Yasmin and High Blood Pressure

Taking the popular birth-control pill Yasmin comes with many risks. Warnings and precautions do not seem to be enough to inform women of the potential dangers of taking Yasmin, therefore it is always recommended to have an honest talk with your doctor about possible risks, side effects, complications, drug interactions, and other concerns. Among the many side effects that Yasmin can further complicate is high blood pressure.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the arteries suffer from continuous elevated blood pressure. This, in turn, causes damages to the cardiovascular parts of the body, along with other negative effects on the health. Hypertension caused by a known condition or complication, such as from taking Yasmin, is called a secondary hypertension. Those that have unknown cause of hypertension is called essential, and this accounts to about 95% of hypertension cases.

The issue with Yasmin and high blood pressure has been known for some time now; doctors tend to recommend that their patients take other options other than Yasmin if they are hypertensive, smoking, or are over the age of 35. This issue comes up especially if the women are taking higher dosages of estrogen products, such as Yasmin. Initial investigations have yielded results that show women taking high doses of estrogen (like those in Yasmin tablets) have increased risks of cardiovascular complications (stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and heart attacks), although recent studies suggest that even lower doses of estrogen can also have adverse effects on the metabolism of lipids in the body, endangering the women’s health in the long run.

Women who have showed or experienced this Yasmin complication have two options: they can either continue taking the pills and wait to see if their blood pressure levels go down (having to buy a home blood pressure monitor is highly suggested), or they can switch to another birth control pill that has lower doses of estrogen. They can also stop taking birth control pills and choose to use alternative such as condoms, the calendar method, or abstaining from sex altogether.

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Wrongful Death Suit Filed after Woman Was Thrown From Moving Bus

A month after twenty-six-year-old Kansas resident Jamie Frecks fell from a party bus into oncoming traffic, attorneys have filed a wrongful death suit in the interest of her newborn daughter.

According to the website of Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., a claim of wrongful death can be filed against a party who is held liable for another person’s death; in this case, attorneys are bringing the claim against the Kansas City-based Midnight Express bus company on behalf of Ms. Frecks’s family. According to federal investigators, Midnight Express failed to meet numerous federal regulations in the months leading up to the accident—the company removed necessary wheelchair-loading equipment from the bus and never obtained a U.S. Department of Transportation number, which is required for legal operation.

Frecks was in attendance at a May 4 bachelorette party when she was jostled out of the bus’s side doors as it sped around a curve in the road. Frecks rolled into oncoming traffic and was hit by three vehicles, two of which immediately left the scene. Bus driver Deborah Elmer, who declined to comment on the situation, had opened the side doors earlier that night to load a cooler, leaving the doors incorrectly latched. In a May report, federal investigators from the Department of Transportation called Midnight Express’ operational structure “so utterly deficient as to substantially increase the likelihood of serious injury or death if not discontinued immediately.”

In their investigation, state officials discovered that the bus’s brake pedals went “to the floor when depressed” and found the “engine exhaust system [leaking] from beneath the passenger compartment.” The government has since ordered the bus company to cease all operations immediately.

Cynthia Matteson, Frecks’s aunt, expressed her disbelief at the company’s flagrant disregard for safety regulations soon after the crash.

“It’s a nightmare,” Matteson said. “How can you pay for a service and expect to get somewhere and back safely, and now she’s lost her life?”

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Publishing Supervisor Arrested on Wire Fraud Charges

Five years after beginning their investigation, FBI agents arrested Christopher J. Brock on federal charges of wire fraud Thursday in Tampa. Brock, a 44-year-old resident of Yukon, Oklahoma, had hatched an intricate textbook-stealing plan, netting himself nearly $3 million in resold books.

Brock, who worked in Oklahoma as a district sales supervisor for the New Jersey-based company John Wiley & Sons, faces prison time and a substantial fine. Federal courts in New Jersey claimed that Brock used company computers to steal away nearly 16,000 textbooks from their intended recipients, and resold the merchandise on the internet.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said Brock carried out his theft by creating fake identities, many of which shared his home address. He then shipped the stolen textbook samples and collected the books for sale through several different PayPal accounts.

John Wiley & Sons, a global publishing company founded in 1807, focuses primarily on academic publishing for professional, although it produces brands including For Dummies, Betty Crocker and CliffsNotes. In 2012, the company had a revenue of $1.8 billion and provided jobs for 5,100 people worldwide.

Wire fraud is a federal offense that forbids devising “any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses…” Brock could receive up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $6 million, twice the amount stolen from the publishing company.

According to the court, Brock spent his ill-begotten profits on scuba diving gear and expensive home furnishings.

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Environmentalists Say BP Must Continue Cleaning Gulf Coast

British Petroleum, PLC, (BP) has spent over $14 billion funding cleanup crews since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill flooded the Gulf of Mexico and inflicted drastic losses on the region’s residents, economy and wildlife. Now, a little over three years later, government officials have agreed that the energy company has sufficiently cleaned beaches of harmful tar in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, inciting a strong reaction from environmentalists who say BP hasn’t finished the job.

BP’s cleanup contracts expired in Gulf Coast states on June 1, leaving the Coast Guard responsible for dealing with any newly-discovered beach oil deposits. Environmental advocacy and wildlife protection groups are still up in arms, claiming that BP still has significant work to do in the area. David White, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Gulf of Mexico Restoration Campaign, said large portions of the spill have yet to be found.

“As much as one million barrels of oil from the disaster remains unaccounted for, and tar mats and tar balls from the spill continue to wash up on the coast,” White said.

Deepwater Horizon flooded 1,110 miles of beach and marshland after it exploded, closing tourist sites and fishing waters. Although much of the coast appears clean, David Muth, director of the NWF Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, said buried deposits of oil continue to plague the coastline.

