The Untold Dangers of Anesthesia

dangers or Anesthesia

The prospect of undergoing invasive surgery can be scary, especially for those who have never been “under the knife” before. While the risks of any surgery can be frightening, it is the untold side effects of anesthesia that may be most concerning for many patients. According to the Mayo Clinic, individuals who receive anesthesia may be at risk for the development of mental confusion, heart attack, stroke, or even death. Understanding why these conditions occur—and how they can be avoided—is crucial for those who are considering medical procedures that require anesthesia.

Permanent Mental Confusion

Anesthesia is designed to induce a coma-like state for men and women who are undergoing invasive surgery or other medical procedures. When used properly, anesthesia eliminates pain, erases memory, induces a state of unconsciousness, and artificially “paralyzes” the body. As anesthesia starts to wear off, patients often experience a high degree of drowsiness, confusion, and even agitation. While it is common for the patient to experience these symptoms on a short-term basis, there is also a risk of the development of permanent mental confusion following the use of anesthesia during surgery or other similar medical therapies.

Heart Attack

WebMD reports that individuals who receive anesthesia may also be at risk for the development of a heart attack. Traditionally, a heart attack occurs when the arteries of the heart become blocked with plaque and fatty deposits—thus limiting the amount of blood supply to the working organ. However, research shows that certain types of medications, including those found in anesthesia, can also be to blame when it comes to the development of this type of condition. Individuals who have a family history of heart disease or have suffered a heart attack in the past may not be appropriate for treatments that require the use of anesthesia.

Stroke

As with a heart attack, stokes occur when blood supply to a certain part of the body—in this case, the brain—is limited. Unfortunately, recovery from a stroke can be quite difficult, and may result in permanent disability in regards to specific bodily functions. Anesthesia is often blamed for the development of a stroke due to its association with increasingly high blood pressure levels and dangerous heart arrhythmias. Patients who have high blood pressure often require close monitoring during anesthesia to avoid the development of this serious and de-habilitating condition.

Death

Death is perhaps the most serious danger associated with medical treatments requiring anesthesia. While a patient can die following anesthesia as a result of a heart attack or stroke, infection, allergic reactions, and over dosages can also be fatal. Individuals who are scheduled to receive anesthesia should be sure to meet with their medical team well in advance of the planned procedure to discuss both the risks and benefits of the treatment. Patients who do not feel comfortable receiving anesthesia after speaking with their healthcare team should consider what other options are available to them when treating their specific medical condition.

Organizations that Have Given Their Heart to Children with CP

Children with CP

What is CP?

CP, formally known as Cerebral Palsy, is the name given to a group of neurological defects that lead to physical disabilities in the course of a child’s growth from infancy through roughly the fifth year, when the diagnosis is fully fleshed out.

The defects are often marked by tremors and loss of sensation, a symptom that also appears in a large number of individuals suffering from early stage Parkinson’s disease. The difference is, those who develop CP do so largely within the first three years.

If undetected at birth, as in the case of athetoid or dyskinetic CP, the affects will appear much sooner, producing difficulty sitting, maintaining a sitting posture without falling over, and walking and speaking distinctly. Because this form of CP affects the tongue and vocal cords, some children may even drool.

CP Types and Symptoms

There are many other symptoms and, in fact, types of CP. Typing is based on symptomatology, and the causes are as varied as the mother developing German measles, drinking alcohol, or taking illicit drugs during the first two trimesters (or six months) of pregnancy. Other causes include (but are not limited to) serious infections like toxoplasmosis, herpes, other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), poor diet, and exposure to toxic substances. CP may even be caused by multiple births, small pelvis and breech presentation (buttocks first instead of the head). Even low blood pressure and premature birth may trigger the neurological anomaly.

The disease is tragic, turning a beautiful newborn into an uncommunicative, possibly drooling victim when CP is fully diagnosed.  Nor is the mother always to blame. In fact, aside from the obvious triggers – tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs and unsafe sex – CP is pretty much an equal opportunity brain defect, and even after more than a half-century of research doctors and clinicians are unsure what causes it.

