Archive for October 2011

Can Contact Lenses Cause Blindness??

October 28, 2011

(October 27 2011) There’s a new fad in town, and it could be more dangerous than we suspect. We are only born with one pair of eyes and some infections can cause blindness or even having to have one or both eyes removed.   Sometimes a new trend that seems so innocent can be so dangerous.  Young people want to mimic their idols after seeing movies like Twilight and superstars like Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson.  There are new contact lenses, used for cosmetic purposes known as “plano” or “zero” powered lenses, and they carry high risks of eye infections and could lead to blindness or permanent vision
loss.

 

Some people who want them badly enough and do not have legitimate prescriptions from an optometrist are purchasing these lenses online and have ended up with corneal ulcers, infections, and in some cases permanent vision loss.  Some of these cosmetic lenses are even being sold in salons, novelty shops and flea markets.  The colored lenses are attractive to girls who wish to change their eye color to match their outfits.  It is doubtful that many of these contact lens wearers are taking proper care of their eyes since they are not under the care of a licensed eye doctor.

 

Many innocent contact lens wearers who have purchased their contacts from a licensed optometrist are developing serious eye infections due to bacteria pseudomonas and single-celled acanthamoeba. These organisms (which occur naturally in the environment) are found mostly in bathrooms from tap water, and these cases are on the rise.  A condition called acanthamoeba keratitis is a debilitating eye disease, causing intense pain, light sensitivity, blindness, and in some cases requiring corneal transplant.

 

You must wash your hands and dry before handling lenses.  Contact lenses must be cleaned, stored and rinsed with sterile lens cleaning solution ONLY…never with tap water, bottled water or distilled water.  Never re-use the solution.  Rinse the lens case, not
with water, and dry it.  Replace the lens case every 6 months. This may come as common knowledge to some contact lens users. However, many contact lens users are never informed about this and it can ultimately cause blindness if not treated promptly. Ironic that the very thing they are inserting into their eye – whether it be cosmetic or aesthetic – could be the very thing that takes their vision.

 

A new phenomenon is making its way in Korea known as the “candy lenses”, “K-circle lens”, GEO circle lenses, and many others.  The craze especially amongst Asian girls is to make the eye appear huge and round, like little girls’ eyes.  These lenses are not approved by the FDA and are illegal in this country. They can easily be purchased online without a prescription. These types
of lenses cover the entire eyeball and come in different curve sizes, which makes it even more dangerous to purchase without being properly fit by a licensed optometrist, as everybody has a unique curve, which is mathematically measured before an optometrist orders a contact lens that conforms to your dimensions, similar to a fitted baseball cap.

 

Another danger to contact lens wearers – whether they were purchased with or without current prescriptions – is the fact that many people sleep with their contact lenses.  The lenses cut off the oxygen supply to the eye and inhibit the flow of air to the cornea. It is very dangerous if they are worn for long periods of time.

 

Our eyes are so precious and so many teens and young adults have no clue about the danger they are causing to their vision.  Before you make any rash decisions, ask your optometrist if these contact lenses are right for you. You might have always wanted blue eyes – and these lenses might give you that look – but what good is it if they cause your blindness, and you can’t even look in the mirror to see them?

 

 

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Center for Disease Control Recommends That Boys Receive HPV Vaccine

October 27, 2011

(October 26, 2011) The CDC (Center for Disease Control) Advisory committee voted today to recommend that males ages 11-21 be vaccinated against human papilloma virus (HPV), which is blamed for genital warts, several cancers in women and men including cervical, anal, penile, and increasing incidence of throat cancer.  (Boys can receive the vaccine as early as age 9).  HPV is the #1 sexually transmitted disease in the nation.  The HPV vaccine has been approved for males since 2009.  Much of the debate relates to whether or not it would be cost effective to vaccinate boys against HPV. The vaccine is given within a 6-month period in 3 doses, costing approximately $120 each.  It is estimated that 20 million Americans are affected with HPV and approximately 7,000 men develop HPV-related cancers yearly.

 

There is growing evidence that HPV is responsible for a recent increase in head and neck cancer.  A study this month showed approximately 70% of all oro-pharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV.

 

A new study suggests HPV may be linked to cardiovascular disease. Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston studied 2,450 women ages 20-59 from 2003-2006 and found that 1,141 women tested positive for HPV.
Of them, 573 had cancer-associated HPV types.  The HPV vaccine may also help prevent heart disease.

 

The committee took into account many new statistics before overturning their decision.  They have decided to recommend the HPV vaccine for males due to the increase in HPV related head and neck cancers and showing the virus was responsible for more than 80% of anal cancers.  Also, a study this month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that the percentage of throat cancers caused by HPV rose from 16% in 1980s to 72% during 2000-2004.

