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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Autism Drugs are at risk for Metabolic Syndrome

Children who take certain drugs (primarily for autism) are up to six times greater at risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

The two most important risk factors for metabolic syndrome are:

· Extra weight around the middle and upper parts of the body (central obesity). The body may be described as "apple-shaped."

· Insulin resistance, in which the body cannot use insulin effectively. Insulin is needed to help control the amount of sugar in the body. As a result, blood sugar and fat levels rise.

Other risk factors include:

· Aging

· Genes that make you more likely to develop this condition

· Hormone changes

· Lack of exercise

Peole who have metabolic syndrome often have two other problems that can either cause the condition or make it worse:

· Excess blood clotting

· Low levels of inflammation throughout the body

Signs and tests

According to the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, metabolic syndrome is present if you have three or more of the following signs:

· Blood pressure equal to or higher than 130/85 mmHg

· Fasting blood sugar (glucose) equal to or higher than 100 mg/dL

· Large waist circumference (length around the waist):

o Men - 40 inches or more

o Women - 35 inches or more

· Low HDL cholesterol:

o Men - under 40 mg/dL

o Women - under 50 mg/dL

· Triglycerides equal to or higher than 150 mg/dL

Tests that may be done to diagnose metabolic syndrome include:

· Blood pressure measurement

· Glucose test

· HDL cholesterol level

· LDL cholesterol level

· Total cholesterol level

· Triglyceride level


Preventing (and managing) the condition involves:

· Eating a diet low in fat, with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products

· Getting regular exercise, at least 30 minutes of moderate activity almost every day

· Losing weight so that your body mass index (BMI) is less than 25

· Managing blood pressure and blood sugar

· Not smoking

· Trying to include fish, preferably oily fish, in your diet at least twice a week

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How can drowning be prevented?

The U।S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following tips for helping protect those you love from injury or death in the water.

To help prevent water-related injuries:
  • Supervision when in or around the Water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision”, be close enough to reach the child at all times. Adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children.
  • Buddy System. Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible.
  • Seizure Disorder Safety. If you or a family member has a seizure disorder, provide one-on-one supervision around water, including swimming pools. Consider taking showers rather than using a bath tub for bathing.
  • Learn to Swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water, and barriers, such as pool fencing, to prevent unsupervised access are necessary.
  • Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In the time it might take for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could make a difference in someone’s life.
  • Do Not Use Air-Filled or Foam Toys. Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as "water wings", "noodles", or inner-tubes, in place of life jackets (personal flotation devices). These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  • Avoid Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.

If you have a swimming pool at home:

  • Four-Sided Fencing. Install a four-sided pool fence that completely separates the house and play area of the yard from the pool area. The fence should be at least 4 feet high. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children. Also, consider additional barriers such as automatic door locks or alarms to prevent access or notify you if someone enters the pool area.
  • Clear the Pool and Deck of Toys. Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use so children are not tempted to enter the pool area unsupervised.

If you are in or around natural bodies of water:

  • Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.
  • Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets when boating, regardless of distance to be traveled, size of boat, or swimming ability of boaters.
  • Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags which may vary from one beach to another.
  • Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents (e.g., water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore). If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore; once free of the current, swim toward shore.

At Buttafuoco & Associates, our well-trained New York drowning injury attorneys have helped many families seek compensation after an accident, defective product, or other case of negligence caused injury. To discuss your drowning or water-related accident with us, call our office today at 1-(800)-Now-Hurt for a free and confidential consultation.

Warm Weather Means Water Fun - Increase Risk of Drowning

Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning is the sixth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 years

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following information about drowning risks.

What factors influence drowning risk?

  • Lack of Supervision and Barriers. Supervision by a lifeguard or designated water-watcher is important to protect young children when they are in the water, whether a pool or bathtub. But when children are not supposed to be in the water, supervision alone isn’t enough to keep them safe.
    • Barriers such as pool fencing should be used to help prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without caregivers’ awareness.5 There is an 83% reduction in the risk of childhood drowning with a four-sided isolation pool fence, compared to three-sided property-line fencing।

    • Among children ages 1 to 4 years, most drownings occur in residential swimming pools. Most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time.
  • Natual Water Settings (such as lakes, rivers, or the ocean). The percent of drownings in natural water settings increases with age। When a location was known, 65% of drownings among those 15 years and older occurred in natural water settings.

