continue to Use Morcellators

Some medical doctors and their organizations continue to espouse the use of morcellators for their women patients in need of a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroid masses, or myomas. This may seem to be a bit of a mystery, in light of recent discoveries about the dangerous side effects of power morcellators. However, it is important to note that not all types of morcellators pose the same level of risk.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two warnings to the public regarding the use of power morcellators in certain procedures. The main point of the warning was that epidemiological studies indicate that there is a link between power morcellators and the increase in the number of uterine sarcoma or leiomyosarcoma cases reported. Visit this website for more information about morcellator-related cancer growth.

One would think that doctors that routinely performed the procedures would be the first to avoid using them. That is not the case, and this is because there are actually two types of morcellators available for use. The most common type is laparoscopic morcellators, which is the subject of the dire FDA warnings. Another type of device for this purpose is hysteroscopic morcellators, which is a completely different kettle of fish.

Laparoscopic morcellators are typically used in a technique called “open morcellation” in which the device gets in through a small incision, shreds the tissue, and then removes it. It is done without the benefit of an enclosure, which allows pieces of tissue to land any which way in the pelvic and abdominal cavity. It is no wonder that some are left behind, and if these are cancerous (sarcomatous), it may trigger the spread of cancer cells.

Hysteroscopic morcellators, on the other hand, is a newer device that has attachments to trap and collect the shredded tissue so nothing falls by the wayside. With every bit of ground tissue collected, there is nothing left behind to cause post-surgical complications. No cancer cells, no spread.

The FDA concurs. When the hysteroscopic morcellator is used according to instructions, they do not pose the same risk to patients. The absence of sarcomatous tissue from the peritoneal cavity precludes the risk of morcellator-related uterine sarcoma.

California Leads in Dog Bites

According to an article on the LA Times, California leads the nation in the number of dog bite insurance claims in 2013. A dubious honor, but what can you do?

It was reported by State Farm and the Insurance Information Institute (III) that 1,919 insurance claims were filed in California, costing insurers a hefty $64.7 million in payouts, averaging $33,000 per claim. Second place goes to New York with 965 dog bite claims at a cost of $41.6 million. Dogs are considered man’s best friends, but some insurance companies may disagree.

Nationwide, the number of insurance claims for dog bites increased 5.5% in 2013, costing insurance companies $484 million, representing about 35% of homeowners’ insurance total liability costs. But the statistics may be misleading as these figures include claims for non-bite dog attacks such knocking down, scratching, or scaring a person. The III states that the average cost of a claim increased 45% compared to 10 years ago mainly because of higher medical costs but also because the size of settlements or awards are significantly higher.

It is easy to dismiss these numbers as the hysterical reactions of a populace that has become paranoid about animal attacks, but according to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, the truth is dog bites can result in serious, even deadly injuries. Aside from the physical and psychological trauma and possible complications like infections, dog bite victims often have to live with long-term complications such as extensive scarring and disfigurement, loss of limbs and other permanent damage. All these have a concurrent cost to you and your family.

If you have been seriously injured in a dog bite or animal attack incident in California, you have a right to sue the owner for compensatory damages. Consult with a dog bite lawyer in California to find out if your case meets the requirements for a civil lawsuit.

When is a Prenuptial Agreement Necessary?

There is perhaps nothing more unromantic than the issue of a prenuptial agreement cropping up when planning a wedding. However, what most people don’t realize is that a marriage is much more than an emotional commitment of two people to each other; it is a legal contract that significantly changes the status of both spouses, including finances. When they say for richer or for poorer, they were stating a literal fact. According to the website of Marshall & Taylor, P.C., a prenuptial agreement is a contract which is designed to formally and legally establish boundaries in the financial commingling of a married couple which can significantly simplify property division if the couple decides to dissolve the marital tie. Statistically half of all marriages end up in divorce so a prenuptial agreement or prenup is just as practical as taking out car insurance. You don’t get into a car expecting to get into accident just as you (usually) don’t get married expecting to get divorce., once you tie the knot with your spouse, your finances become intermingled from then on.