Birth injury is one suspect, as when the placenta is damaged during labor (sometimes by use of a vacuum extractor or forceps, when delivery is breech). Premature delivery in the case of a difficult and premature labor when the fetus is too young to cope with the stresses of life outside the uterus is also suspected.

 Where to Turn for Help

The discovery that a newborn has CP is such a shock to the system some parents never fully recover. In fact, this tiny scrap of humanity, for whom parents have waited almost a year (and in whom resides all their best hopes and ambitions for the future), can tear apart a family faster than more mundane issues like money, infidelity and sexual orientation.

Unable  to admit the awful truth – what they see as some defect on their part(s) – these parents will struggle from day to day, trying to adapt to a care regimen that is nothing like the once described in the baby books. While friends struggle to keep their active two-year-old out of cupboards, rooms and the family dryer, parents of children with CP struggle just to see their baby sit up.

Other parents, firmly grounded and with reliable social safety nets (from workplace friends, high school and college friends, even friends from church or bible study or charitable organization work) will find help, because no one gets through this alone.

That first cry for help may go out to NICHCY, the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, an information clearinghouse that outlines disabilities and organizations designed to help desperate parents.

The second call will be to the Cerebral Palsy Organization, which offers everything from definitive advice about classifying, or staging, the severity of CP – an essential element to getting help and one which your doctor may not be comfortable making – to a website and call center to answer those pressing questions.

Other organizations include the Cleveland Children’s Clinic, in Ohio, consistently rated by U.S. News and World Report as one of the “Best Children’s Hospitals” for its staff of more than 300 pediatric medical and surgical professionals. Along the same lines, Gillette Children’s Hospital offers a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in conjunction with Region’s Hospital, the “go to” hospital in St. Paul (Minnesota).

A website devoted exclusively to teen Cerebral Palsy offers chat pages where CP teens can engage one another in conversation about their illness and gain the courage to work harder and face the world. The point? Everyone knows teens would almost rather confront Freddy (A Nightmare on Elm Street) than talk to their parents! A similar site for post-teens is Cerebral Palsy World.

Finally, for those who are financially unable to care for their CP child, cerebralpalsycosts.com offers a wealth of information on how to access various government programs (Social Security Disability Insurance, for example, or Medicaid/Medicare) to fund the more than $1.148 million it costs caregivers to raise the CP infant to adulthood.

These disabled children funding groups include state aid and county aid, but not hospital charitable programs or other charitable institution funding. Do all the legwork, even if you are exhausted, and you may come across a pleasant surprise, like a community hospital which provides indigent or very low income patients with complete financial support except for prescriptions and elective outpatient programs.

Managing Doctor and Hospital Bills after a Car Accident

medical bills

When You’re Still in Sticker Shock

If you were involved in an automobile accident, and if you have no medical insurance, you had better hope the accident happened in a no-fault state, where accident costs fall equally on both parties’ auto insurance policies. If it didn’t and you actually opened the hospital bill, you may need to go back to that same hospital to be treated for a heart attack!

Hospital bills in August of 2013, on the cusp of the Obamacare act – formally known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) – are unbelievably high. It is almost a case of your entire fortune and your first-born, with coverage for critical care costing more than $3,500 per day.

Under no-fault, it’s easy to get insurance companies to pay up: in fact, they are mandated by law to do so. Unfortunately, if they don’t pay all the bills, deeming some the insurance owner’s responsibility – did you ask for and receive PTSD therapy, a home-care nurse or outside caregiver, or an at-home heart monitor? – you will be unable to sue your insurance company for full restitution.

During Sticker Shock Recovery

Sticker shock recovery may be more difficult and prolonged than actual physical healing, depending on not only the kinds of care you need in the hospital but the geographic area where you live. Costs for Florida-based treatment of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) run almost $63,000. The same treatment in a Minnesota hospital runs about $21,000.

