Monthly Archives: July 2011

Friday Fun

We’ll find out this afternoon if this will be the 28th consecutive day with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher in Dallas. In weather like this, some understand that it’s just too hot to play in a swimming pool that’s sitting out in the sun. The solution? Bring the pool inside, of course. This […]

Social Security Field Offices to Begin Closing a Half Hour Early

Federal budget cuts are causing the Social Security Administration to reduce the hours field offices are open to the public. Here is the official press release from the Social Security Administration: Effective August 15, 2011, Social Security field offices nationwide will close to the public 30 minutes early each day.  For example, a field office that […]

Doctors Writing Fewer Prescriptions for Abbott Cholesterol Drug Niaspan

The cholesteraol drug Niaspan has been a popular one for Abbott Laboratories, but it’s getting some bad publicity these days. A good summary of the problems was reported by the Chicago Tribune recently. Here are excerpts from the article: Fewer doctors are prescribing Abbott Laboratories’ drug to raise so-called good cholesterol levels in the wake […]

FDA Advisory Panels Reject Experimental Diabetes Treatment

The New York Times reports that a Food and Drug Administration panel “voted 9 to 6 on Tuesday that a first-of-its-kind diabetes drug should not be approved for use because of safety concerns, including a possible increased risk of breast and bladder cancers.” The AP notes that the drug, dapagliflozin, is a “once-a-day pill designed […]

Cyclists and Sheriff Deputies Agree on Rules of the Road in Collin County

There has been a dispute recently between bicycle riders and sheriff deputies in Collin County. The cyclists have been getting lots of traffic tickets, and there seemed to be a misunderstanding of the “rules of the road” on the part of some cyclists. The basic law in Texas is that a bicycle is treated essentially […]

Friday Fun

No one does animation as well as Pixar, and here is 25 years of Pixar animation in five minutes.

Seroquel Antipsychotic Drug to Carry New Heart Warning

The New York Times reports that “AstraZeneca is adding a new heart warning to the labels of Seroquel [quetiapine], its blockbuster antipsychotic drug, at the request of the Food and Drug Administration, company and agency officials said on Monday.” The new “label, posted without fanfare last week on the FDA website, says Seroquel and extended-release […]

FDA Issues Warning on Vaginal Mesh Implants

In a front page story, the Boston Globe reports, “Women who have vaginal surgery to fix a common gynecologic condition called pelvic organ prolapse may wind up with more problems than benefits if a plastic mesh is used, according to a safety communication issued yesterday by the Food and Drug Administration.” The Los Angeles Times […]

Social Security Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions

The Social Security Administration announced last week several additions to the list of compassionate allowances conditions. This is good news for anyone unfortunate enough to suffer from one of those conditions. Here is the press release from the Social Security Administration: Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced 12 additional Compassionate Allowances conditions […]

Beat the Heat with Red Cross Safety Tips

Today will be the 17th in a row with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher in Dallas. The heat index on some of those days has been as much as 110 degrees. Exposure to temperatures such as this is dangerous, especially to young children and to the elderly. Here are some tips on coping […]

Friday Fun

Throw the stick. Throw the stick! Throw the damned stick!

Hospital Risks: Perhaps July’s Reputation Is Justified

Here’s something to make you think twice about getting surgery this summer — hospital death rates apparently increase in July. According to a brief article in the New York Times, a new study published this month in Annals of Internal Medicine seems to confirm the rumor that injuries and deaths suffered in hospitals increase each […]

Over 2,000 Hospitals Join Patient Safety Initiative

The Hill reported in its “Healthwatch” blog, “More than 2,000 hospitals have signed onto a public-private effort to reduce hospital-acquired conditions, federal officials said Friday, meeting the Obama administration’s goal.” Notably, HHS “launched the Partnership for Patients in April, touting it as a way to save 60,000 lives and $35 billion over three years by […]

Featured Link — Medical Abbreviations

Many lawyers, such as those who practice elder law, personal injury, or Social Security disability, have to read a lot of medical records. Anyone who does read medical records learns very quickly how often doctors and nurses use abbreviations when writing their patient notes. One source for deciphering these abbreviations is at It can […]

Editorial: Supreme Court Ruling Leaves Generic Drug Consumers Vulnerable

I wrote recently about the dangers of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that manufacturers of generic drugs owe no duty to warn consumers of harmful side effects. Now an editorial in the Baltimore Sun expands on that view. Here are excerpts: In its recent decision on drug labeling, the U.S. Supreme Court prescribed a judgment […]

Friday Fun

Here’s a very brave cat playing with a very gentle dolphin.

Study Links Anti-Smoking Drug Chantix to Cardiovascular Problems

The anti-smoking drug Chantix has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. Now here is one more blow to the drug’s reputation — it may cause an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. The problem was summarized in a recent New York Times article. Here are exerpts: Chantix, the best-selling prescription […]

Should Veterans Have the Right to Sue for Negligence in Military Hospitals?

Since 1950, U.S. veterans have been unable to make claims for medical malpractice committed in military hospitals. This seemingly unfair rule was decided in a U.S. Supreme Court case referred to by the Plaintiff’s name, Feres.It is now called the Feres Doctrine. Many lawyers who represent vets thought there was a chance this 60-year-old rule […]

A Lawsuit Is Never Frivolous When It’s About Your Family

The Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow wrote last weekend about a local couple who have been picketing a nursing home because a relative died there. The couple is frustrated because every lawyer they’ve talked with has told them that lawsuits against nursing homes are essentially worthless in Texas since passage of “tort reform” in […]

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you get to have fun with friends and family today, but please remember why this is a holiday. You can read all about Independence Day at Wikipedia.