However, unlike driving a car, you are not required to get a prenup to get married, and unlike car insurance, it is not right for every couple. In Phoenix, which is part of one of nine states that apply the community property law in divorce, anything acquired during the marriage is divided more or less equally between spouses. As such, a prenup may become an extremely important document if one of the spouses:

  • Is much wealthier
  • Has a business
  • Stands to inherit a substantial amount in the future
  • Is about to embark on a lucrative career i.e. lawyer
  • Has children from a previous marriage or elderly relations to take care of

It is not enough for the spouses to shake hands on it; a prenuptial agreement must be properly drawn up, preferably by a divorce lawyer, and duly notarized. Before signing a prenup, make sure that you consult your own lawyer to make sure that it is legal and fair. Some prenups stipulate conditions that can render the agreement invalid, such as the spouse can only gain so much weight to be entitled to property.

Yaz and Yasmine: Their Benefits and Adverse Effects

In June of 2013 Health Canada learned about the deaths of 23 Canadian women, with ages ranging between 14 and 44, who have been taking either of the two most famous oral contraceptives – Yaz or Yasmin. The report said that between 2007 and February 2013 at least eight women, who have been prescribed with Yaz and 15 others prescribed with Yasmin, have suddenly died months after use of the birth control pills. Causes of death include heart attack, pulmonary embolism (or blood clots in the lungs) and cerebral thrombosis (blood clots that prevent blood to be supplied to the brain).

Other reports received by Health Canada include more than 300 adverse effects in women taking Yasmin and as many as 267 from those taking Yaz – deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood that clots in the legs is a more common effect.

Yaz and Yasmin are both manufactured by a major German pharmaceutical company- Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. What sets them apart from all other types of birth control pills is drospirenone, a synthetic progestin that was created, and therefore is used exclusively by Bayer. Yasmin was introduced first by Bayer in 2001; five years after, Yaz was released to the market.

There are 21 active pills and 7 inactive or palliative pills in each pack of Yasmin; in Yaz the inactive pills total to only four, while the active pills, 24. Besides being proven to be highly-effective in preventing pregnancy, both products are also able to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) symptoms.

Probably better than Yasmin, Yaz is also said to be capable of preventing bloating, clearing acne and keeping women from the effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as depression and anxiety. This claim, coupled with an ad in the New York Times, which said that Yaz was a “quality of life treatment,” further increase sales.

The adverse effects caused by Yaz and Yasmin cannot be dismissed, though. Thus, in 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration issued Bayer a request to correct its advertisement about Yaz, which took lightly the chances of health risks, like blood clots, while aggressively stating the drug’s capabilities and endorsing it even without prescription.

This was followed by a mandate in 2012 in which the FDA ordered Bayer to modify its U.S. labeling on Yaz by including (on the label) the chances of greater risks for blood clots. Despite both moves from the FDA, Bayer maintained that Yaz and Yasmin were safe and effective. Health Canada, on the other hand, seemed to dismiss all cases of adverse effects, as well as the deaths of the 23 women, by stating that the benefits brought about by the Bayer’s contraceptives still outweigh the risks associated with them.

Some of the recorded adverse side effects caused by Yaz include migraine-like headaches, less sexual drive, anaphylaxis or severe type I hypersensitivity, fluctuations in glucose level resulting to diabetes, hypertension, blood clots, swelling of breasts, breast discharge, numbness in arms and legs, vaginal irritation, gallbladder injuries, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), myocardial infarction, heart attack, stroke, death.

Many more women are yet to come to the open to air their complaints about the negative effects they now suffer from due to Yaz or Yasmine. Though these Bayer products may have truly been beneficial in some ways, being pin-pointed as causes of adverse reactions and deaths is reason enough to take them out of circulation.

3 Great Art Museums in the United States

Despite the lack of funding for the arts when compared to Europe, the U.S. has scores of wonderful art museums and galleries within its borders. All major cities have at least minor offerings, and admission to these museums is often inexpensive or completely free.

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One of these free museums is the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. The Menil, as it is called, is a collection gathered by John de Menil and Dominique de Menil over the course of their lives. It houses a wide range of art from modern paintings and pop art to sculptures from ancient Byzantium and African tribal works. Some of the pieces are more than 3,000 years old.

