The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking into the dangers with yet another controversial birth control product out on the market. The Essure birth control implant has caused side effects that are non-life threatening, but more disturbing (and death in at least one instance). Some women, with the implanted Essure, have complained of weight gain, fatigue, and depression, while others have complained of severe, burning pain from the pelvis and radiating down the lower extremities. There have also been reports of miscarriages and the metal coils cutting into other organs of the body. One woman died while the Essure was being implanted.
Many smokers trying to overcome the addiction have jumped on the e-cigarette bandwagon to get their nicotine fix without the accompaniment of tobacco smoke. However, there have been few studies to date to confirm whether or not e-cigarettes are going to be found safe in the long run. While it’s true the tobacco smoke toxicity is not a danger with them, there is the fact that nicotine is an addictive substance and many smokers do not know how to properly use the e-cigarettes to eventually get to the use of neither cigarettes nor e-cigarettes. For many, the e-version becomes the permanent alternative, which was not the original intention.
Fourth of July is a wonderful time of the year to celebrate our nation with friends and family, but often involves activities that can lead to injuries or fatalities. The first activity that comes to mind is fireworks fun. The National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS) has some tips for purchasing fireworks that will be in the hands of you and your loved ones this 4th of July. First and foremost, they recommend that you stick to the licensed fireworks sellers, rather than getting the “good stuff” from your friend’s brother’s cousin’s guy, as those are likely the illegal and very dangerous fireworks. The NCFS also wants consumers to pay attention to the safety warnings on the packages and adhere to them for a safer, happier fireworks experience. They also want the lay fireworks individual to stay away from the professional fireworks that, while legal, are made for those who have been trained and licensed as pyro-techs. The NCFS also wants celebrators to be sure that they use fireworks in a clear area where shooting will not cause enhanced chances of fire dangers and they want those handling them to refrain, being the designated shooters who are not under the influence.
Invokana is a type 2 diabetes medication, also known as Canagliflozin, and patients using the drug have suffered from diabetic ketoacidosis, cardiovascular injury, and kidney failure. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that the ketoacidosis that occurs is a result of insulin levels dropping too low. Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in those suffering with type 1 diabetes, but now has been found in those with type 2 diabetes while using Invokana.
Low testosterone is lamented in the media today with commercials offering up solutions to those suffering from the condition and perhaps not getting all the gusto from life such advertisements portray. While low testosterone is bothersome for many individuals, it has become an over diagnosed condition in today’s society, leading to the over prescription of testosterone. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come out with cautions and warnings regarding the use of testosterone, urging users to outweigh the benefits with the serious risks.
Wright Medical Group is involved in ongoing litigation regarding the profemur replacement systems they manufactured for hip replacements. The product has been found to cause complications with early failure, leading to severe pain, difficulty walking and standing, and the subsequent loss of mobility. Some patients have had the device break a few years following the surgical implantation of it.
Planning some fun vacation time in the sun and surf where delicious seafood abounds? Be careful. A deadly bacteria has caused infection in seven and death for two in 2015 in Florida. The potentially flesh eating bacteria thrives in warm seawater and is primarily a problem with people eat food, such as raw shellfish, contaminated with Vibrio Vulnificus. The bacteria can also infect people enjoying warm saltwater with open wounds and this is where the flesh eating property comes in with the forming of skin ulcers and breakdown.
Once again Johnson & Johnson shows its true colors in allowing a defective, dangerous product to be used in real live patients. Johnson & Johnson recalled and withdrew from the market a power morcellator used in laparoscopic hysterectomy surgeries. These surgeries were of the minimally invasive variety, with the morcellator grinding up uterine fibroid tissue to be removed by very, very small incisions. The problem is that this device has been found to endanger women, rather than help them, by actually spreading cancer throughout a woman’s pelvis and abdomen, “significantly worsen…the patient’s likelihood of long-term survival,” a quote from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Despite modern efforts in many communities regarding bicycle access and safety, this mode of transportation can be one of the most dangerous. Many communities have built and improved their bicycle trail systems, with more connections, and added bicycle dedicated lanes to busy commuting streets.
Communities have become more conscientious, due in large part to community bicycling advocacy groups, about getting out the word to resident motorists that with the increase in popularity of bicycling, they need to be aware and vigilant of bicycles out on the road, while also being courteous and respectful of their rights to enjoy the road.
Unfortunately, with the increase in bicycling many communities have also seen an increase in dangerous accidents involving bicyclists. That is not to say that motorists alone are to blame for bicycle accidents. Both bicyclists and motorists need to gain better understanding of the rules of the road and safe traveling.
Safety Doesn’t Stop at Helmets
Many of us are all too familiar with the friendly, persistent reminders that bicycle safety involves wearing a bicycle helmet whenever riding. However, accidents occur whether or not a rider is wearing a helmet. While the helmet may help prevent the worst of head injuries, it will not prevent the accident from occurring in the first place.
The US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2012 data on bicyclist accidents gives sobering statistics. In 2012 in the United States there were 726 bicycle fatalities and 49,000 bicycle injuries in motor vehicle accident crashes (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts on Bicyclists). In addition to these statistics the NHTSA states that 69% of 2012’s bicyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas, the average age of those killed in such accidents was 43, and 88% were males.
In Nebraska in 2012, there were 323 crashes that were reported and 328 bicyclists injured (Nebraska Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Crashes). The Nebraska Medical Center reported alarming numbers in regards to children in its accident statistics. It stated that each year there are approximately 100 child bicycle fatalities and 254,000 child bicycle injuries (Child Bicycle Accident Statistics).
5 Tips for Staying Safe
So what can the informed bicyclist know to avoid being one of the statistics of injured or killed riders? Here are some bicycle safety tips inspired by BicycleSafe.com on how not to get hit by cars, with detailed information on how to avoid a multitude of bicycle accident types.
1. Those extra accessories can help.
You may consider investing in a headlight, especially an LED headlight, so that you are highly visible before the sun is up, at dusk, at night or when riding in the crosswalk (although NOT riding on the sidewalk altogether is the safer bet). A rear bicycle light can also be useful in helping others spot you.
Another suggestion is to purchase handlebar or helmet mirrors so that you can look in the mirror when approaching an intersection to also avoid the right-turning motorist intersection collision.
2. Suspicious a driver may not see you? Get their attention.
Use hand signals to communicate with those you share the road with.
Another suggestion, despite the possibility of embarrassment, is to not be afraid to wave and even yell when in doubt about whether a driver sees you. You should not refuse to slow down so that you can make eye contact with a driver or avoid collision.
3. Position yourself to be most visible.
Perhaps surprising to some, the site suggests you ride further to the left in a bike or traffic lane, or further from the curb, so that motorists will notice you when looking out for other motor vehicles but not bicyclists.
You should never pull beside a vehicle in its blind spot when stopping for a red traffic light or stop sign. Such a position makes you extremely vulnerable to a right-turning vehicle not seeing your bicycle once he or she can proceed.
Choose wide streets as much as possible, and avoid the practice of weaving in and out of traffic lanes or the parking lane.
4. Wear bright clothing.
Wear bright, neon clothing to help you stand out and become more visible to drivers who may not be looking out for bicyclists.
5. Practice defensive riding.
You may consider leaving phones and ear buds with music blaring out of the ride, and riding as if invisible.
Motorists: Stay Alert
If you are a motorist, please stay alert, pay attention, and be courteous. The lives of others depend on this and you will likely be prosecuted in the case of an accident in which you are at fault. Remember the old commandment to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” …or your kids, spouse, dad, or mom.
Other articles you may be interested in:
Cyclist Hit by Car–What To Do in Nebraska
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