PCBs and Cancer

PCBs and Cancer

May 04

Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) is an organic compound that poses toxic risks to any person who inhales or ingests it, intentionally or unintentionally. Furthermore, humans can be affected by PCBs through direct contact or consumption of contaminated animals. In order to inform and preserve the people’s health, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an analysis of tests regarding PCBs potential to cause cancer.

The molecular structure of PCBs does not break down, therefore it persists in the environment regardless of when it was first emitted. Unfortunately, companies in the past, such as Monsanto, have produced liquids that expose the chemical to humans. Monsanto PCBs can lead to detrimental health problems depending on the severity of exposure.

The EPA conducted an inclusive analysis, of which the evidence suggested that PCBs cause cancer in animals. Through research and referencing an experimental study performed on laboratory rats, the EPA was able to determine what PCB mixtures are the most dangerous, and which methods of exposure pose the highest risks.

After analyzing the study on animals, the EPA continued to discuss the PCBs carcinogenicity for humans. Overall, the evidence proved “inconclusive” due to outside factors, such as an inability to correctly identify exposure levels, inadequate sample sizes, and each subject’s amount they smoke, or drink. Because these studies are limited in nature, the EPA was only able to identify a “probable” link between PCBs and cancer.

Overall, evidence suggested a definite link with PCBs ability to cause cancer in animals, and a “probable” link with their carcinogenicity for humans. Supporting these findings, the International Agency for Cancer Research and the National Institute for Occupational Safety Health cite a “probable” and “potential” link, respectively, and the National Toxicology Program finds a “reasonable” one.

Treatment for Nausea and Vomiting during Pregnancy

Treatment for Nausea and Vomiting during Pregnancy

Apr 03

Morning sickness, which is referred to in the medical community as nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (NVP), is a problem common to most pregnant women. According to researchers from the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, around 80 percent or two-thirds of women experience nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of their pregnancy. It also varies in their degree of intensity. Some women experience symptoms that are mild and can increase in severity over the course of the day. There are also women who experience frequent vomiting and electrolyte imbalance.

Mild cases of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can be solved through some dietary and lifestyle changes. The American Pregnancy Association suggests the following tips that could help alleviate your discomfort:

  • Eat small but frequent meals to keep your blood sugar at an even level
  • Keep soda crackers by your bed side and eat a few before getting up in the morning
  • Consistently drink fluids in small amounts to avoid getting dehydrated
  • Try to drink fluids before meals to keep your stomach from getting too full when you eat
  • Avoid fatty foods and focus on eating food with protein and carbohydrates instead.
  • Soothe an upset stomach by eating bland or salty foods. Drinking lemonade or ginger ale can also help.
  • Take prenatal vitamins and other supplements before going to bed.
  • Avoid strenuous and stressful activities in the morning.
  • Try to rest and nap as much as you can.
  • Stay in rooms that are well-ventilated to avoid feeling nauseous from particular odors.

With more severe cases of vomiting during pregnancy, medication might be necessary to mitigate the dangers it could cause. Dehydration that results from frequent vomiting might require a hospital stay to help replenish fluids and nutrients you’ve lost. There are also some doctors who might prescribe medication to treat intense symptoms. Drugs are typically prescribed to pregnant women after proper consultation.

It’s important to note that some medication for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can cause serious side effects. Zofran, for example, has been reportedly linked to several cases of birth defects. According to the website of Zofran lawyers of Williams Kherkher, these cases involve long-term health conditions like congenital heart failure. As such, you should never use drugs to treat symptoms without asking your doctor first.

What Can You Do About A Heart Defect?

What Can You Do About A Heart Defect?

Feb 02

It can be one of the hardest things in the world to have to deal with – living with a defective heart. Unlike your tonsils or appendix, you cannot proceed with your daily life as regularly as you might like if you have a faulty heart. In fact – you can live the rest of your entire life without your tonsils or your appendix. Should your heart, however, not function the way it should – it will have very real, tangible consequences upon your daily life for the rest of your life.

An example of which is congenital heart defect, otherwise known as congenital heart anomaly. This kind of defect can create heart murmurs, therefore giving the person an irregular or abnormal blood flow. Many birth defect-related deaths are due to a defective, or otherwise malfunctioning, heart. Sometimes, this affliction cannot be helped due to genetics. However, according to the website of Williams Kherkher, there are some cases when this kind of defect (among others) is due to exposure to a drug commercially known as Zofran.

Zofran, also called ondansetron, is a pharmaceutical drug that is often used to treat nausea in some patients. Some side effects can include constipation, fatigue, lethargy, and migraines, among others. It differs from person to person. This drug is usually prescribed to patients with cancer as they are being treated by chemotherapy or via radiation, wherein nausea is a common side effect. Pregnant women also suffer this kind of temporary, but dangerous, affliction during the course of their pregnancy (also known as “morning sickness”). There are some currently on-going studies that link certain cases of birth defects, inclusive of congenital heart defect and cleft lip and palate, with the fetus’ exposure to Zofran during the early stages of development while still in the womb.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a similar circumstance, it is best for legal aid to be sought in order to know what rights you are given in a court of law with regard to your current predicament.