  • Lack of Life Jacket Use in Recreational Boating. In 2009, the U.S. Coast Guard received reports for 4,730 boating incidents; 3,358 boaters were reported injured, and 736 died. Among those who drowned, 9 out of 10 were not wearing life jackets.9 Most boating fatalities that occurred during 2008 (72%) were caused by drowning with 90% of victims not wearing life jackets; the remainder were due to trauma, hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other causes।

  • Alcohol Use. Alcohol use is involved in up to half of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation and about one in five reported boating fatalities. Alcohol influences balance, coordination, and judgment, and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat।

  • Seizure Disorders. For persons with seizure disorders, drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death, with the bathtub as the site of highest drowning risk
At Buttafuoco & Associates, our well-trained New York drowning injury attorneys have helped many families seek compensation after an accident, defective product, or other case of negligence caused injury. To discuss your drowning or water-related accident with us, call our office today at 1-(800)-Now-Hurt for a free and confidential consultation.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Airbag Injuries to children

Evidence from the United States suggests that passenger air- bags are associated with an increased risk of death in children. Passenger airbags in vehicles have been associated with fatal and non-fatal injuries in children of all ages. Two scenarios are thought to contribute to these injuries: infants in rear facing child seats strapped into the passenger seat may sustain severe head and neck injuries caused by the deployment of the bag and forward facing children who are unbelted (or improperly belted) can have their heads in the deployment area of the bag, once again causing severe head injuries.

Graham presented data from the US that suggest that passenger airbags are not only associated with cases of child fatalities, but also that the protective effects of the bags in terms of lives saved is outweighed by the lives lost. However, for each of the child lives lost by passenger airbags in the USA, 5–10 adults are saved: this figure is 75 lives saved to one life lost for driver’s side airbags.

In the USA, about one third of children traveling in cars do so in the front seat; this figure is less than 15% in Europe (this may be explained by legislation that has only recently been repealed, prohibiting children from traveling in front seats in several European countries). The rear seats are known to be safer than front seats for passengers of any age, and there is now evidence from the US that the presence of a passenger airbag is enough to make parents seat their children in the rear, to protect them from airbag associated injury. Thinking may be changing: this can only have a beneficial effect on child injuries.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Emergency Room Visits - are they scamming patients?

Suzanne Newton, A nevada women, recently went to the ER for simple stomach nausea. After medication and an IV didn't do the trick the doctor aggressively suggested a CT scan. Confused and reluctant she finally gave in.

Suzanne didn't get really angry about the test until her insurance company paid the hospital $10,208.49 for her treatment.
An itemized bill that she requested from the hospital showed she was charged $9,333 just for the CT scan.

Believing there had to be a mistake, she said she called several hospital officials and her insurance company. There was no mistake, she was told.

She called officials with Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging Centers and they confirmed what she thought -- she was charged between five and nine times what she would have paid at Steinberg's, depending on the sophistication of the scan.

Newton is irate.

"I'm not the type who says my insurance took care of it and I only had to pay $777 out of my own pocket," she said. "This is why insurance costs keep going up. Hospitals overcharge people with insurance to compensate for those with little or none."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Airbag Injuries Can Occur Even When They Work

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Airbags drastically reduce both morbidity and mortality from crashes, but with the increased use of airbags there has been a corresponding increase in the number of injuries attributable to these devices. This review discusses the history and mechanism of action of airbags, along with the spectrum of injuries seen as a result of their deployment, and future advances that may be of benefit in increasing motor vehicle safety.


There is convincing evidence from both sides of the Atlantic that airbags provide excellent protection against serious injury. However, there is an increasing amount of data on injuries directly attributable to these devices.

In a retrospective review of United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 1980 to 1994,12 there were 618 injuries, of which 42% affected the face, 33% the upper limb, and 9.6% the chest. The most important finding, however, was that 96% of all injuries were classified as minor. This suggested that although airbags doubtless do cause injury, such injuries must be viewed in the context of the more severe injuries that they prevent.

Frampton (R Frampton, et al, IRCOBI conference, Montpel- lier, France, 2000) compared the rate of abbreviated injury score (AIS) 2 or greater injury in UK and European airbag equipped cars against non-equipped, and found a statistically significant reduction in these serious injuries (24% v 29%, p=0.02). Of note, he also found that the pattern of AIS 2+ injury appears to be changed by the presence of airbags, with a greater tendency for upper limb injury, and less head and neck injuries. For minor injuries (AIS 1), there were still more arm injuries in airbag fitted cars, but less head, neck, and leg injuries. These data were similar to that produced by Lenard (J Lenard, et al, 16th International technical conference on the enhanced safety of vehicles).