In spite of such disparities, it can be said that, in the northern tier of states – except Washington, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey – hospital costs are lower than the southern tier. The exceptions noted above are not only populous states, but states where workers make very good incomes; two factors which make costly insurance self-explanatory.

Along the southern tier, Florida and Texas are expensive. Another Pacific Coast state, California, is equally expensive. But there are exceptions, and in general, hospital costs across the U.S. form a crazy quilt of medical expenses for inpatient hospital care that make little sense at first glance. For those interested in delving deeper into costs, a visit to the electronic pages for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, has a wealth of information.

What You Can Expect in Fault Auto Insurance States

If your auto accident is very expensive, both in terms of property damage and bodily injury, and you live in Michigan – which mandates Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Property Protection (PPI), and Residual Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (BI/PD) – you will eventually end up with a fat folder of bills from hospitals, doctors, medical professionals and even some people you never heard of.

For example, if you had an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), you will get one bill from the hospital and another for the individual or group that “reads” the test. In a blessedly few cases, you may get separate bills from the technician who performed the MRI, the individual who examined the scan, and the company or division in the hospital which owns the device. Good luck sorting that out!

Michigan’s minimum coverage limits for the various aspects of auto insurance. PIP pays all “reasonable and necessary” medical bills up to three years, including lost wages. PPI pays up to $1 million, which may seem like a fortune until you add up the medical bills. The BI/PD portion of that policy indemnifies the driver or policy holder for any out-of-state property damage; the limit is $10,000. The minimum amount you are required to shell out – which varies from one insurance company to the next (welcome to free enterprise!) – will pay $20,000 per each person injured or killed, and $40,000 for each accident where several individuals are hurt or killed.

What about All Those Bills?

Your insurance adjuster will love you if you start a tabbed file for every kind of bill you receive after a fender-bender. If you don’t, and he or she has to wade through the paper tsunami you have created, you may not get the same kind of fast, generous service settling the bills as someone who has will.

If you’re not a paper-pusher and your main job is making sure the plastic bubble in the bag-making machine doesn’t collapse, let your wife help. You might even drag in your teenagers to give them first-hand experience with the way insurance works.

At the beginning, you should send a note to every provider who sends you a bill explaining that the services are the result of an auto accident, and that your insurance provider is handling the bills. Use your insurance-generated claim number and the name of your adjuster in every piece of correspondence. If your letter or bill is more than a page, carefully staple the pages or – if your adjuster says don’t – preface every document with a fax-cover page (your name, fax number, telephone number, claim number, adjuster’s name, and a line item indicating how many pages you are submitting including the fax cover page). Copy every piece of outgoing mail relating to the accident.

Make copies of the prescriptions your doctor orders, and get receipts for every single item you purchase in relation to your injury. As long as you are careful about filling in the appropriate subsections on claim forms, your adjuster will see your behavior not as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) but as the sign of an organized mind. After all, that’s what he (or she) does in the office.

 

Zoloft and the Link to Birth Defects

Zoloft Dangers

For most moms-to-be, pregnancy is a very emotional time. Not only are they dealing with an increase in the number of hormones coursing through their body, but are also preparing to bring new life into the world. While women often consider pregnancy to be an exciting time, some women can find themselves sinking into a depression. Unfortunately, some of the medications used to treat depression—including Zoloft—can have severe side effects, including the development of life threatening birth defects.

What is Zoloft?

Understanding the basics behind Zoloft is crucial for those who want to prevent the development of birth defects in their unborn children. According to Drugs.com, Zoloft is a prescription medication used in the treatment and management of depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Zoloft is often classified as an anti-depressant, and falls into a class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors—or SSRIs. In addition to the conditions described above, some physicians and other healthcare providers may prescribe Zoloft from the management of insomnia, chronic acne, and other various conditions.

