Aortic Stenosis with Depakote Use

Medical terms always make the essentially simple sound incredibly complex. Take for example congenital aortic stenosis, which may or may not be caused by the mother taking Depakote during the first trimester of pregnancy. Aortic stenosis simply means the valve is narrow on one end, causing some of the blood that should be going out into the aorta (the main blood vessel hat distributes blood and oxygen to the body) goes back into the heart (backflow). Some babies are born with one, two, or four tissue flaps called leaflets that prevent backflow instead of the normal three, and this can make the aortic valve less efficient in keeping the blood from going back in. So in simple terms, the heart has a leaky valve.

Congenital aortic stenosis will not always make life difficult for the baby at once, unless it is really severe. In such cases, the baby may die within two years from congestive heart failure. In many cases, the complications associated with having blood leak back into the heart may not manifest until adulthood, and the only way to fix it is to replace the valve. Symptoms of aortic stenosis include fainting spells, shortness of breath when physically active, and chest pains. Aortic stenosis is detectable in asymptomatic patients during a routine physical examination.

The link between maternal ingestion of Depakote and congenital aortic stenosis has not been established in any study. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, Depakote is associated with many birth defects. Depakote (valproate) is known to interfere with the development of the fetus by blocking some actions of the fetal DNA. It has been more closely associated with anencephaly, where the fetus is born with an underdeveloped skull and brain. In some cases, it is speculated that its effects may extend beyond the first trimester, as in hydranencephaly, where the developed cerebral hemispheres of the brain are deprived of oxygen. This results in cell death and eventual resorption. It does not take much to imagine that such systemic interference may lead to cardiac malformations as well.

If you or your child was born with aortic stenosis, and Depakote is in the picture, you may have a case against the drug’s manufacturer.

Read More

Types of Battery

In Wisconsin, there are different types of battery with ranging punishments. Substantial battery and aggravated battery are two levels that can be committed, and factors of each unique situation will determine what the penalty is. Actions can be categorized as a misdemeanor or felony, and convictions alter one’s life thereafter.

Substantial battery is the lesser degree of battery. This can occur in various ways, however all actions result in substantial bodily harm to the victim. Injuries that indicate substantial battery include lacerations that require serious medical attention, broken bones, loss of teeth, burns, ruptured blood vessels, or concussions. This type of battery is considered a Class I felony, and the repercussions are up to three and a half years of prison, and a fine up to $10,000.

The second level of battery is aggravated battery. This type is more serious, and occurs when great bodily harm is evident as the result of the violence. Aggravated battery happens when a person intentionally causes great bodily harm, intentionally or unintentionally, or when a person does something that puts another at risk to receive great bodily harm. Such examples are cases in which the victim is left with permanent loss of a body part, death, or is put at the risk of death. These types of crimes are considered Class E or Class H felonies, depending on the severity of the situation. Class E felonies are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000. Class H felonies entail lesser consequences, and are punishable by up to six years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

A Waukesha Criminal Defense Attorney should acknowledge battery convictions can damage one’s reputation and career. Often, the penalty can be as drastic as to permanently alter one’s life. With legal representation, it is possible to minimize the consequences of a battery conviction, and diminish the negative effects of the situation.

Read More

Surgical Errors

When stepping into a hospital, a patient expects to be treated by experienced professionals that are diligent in helping them with their ailments. Yet it is not uncommon to leave these facilities in worse shape than a person entered because of the negligent actions of staff or physicians. Every year, roughly 4,000 surgical errors occur that lead to severe consequences and even death. These medical malpractices cost around $1.3 billion dollars every year in lawsuit and damages.

Surgeons are required discuss common complications of surgery but do not warn patients about risks that a negligent staff could cause. Surgeons refer to surgical errors as “never events.” They are so called because these events should never happen. The years of training and practice that surgeons are required to accumulate are required to eliminate the possibility of these sometimes fatal mistakes occurring. Out of the thousands of surgical errors made annually, 59 percent result in injuries or complications, 33 percent result in permanent injury to the patient, and 6.6 percent result in death.