Depression, Prozac, and Black Box Warnings

Depression, Prozac, and Black Box Warnings

Jul 11

Patients seeking respite from depression often turn to antidepressant prescription medication. Psychiatrists typically recommend dual treatment plans that include psychiatric sessions and antidepressants for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). The combined therapy is useful in helping patients quickly achieve and maintain feelings of well-being.

Prozac was one of the first mass-produced and distributed antidepressant prescriptions, hitting the market in 1987. Prozac serves as a pop-culture masthead for antidepressants, as it is referenced in film, literature, and music. Elizabeth Wurtzel’s 1994 memoir Prozac Nation guided readers through the uncertain, sometimes unprovoked, bouts of despondency that accompany major depressive disorder. Wurtzel’s story is a nuanced journey that grapples with, and through, the mental illness complex.

However useful Prozac proves to be in lifting the weight of despondency, some patients experience adverse effects as a result of taking the drug. Most antidepressants come with a black box warning. A black box warning, or boxed warning, is the strongest warning that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires, and indicates that the drug carries potential life-threatening adverse effects. One of the most troubling potential adverse effects for Prozac, and most other antidepressants, is increased thoughts of committing suicide or self-harm.

Since Prozac was released, thousands of people have sued the manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Company, for damages related to suicidal and violent behavior that the medicine was allegedly the cause of. In 2000, Eli Lilly and Company had paid out over $50 million in damages for nearly 30 court cases related to murder and suicide. In addition to being sued for suicide and murder cases, Eli Lilly has been sued for birth defects that Prozac allegedly caused in pregnant women. In addition to heart defects, Prozac is credited for causing neural defects to developing fetuses.

What Happens when a Medication is Dangerous?

What Happens when a Medication is Dangerous?

May 10

According to the latest study reported by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the number of product recalls for drugs and devices has nearly doubled from 2003 to 2012. Most of these recalls have cause serious injury or fatalities to the patients. The increase of recalls for dangerous drugs and medical devices by the FDA is believed to be due to a more meticulous and proactive approach of the government agency’s safety regulations, while many think that the increase in the recalls prove the FDA’s oversight on the premarket approval process.

The product liability litigation has steadily evolved, becoming a useful tool that consumers us to protect themselves from irresponsible or negligent drug and medical device manufacturers. Dangerous drugs and medical devices that caused harm or death to their patients make their manufacturers liable for product liability lawsuits. Sadly, there are manufacturers that put their profits in line first before the safety of their patients. This has resulted to various dangerous medical drugs and devices that have been sold in the market. One of these products is Yaz. The side effects of taking Yaz have been known to cause deep vein thrombosis, stroke, blood clots, and many others. Despite the dangerous side effects, however, Yaz is still being sold in the market, and the only action that the FDA-approved birth control pills has is the black warning label.

Although many of these dangerous drugs and medical devices provide a certain positive effect for their patients, the long-term effects can cause lasting damage that may not be worth the risk. The side effects of Yaz, surgical mesh, metal hip implants, and many others have been pointed out the need for a more intensive product testing before they should be sold to the market. Medical negligence is the most dangerous type of negligence there is because patients trust their health to their doctors, medical professionals, and drug manufacturers. When these dangerous drugs and devices cause devastating side effects, the results can dramatically lower the patient’s quality of life, or even cost them their life. Those who think they have been a victim of such products should seek professional legal help in order to get compensation for the damages that the product has brought. It is also important to file for a lawsuit in order to provide information to other patients about the danger our the drug or product.

The Formation of Scars

The Formation of Scars

May 02

Scars are defined as marks of fibrous tissues that are created after an injury. A scar often results after the skin repairs and heals itself, making it a natural part of the healing process. Just about every type of injury or wound an end up with scarring, and although scar tissues are made up of the same protein called collagen, the fiber composition of this protein varies from the usual. Scars are made when, during the healing process, instead of random basketweave-like formation of collagen fibers, the fibers form cross-links which form a distinct alignment in a single direction.

There are several types of scars – hypertrophic, atrophic, keloid, and stretch marks. Hypertrophic scars are scars that are raised around the skin, forming red bumps that occur within four to eight weeks after a wound or infection. Atrophic scars are the type that are sunken and appear pitted on the skin. These usually is due to the loss of fat or muscles beneath the skin, and is often associated with surgeries, accidents, and even skin conditions such as acne and chickenpox. Stretch marks are also a type of scarring, and are caused by rapid stretching of the skin and can improve in appearance over the years. Keloids, on the other hand, are a severe form of hypertrophic scarring. These types of scars can grow to considerably into big, tumorous lumps. Although they are benign, they can be disfiguring, and can cause itching and pain for many people who have them. When these scars interfere with the quality of life of a person, they can be removed by plastic surgery.

Depending on the extent of the scars and the goals of the patient, a plastic surgeon will determine how to treat the scars. There are topical treatments, injectables, and surface treatments. They can help in improving the physical traits of the patient. When the scars are causing physical impairment, health coverage can pay for the plastic surgery. This is essential if burn scars or accidents (particularly workplace accidents) caused the injuries that restrict the worker’s movement.