Posts by Paul


The Wonderful Things that Trees Provide


Posted By on Jul 23, 2017

According to the U.S. Forest Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, trees do more than just create an outdoor living environment that is beautiful, healthy and safe. Trees offer and provide all these benefits and more:

  • They lower blood pressure, slow heartbeat, and relax brain wave patterns;
  • They provide inviting and cool areas for recreation and relaxation;
  • They capture carbon dioxide (CO2), helping reduce the overall concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere;
  • They act as natural air-conditioner, lowering the temperature, especially during summer, from 6 to 8 degrees as compared to neighborhoods without trees;
  • They reduce residential heating costs from 10-15 percent and residential air-conditioning costs from 20-50 percent;
  • Homes landscaped with healthy trees sell more quickly and add as much as 20 percent to a property’s market value;
  • They provide homes for more than 80 species of wildlife, such as birds (woodpeckers, nuthatches, and eagles), and other animals, like salamanders and squirrels.
  • A community that is lined with trees increases the value of homes by 25 percent;
  • Trees attracting business – people linger and shop longer when trees are present;
  • Where a canopy of trees exists, apartments and office spaces rent more quickly; workers also become more productive and there is less absenteeism.
  • Trees reduce runoff and improve water quality by absorbing and filtering rainwater.

These are some of the reasons why, in landscape architecture designs, one element that is ever present is trees. According to the Hamlin Tree Care, trees are assets and, therefore, worth investing into whether in residential or business areas.

In recognition of the many benefits of trees, a bill, called the Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act, was introduced in the U.S. Congress. This Act hopes to help lower energy usage and utility bills through the targeted planting of residential shade trees. It explicitly cites the benefits of proper tree siting, including storm water management, reduced energy load demand, and carbon sequestration. It would establish a grant program to assist electricity providers in planting shade trees to insulate residential buildings and minimize home heating and cooling demands.

 

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Those who Suffer due to Medical Negligence may be Entitled to Pursue Financial Compensation for Their Losses

There are certain types of health problems wherein doctors would recommend surgery, but only as the last form of treatment – if all other non-surgical forms of treatment do not work. Surgery is a complicated and risky medical procedure; but while many patients successfully go through it, others are just too weak to make it through the operation or a short while after the operation. There are cases, however, as shown through government and hospital records, when patients either suffer complications or never make it, not because they have weak bodies, but due, rather, to mistakes committed by those in charge of the surgical procedure.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, committing of errors during surgical procedures is just one of the many forms of medical mistakes which doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, hospitals and clinics are guilty of. Other items in the list of medical mistakes include, but are not limited to: misdiagnosis; failure to diagnose; delayed treatment; wrong medication; and birth injury. All these mistakes result either to new health problems or to the worsening of an existing illness, diminishing the quality of life of the patient.

In 2010, as reported by the Office of the Inspector General for Health and Human Services, about 180,000 Medicare patients died due to medical mistakes. The actual figure, however, as printed in the Journal of Patient Safety, patient deaths (including those not covered by Medicare) fall between 210,000 and 440,000.

From the figures given above, surgical errors account for, at least, 4,000 cases each year. Specific cases of surgical error include:

  • Wrong-person surgery;
  • Incorrect surgical procedure;
  • Wrong-site surgery;
  • Improper suturing;
  • Accidental puncture or laceration;
  • Removal of wrong organ;
  • Foreign bodies left inside a patient’s body;
  • Wrong dosage of anesthesia;
  • Post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma;
  • Physiologic and metabolic derangement;
  • Wound dehiscence, a surgical complication wherein a wound ruptures along a surgical suture;
  • Pulmonary embolism; and,
  • Wrongful death due to complications from negligent surgery.

Medical mistakes, especially surgical error, happen more frequently than many others think. What is disturbing is that many of these are committed even by well trained and experienced surgeons and the best hospitals in the U.S. Take, for example, the case of a 70-year old patient who died after two surgeons mistakenly removed his wrong kidney; there are also reports of operating on the wrong side of a patient’s brain which happened three times within just a year, and all in the same hospital.

As explained by Madison personal injury attorneys at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, “When a patient visits a doctor for medical treatment, it is with the implicit understanding that his or her physician will provide the individual with the care and treatment expected of that medical profession. Doctors and other healthcare professionals are held to high standards, as even seemingly minor errors can have dramatic consequences on patients’ health and well-being. Unfortunately, not all doctors act as carefully and responsibly as they should, exposing their patients to the threat of serious illnesses or injuries. Because of the devastating repercussions that medical malpractice can have on a patient’s life, it is often possible for victims of negligence to receive compensation for their damages.”

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There are more than 15,000 nursing homes in the U.S. that shelter more than 1.5 million residents – elders, individuals who may be physically or mentally incapacitated, and those in need of rehabilitative therapy due to illness or accident.

To protect and uphold the interests of these residents, the Nursing Home Reform Act was enacted by the US Congress in 1987, mandating nursing homes participating in Medicare and Medicaid (or receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds) to “provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care.”

The Act also states that “the resident has the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.”

It seems, however, that no kind of law would stop acts of abuse and neglect from being committed against residents of nursing homes because these inhumane acts continue to be committed every year. Though reported acts of abuse and neglect number to thousands, it is believed that so many more remain unreported, especially the more sensitive and humiliating cases, namely sexual abuses.