Common medical malpractice incidents in the operating occur when a surgeon or nursing staff leaves a foreign object within the body cavity, the wrong procedure is performed, or the wrong site was operated upon. Some incidents occur out of negligence by staffs who disregard safety precautions set in place to protect patients from these exact events.

“Time outs” to match medical records are frequently implemented to double or triple check that the correct patient is being operated on. Most operating rooms practice counting sponges and other medical utensils before, during, and after procedures to reduce the rate of foreign objects being left in the body. And generally surgical checklists are in place to keep the doctors and their attending staff accountable for their actions. The consequences for these surgical errors can be dire, affecting the life of a patient and their family permanently. Consult an attorney in your area if you believe you or a loved one is a victim of a surgical error caused by a negligent surgical staff.

Read More

The Aftermath of Burn Injuries

There is a principle in the first law of thermodynamics that says that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Wood, when consumed by flame, simply turns to ash and smoke and rubble. It is not destroyed – rather, it is irreversibly changed. This is the fate that awaits victims of burn accidents. Though, in the very worst of cases, the victims of burn accidents do not live to see light again, there are some things that are more difficult to handle.

Such is the case of those who must now live on and survive after going through a burn accident. You know better than to treat potentially hazardous things with anything but care – the same cannot be said for everyone, though. And some people, through their negligence of how their actions could affect other people, could cause some serious injury.

Accidents happen, yes, but if it could have been avoided but wasn’t due to simple negligence or carelessness? Choices can be made freely, yes, but the consequences of these choices are not always quite as kind. The victims of burn injuries have more than just physical injuries to care for as there are loads of financial constraints that must now be accounted for.

Sometimes, all it takes is a few careless seconds to cause irreparable damage to someone and nothing is quite as painful as surviving through degrees of burn injuries. The World Health Organization estimates that there are over 200,000 deaths due to household fires each year, most of which occur in low to middle income families. If you are an innocent victim who has now been made to suffer burn injuries that have irreversibly changed your physical state, as well as loss of precious and hard-earned possessions, due to simple negligence, it is your right and responsibility to seek legal aid in order to claim the costs of reparations owed to you.

Read More

How a DWI can Affect Your Life

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is 0.08%. This is observed in all US states and enforced on all drivers aged at least 21 years old (for truck drivers and all other commercial vehicle drivers, the limit is 0.04% and for those under 21 years in age, it is zero tolerance). Thus, anyone who will be caught with a BAC level above the stipulated limits can be charged with DWI, which means driving while intoxicated – a serious traffic violation to which heavy penalties are imposed.

DWI or DUI (driving under the influence, the term used in some states) has been identified by the NHTSA as among the top causes of car accidents, which go beyond five million every year (other major causes of accidents are reckless driving, overspeeding, driver error and driving distraction, which is particularly topped by texting or use of a cellphone while driving).

Anyone convicted of a DWI offense can suffer costly fines, time in jail, suspension or revocation of license, mandatory attendance in a DUI/DWI school and community service. In cases wherein the violation involves injuries to, or death of, an innocent victim, or if the violation has been committed repeatedly, the court can require the driver to acquire an SR-22 form, otherwise known as Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) form. The SR-22 last for three years and requires higher auto liability insurance premiums. The court can also require that an Ignition Interlock (also known as Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device or BAIID) be installed in the violator’s vehicle. This device, which has a pre-determined limit of 0.02%, is particularly designed to detect the presence of alcohol in the driver’s breath. If alcohol is detected, then the device will prevent the vehicle from starting.

DWI is a serious offense that no driver will want to be convicted of (considering the fact that even a charge can affect a person’s future even long after the offense has been committed). Thus, it is absolutely important that, if ever charged with this type of offense, the driver should contact only a highly-competent lawyer for the strong defense that may save him/her from a possible conviction or maximum penalties.

Read More