 

If you are still not convinced, read this:

 

Dr. Robert Haddad, chief of Center for Head and Neck Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute said, “these HPV-related cancers have become an epidemic, and we don’t understand why.” The majority of the throat cancers he treats, he said, is HPV-related – transmitted via oral sex – rather than because of smoking or alcohol abuse and is twice as common in men as women.  He and other specialists believe the HPV vaccine can reduce incidence of these cancers.  The reason physicians recommend starting vaccine administration at age 11 or 12 is because they have stronger immune responses to the vaccine than older teens or young adults.   Some argue that the cost of vaccinating all boys would be cost prohibitive but as Dr. Michael Marcy from University of Southern California states, “the money needed to vaccinate 11 and 12-year-old boys would pay for only a few hours of the war in Afghanistan while potentially saving thousands of lives in the United States.”

 

While this news might come as a shocker to some, the bottom line is that we are all concerned with our overall well-being. Now that research shows that HPV vaccinations in boys is more beneficial than not, does this change your opinion on it? Would you eleect to have your son vaccinated after reading this blog post? We are curious to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave us a comment, or Retweet this article. Stop by our Facebook Page, as well as our website.

The Dangers of Aspartame (Artificial Sweeteners E951)

October 26, 2011

(October 25, 2011) Aspartame is the chemical that makes up NutraSweet (Equal), which is found in so many products today.  Aspartame is the sweet substitute in diet soda, chewing gum, cookies, mints, children’s vitamins and many more products in our daily lives.   There have been 10,000 complaints brought to the attention of the FDA starting in 1980.  Many of the symptoms are sweating, blindness, neurological issues, as well as nausea and severe abdominal pains.   Some consumers claim that just moments after ingesting the aspartame they developed blurred vision and temporary blindness.  Many patients reported, “going crazy” with twitching of the knees, arms, shoulders and neck.

 

After consulting with a neurologist, one patient was told it was a “glitch in the system.”  She decided to do her own research and found Dr. H. Roberts, an internist and author who calls this an “ignored epidemic.”   After confirmed brain tumors showed up in tested rodents in 1975, the FDA put aspartame “on hold” and in 1980 it was decided that aspartame should not go on the market.

 

Dr. Young from MIT concluded that they were unable to assure the safety of aspartame and advised the need for additional animal studies.  Dr. Goyan was the FDA commissioner and set up new members of the committee but was forced to step down when Ronald Reagan appointed a new commissioner.  Two years later, the FDA approved aspartame for use in soda.  Senator Metzenbaum ordered a review and it was found that Searle gave millions of dollars in campaign contributions.

 

This is not an issue of science; this is an issue of economics and politics.  The federal officials had close ties to Searle.  It makes no difference if aspartame causes serious neurological impairment – such as multiple sclerosis – to the American people, as long as the pockets of these big companies are lined with cash.  Imagine manufacturing children’s vitamins with poison that causes brain tumors in animals.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather spend a little more time at the gym and drink water than risk my health by consuming aspartame poison.

More Tort Reform favoring the Drug-Making Companies?

October 9, 2011

(October 9, 2011) In the David vs. Goliath battle between consumers and drug makers in Wisconsin, it seems Goliath is delivering the final blow. Wisconsin lobbyists are looking to pass legislation that would prevent “David” from bringing these drug makers to court over FDA -approved drugs. But they aren’t stopping there! These lobbyists are also looking to give immunity to the makers of certain FDA approved medical devices such as artificial hips and heart valves, as well as immunity from lawsuits stemming from inadequate warning labels on their products.

But how does this affect you? Simple: if you are injured from one of these products, or you happen to die, your family cannot do anything to bring these drug makers to court. Put more lightly, you are screwed!

What if I don’t live in Wisconsin, you might also be asking. Some were speculating that many drug makers would now move to Wisconsin to gain immunity from lawsuits, but others say that is just nonsense. They counter with the statement that these drug
makers just would not worry about any cases that occur in Wisconsin, but they aren’t going anywhere.

A spokesman for the American Tort Reform Association added that this legislation would be beneficial for everybody – consumers included – because the money they are not spending for court fees and litigation can “go into research and development, worker training, capital investment, worker benefits, and job creation.” While all that sounds good on paper, it has been proven that those deprivation of rights in Wisconsin lead to zero job growth, and instead only denied people their right to court.