“Some of those persistent chemicals just get built up, and as each creature comes along and eats it, the toxin can be amplified right up the food chain until you get to the top predators, like dolphins and sea turtles,” Muth said.”

BP has involved over 48,000 people in its cleanup efforts, and continues to be billed for any large oil deposits that can be linked to the 2010 spill. Still, residents are unsettled by the persistent signs of tar balls and oily patches that continue to remind them of the disaster.

“Regardless of how our shorelines are monitored, BP must be held accountable for the cleanup,” White said. “We cannot just accept oiled material on our beaches and in our marshes as the ‘new normal.’”

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The Importance of Staging Your Home before Selling It

Wow Total CleaningSelling your house can be a tedious and difficult process, and for a first-time seller, it’s easy to make mistakes. Fortunately, there are several quick and easy steps you can take to help buyers connect with your home and increase its competitiveness on the market. Staging, the technique of stylishly decorating and cleaning your home for potential buyers, makes an incredible difference. According to a recent study by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, a staged home remains on the market approximately 29 days versus a lengthy 145 days for an unstaged home. Additionally, spending a few hundred dollars to stage a house can add thousands more to its selling price—a solid investment.

Staging is a no-brainer for what it adds in value to a home. If you’re thinking of selling your home, try to follow these important steps.

Declutter

Most lived-in homes are full of furniture—take some out to immediately make a room more spacious and open. A study by Duke University on home staging showed that removing razors and toothbrushes from bathrooms and removing appliances from the kitchen counter helped buyers “imagine the house as ‘theirs’” and improved staging success rates.

Show your lawn a little love

Potential buyers get their first impression of a home from the exterior, including the landscaping. Do some yard work before staging, from watering the lawn and mowing to trimming shrubs. Get rid of any unsightly plants that may decrease your home’s curb appeal.

Maid Services

In addition to dusting, polishing, sweeping, vacuuming, and cleaning bathrooms and kitchens, a professional cleaning service can scour tough areas including light fixtures, countertops, appliances, garage door, and baseboard. It’s those small things that matter: for years, real estate website HomeGain.com has ranked cleaning as the most cost-effective home staging improvement, offering on average a staggering 586% Return on Investment.

If all the world’s a stage, don’t let your home be the one missing out! Make the smart investment and seek professional cleaning and staging help before you bring in potential buyers.

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Zoloft Associated with Birth Defects

A Swedish scientific study published earlier this year linked certain drugs, including Pfizer’s Zoloft, to potential birth defects and injuries, including autism. Zoloft, an antidepressant classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), topped the list as the highest-selling SSRI in 2007, sixteen years after its introduction to the market.

Zoloft, with 37,208,000 prescriptions in the United States, is widely used for conditions ranging from major depressive and obsessive-compulsive disorders to severe social anxiety. However, the drug, along with other SSRIs such as Celexa and Prozac, is associated with a strongly increased risk of birth defects including congenital heart defects and malformations, and even liver failures and sexual dysfunction in pregnant adults!

Findings from 2012 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology analyzed 229,000 births in Tennessee. Of the newborns studied, those whose mothers used antidepressants during pregnancy were born on average four to five days prematurely, and were much more prone to seizures. To add more fuel to the anti-antidepressant fire, the aforementioned Swedish study found that “in utero exposure to both SSRIs and [tricyclic antidepressants] was associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders, particularly without intellectual disability.”

All this comes after two 2007 reports in the New England Journal of Medicine found that women who took Zoloft in the first trimester were at double the risk of giving birth to a baby with a heart defect. Dr. Adam C. Urato, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Tufts University School of Medicine, said that “current evidence that SSRI antidepressants can injure the developing brain is clear and consistent.”

Speak with your doctor if you are unsure about the effects of SSRIs and their associated risks. If you or someone you love has been injured, you may wish to contact an attorney that specializes in birth injury and trauma cases in your area.

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Laying the Blame for GranuFlo Side Effects

You would think that given a drug or medication that, if administered properly, would be relatively harmless to patients, any liability for improper dosages would not fall on the manufacturer. But that is not always the case, as is illustrated by GranuFlo side effects and its role in the lawsuits being levied against dialysis company Fresenius Medical Care (FMC).

Dialysis is a treatment protocol designed to “clean” the blood of a patient whose kidneys have ceased to function properly with the use of a dialysis machine. GranuFlo is a dry acid (liquid version marketed as NaturaLyte) product formulated to increase the capacity of bicarbonates to neutralize the acid that typically builds up in the blood. This is what a normal kidney is designed to do. It was first introduced in 2003, and everything was going on swimmingly for both FMC and patients. At least on the surface.

Eight years after GranuFlo was introduced as the renal failure superman, an internal memo was circulated among doctors operating the FMC dialysis centers and clinics warning them of GranuFlo side effects that were potentially fatal if the dosage was incorrectly administered. A copy of the memo was sent to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and whoever the whistleblower was brought a storm down the head of FMC when the FDA issued a class 1 recall of GranuFlo in June 2012. Shortly after that, the first product liability lawsuits began coming in.

Now here is the problem as far as FMC is concerned. By issuing the memo to FMC centers and clinics but failing to issue the same warning to non FMC-clinics and dialysis centers using GranuFlo, FMC was guilty of “failing to inform” and deceptive labeling practices. FMC had a duty to inform all that used the product to be aware of the importance of proper dosing to avoid GranuFlo side effects.

If you or someone you know is undergoing dialysis and experiencing known GranuFlo side effects, inform your doctor and consult with a GranuFlo lawyer in the area. Insist that your center stop using GranuFlo or its local version while you wait for the assessment and advice of the attorney regarding the merits of your case.

 

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