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Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Report Concludes Contraceptives May Lead to Depression

A study by Danish researchers has found that hormonal contraceptives are linked with an increased risk of depression. The study viewed more than a million women between the ages of 15 and 34 from 2000 to 2013. Users of hormonal contraception had a 40 percent heightened risk of developing depression after six months of using the contraception. Certain pills, such as progestin-only pills or Levonorgestrel IUD posed an even greater risk of depression. Adolescent girls were found to have the greatest risk of developing depression, but this may be due to the fact that young girls are especially susceptible to depression. The researchers say that even though the risk of depression is significantly increased with the use of hormonal contraceptives, most women will not develop depression from using them. However, it is important that women are educated on the depressive risks of hormonal birth control methods and know that there are non-hormonal forms of birth control. To read a summary of the study by Nicholas Bakalar of the New York Times, click here.

What are the causes of medication errors and can they be reduced?

When residents in Pennsylvania become ill, they rely on medical professionals to diagnose and treat them. In most cases, this often requires prescribing the patient medication. And, while these medications can be effective when used properly, patients could be harmed due to negligence and errors occurring in the prescribing, distribution and administering medications.

What are the causes of medication errors, and can they be reduced? When patients pick up the medications they have been prescribed, they assume that the medicine that they are receiving from the pharmacist is both safe and efficacious. Nonetheless, the FDA claims that roughly 1.3 million patients are harmed by medication errors every year and at least one person dies every day due to medication errors in the United States.

Errors during delivery causing traumatic birth injuries

Much like a Pennsylvania mother-to-be cannot control when her baby comes unless she has a planned C-section, a mother-to-be cannot always expect her baby to be delivered healthy and unharmed -- even though that is her hope and intention. Thus, parents to be must always be prepared for possible complications during the labor and delivery process. Moreover, parents should also consider the unfortunate possibility of an error during delivery occurring, thus causing a traumatic birth injury to their infant.

New Jersey Transit kills 1, Injures 114

A commuter train on the New Jersey Transit Line smashed into the Hoboken Terminal on the morning of September 29th, killing one person and injuring 114 according to the Washington Post. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said the following regarding the crash: "The train came at a high rate of speed into the station and crashed through all the barriers, bringing it all the way to the internal wall of the Hoboken terminal. We have no indication that this was anything but a tragic accident." According to reports, some passengers were trapped under debris from the train and many people were openly bleeding from their injuries.

Does High Factor Sunscreen Decrease the Risk of Skin Cancer?

A recent study published by the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Oslo found that applying high factor sunscreen as opposed to low factor sunscreen can decrease the risk of developing melanoma by 33%. The study considered sunscreen above SPF 15 a high factor sunscreen, and in turn considered sunscreen below SPF 15 a low factor sunscreen. The study followed more than 140,000 Norwegian women for an average of ten years to draw its conclusions.

The long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury

Whether it is due to a fall in the workplace, an incident on another's property or a motor vehicle accident, suffering a head trauma will likely be a life-changing injury for victims in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. A traumatic brain injury or a TBI occurs when a victims suffers a bump, blow or jolt to the head. This injury disrupts the functions of the brain and could have serious long-term effects.

Roughly 140 people in the United States die every day from a TBI, and this serious medical condition could affect an accident victim's brain and nervous system for the rest of his or her life. According to neuroscientists, a TBI is likely a response to a mechanical injury or damage to the brain and brain tissue. The tearing of the axons and dendrites from neurons and the release of glutamate harms neurons and could even cause cell death.

Should Men be Screened for Breast Cancer?

A common cancer misconception is that only women can be diagnosed with life-threatening breast cancer. To the contrary, approximately 440 of the 2,600 men who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year will lose their battle with the disease. Women have a much greater risk of being diagnosed with the disease than men; a woman's lifetime chance of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8, while a man's chance is 1 in 1,000. The American Cancer Society says that, "there is unlikely to be any benefit in screening men in the general population for breast cancer with mammograms or other tests." However, men with a family history of breast cancer or those who have gene mutations may benefit from routine screenings although there has been minimal research done on the benefits of breast cancer screenings in men. The American Cancer Society also notes that regular breast self-exams are not recommended for men and women who are at a normal risk for breast cancer.

Holding a negligent driver accountable after a motorcycle crash

Although the number of motorcycles on the roadways decreases as the fall weather settles in, motorists in Pennsylvania and elsewhere should still expect to still see some die-hard motorcyclists traveling throughout the fall season and even into the winter.

Cool weather, rain and even snow should not cause an automobile driver to fail to take precaution and be on the lookout for smaller vehicles such as motorcycles. Because when a driver is distracted or negligent, even for just a second, they could cause a serious and even fatal motorcycle crash.

Sled Riding Safety

Autumn is upon us and soon the snow will begin falling. Snow brings with it the joy of playing in the snow and sled riding for kids across the country. But sled riding can be a dangerous endeavor for children; according to the most recent statistics, over 50,000 children per year are treated at hospitals due to sled, toboggan, and tube related injuries.

What are the common signs of a traumatic brain injury?

When an accident occurs, victims are often concerned with their safety and wellbeing. In fact, accident victims in Pennsylvania and elsewhere will look their body over, ensuring no major or even minor injuries were suffered. While this step helps them address major health concerns and injuries, this unfortunately does not help a victim address those injuries that do not have immediate signs and symptoms. One of those types of injuries is a head injury.

What are the commons signs of a traumatic brain injury? A traumatic brain injury, or a TBI, does not always reveal itself immediately following a blow to the head. Therefore, it is important that individuals are mindful of the major signs and symptoms of a TBI following an accident. This post will discuss some of these signs.

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