The proposal also would lower the interest rates from a judgment against a drug maker from 12 percent down to 3.25 percent plus one percent. For example, a 12 percent interest rate on a one million dollar judgment is $120,000 a year. When cases get appealed, they can take up to two years to make the dockets. But at 4.25 percent, it’s only $42,500. To drug companies, that’s pocket change.  Which means that they would have no qualms  with appealing any cases that come their way.

The scary thing about this legislation is that if it does indeed get passed, other states could adopt it, too. Last month we posted a blog post about the documentary Hot Coffee, explaining the injustice of tort reform in more detail.

How concerned are you about this legislation? Do you think it’s fair that these massive drug companies get another advantage and the upper hand? Leave your comments on our facebook page, or retweet this article. Stop by our website for more information.

Gardisil Vaccine – Life-Saver or Life-Taker?

October 8, 2011

(October 6, 2011) Gardisil vaccinations are the only vaccines, which claim to protect young girls ages 9-26 from 4 types of HPV and genital warts caused by HPV (human papillomavirus).   Gardisil helps protect against two types of HPV that cause 75% of cervical cancer and two more types that cause 90% of genital warts cases.  In boys and young men ages 9-26 Gardisil helps protect against 90% of genital warts cases.

Gardisil causes many problems because it contains polysorbate 80, which is carcinogenic and mutagenic.  When injected into rats, it causes their reproductive organs to grow and become sterile.  It also contains sodium borate, widely known for its use as a roach pesticide.

U.S. Library of Medicine lists side effects as vomiting, collapse, convulsions, and coma.  To date, there have been 21,000 reported cases of adverse injuries by Gardisil, more than 3,100 serious injury reports and more than 100 reported deaths.  Another article published by JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) described more than 12,000 reports of adverse events following Gardisil, such as anaphylactic shock, convulsion, foaming at the mouth, coma, Bell’s palsy, Guillain-Barre syndrome, paralysis, and death.

There have been 28 women who miscarried after receiving Gardisil.  The threat of blood clots, seizures, outbreak of genital warts and sudden death are documented in thousands of reports.

Merck lobbyists tried to mandate all schoolgirls as young as 9 years old to receive this three part vaccine.  If these girls are not sexually active, their chances of HPV infection and cervical cancer are zero.  Older women, under age 26 years old who receive regular pap screenings are protected since the screenings will detect any abnormal cells present in the cervix and can be quickly and safely treated.  The only ones who would benefit from the Gardisil vaccine series would be sexually active women not receiving annual pap tests.

It seems that there are many more risks from receiving the Gardisil than benefits.  Rick Perry tried to mandate that all girls entering 6th grade in Texas have the Gardisil vaccine.  It is said that Merck has contributed approximately $4,000,000 to his campaign in the past five years.

Texas girls as young as 9 years old are being force-vaccinated with this highly controversial HPV vaccine Gardisil.

This vaccine is controversial, and many say Gardisil is useless.  The very conditions it is given to protect against are so rare and easily treatable that it is not worth the risk Gardisil carries.  These skeptics claim the purpose of Gardisil was for Merck Pharmaceuticals to replace the billions they lost from Vioxx, which was pulled from the market after more than 50,000 deaths.  Since the three part series of Gardisil costs approximately $1,000 and paid for by Medicare and the taxpayers, Merck would easily succeed in replacing the cash cow Vioxx once was.

Over 35 million girls and boys have received Gardisil injections worldwide.  Think about the huge increase in Merck’s bank accounts! There have been 140 deaths and countless serious effects reported.  (Cervical cancer from HPV is only responsible for about 1% of all deaths).

There is often tension between private rights and public benefit.  Vaccinations against polio and whooping cough are mandatory in order to attend school but most states permit exemptions for medical or religious purposes, as well as based upon parents’ personal beliefs. In these states, incidence of these preventable diseases is higher.

HPV does not fall into the same category as bacteria or viruses, which can be spread by cough and the decision to vaccinate against HPV probably should be made by parents after discussing with their doctor.  It is possible that if all young women and men were vaccinated against HPV before becoming sexually active, cervical cancers one day will be a thing of the past.  However, this is a decision that should be made by the child’s parents or guardians, and by them only.  The government should not control whether or not a child is vaccinated.

What do you think about these Gardisil vaccines? We’d love to hear your feedback. Please stop by our Facebook page, Retweet this article, or comment on our blog here. Feel free to stop by our website.

Vaginal Mesh Complications

October 6, 2011

(October 6, 2011) Vaginal mesh repair is a popular procedure done after the pelvic muscles become weak, often as a result of childbirth, menopause or hysterectomy. The pelvic muscles and supporting tissues can no longer support the bladder, urethra, uterus, or bowel.  This causes these organs to drop and bulge into the vagina also known as pelvicorgan prolapse (POP), causing leakage of urine during physical exercise, sneezing or laughing.