Head and neck

There have been multiple reports of head and neck injuries related to airbags, mostly (but not uniquely) from the USA. Injuries include facial trauma, 8 temporomandibular joint injury, 13 decapitation, 14 and cervical spine fractures. 15 16 In addition to bony neck injuries soft tissue injuries are also seen with both types of system, including damage to the vasculature.17–19 The eye seems to be particularly vulnerable to injury, especially if spectacles are worn20: injuries include orbital fractures,21 retinal detachment,22 and lens rupture.23 The chemicals involved in inflating the bag have been implicated in eye injury,24 as have the cover components.25 Front seated children are also at risk of eye injury.26 Eye inju- ries are more commonly reported in the USA.

Despite the many case reports and series discussing head and neck injuries arising from airbag deployment, it is important to remember that the head and neck are at very significant risk in a frontal impact, from contact with the steering wheel (especially if a seat belt is worn). Frampton provides good evidence (R Frampton, et al, IRCOBI confer- ence) that UK and European airbags are effective at protecting against serious head injury: in this study the rate of AIS 2 or greater head injury was 32% lower in the presence of airbags (p<0.05); the reduction in AIS 2+ facial injuries was 55% (p<0.05). Comparing airbag with no airbag showed a trend in these head injured patients to have more brain injuries and less skull fractures. This non-significant trend may represent airbags providing greater protection to the bony elements of the skull than the brain tissue.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Naked Cowboy Stripped of Trademark Lawsuit Claim

A New York federal judge has dismissed a trademark lawsuit brought by Robert Burck, aka The Naked Cowboy, over a character featured on The Bold and the Beautiful.

The Times Square performer alleged that the CBS soap infringed his trademarked brand and tarnished his reputation, but in a decision issued on Thursday, a judge finds that the claims are legally naked.

The Naked Cowboy, playing guitar only in briefs and a cowboy hat, has obtained corporate sponsorships, licenses merchandise, and has a distribution syndicate. He's become so famous that the New York Tourism Department says that he is more popular than the Statue of Liberty.

Still, his trademark rights only go so far.

In late 2010, The Bold and the Beautiful featured a character named Oliver who for several seconds during one episode also played guitar only in his briefs and a cowboy hat. Show sponsor Bell-Phillip put a recap of the episode online. CBS also posted a clip on YouTube with the title, "The Bold and the Beautiful -- Naked Cowboy," also purchasing adword advertising on "naked cowboy," so that consumers would find it if they searched for the term.

All this activity led to a lawsuit against CBS and Bell-Phillip by Naked Cowboy Enterprises. Burck demanded the show's $1.5 million in ad revenue for the more than 3 million people who watched and were confused.

New York judge Barbara Jones has now granted defendants' motion to dismiss the litigation.

Judge Jones notes that the mark doesn't appear anywhere within the show. The only use of the mark is in the YouTube clip's title, but the judge says this isn't actionable.

"Here, the challenged phrase, 'Naked Cowboy,' is an example of non-trademark use," the judge writes. "It is clear that CBS used the phrase in an effort to describe the contents of the video clip, not as a mark to identify the source of the video clips."

CBS, represented by Levine Sullivan Koch & Shulz, is also successful in beating the Naked Cowboy's other claims, including unfair competition, dilution, fraud, and civil rights violations. The judge agrees with the network that the Naked Cowboy isn't in the daytime soap business, that the quality of the plaintiff's brand was never suggested to be low quality, and that there's really no confusion.

"The Naked Cowboy costume is indeed distinctive, but...the similarities between Oliver's costume and the Naked Cowboy costume are minimal at best," writes the judge.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

What Is the Link between Drugs and Autism?

What Is the Link between Drugs and Autism?

In the first study of its kind, researchers have discovered a link between SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants and autism. If a pregnant mother uses an antidepressant drug such as Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, or Prozac, especially during the first trimester, the child is more likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder.

SSRI antidepressants are prescribed to treat depression and anxiety in adults, by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Evidence suggests that the use of an SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy may affect the unborn child’s development and ability to process and maintain proper levels of serotonin in the brain. Children with an autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty regulating and maintaining levels of serotonin in the brain. The following drugs have been linked to autism spectrum disorder:






The study, released in July 2011, found that after taking other autism risk factors into account, children who were exposed to SSRI antidepressants in utero were twice as likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder, and children who were exposed to SSRI antidepressants during the first trimester were four times as likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder.

Autism spectrum disorders affect 1 in 110 children in the US and 1 in 70 boys. It is the fastest growing serious developmental disease in the United States, and there is no cure. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) include the following disorders:

  • Autism: a neural development disorder marked by impaired social interaction, impaired communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behavior.

  • Asperger syndrome: Most similar to classic autism, except without the delay in language development.

  • Pervasive Developments Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS): a developmental disorder that does not meet the criteria for autism or Asperger’s syndrome.

  • Rett Syndrome & Childhood Disintegrative Disorder: Other developmental disorders that sometimes fall within the autism spectrum.