Acts of abuse and neglect do occur in nursing home facilities in the U.S. and the most common reasons why these acts happen include understaffed facilities, overworked personnel, very demanding needs of the residents and the defenselessness of the victims.

Federal nursing home regulations define abuse as any form of act that deliberately inflicts injury, deprives care or service, or results to intimidation, unreasonable confinement, or punishment resulting to physical harm and/or mental anguish. Neglect, on the other hand, is defined as failure to provide a resident with the necessary care and service which will ensure freedom from pain or harm, or a failure to assist a resident during potentially dangerous situation that can result harm or anxiety; neglect may by intentional or non-intentional.

Abuse and neglect of nursing home residents are crimes since these are directed against defenseless people whose care have been entrusted to those who promise to provide quality care and service. Thus, it is important that families of these residents are always sensitive to any sudden changes in their loved ones (during visits) as any unexplainable changes may just be manifestations that something is wrong. Contacting a highly-qualified nursing home abuse lawyer or personal injury lawyer immediately may be necessary for the possible legal actions the family may decide to take.

According to the law firm Mokaram & Associates, P.C., “Personal injury law is a wide branch of tort law that encompasses civil cases brought against other citizens. These cases typically arise when the negligence of one person causes injury to innocent party. This negligence can be created through action or inaction either directly or indirectly. Frequently these cases result in compensatory damages to assist with the injuries incurred.”

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Common Mistakes New Motorcyclists Make


Posted By on Feb 15, 2017

It is understandable that you are excited for your new motorcycle, but your excitement does not give you an excuse to disregard safety procedures and do reckless behaviors, especially because you are new to the art of motorcycle riding and you are still very vulnerable to common mistakes. Below are some of the common mistakes that new motorcyclists make, potentially leading them to accidents and injuries.

Not wearing protective gear

Motorcyclists are vulnerable motorists, as they are not enclosed with a chassis like car drivers. If you get into an accident, you will most likely absorb the collision force fully. The most effective way to minimize the threat of this force is to wear protective gear, such as helmets, jackets, jeans, gloves, boots, elbow pads, and knee pads. It can be hot outside when you wear these gears, but it is better to be hot than sorry.

Riding beyond their skill level

As a new motorcyclist, you have no idea what the threshold of your riding skill is. But it is fair to think that a beginner has very limited skills. Going beyond your skill level, such as going too fast, maneuvering too much, going on a long road trip alone, and taking a passenger with you even though you are not ready, may be very dangerous.

Thinking that riding is just the same as driving a car

Motorcycles and cars are essentially the same, as they are both modes of transport. But it doesn’t mean that they are the same in all aspects. Motorcycles have less traction on the pavement, so even small rocks and leaves can cause an accident. You can’t say the same for cars. Motorcyclists are also more vulnerable to legitimate road hazards, such as potholes.

Take note that these are just the most common mistakes, as there are other mistakes out there that are equally as dangerous, such as not focusing on the road, not looking before turning, not having a considerable distance from other motorists, and other errors while on the road.

According to the website of Ali Mokaram personal injury attorney, a negligent party who has caused injury to an innocent party may be taken to court because of a personal injury case. So, it is not just you who can suffer if you commit these mistakes. You can injure someone else, and worse, you can even be taken to court because of your behaviors.

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Fentanyl is an extremely powerful opioid painkiller that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of late-stage breakthrough cancer pain in adults who are opioid tolerant or who have developed a tolerance for opioid medications as a result of long term treatment.

Cancer patients would definitely be familiar with some medications, like: Actiq, which is in lozenge form; Duragesic, which is in the form of a skin patch; Abstral, a sublingual tablet or a tablet that goes under the tongue; Fentora, a tablet that goes between the gum and cheek; and, Subsys, a sublingual spray.

Subsys, the most recent fentanyl-containing medication placed under legal spotlight, is manufactured, and was introduced in 2012, by drugmaker Insys Therapeutics, Inc. During the first half of 2015, this drug netted a $147.2 million profit for Insys, making it one of the biggest selling highly-addictive painkillers in the U.S. and around the world.

Use of Subsys, however, like all other fentanyl-containing drugs, poses great risk due to the possibility of abuse, misuse, addiction and overdose; using it on children can be fatal too. Due to the risks it presents, the FDA has Subsys mandated that it can only be prescribed (by healthcare professionals) and acquired (by patients) by enrolling in the Transmucosal Immediate-Release Fentanyl (TIRF) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Access program, a restricted program of the FDA.

It may be true that Subsys effectively and immediately controls breakthrough cancer pain; despite being effective, however, reports have surfaced which link this drug to about 203 deaths since it was introduced in 2012. This is besides the 52 Subsys-related deaths reported in the second quarter of 2015.

The risks, the deaths, plus allegations that Insys Therapeutics has illegally prescribed Subsys for off-label use (the major reason for the many cases of fatal overdose in individuals who are not suffering from cancer and, therefore, not opioid tolerant) has landed this drug in the “drugs of concern” list kept in the office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General.

Patients who have been inappropriately prescribed with a powerful opioid medication, such as Subsys, can suffer serious and potentially fatal injuries, such as overdose. Seeking legal assistance from a highly-skilled Subsys spray attorney may be able to help the victim and/or his/her family pursue justice and the compensation he/she may be legally entitled to.

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