Farah & Farah newsletter: Spring 2009
In This Issue
- Hold Off on Those Pictures!
- You Can’t Afford Not to Read This Book
- Eddie Farah Wins Prestigious Trial Lawyers Group Award
- NSAID’s and High Blood Pressure Don’t Mix
- Controversial Medical Device for Women Prompts Lawsuits
- News You Might Have Missed
- Food and Drug Administration Scientists Report Corruption to President Obama
- Nursing Home Quality Rating
- Providing a Safe Playground
- Office Spotlight: Ursula Osburn
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One of the newest “trends” in medicine, and it’s a trend because it hasn’t been proved to be medically necessary, is the idea of getting a full body scan when you are healthy. Full body scans use computerized tomography (CT) to take a picture of the whole body through x-ray beams from the chin to just below the hips. Normally, CT scans are used to screen for early-stage cancers or calcium in the coronary arteries. Now some medical facilities are pushing these scans to healthy people.
Insurance will not pay for this procedure when it is not medically justified and often patients are paying more than just the cost of the scan. Because CT scans involve multiple x-rays, the dose of radiation is hundreds of times greater than conventional x-ray.
Here are some other things to know about CT scans:
- Full-body scans can produce false positives causing undue worry about harmless abnormalities.
- Full body scans can produce false negatives because the scans may not be as high in quality or resolution as ones that are ordered for a specific reason.
- Any potential gain must be offset by the risks of radiation. CT scan dosage is much higher than the effective dose from a conventional x-ray.
- The American College of Radiology has said that there is no evidence that total body CT scans are either cost-effective or effective in prolonging life.
Eddie and Chuck Farah have decades of experience in the law and now they will be sharing that experience with readers via their new book, The Farah & Farah Rules of Law: Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Personal Injury Case. This book is a must read for anybody who is dealing with the aftermath of an accident claim.
It is the ultimate guide that tells people who have been in an accident what to do and what not to do – especially when dealing with insurance companies. Particular emphasis has been placed on how you can avoid being taken advantage of by the insurance companies and how to pick the best lawyer for your case. This book is an important way that Eddie and Chuck Farah are showing their concern for leveling the playing field and obtaining just compensation for their clients.
To obtain your FREE copy of The Farah & Farah Rules of Law, visit our website at farah2017.wpengine.com or call 855-797-9899
Eddie Farah, founding partner of Farah & Farah, has won one of the most prestigious awards from the North Florida Trial Lawyers Association – the Spartan at Thermopylae Award.
For those history buffs who remember their ancient Greek history, the Spartans were vastly outnumbered in their battle against the Persians, but held their ground for several days earning history’s mantle of hero.
“Like a Spartan at Thermopylae”
Eddie Farah, Esquire
Always Stood Ready to Defend Justice
Often Against Overwhelming Odds
and at Great Personal Cost
Presented by the North Florida
Trial Lawyers Association
November 24, 2008
With Great Respect and Appreciation
What are NSADs? They are very common over the counter medications such as Advil, Motrin, and Aleve but they can also be prescription medicines such as Mobic or Celebrex.
Studies have shown that NSAIDs increase blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure (hypertension). The effect on blood pressure is usually gradual and moderate but for some people, particularly those on ACE inhibitor blood pressure medicine, diruetics, or angiotensin II receptor blockers – ARBs, the effect can be much larger and make the high blood pressure difficult to control. It’s important to lower high blood pressure because is can increase the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.
Ask your doctor if you are taking an NSAID and high blood pressure about this interaction. Some high blood pressure medicines, calcium channel blockers, may not be as affected by NSAIDs.
Other Drug Interactions To Avoid
Make sure your doctor knows all the medicines that you are taking. There can be serious side effects from some drug interactions including the use of warfarin (Coumadin) and clopidogrel (Plavix), aspirin and Coumadin, and gingko and aspirin. These three combination can result in an increased risk of bleeding. Another major drug interaction is the use of niacin (Vitamin B3) and Lipitor which can result in muscle damage.
Vitamins and Cancer
It would be great if there was a “magic bullet” to prevent cancer. And many people have believed that taking large quantities of Vitamin C and E can help to prevent cancer. Unfortunately, a large study that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association said that Vitamins C and E had no effect on any cancers. Also large quantities of Vitamin E can pose an increased risk of death.
A medical device used to treat a form of urinary incontinence in women is prompting a number of lawsuits. In the past 18 months, there have been 32 lawsuits filed against Mentor Corp. a Santa Barbara, CA based cosmetic surgery device manufacturer for their product, ObTape. ObTape is a sling that is surgically implanted to treat stress urinary incontinence which is often brought on by coughing, sneezing or exercise. ObTape was removed from the market in 2006.