 How to Use Zoloft

As with most other medications, using Zoloft in a safe and responsible manner is very important to prevent potential complications. Individuals who receive the oral tablet form of Zoloft can feel comfortable taking the medication with or without food, as long as it is consumed at the same time each day. In contrast, those who use the liquid version of the product must carefully dilute it with water, ginger ale, or lemon-lime soda before its consumption. Failing to take Zoloft in the described manner cannot only decrease its effectiveness, but may lead to serious complications or health risks for the patient.

Birth Defects Associated with Zoloft

While Zoloft is safe to use for most people, women who are pregnant should never ingest the medication. In fact, pregnant women who do take Zoloft may be at greater risk for the delivery of an infant born with moderate to severe forms of birth defect. Some of the most common birth defects associated with maternal Zoloft intake include pulmonary stenosis, tetralogy of fallot, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, ventricular septal defects, cleft palate, and skull defects. In addition, more and more research is suggesting that infants who are exposed to Zoloft in utero may be at risk for the development of Downs’ syndrome.

Seeking Assistance

Obviously, Zoloft is a dangerous drug that should not be used under any circumstances by women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant. Those who suffer from depression or any of the other mental health conditions described above should talk with their healthcare provider about weaning from the prescription as soon as possible. In most cases, these women can be easily transitioned to another medication that does not feature such serious health risks. Once the baby has been born, mothers who are not breastfeeding may be able to return to the use of this product.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

brain injury

There are often misconceptions about traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and who has them; for example, they only happen to elderly people who slip and fall or to professional athletes such as football players.  The truth is, a traumatic brain injury could occur at any moment, to a person of any age group or ability and for any number of reasons.  TBIs are so prevalent that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that approximately 1.7 million people each year are affected and is the contributing factor in nearly one-third of all injury-related deaths.  While the statistics might be scary and may tempt you to keep your children in isolation and safety, it’s best to understand a TBI, how to recognize it, and know what to do if one occurs to someone you love.

TBIs: Aren’t Those for Football Players?

Yes, it’s true that professional athletes have had a long history of traumatic brain injuries, but they are not the only ones who can be affected or fall victim to a TBI.  According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a traumatic brain injury, by definition, is “a form of acquired brain injury, which occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain.  It can also occur when the head suddenly and violently hits an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue”.  Simply stated, the brain becomes damaged and the damage can range from mild to severe to fatal.

While no particular group of individuals is spared from ever having a TBI, the individuals at greatest risk are children aged 0 to 4 years, adults aged 75 and older, and males are more likely than females.

How am I at Risk?

You could have a TBI by simply slipping, falling, and hitting your head, but there are numerous dangerous causes that could put you and others you know, at risk for a traumatic brain injury.

  • Falls: Falls account the most common cause of TBI in infants, children and elders.  Whether you fall out of bed, slip in the tub, fall down stairs, off of ladders, or fall in your home, your accident could cause a very serious TBI.

 

  • Vehicle collisions:  Life threatening things can happen very quickly in the event of a car accident.  Even with air bags, seat belts and other safety measures, a driver or passenger can receive severe trauma to their heads.  Additionally, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians involved with a vehicle collision are at a higher risk of TBI as they are often less protected.

 

  • Violence: Violence, whether it be weapon related or domestic/child abuse, comes in many vicious and destructive forms.  Approximately 10% of TBIs are caused by violence, including gunshot wounds, domestic violence, child abuse, and “Shaken Baby Syndrome”.

 

  • Sports-Related Injuries:  People who play or participate in high-impact or extreme sports are at greatest risk of TBIs.  Such sports include, but are not limited to, football, boxing, soccer, baseball, skateboarding and snowboarding.  Even with the use of helmets, athletes are still at risk.

 

  • Explosive blasts and combat injuries:  It wasn’t until recently that researchers started to look at combat-related injuries.  It was determined that explosive blasts are a common cause of TBIs and additionally, severe blows of shrapnel or debris to the head, body collisions with an object or penetrating wounds are also causes for TBI in active-duty military personnel.

