The World Health Organization takes on E-Cigs

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SmokeThe World Health Organization targeted e-cigarettes and their manufacturers in a blistering report which was released Tuesday August 26th . The report outlines The WHO’s fears about e-cigs, and makes recommendations that it believes are critical to public safety.

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigs Indoors

Most notably the report calls for a ban on the use of e-cigarettes indoors because of fears that the vapor produced from the devices could be harmful to others. According to the report there is no evidence existing to suggest that water vapor is the only chemical emitted from the devices. In fact, WHO officials said in a press release concerning the report, “Evidence suggests that exhaled e-cigarette aerosol increases the background air level of some toxicants, nicotine, and particles.”

The report also calls for a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes that are fruit, candy, and alcohol-drink flavored indicating that these flavors are highly popular with teens. It seems the organization believes that these flavored e-cigarettes deserve much of the blame for a rapid increase in teen and young adult e-cigarette experimentation in recent years. The report cites research published in early August of this year which showed teens who have tried e-cigarettes were more likely to also have tried tobacco cigarettes or to be current tobacco smokers.

Do E-Cigs Help Smokers Quit?

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes often market them as a way to help tobacco smokers kick traditional cigarettes, and as a healthier alternative. However, while The WHO admits that e-cigarettes “… are likely to be less toxic than conventional cigarettes…” they do not believe that makes them a safe alternative. They also site research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine which showed that smokers who use e-cigarettes as a cessation aid are no more likely to quit regular cigarettes than those who don’t use e-cigarettes as an aid. For these reasons the report also suggests prohibiting manufacturers from making unfounded health claims in their marketing campaigns.

The report makes it clear that The WHO feels e-cigarettes are a major threat to the world’s health. But sales from the e-cigarettes doubled from 2008 to 2012 and numbers are expected to exceed $3 billion in global sales by next year. The WHO has an uphill battle in its fight against e-cigarettes, but if any of the recommendations outlined in the report are accepted, it would be a major victory for the organization and anti-tobacco advocates.

New Study Finds Link Between Brain Cancer and Cell Phones

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Cell PhoneAccording to Pew Research, as of January 2014, “90% of American adults have a cell phone, and 58% have a smartphone.” This number is staggering considering that the IPhone was introduced just seven years ago in 2007. However, the reality is that nearly everyone in America today has some sort of a cellular device, many have even abandoned traditional landlines altogether. But a new study out highlights the potential health risks of these devices we have become so accustomed to.

Study Suggests Link between Cell Phones and Cancer

Yahoo News reported on November 11th, 2014 that a study was released suggesting a link between cell phones and wireless home phone use and brain cancer. The study was conducted on Swedish residents, and found that “Swedes who talked on mobile or cordless phones for more than 25 years had triple the risk of a certain kind of brain cancer compared to those who used wireless phones for less than a year.” These findings seem to conflict with a previous study that was released in 2010 that found no evidence of a strong link between cell phone use and an increased risk of brain tumors.

More Research Needed

The researchers from the most recent study acknowledged study limitations, and also noted that rather than signaling the end of the debate, the new study “underscores the need for more research.” It seems the jury is still out on whether or not cell phones cause brain cancer, but according to Yahoo News there is no doubt that, “U.S. cell phone use tripled between 2000 and 2010.” With more and more people using cell phones the need for more research grows. In the meantime it’s important to be aware of the recent study and its findings, and to understand the potential health threat these devices pose, especially to young children.

Bicyclist Safety Report Reveals Startling Facts

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bicyclePrepared by Dr. Allan Williams for the Governors Highway Safety Association the Bicyclist Safety report was released in October of 2014. The report highlights some important statistics regarding bicyclist safety in the United States, and makes suggestions on ways to improve biker safety. The report notes that there may be some evidence that more people are biking today, but it cautions that, “many will be deterred from biking if they do not feel safe.” So do Americans have a reason to worry about their safety while biking?

It appears that there has been a small, but significant increase in the number of bicyclists killed by vehicle collisions between the years 2010 and 2012. In 2010 there were 621 deaths compared to 722 in 2012. This means there was a 16% increase in fatal bike vs. car collisions in this two year period. It is important to note however that, “current yearly deaths of bicyclists are among the lowest since 1975”, in which there were 1,003 deaths. The 621 deaths in 2010 were the lowest number of deaths in the 38 years since data has been collected. This is good news, but it is troublesome that the number of deaths, since the all-time low of 621 in 2010, has been steadily increasing to 680 in 2011 to 722 in 2012.

