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CBMC Blog

Pennsylvanians sickened by fracking's hazardous conditions

Newly released scientific information confirms what many Northeast Pennsylvania residents have known for years -- hazardous conditions from shale gas wells are making them sick. Growing numbers of area residents have been admitted into the hospitals in that region, which is fraught with "fracking" operations, in the past decade. Government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania health councils agree that the counties in which shale gas operations exist are far more likely to have higher hospital admission rates because of dangerous conditions.

Among the most surprising correlations is the increase in the incidence of cardiovascular admissions near the gas drilling sites. Over a 10-year period, victims in the Northeast Pennsylvania area have suffered nearly a 30-percent increase in the number of admissions for cardiovascular issues such as stroke or asthma. Many advocates blame hazardous conditions associated with air pollution for those increased hospital visits. The air pollution is also targeted for the increase in skin conditions and neurological problems in the vicinity of the gas wells.

Placental abruption can be deadly to mom, baby

While most pregnancies proceed rather uneventfully right up until the main event, it's a sad fact that unforeseen complications can suddenly arise that threaten the lives of both the mother and baby.

Placental abruption, also known medically as abruptio placentae, is one of those deadly complications.

Fight back against surgical errors that affect your life!

Putting your trust in a surgeon is a huge step for any patient. When the surgeon makes an error, the patient is the one who ends up having to suffer. Think about the recent post in which we discussed never events. Those never events are occurrences that experts say should never happen, but do occur during some surgeries. In some cases, they lead to patient injuries.

That post about never events, which shouldn't happen but do happen at a rate of around 75 incidents per week, brings up the importance of proper care throughout a surgical procedure. Even if an error in a surgical procedure isn't a never event, it can still be devastating to the patient.

What are never events?

Never events refer to actions that take place in the operating room that experts say should never occur. They are medical mistakes that could lead to harm for the patient, but reports indicate that never events do happen. In fact, they happen on a weekly basis.

Some common never events include leaving foreign objects inside the patient during a surgery, performing the wrong procedure or operating on an incorrect body part. The president of a health care thing tank in one city said the number of never events that occur is alarming, especially since they are preventable mistakes.

Danger of confined space work areas

Construction sites rank high when it comes to dangerous work environments. Common construction hazards might involve heavy equipment, falling building materials or slips and falls. But there is another dangerous condition that often gets overlooked. Some construction areas have what is known by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration as "confined spaces."

Confined spaces are small areas, usually just big enough for one person to enter. Some confined spaces require permits, such as those that have the potential for trapping or suffocating a person. They have limited entryways and exits. While the spaces are not designed for occupants, for maintenance purposes, the areas must occasionally be entered by employees.

Common causes of birth injury discussed

When a Pennsylvania couple is expecting a child, they should be enjoying a time of comfort and peace. Too often, though, that joy is shattered by birth injuries that are either caused or exacerbated by the actions of physicians. The medical expenses associated with such conditions can be absolutely staggering, which is why parents need to understand their legal rights if their child has been injured during the birthing process. Today, we discuss some of the more common birth injuries to help parents learn more about the potential risks.

Bruising or face marks are among the most common signs of trauma that manifest during birth. Although these wounds may come about simply because of natural birth, others are attributable to extractor injury. In other words, the child's head and face may be damaged because of the use of forceps or other tools designed to forcibly extract the baby from the birth canal. The use of forceps for delivery can also lead to other alarming injuries, including facial paralysis, fractures and even brain damage. The use of these tools has largely fallen out of favor with many health professionals, but they are still used by dangerously inexperienced physicians.

Understanding the dangers of combustible dust in your workplace

When you leave your home to go to work you probably never think about an explosive fire breaking out at your job. These types of catastrophic accidents happen so infrequently that many of us rarely pay them any mind. However, the fact is that many worksites across a wide variety of industries are susceptible to the accumulation of dust particles.

One of the reasons why this may be important to you is that according to the Office of Health and Safety Administration, accumulated dust suspended in the air in the proper concentration can become combustible under certain conditions. In fact, combustible dust from the processing of sugar resulted in an explosion in Georgia back in 2008 that killed 14 workers. Here are some other important findings from the U. S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board regarding combustible dust:

More product recalls: This time, it's slingshots and kettles

When consumers make purchases of goods, they expect the products will not harm them. When a product does pose a significant risk to the consumer or others, a product recall may be issued. Two new recalls issued in the last couple of weeks show just how different the risks can be. The two products are a slingshot and a kettle.

The brand and model of slingshot affected is a Barnett Outdoors Black Widow slingshot. It's about half a foot long and has a sliver metal fork, a black plastic handgrip, and a folding wrist brace. The strip for the wrist, however, doesn't "have an X where the ends of the wrist strap slide onto the wrist brace." The wrist strap can come off the brace when the user pulls back the slingshot's pouch. That can result in the slingshot's body coming back and striking the person using the product.

Which women are most at risk for a uterine rupture?

For most women, having a baby is one of the most joyous times in their lives. They place a great deal of trust in their doctors and nursing staff to take care of both them and their babies. Unfortunately, there are some complications that can seriously affect the well-being of the mother and the baby. One of these is a uterine rupture.

A uterine rupture is very serious complication of pregnancy and is most common in women who have had a previous cesarean delivery. It happens when the uterine wall separates at the location of a previous cesarean incision. In most cases, this incision is low-transverse, and is the least likely type of incision to rupture. Immediate surgical intervention is needed.

Medical malpractice cases need a personalized approach

Some of our recent posts have had to do with medical malpractice issues. We know that medical malpractice is a scary subject that many of our readers are curious about. For the readers who have been the victims of medical malpractice, living through the effects of these errors is something they do on a daily basis.

We know that medical malpractice issues affect every patient in a different manner. Every family is affected in a different manner. A family who has to deal with birth injuries won't have the same concerns or struggles as a family who lost a loved one because of a misdiagnosis. We understand that each situation is different, so we believe in taking a personalized approach to each case.