Bipolar disorder (or manic-depression) and schizophrenia are two serious mental disorders suffered by millions of Americans. In 2011 more than 54 million antipsychotic drug prescriptions were actually written for patients; 23% of these prescriptions were Risperdal.
Risperdal was developed by Janssen-Cilag (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary) in 1992. This anti-psychotic oral drug was, in turn, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1994 for treatment of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and irritability experienced by children with autism.
Risperdal was advertised by its manufacturer as causing lesser side-effects compared to all the other anti-psychotic drugs that came before it, thus, it immediately gained popularity among US doctors. And because it was also proven effective, doctors started prescribing it for off-label use, specifically as treatment for attention deficit disorder (ADD) in children, behavioral disorders (in elders with dementia), Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression, stuttering and anxiety.
Risperdal’s effectivity was mainly due to its capability to alter the effects of the brain’s neurotransmitters, which cause abnormal brain communication that result to psychotic illness. In 2003, however, after a decade in the market, reports of severe side-effects and deaths being linked to Risperdal started to surface. These reports included: Tardive Dyskinesia, which is the uncontrolled twitching of the tongue and/or face and uncontrolled limb movement because of a disorder in the central nervous system; development of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome or NMS, a deadly state caused by irregularities in blood pressure and rigidity of the muscles); and, incidences of strokes and death. During this same year, Johnson & Johnson sent a warning letter to U.S. physicians, telling them of the risk of stroke in elderly patients who used the drug.
Eventually, Risperdal was said to be causing more harm than good. In a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2006, it was said that prolonged use of the drug by male children and adolescents can also result to gynecomastia, known informally as “man boobs.”
The law firm Williams Kherkher says in its website that there are many other side-effects linked to Risperdal. Some of these are gynecomastia, bone loss (demineralization), galactorrhea, sexual dysfunction, diabetes, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movement), pancreatitis, arrhythmia, increased risk of death among elderly people suffering from dementia, and so forth.
People harmed by Risperdal have the right to file a legal case against the drug’s manufacturer for the justice and compensation they are legally allowed to receive. It is, however, important to be represented by a highly qualified lawyer for the greater chance of gaining the favor of the court.
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Adequate knowledge and skills are required for a person to be legally allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), like a bus and a tow truck, but, most especially, a truck, also called a big rig or an 18-wheeler. Trucks are normally 70 feet long and about 40 tons or 80,000 lbs. heavy, thus, acting as potential threats to the many other smaller vehicles these share the road with.
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 mandates that only qualified drivers are issued a commercial driver’s license, while those who are unsafe or unqualified are removed from the road; this is to help ensure road safety at all times. Adherence to the Act is enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the US Department of Transportation. Besides this, the FMCSA also implements other rules that will help reduce the likelihood of truck accidents, such as the 11-hour maximum driving time, which is part of a truck driver’s 14-hour duty. This maximum driving time regulation includes a 10 consecutive hour off-duty period to make sure that drivers do not suffer from fatigue or sleepiness whenever they get behind the wheel.
With truck driver fatigue effectively addressed, the Department of Transportation is able to focus on other factors that are equally considered vital to road safety: truck defect and malfunction, specifically brake malfunction. This is because brake failure has been identified as another major cause of accidents involving trucks, accidents that usually result to severe injuries or fatal consequences. Factors that constitute a brake failure include brakes suffused with grease or oil, thin or worn out brake pads, overheated brakes, or worn tires.
Where trucks or 18-wheelers are concerned, brakes are among their most important functions. To keep these vehicles’ braking systems safe and efficient the federal government has created standards to which manufacturers must strictly comply. Federal standards require that a braking system must allow a truck to decelerate until it comes to a full stop at a rate specific to its size and a force based on its weight. Failure to meet federal standards can result to something that is much worse than just violating government rules; it could lead to a catastrophic road accident that can seriously injure some individuals and kill others.
Due to the major contribution trucks provide the nation’s economy it is impossible to avoid sharing the road with these. However, because of the many integrated mechanical and computer systems that these utilize, any defect or malfunction may possibly result to an accident, which can easily and completely alter the life of the victim and his/her family. Thus, in the event of an accident, it is absolutely advisable that the victim get in touch with a Texas truck accident lawyer immediately for the legal actions that he/she has the right to take as well as to make sure that he/she receives the full amount of compensation that will cover all present and future damages resulting from the accident.
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When age or a certain physical condition starts to require regular care and extra time that other family members can no longer provide due to work and/or other valid concerns, these members, with the consent of their aged or sick loved one, rather decide to seek out a nursing home, which can (and should) provide the quality care needed by the aged or physically disabled individual. Though a hard decision to make, families are often forced to house their loved ones in nursing homes because they are certain that in these institutions, quality care, through mindful physical and medical treatment, will be provided.
On its website, law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® states that nursing homes should be places where the elderly can feel safe and provided with the full care that they need; however, the firm is also aware of the many physical abuses that often lead to serious injuries or even death committed in many nursing homes in the US.
Recent studies (conducted by staff from the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee) show that between January 1999 and January 2001 about 9,000 instances of abuse in 5,283 nursing home facilities have been committed. The abuses (or lack of care) were actually acts resulting to dehydration, inadequate medical care, inadequate sanitation and hygiene, preventable accidents, untreated bedsores, malnutrition and so forth. The number of abuses specified, does not include minor incidents, though, such as a resident slapping a co-resident – a minor harmful act but which federal regulations require to be reported.
As of May 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 16,100 nursing home facilities in the US. These houses more than 1.5 million elders, physically or mentally incapacitated individuals and persons needing rehabilitative therapies due to an illness or an accident. Though some of the reported abuses were committed by the victims’ co-residents, majority were performed by nurses and/or staff, who may have very well been over-worked and tired, lacking in training, or unqualified. But no matter what the reason is, nursing home abuse is a crime for which the abuser may be found guilty criminally and civilly.
Adding to the past reported cases of abuses against nursing home residents (these cases include financial, emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuses), a new growing concern of the federal government is the oversedation or overmedication of patients with antipsychotic drugs (approved by the FDA for people suffering from bipolar disorders or schizophrenia). These drugs are being given regularly to patients suffering only from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. To medical experts, and especially to the FDA, this “chemical restraint” resorted to by some staff and nurses to retrain residents from the effects of dementia attacks can lead to severe injuries or deadly results; despite this, the FDA says that this type of treatment remains to be given to about 300,000 nursing home residents.
Some individuals sustain injuries due to their own carelessness or mistakes; others, however, are due to someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior. Injuries of this type are called personal injuries and, according to the website of the Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, people who suffer these are allowed by the law to seek legal action against the liable party for compensation.
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