Bicycle Death Demographics are Changing

According to the report there has been a major shift in the characteristics of those killed in bicycle crashes since 1975. In 1975, 21% of bicycle fatalities involved adults over the age of 20. However, in 2012, 84% of fatalities involved adults over the age of 20. It’s also interesting to note the difference gender makes on fatalities. “Males age 20 and older accounted for 74% of all bicyclist deaths in 2012, followed by males younger than 20 (14%), females 21 and older (10%), and females younger than 20 (2%).”

Alcohol and Bicycles Don’t Mix

Two of the most unsettling statistics from the report involves alcohol, and helmets. While many of the factors that play into a bicycle accident are out of one’s control, both the decision as to whether or not to wear a helmet, and to decide how much to drink, are well within one’s control. The report indicates that 28% of fatalities of those 16 and older involved bicyclists who had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher at the time of the crash. It also reports that “In 2012, FARS data indicated that 17% of fatally injured bicyclists were wearing helmets, 65% were not, and helmet use was unknown for 18%.” To put it another way, “More than 2/3 of fatally injured bicyclists in 2012 were not wearing helmets.”

Always Wear a Helmet

The personal injury attorneys at Hensley Legal Group want to urge bicyclists to wear a helmet while riding. While wearing a helmet does not guarantee one’s safety, it is a simple step one can take to significantly increase the chance of survival if involved in a crash. Henley Legal Group would also like to encourage you to drink in moderation while biking, and to play it safe while on the roadways. It’s generally best to stay off your bike if you wouldn’t get behind the wheel of your car.

Hurt in a Bicycle Accident? Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love has been struck by a car while biking, contact a bicycle accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group today. We can help you understand your options after a bike crash, and have the experience you deserve to handle your case. Bicycle vs. car collisions are often particularly devastating, but don’t think you have to go through it alone. The team at Hensley Legal Group is here to help 24/7. Contact us anytime at 1-888-436-7539, or contact us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form and someone from our office will contact you immediately to help you with your case. We never charge a consultation fee, and we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay us unless you get paid. Contact us today, and get on the road to recovery.

IMPD Saves Christmas for Local Family

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Christmas OrnamentSix IMPD Police Officers made sure that the bad guys didn’t ruin Christmas for one Indiana mother and her son. According to a WTHR article, Karie Steele came home one afternoon in December to find her home had been broken into. Karie was devastated to learn that the burglars not only took her valuables, but they also made out with all of the Christmas presents she had under the tree waiting for her son Miles. Officers from the North West Branch of IMPD responded to take a report of the break in, but to Karie and Miles’ surprise the responding officers returned the next day –bearing gifts. According to WTHR Karie was stunned, “I struggle enough as a single mom and for the cops to take their own money and time, it meant a lot.” Despite the burglars best efforts Christmas will still come for Karie’s son Miles thanks to the dedicated servants from the IMPD. Karie said, “Christmas is going to be good. It’s going to be good.”

Hensley Legal Group would like to thank the Police Officers who went out of their way to help Karie and Miles, and hopes that their spirit of giving will remind us all what the season is all about. From all of us at Hensley Legal Group, have a very merry Christmas!Ugly Christmas Sweater

 

Shop with a Cop

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A coalition of businesses, individuals, and police officers helped to make the holidays brighter for nearly 125 local children Saturday, December 13th. For some time now, the annual Shop with a Cop program has provided kids with winter clothing, a special toy, and a visit with Santa. Each year there is also a theme, this year’s being, “Paying It Forward-Taking it to the Next Level.” Quoted in an article published on wishtv.com, Rick Snyder, FOP President said about the theme, “We work with the children that we help and really talk to them about, even in a time when maybe they are in need, they have the ability to also pay that forward and help someone else.” According to WishTV8, “Each child and officer brought a canned food item to support the David S. Moore food pantry in honor of IMPD Officer Perry Renn who was killed in the line of duty this year. Children also assembled holiday baskets for seniors.”