Another museum where admission is free is the National Gallery of Art (NGA), located in Washington D.C. This museum was established in 1937 and is is regarded as one of the finest art collections in the entire world. The NGA is home to the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in the United States and boasts a 6.1 acre sculpture garden.

Many of the best art museums in the country are found in New York City. NYC is home to the a Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, called the Met for short, was founded in 1870 and has grown to more than 2,000,000 square feet. It’s home to an actual Egyptian temple that has been on display there since 1978. Admission is donation based and follows a “pay what you want” model, though the recommended donation is $25.

The appreciation of art is one of humanity’s most enduring characteristics. Seeing art from other eras in our species’ lifespan can be a beautiful and humbling experience.

Finnish Photographer Makes Photograms from Saliva

cameraless photographyA photographer from Finland has stumbled upon an interesting junction between the worlds of art and biology.

By placing saliva on undeveloped photographic paper, Erno Erik Raitanen was able to grow bacterial cultures on the paper while it developed. The resulting images, dubbed “bacteriograms” are surprisingly colorful and artistic. They almost look like something captured by an electron microscope, except with vibrant color.

Photograms (sometimes called cameraless photography) are made by placing objects on light-sensitive materials and then exposing them to light. The microbes in Raitanen’s saliva affect the photographic paper on which they were placed through their normal growth and biological processes. They eat away the coating on the photographic paper, creating the colorful effect.

If not stopped, the microbes continue growing on the paper. Raitanen has tried to remove all the bacteria from some of the images he feels are complete, but continues to find new cultures growing on them occasionally.

Tips for Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are particularly devastating to the biker because you are more vulnerable when you have an unfortunate encounter with anything with more than two wheels. Moreover, when you and your motorcycle are forced to part ways by momentum and gravity, your life depends on the integrity of your helmet, the softness of the surface you land on, and blind luck. So all in all, learn to use a motorcycle safely to avoid accidents. Even if it’s the other guy’s fault and you have strong grounds on which to file a lawsuit, you can still end up suffering considerable pain and other losses.

Here are some tips to keep yourself seated and cruising happily on the asphalt:

  • Practice respect and courtesy on the road
  • Attend at least one motorcycle training seminar
  • Don’t tailgate
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Avoid being between two vehicles
  • Follow traffic and road safety rules
  • Use your signal lights
  • Slow down on intersections
  • Avoid weaving in and out of traffic
  • Keep a reasonable speed especially on city streets and in inclement weather
  • Keep visible to other motorists
  • Wear safety gear at all times, especially a DOT approved helmet

The freedom that riding a motorcycle gives is not without drawbacks. Because you are small and nimble, you can manage traffic conditions more easily. However, for this reason you are also more vulnerable to injuries and accidents even if you are a responsible biker. If someone’s negligence, recklessness, or lack of skill still involves you in an accident despite taking due care, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who will evaluate if you have a case, and help you fight for compensation for your medical expenses as well as the pain and suffering you underwent through no fault of your own.

Options for Breast Augmentation

Women and even certain men choose to have breast augmentation for a variety of reasons, from their overall appearance to medical issues. Fortunately, with the many advances that have been made in the plastic surgery field, people looking to get breast augmentation have several options.

Breast augmentation, medically termed as augmentation mammoplasty, is the procedure to increase the size of the breast. It is also used as part of breast reconstruction following breast cancer surgery or other physical injury. This helps increase a woman’s self-esteem and confidence. Depending on your preferred breast size post surgery, there are two options of implants that you can use:

Silicone breast implants – these are silicone envelopes filled with soft, elastic gel. They are generally pre-filled. This elastic gel gives it the advantage of feeling more natural. One drawback of silicone breast implants, however, is that once it leaks, it can be hard to detect. It may leak into the scar capsule or even into the tissues around the breast. Additionally, because of their gel-like composition, they require a longer incision.

Saline breast implants – implants filled with sterile saline solution. Although they are filled to a pre-determined size, they can still be filled during operations to adjust the breast size. Incision for saline implants are smaller compared to silicone implants, and they cost less. Many women choose this type of breast implant because if they leak, the body can just dispose it naturally. However, they are more susceptible to ripples as compared to gel implants.