 

Traumatic Brain Injuries do not mean “the end”

If someone you know has suffered a TBI, it might be a long road to recovery.  Depending on the severity of the traumatic brain injury and how quickly it was assessed and taken care of, will map out a path for recovery.  Many individuals who suffer from a mild TBI may have a headache and only require rest and observation at home while others who suffer from severe TBIs may face years of rehabilitation and life may be changed forever.

Traumatic Brain Injuries are not completely preventable, but can be decreased and sometimes eliminated by ensuring proper safety gear and implements such as helmets for children, seatbelts in the car, and hand railings in a home.

You should not live in fear, worrying that you will be the next victim of a TBI.  While you should live life to the fullest, live it safely so you can enjoy it!

Helmets Save Lives

helmet safety

To some people, helmets might seem like a hassle. But if you enjoy bike riding, own a motorcycle or play certain sports like football and skateboarding, you should know that a helmet is crucial in preventing brain or spinal cord injuries. Studies have shown that helmets worn properly reduce the risk of severe, lifelong injuries.

If You Cycle, Wear A Helmet

In a recent Cyclist Safety Report by the city of Boston, MA, it was cited that helmets have reduced the risk of head injury of up to 85% and reduce the risk of brain injury by up to 88%. In the study, it was found that men between the ages of 25 and 35 are more likely to be involved in a bicycle crash. Ten percent of crashes ended with the cyclist going to the hospital.

What Are Helmet Laws?

Many states have laws that require motorcyclists and cyclists to wear helmets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities and injuries decline when helmet laws are enacted. Consequently, when helmet laws are repealed, fatalities increase. Not all states have laws that require riders to wear helmets. None of the fifty states require everyone to wear helmets while riding a bicycle (21 states require riders under a certain age to wear helmets), according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Nineteen states require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, while Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire have no helmet laws for motorcyclists at all.

What Are The Best Helmets To Buy?

According to the New York State Department of Health, effective helmets should be made of polystyrene, a sturdy material that absorbs the impact of a fall or collision. Foam pads will not effectively prevent brain injury like polystyrene can. Make sure the helmet fits your head snugly, and can be adjusted with straps to prevent it from moving around. Bicycle helmets are required by law to meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards for safety (they should have a CPSC sticker to show that they meet these requirements).

Chiropractic Danger: Neck Manipulation and Strokes

chiropractic danger

One of the biggest moneymakers for chiropractors is spinal manipulation. This usually involves twisting and turning the neck in specific ways that are intended to alleviate pain. Unfortunately, some patients have found out that chiropractic danger exists when a practitioner manipulates the neck in this fashion. This sort of neck manipulation may be done over and over again, sometimes for years on end, as patients go back to the chiropractor seeking treatments for pain. There is nowhere near universal consensus that this particular treatment, nor chiropractic medicine in general, has any value whatsoever. Some medical practitioners consider chiropractic medicine to be quackery but, quackery or not, the potential for injury is there.

Strokes

According to one report released by Science Based Medicine, a 37 year-old woman suffered a stroke during a neck adjustment; one of many that she had received over the course of a period of years. The chiropractor failed to notice the symptoms of stroke after working on her neck which, conceivably, would be cause to investigate into whether chiropractic malpractice played a part in her injuries. While strokes maim and kill many people every year, they are not always obvious right after they occur.

The same source relates a story of a 63-year-old man who suffered an ischemic stroke that was believed to have been caused by chiropractic treatment. The original publishers of that story, the Journal of Neuroimaging, recommend against neck manipulations for patients suffering from certain conditions.

What to Do?

While chiropractic medicine may not be acknowledged by all scientific doctors as a real form of medicine, it is most certainly licensed and practiced as if it were actual medicine in most places. Chiropractic malpractice is something that patients can definitely sue over, just as they can sue a regular physician if that physician delivers care that falls below the standards required.