Police Get Chance to Mentor Youth

Every year this program not only gives children in the community a chance to have the kind of Christmas ever child deserves, it also gives police officers a chance to interact with local children and mentor them. FOP President Rick Snyder said about the event, “Hopefully what the children will see is our officers leading by example and showing them how they can do that. Hopefully it’s a lifelong lesson that they learn.”

Hensley Legal Group in the Community

We here at Hensley Legal Group, believe in the Shop with a Cop program, and also believe every child deserves to have a Christmas filled with hope and joy. We were proud to be part of the business community that supported this effort, and would like to share a few pictures of our team with the kids.

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Xarelto MDL Established – Eastern District of Louisiana

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GavelOn December 12th, 2014 The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation released a transfer order in regards to the mounting Xarelto litigation. According to the order, there are currently 21 causes of action pending in ten different districts across the country. A multidistrict litigation order establishes a single court to hear cases from all over the country. This means that regardless of the court your case would normally be heard in, due to your location, your case will instead be heard in the court established by the Judicial Panel. As a result, many Indiana residents bringing Xarelto claims will be included in this MDL which will also allow many to settle their cases outside of court, and is designed to speed the process of handling complex cases.

Xarelto Cases Will be Heard in Louisiana

The transfer order acknowledged many commonalities between cases filed against the makers of the blood thinner Xarelto. Some of these commonalities include, “the adequacy of Xarelto’s warning label with respect to the risk of severe bleeding and other injuries, the results of certain clinical studies, and the alleged need for blood monitoring.” While the makers of Xarelto argued against the establishment of an MDL, the Judicial Panel dismissed their concerns and established the Eastern District of Louisiana as the court where these cases will be heard. The order notes that the Honorable Eldon E. Fallon will be presiding over the cases. Judge Fallon was appointed to this position in 1995 by then President Bill Clinton. He obtained his J.D. in 1962 from Louisiana State University Law School. He was a private practice attorney from 1962-1995. He is well known for presiding over the class action suit involving Chinese drywall (judgepedia.org).

Have You Been Injured After Taking Xarelto?

If you or a loved one was injured after taking Xarelto, contact a dangerous drug attorney at Hensley Legal Group today. They have the experience you deserve, and know how to handle the complex issues involved with class action claims. Reach us anytime at 1-888-436-7539, or contact us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form and someone from our office will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Nursing Home Abuse of Anti-psychotic Drugs

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PillsIt’s never easy placing a loved one in the care of a stranger. However, for millions of Americans it is a reality that they must cope with. According to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, there were 39,045 Hoosiers in a certified nursing facility in 2011, and while there are thousands of hard working medical workers taking care of those in these facilities we often hear of abuses. These abuses come in many forms – neglect, physical, mental, and verbal abuse. But a recent report from NPR highlights an overlooked problem that can be just as damaging.

Anti-Psychotics Carry a Black Box Warning for Dementia Patients

According to the story, published December 8th, there are nearly 300,000 nursing home residents across the country currently receiving some type of anti-psychotic drug. This may not seem all that surprising at first. However, consider the fact that many of these prescriptions are given to treat, “the anxiety and aggression that can go with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia,” and not to treat the symptoms of mental illness. This is especially shocking because these medications, like Risperdal and Haldol, are not really meant to treat Alzheimer’s and dementia, and even carry a black box warning when used to treat these types of diseases. The warning says, “they can increase the risk for heart failure, infections, and death.” Professor Bradley Williams adds to their risk saying, “Anti-psychotic drugs change behaviors. They blunt behaviors. They can cause sedation. It increases their risk for falls.”

What is a Chemical Restraint?

According to NPR, “Federal law prohibits the use of antipsychotics and other psychoactive drugs for the convenience of staff. “If there is no documented evidence of need for these drugs the federal government considers it a chemical restraint. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans are being chemically restrained. “In 2011, a government study found that 88 percent of Medicare claims for antipsychotics prescribed in nursing homes were for treating symptoms of dementia, even though the drugs aren’t approved for that.” So what can happen to those who are victims of chemical restraints, and how does one ensure that their loved one doesn’t end up the victim of a chemical restraint?