Both types of implants are approved by the FDA; therefore, they are both safe and do not increase the risk of breast cancer. However, because they each have their own advantages and disadvantages, it is advisable to have a consultation with an experienced medical professional in this field to understand which is best for you.

Erb’s Palsy due to Negligence

Despite advances in technology and medical knowledge, there are still many things that can go wrong during childbirth. One of these is Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus palsy. It is an injury sustained only during actual delivery, and involves trauma to the nerves located near the neck called the brachial plexus. The injury occurs when the baby’s neck is stretched to the side during a difficult delivery such as a breech presentation (feet first), prolonged labor, or expulsion of a large baby. It may also be due to the improper use of some instrument to facilitate delivery or incorrect technique, in which case the doctor may be liable.

The brachial plexus controls the movement of the arms and hands. Infants who suffer Erb’s palsy may have weakness and numbness in one arm, or partial or total paralysis. The permanence of these effects will depend on the extent of the injury and the availability of treatment.

There are varying degrees of trauma, from mild (neurapraxia) to severe (avulsion). In neurapraxia, the nerves are injured but not torn, so the nerve should heal within 3 months. Avulsion, however, is the complete detachment of the nerves from the spinal cord, which cannot be repaired.

If you believe that your child’s injury was due to negligence, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. It should be noted that it may be difficult to prove negligence as this type of injury can be attributed to factors beyond the attending physician’s control, such as poor maternal health. However, if the circumstances clearly indicate negligence, such as the refusal of the doctor to perform a caesarean section even when the mother requested it, then that is a different matter.


What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is what joins the temporal bone and mandible of the jaw. It is an articulated joint, meaning that it is bifurcated by a disc to allow rotational and translational movements of the jaw. The TMJ is quite small, but it serves an essential function: opening and closing the mouth.

Because of its function and position in the head, as well as the frequency of its use, the TMJ has a significant impact on the whole body. So when it doesn’t work properly because of incorrect positioning, it will become apparent very quickly and will manifest in a multitude of ways.

The symptoms of TMJ disorders, or simply TMJD, can be divided into acute or chronic pain. These include but are not limited to:

  • Back pain
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Distinct clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing the jaw
  • Dizziness
  • Earache
  • Facial pain
  • Headache or migraine
  • Limited opening of the mouth
  • Loss of hearing
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)

Physicians who are consulted by those who suffer TMJD seldom pinpoint the problem at once because some of the symptoms don’t seem to have anything to do with that little cartilage at the side of the face. But once a suspicion arises and the patient is referred to a TMJD specialist or neuromuscular dentist, the solution is just a matter of pinpointing the optimal positioning of the TMJ and choosing the appropriate treatment modality. In most cases, TMJD treatment involves the fitting of an intraoral appliance or orthotic for up to 6 months and then orthodontic treatment.

It may sound simple, but diagnosis and treatment of TMJD is not easy for dentists who have no experience in treating the disorder. To get effective relief from orofacial pain, consult with a neuromuscular dentist as soon as possible.


Deciding on Child Custody

Child custody is one of the most important things that need consideration when a married couple that has children goes through a divorce. While there are certain differences in state laws regarding the granting of child custody, most are generally the same or similar. Many states and courts will attempt to grant joint custody; however, in certain situations, this is not possible, leading to one parent or even another relative, such as a grandparent or uncle, having custody.

The child’s best interest – one of the most important factors that courts consider, custody is often given to the person who can provide the best mental and physical care for the child, which includes providing proper and healthy living conditions for the child., if the parents can reach an agreement on visitation, custody, and child support, then this issue will not need to be taken to court and can be resolved in a more efficient manner. However, as both a complex and contentious issue, many people seek legal support in order to better understand the process and agreements, not to mention protect their interests. In this situation, a child custody issue may be taken to court, where the following will likely be considered:

  • Child’s preference – it may vary from state to state, but courts sometimes take into consideration the child’s preference after they are of a certain age. However, age may not always be the only basis, as maturity of the child is also considered.
  • Change of address – if the custodial parent changes residence (such as moving to another state), it may hinder the visitation rights of the other parent. The noncustodial parent can then legally apply for guardianship of the child.
  • Parent’s agreements – parent’s agreements can have a huge impact on how child custody shall be granted. Provided it does not go against the best interest of the child, these agreements can have a say on how visitation, child support, and even change of custody.

