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.

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