NPR’s article tells the story of Patricia Thomas. Patricia had Alzheimer’s disease, but according to her daughter, Kathi, Patricia had been doing fine in 2010: “living in a memory care facility near Santa Barbara, walking and talking, dressing and feeding herself.” Unfortunately, Patricia fell and fractured her pelvis, and after a hospital stay she went to a nursing home for rehab work. However, Kathi says that within a week, “she was in a wheelchair, slumped over, sucking on her hand, mumbling to herself, completely out of it, not even aware that I was there.” Because she was so out of it, Patricia wasn’t able to do the rehab work and was discharged from the nursing home. That’s when Kathi learned of the medication her mother had been receiving. “Among them were Risperdal and Haldol, both powerful antipsychotics.” Kathi tried to wean her mother off the drugs, but it didn’t work. Kathi was unable to have another conversation with her mom, and Patricia died within two months of being discharged. This is an illustration of what can happen when these drugs are misused or abused. It’s also an important example of why informed consent is so important.

Keep Your Loved one Safe From Chemical Restraints

The best way to ensure that your loved one doesn’t become the victim a chemical restraint is to stay in contact with your loved one. You know them better than anyone else, and an easy way to tell if they have been given an antipsychotic is if you notice drastic changes in their behavior. If they appear unusually sedated, spacey, or out of it you may want to inquire about the medications that they have been given. Nursing homes are supposed to obtain informed consent from either the resident or their guardian when handing out new medications. However, too often people are not told about the dangers of these drugs when used to treat dementia. Also, some residents suffering from dementia may not fully understand what they are being given, or why they are being given it.

Get Help for Nursing Home Abuse

While we must put faith in the dedicated medical professionals who serve our family members every day, we cannot shirk our responsibility to our loved ones. Part of that responsibility is following up if you believe abuse has occurred. This can be a daunting task, but there are resources. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney at Hensley Legal Group can help you navigate the facts, and help you understand your options. They will do everything they can to make right the wrong done to your loved one. If you have questions we can help. Contact us anytime at 1-800-436-7539, or contact us via the web. Fill out the get help now form, and someone from our office will contact you immediately to discuss your claim.

Indiana High Schools Report 1,200 Concussions This Fall

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Football Field

Many of the reported concussions occurred on the football field.

According to an article published December 3rd on wfyi.org, Indiana high schools reported an alarming number of concussions during this year’s fall sports season. According to the report, most of the concussions that were reported occurred on the football field. However, basketball and soccer players also suffered from a large number of concussions as well.

Report Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story

The IHSAA has asked schools to report concussion information for the first time this year, but schools are not required to do so. WFYI reports that, “about half of Indiana public high schools” reported their results to the IHSAA this year. Using the information that was reported, the IHSAA determined that, “student athletes experienced more than 1,200 concussion-related events during the five-month fall athletic season.” This is an alarming number, and even more disconcerting considering the fact that only about half of Indiana schools reported any data. One can safely assume the actual number of concussions during this five month period was much larger.

Concussions Are Serious Injuries

Concussions seem to be more and more common in today’s sport world. However, they are not injuries to be ignored, and can have potentially deadly consequences if not taken seriously. The Mayo Clinic defines a concussion as a “traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions.” It describes symptoms such as headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance, and coordination. These symptoms are usually temporary and subside with rest. However, concussions are serious injuries that affect your brain, and should not be taken lightly.

Concussed After a Car Accident?

While concussions are often associated with contact sports, head injuries are not limited to the football field or basketball court. Many people become concussed while behind the wheel following a car accident. Due to the often violent snapping of the neck, as a result of rear end collisions, concussions are common injuries that car accident victims must deal with. They can be debilitating and should not be ignored. If you or someone you know has sustained a concussion after a crash contact an experienced attorney at Hensley Legal Group today. We can help you get the treatment you need to fully recover, and we can advise you on your options when it comes to paying for medical bills. Call us anytime 24/7 at 1-800-436-7539, or reach us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ box and someone from our office will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your situation. There are never any fees unless we help you secure a settlement. Contact us today for a free consultation.

21% of Fatal Crashes a Result of Drowsiness -Study Suggests

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Yawning

Driving while drowsy is dangerous.

In November The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report highlighting the dangers of drowsy driving. “Founded in 1947, the AAA Foundation in Washington, D.C. is a not-for-profit, publicly supported charitable research and education organization dedicated to saving lives by preventing traffic crashes and reducing injuries when they occur.” According to the report, car crashes rank among the leading causes of death in the U.S. This particular report focuses on the number of injuries and deaths resulting from drowsy drivers.