In some cases, patients may allege chiropractic malpractice when they were given a treatment that should not have been given to them, given another condition that they had. They may also sue for chiropractic malpractice if they have reason to suspect that a chiropractic treatment was the proximate cause of an injury that they suffered and if that injury caused them serious harm.

The best way to deal with situations involving injuries caused by chiropractors is to talk to a personal injury attorney about the matter. Because they can be sued for malpractice, personal injury attorneys can help you determine whether or not it would be worth your while to go after a chiropractor by filing a lawsuit against them. If you believe that they have injured you, it’s best to talk to an attorney as soon as possible to determine your options.

Medical Malpractice: Cosmetic Surgeries and Anesthesia Dangers

cosmetic surgery

Anesthesia comes in several different varieties. Some of the worst medical mistakes involve anesthesia and, if you’ve been the victim of such a mistake, you may want to consider speaking with a medical malpractice attorney. Where cosmetic procedures are concerned, you may be given any one of the four major types of anesthesia. Anesthesia dangers are issues in any such situation and you should be informed of these dangers before the procedure is undertaken.

The Four Types of Anesthesia

The four most common types of anesthesia are listed below, from the NIH.

Local Anesthesia

This is the least intensive form of anesthesia. You may have had this used when you’ve had minor procedures done that may not have been terribly involved but which may have been very painful without this procedure. Local anesthesia leaves you awake and fully alert and aware of your surroundings. It merely numbs the area being operated on. This type of anesthesia is used by dentists, doctors and other professionals who may perform procedures that would otherwise be horribly uncomfortable.

Intravenous Sedation, IV Sedation

This type of anesthesia combines a sedative and an analgesic to kill the pain. You’ll generally be awake after having this type of anesthesia. Sedation dentistry oftentimes utilizes this type of anesthesia to make long and painful procedures bearable. It is also used for some cosmetic procedures, provided the pain involved is not likely to be too extreme.

Regional Anesthesia

This type of anesthesia blocks out all the pain signals from a specific area of the body. Women going through labor oftentimes have this done so that they don’t have to deal with the pain. This procedure may be used on limbs or other areas of the body. Cosmetic procedures may be done under this type of anesthesia to avoid some of the dangers that go along with general anesthesia.

General Anesthesia

This is the most extreme form of anesthesia. It involves bringing you to the point where you are unconscious and where you feel nothing at all. You will have no memory of what happened when you awake from this type of anesthesia. It is also the most dangerous form of anesthesia and takes a great deal of training to perform. This type of anesthesia is used in many cosmetic procedures and carries with it great risks.

Anesthesia mistakes involve everything from not giving enough medication and leaving patients fully aware and feeling a procedure, but unable to move. It can involve accidental death and other outcomes, as well.

Injured…. When Should You Sue?

injured


Judy was shopping at her local supermarket and heard “Clean Up in Aisle 2” over the intercom.  As Judy headed down Aisle 2, she was impressed with how quickly the maintenance crew cleaned up the mess and surrounded the area with proper signage.  Judy continued through the store, hitting up the frozen foods section next.  Suddenly, Judy slipped on a puddle, causing her to lose her footing and hit the hard floor.  Judy bumped her head and hurt her shoulder, but got up quickly as she was embarrassed.  Judy, fortunately, had not received a concussion, but had severe shoulder pain.  Judy looked around for wet floor signs, but did not see any.  Judy could barely see the puddle of water, but noticed that it came from underneath an upright freezer full of ice cream.  When Judy talked to the store’s manager, he apologized and said that they were planning on fixing the freezer, but hadn’t got around to repairing the leak.  Judy asked him why there was no caution sign by the freezer; the manager had no good answer.  When Judy left the store, she realized her pain was worse than she initially thought.  Her doctor’s diagnosis found a small fracture in her shoulder.  Judy understands that accidents happen, but she would like to sue the store for her injuries.  How long should an
injured individual wait before they sue?

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