The FDA had issued a generic alert to doctors in October of 2008 warning of complications in surgical mesh devices designed to treat stress urinary incontinence saying that it could cause infections, pain and scarring and erosion of the vaginal wall.
In today’s hurry-up world, it’s difficult to find the time to read a newspaper, watch a newscast or read an online news blog. Some people believe that the national media is totally controlled by special interests… reporters are all liberal Democrats… network owners are all conservative Republicans… etc., etc.
Here are some news nuggets you might not have heard about:
- 60% of U.S. corporations pay no income tax at all
- The four Wal-Mart heirs have a net worth in excess of $62 billion
- 60% of processed foods in U.S. supermarkets are genetically engineered
- 61% of the subprime mortgage borrowers were actually eligible for regular loans with much lower interest rates
- A farm-raised salmon doesn’t get pink – it is grey – until the fish is fed a chemical pigment
- Sea levels will rise dramatically putting major U.S. cities such as New York City partially underwater if scientists are correct about global warming forecasts
A group of federal scientists have told the Obama administration that there has been widespread managerial misconduct in a division of the Food & Drug Administration that is responsible for medical devices ranging from stents and breast implants to MRIs and other imaging machinery.
The letter states that the scientific review process had been distorted thus endangering the American people. Managers without appropriate experience have ordered, intimidated and coerced FDA experts to modify scientific evaluations, conclusions and recommendations.
Though the FDA has not responded publicly to the letter, the agency is working to address concerns.
NEWLY CREATED RATING SYSTEM HELPS CONSUMERS IN CHOOSING A QUALITY NURSING HOME FOR THEIR LOVED ONES
Finding a nursing home for a loved one can be a daunting task. But now the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently implemented a new “5-Star Quality Rating System” for nursing homes. This system was created to help consumers compare nursing homes and identify areas about which consumers may want to ask questions. The ratings are taken from three sources: health inspections, staffing numbers and quality measures. These three ratings are combined to calculate an overall ‘star rating.”
The level of staff is a key indicator of the quality of care provided. This system looks at overall staffing and staffing adjusted for the population, which takes into consideration how sick the residents are in each nursing home.
CMS has found that the quality of care is generally better in nursing homes that have more staff to work directly with the residents.
To learn more, go the CMS website, www.medicare.gov/NH/compare.com
Playgrounds are supposed to be about fun but each year 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms for playground-related injuries.
Unfortunately, fifteen of those children will die as a result of those injuries. Yet, statistics show that 79% of playground-related injuries could be prevented by eliminating injury producing falls.
More than half of all playground injuries are the result of poor playground maintenance, improper equipment, faulty installation and poor layout and design. Any entity that provides a playground for public use has a duty to provide a proper layout, age-appropriate safe equipment, proper surfacing, appropriate materials, proper playground assembly and installation.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE DETAILS
Ursula Osburn, legal assistant to attorney Kathy Parker at Farah & Farah, thinks she was born to do her job. She has spent the past 15 years working for the personal injury law firm and enjoys making a difference for the firm’s clients.
“I especially feel like I’m making a different when working with clients who are severely impacted,” she explained. “In my job you can make a difference and helping clients get through tough times is a plus for me.”
Interestingly enough, Ursula started her career in psychology after obtaining a B.A. from Concordia and a M.A. from McGill in her hometown of Montreal. She worked with abused children and in that job had to deal with lots of agencies, physicians and people who were under a lot of stress. “My background in psychology has actually helped my in my legal assistant position in some sense,” she added. “I had learned to deal with lots of personalities in psychology and had to be very detail-oriented. It was emotionally difficult for me to forget about my work when I went home.”
So when Ursula moved from Montreal to Jacksonville, she knew it was time for a career change. After working at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and getting to know the city, she decided to work for a personal injury law firm. She met Eddie Farah in 1994 and joined his firm.
Her typical day involves opening new files for the cases that have started and managing those cases with the firm’s case manager. She’ll help to make sure that clients have been referred to treatment if they don’t have their own doctor as well as keep up with the status of that treatment. There’s lots of contact with doctors, medical offices and insurance companies.
The job is extremely detail-oriented and has lots of ball in the air at any one time. Besides treatment issues there might be property damage concerns, lost wages, and dealing with adjusters. Ursula likes the frenetic pace.
That pace includes spending at least 50 hours a week at the office and Eddie Farah has noted that Ursula has a great work ethic.
“I don’t think anyone teaches you work ethic,” Ursula said. “You either have it or you don’t. “
Definitely, Ursula has it. Though she saves time on the weekend for her husband and 16-year-old stepson, Ursula is ready every Monday morning to start it all over again.
If you have been injured in Jacksonville, please contact a Florida personal injury lawyer at Farah & Farah today to discuss your case.