For some time researchers have questioned official government statistics which, “suggest that drowsy driving only contributes to approximately 1-3% of motor vehicles crashes each year in the United States.” In fact, the report states that experts believe official statistics are only the “tip of the iceberg” as it relates to the number of crashes that result from drowsiness.

Following up on a study that was previously done by the AAA, a re-analysis using data from the years 2009-2013 revealed an alarming number of crashes occurring due to drowsiness.

AAA Reports Startling Statistics on Drowsy Drivers

Results of the re-analysis revealed an estimated…

  • 6% of all crashes in which a vehicle was towed from the scene involved a drowsy driver
  • 7% of crashes in which a person received treatment for injuries involved a drowsy driver
  • 13% of crashes in which a person was hospitalized involved a drowsy driver
  • 21% of crashes in which a person was killed involved a drowsy driver

These numbers are staggering, and emphasize the need to be alert when behind the wheel. Other researchers have discovered that people may not even realize they have been asleep unless they have been sleeping for an extended period of time. This means that you may not even realize you have fallen asleep while driving if you have only been asleep a few seconds. Don’t risk your life or someone else’s. Don’t get behind the wheel if you feel drowsy.

Were You Hurt by a Drowsy Driver?

Have you been injured in a car accident because of a drowsy driver? Contact the car accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group today. Our experienced attorneys can help you understand your rights, and will work with you to help you recover what you deserve from insurance companies. We are available 24/7 at 1-800-436-7539 to answer your questions. You can also contact us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form and someone from our office will contact you immediately to discuss your claim. The initial consultation is always free, and we never get paid unless we help you get the money you deserve.

Replacement Switches Urgently Ordered Well Before G.M. Recall

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SpeedometerThe New York Times reports in an article published November 11th that emails, discovered in “four million documents contained in a depository set up for discovery in federal multi-district litigation against the automaker,” show that G.M. placed an urgent order for 500,000 replacement switches months before it notified the government about the recall. The initial email from G.M. was sent on December 18th, 2013 which, according to the Times, was “a day after a crucial committee met to discuss the switch issue but declined to order a recall.”

The first email from G.M. to Delphi, the supplier of the part, was sent the 18th at 3:16pm, apparently following a voicemail, and requested “a build and ship plan for a large volume of this part to support an urgent Field Action for our customers.” The following day a follow up email was sent with a modified subject line including the words “FIELD ACTION **URGENT**.” Delphi responded noting that they had only provided G.M. with 11,445 pieces in the last year, and requested a timeline for the 500,000 parts described by Delphi as “a huge increase in production.” G.M. responded saying they “would need to start seeing shipments ASAP.”

According to the Times, G.M. has “recalled 2.6 million cars for the defective switch, beginning in early February, and has acknowledged that some engineers and others in the company knew of the flaw for more than a decade.” These emails would simply serve as evidence that the company knew about the problem, and even prepared to fix the problem, months before the cars were officially recalled. It also brings into question the credibility of Mary T. Barra, who became G.M.’s CEO in January. She has said that “she did not learn of the ignition-switch defect until a committee decided that month to recall the cars.” However, in an AP article published November 11th, Robert Hillard, a Texas personal injury attorney, noted that it seemed unlikely that the CEO would not have known about the purchase of the 500,000 new switches which would have come at an unbudgeted cost of about $3 million dollars. However, the AP article also states, “G.M. says it is standard procedure to start ordering parts before a recall decision is made.”

In the end, these emails add yet another wrinkle in the already complicated G.M. recall case. But, at least 32 deaths have already occurred due to the ignition switch problem. G.M. could have potentially saved some of these lives by announcing concerns about the ignition switch when it placed the order for replacements. Robert Hillard, in the AP article notes that “For his clients alone, a warning (as soon as G.M. knew about the problem) could have prevented one death and 85 injuries.”

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an ignition switch problem with your G.M. vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced car accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group. We have the experience you deserve, and can handle the big insurance companies so you can focus on recovering. Contact us anytime 24/7 at 1-888-436-7539, or reach us via the web and fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ box. We work on a contingency fee basis and never collect money from you unless we help you collect a settlement. Contact us today to see if hiring an attorney would be beneficial to you and your situation.