 

Many physicians use this vaginal mesh as a cradle or sling to hold the organs up and keep them in place.  This repair is a surgical technique using a synthetic mesh (polypropylene) to anchor or reinforce the weak tissues that support the pelvic organs or to provide bladder support to reduce or eliminate urinary leakage. Thousands of women have experienced serious complications from the vaginal mesh.    Complications reported from the vaginal mesh procedure are: erosion of the mesh, infection, very painful intercourse, urinary problems, bleeding, severe discomfort, vaginal scarring, bowel perforation, hardening of the mesh, risk of organ perforation during surgery, recurrence of POP, recurrence of urinary stress incontinence and need for additional surgeries.  This mesh has not been tested or approved prior to its implementation and has caused many serious life-changing complications to thousands of women.  Many are unable to sit and report that they can no longer have sexual intercourse or use tampons.  Some say that they were better off before the mesh was implanted and would prefer to go back to the way they were before the surgery.

 

Hundreds of lawsuits havebeen filed against the manufacturers (Johnson & Johnson and CR Bard Inc.).  Last year more than 100,000 vaginal mesh procedures have been performed (about 75% done trans-vaginally).  Most medical devices are not required by the FDA to prove their safety and effectiveness before being approved.  There were 2,874 complications received by the FDA between January 2008 and December 2010.

 

On August 25, 2011 PDF (consumer advocacy group) filed a petition with the FDA to issue a recall and ban marketing to protect consumers.  The FDA is discussing whether the vaginal mesh products should be re-classified as a Class III medical device.  Although the device may not be recalled, manufacturers will be required to test their safety before obtaining approval to continue using these products.

 

It is horrendous that these manufacturers do not spend the money to test these devices before ruining the lives of so many women.  Their negligence entitles these suffering women to compensation, as many of their lives will never be the same.  If you or a loved one have experienced adverse reactions following the placement of vaginal mesh, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain andsuffering and other damages. Please stop by our website, and feel free to comment on our Facebook page or Retweet this article.

Cantaloupe Outbreak Causes Listeriosis

October 1, 2011

(September 30, 2011) More and more Americans are trying to increase their fruit and vegetable intake to maintain healthful diets.  We are being told to eat several servings of fruits and veggies, especially colorful ones, for their beta carotene benefits.  Who would ever think having some brightly colored cantaloupe produced here in the USA could endanger our lives?

As of Friday, contaminated cantaloupe has affected 84 people, including 15 fatalities in 8 states; 5 in New Mexico, 3 in Colorado, 2 in Texas and one in Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.  Colorado has reported 17 cases and New Mexico 13 cases in the past two months.  This is the deadliest food related outbreak in the US since 1998 when 21 people died from listeria infected hot dogs and deli meat by Bil Mar foods, a subsidiary of Sara Lee Corp.  In 1985 listeria killed 52 people resulting from contaminated Mexican soft cheese.

Listeria is more deadly than salmonella and E.coli, although they generally cause more illnesses.  Listeria mostly affects the elderly, those with compromised immune systems and pregnant women.  According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the average age of those affected is 78 years and that 1/5 of patients with listeria can die.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC said, “This is the deadliest outbreak of a food borne disease that we’ve identified in more than a decade.  For the public, it is important to know that if you know the cantaloupe you have is not Jensen Farms, than it’s OK to eat.  But if you’re in doubt, throw it out.”

The cause of this outbreak continues to be investigated, including the possibility of animal or water contamination as well as the harvesting practices of the farm.  Meanwhile, the number of infected people climbs daily as the incubation period is up to two months for those infected to develop listeriosis.

Latest warning:  Cantaloupe associated with listeria outbreak has been sold in western New York.  Cantaloupe from Jensen Farms in Colorado was sold in pre-cut packages at Wegman’s supermarkets in Erie and Niagara County.  The grocery chain is sending automatic phone alerts to customers who purchased the cantaloupe, as reported by Buffalo News.  The cantaloupe skin is contaminated with listeria, which is a bacterium that causes fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and muscle aches. Symptoms can take several weeks to appear.  The infection usually spreads to the GI tract.  It causes miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

Jensen Farms has voluntarily recalled their shipment of Rocky Ford whole cantaloupe to:  Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.  They have a green and white sticker that reads:  Product of USA – Frontera Produce – Colorado Fresh – Rocky Ford – Cantaloupe or a gray, yellow and green sticker that reads:  Jensen Farms – Sweet Rocky Fords.

If you have been affected from contaminated cantaloupe, you may be entitled to some damages. Please stop by our website or call one of our attorneys at 1-800-246-4878.