Child custody decisions can be one of the most emotional parts of having a divorce. However, it is an issue that must be settled. Thus, understanding how courts will make this decision, should your custody agreement need to be taken to court, is important to successfully completing the process. An attorney’s knowledge on these matters can help you demonstrate what you need to in order to achieve the outcome you’re hoping for.

Debts That Stay With You After Chapter 7

Due to the rampant financial difficulties that have occurred in recent years, filing for bankruptcy protection has become increasingly commonplace. It is has truly become a refuge for many of those who find their debt burden overwhelming and are in danger of losing everything they have worked years to obtain. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in particular has significantly increased. Known alternatively as liquidation bankruptcy, success in filing provides the beleaguered debtor with a chance to start fresh with the elimination of many, if not the majority, of their debts. It should be noted that failure to properly follow the rules of bankruptcy procedure can lead to a denial of discharge.

But while Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best option for many, it is not a panacea for all ills. For one thing, there are some debts that are generally nondischargeable. This means that there are debts you have that will not be wiped out even if you successfully file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You will still need to pay for these debts, although a few of them can be discharged at the court’s discretion, and your creditors can still sue for payment.

If you are considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the bulk of your outstanding obligations are considered nondischargeable, you may need to pursue an alternate method of debt relief. Below are some debts that will always be nondischargeable under the Bankruptcy Code:

  • Student loans
  • Personal injury claims due to DUI
  • Tax-sheltered retirement plan payments
  • Fines and penalties imposed by government agencies
  • Alimony and child support
  • Legal fees for child custody and support disputes
  • Criminal restitution and court fines
  • Debts not included in the petition for bankruptcy

There are also otherwise dischargeable debts that may be denied discharge by the court under certain circumstances. These include purchases of luxury items in excess of $600 on a single credit card bought within 90 days of the bankruptcy filing and cash advances in excess of $875 incurred within 70 days of filing for bankruptcy.

It is important to know which debts will not be wiped out if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is being considered. Even if there is no other option, forewarned is forearmed.

Preventing Crane Accidents

Crane accidents in a construction site can be among the most devastating cause of injuries and fatalities for construction workers. Prevention of crane accident is, therefore, one of the most important elements of safety training in any construction site. However, when accidents do happen, injured workers and their families may need to pursue the assistance of a construction accident lawyer to fight for the compensation they need.

Although machine malfunction happens occasionally, when it comes to crane accidents, they can usually be avoided. There are ways in which both the employers and employees can stay safe from a crane accident. To help, here are the most common ways for preventing a crane accident:

  1. Assessing the work site – before working, everyone should be aware where the electric lines and other such factors affecting the operation of the crane are. The work site should be assessed regarding the placement and operation of the crane.
  2. Protective gear for every employee – to avoid just about any injury, safety gear should be worn at all times while inside the work site. Hard hats, gloves, proper working clothes, and many other types of safety equipment should be provided and worn in order to protect the employee from any form of injury.
  3. Constant inspections and maintenance – regular inspections and check-ups from qualified technicians help ensure that every piece of machinery is in proper working order. Neglecting maintenance and check-ups, especially in cranes, can lead to devastating accidents.
  4. Employee safety training – proper practice and awareness of safety in the workplace, especially in the construction site, lowers the chances of having accidents in the workplace. It is also important to have safety drills in order to keep employees aware of what to do when a crane accident happens.
  5. Signal personnel – when it comes to crane operation, it all comes down to teamwork. From the crane operator, the signal personnel, to the workers, everyone should work together to avoid crane accidents. This especially holds true with signal personnel, who should stay alert in warning the crane operator and the workers about potential dangers.

With simple safety precautions, crane accidents can easily be prevented. However, if you have been in a crane accident and have suffered significant injuries, you may need the help of legal representation to get the financial compensation you deserve.

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