Mosquitos, Ticks and Fleas, Oh No!

Illnesses from mosquito, tick or flea bites have tripled in the period from 2004 until 2016 reports the Center for Disease Control, CDC. Climate change resulting in higher average temperatures in many northern areas of the continental United States has expanded the range of mosquitos, fleas and ticks. And increasing urbanization provides more contact between the pests. According to the CDC, in 2016, the most common tickborne diseases in the U.S. were Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis. The most common mosquito-borne viruses were West Nile, dengue, and Zika. Though rare, plague was the most common disease resulting from the bite of…

Change Your Mind!

The Brain Injury Association of America works to de-stigmatize brain injury through outreach within the brain injury community. The BIAA empowers those who have survived brain injury and their caregivers, providing many types of support to people living with brain injury. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and March 20th is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill for Tuesday. Perhaps the most well-recognized brain injury is the concussion, but an acquired brain injury is any brain injury that has occurred after birth. The injury results in a change to the brain's neuronal activity, which affects the physical integrity, metabolic…

Botched Gallbladder Surgery Jury Verdict

Theresa Seto, a 47 year old mother of five, underwent gallbladder removal surgery by Dr. Michael Fraterelli, M.D. at the Medical Center of Aurora. A doctor’s goal in a gallbladder removal surgery is to identify the cystic duct, clip it, and remove the gallbladder. The cystic duct runs from the gallbladder to the common duct. It is the only duct that joins the gallbladder. The common bile duct never joins the gallbladder. Cutting the common duct is life-threatening. There is no meaningful difference in the appearance of the two ducts. The ducts are identifiable only by where they run. The…

Baby Powder Trial Tossed

Johnson & Johnson faces more than 1,000 lawsuits claiming the company’s talc powder, commonly called baby powder, caused ovarian cancer. But for the roughly 200 women whose lawsuits were consolidated in New Jersey, bad news emerged from the first state trial asserting the claim. The trial judge, Judge Nelson Johnson, ruled that the women did not provide sufficient medical evidence demonstrating the causal link between use of the talc powder and the ovarian cancer. Judge Johnson wrote a 33-page order dismissing the lawsuit brought by Brandi Carl and Diana Balderrama. The judge called the testimony by plaintiffs’ experts to be narrow…

Arraignment for Swedish Surgical Tech

Rocky Allen, the surgical technician who stands accused of stealing drugs that Swedish hospital, potentially infecting thousands of patients with Hepatitis C and HIV, stood for an arraignment today in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The hearing to determine whether Mr. Allen would be held in custody pending trial, or released on bond, began with a private conference between the lawyers and the judge which was inaudible from the gallery. Following the conference the judge ruled that “we will be referring to it as a blood-borne pathogen and not as a medical condition.” This is…

Feds Take Over Swedish Medical Fentanyl Investigation

2/16/16 UPDATE - The surgical technician accused of stealing a powerful narcotic drug whose actions prompted wide-scale testing of Swedish Medical Center patients for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C has been arrested, officials said Tuesday.Rocky Allen is in federal custody after a grand jury indictment, according to the Department of Justice. The former surgical tech is in custody on charges of tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by deceit, according to a U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado news release.The indictment says that Allen tampered and attempted to tamper with a syringe containing fentanyl Citrate by…

Surgical Tech Possibly Exposed Hundreds to HIV and Hepatitis

In a shockingly broad outreach, Swedish Medical Center is asking about 2,900 patients to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C after discovering that a former employee may have stolen narcotic pain medicines. A surgical technologist, 28-year-old Rocky Allen, worked in operating rooms at the hospital from Aug. 17 to Jan. 22. Hospital officials are concerned that he may have put at risk patients who had surgery during that time.  Read more about the possible claims against Swedish at Hospital Malpractice. The hospital announced it is investigating possible exposures with the state Department of Public Health and Environment…

TBI Conference in Summit County

          St. Anthony Summit Medical Center will present the third annual Brain Injury Conference for the high country region on Monday, Oct. 5. The conference will be held in Breckenridge at the Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The medical community, traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors and caregivers are strongly encouraged to attend. The conference schedule includes presentations on different aspects of TBI. Experts will present on topics including sleep impacts, protocol for pro-cyclists, education for military veterans, neuropsychology, concussions in athletes and art therapy. For the complete schedule, visit…

Most Beloved Corporation Betrays

            Steve Brill has joined with The Huffington Post to write an in depth expose of one of the most egregious cases of corporate greed perhaps since “A Civil Action.” Read the report. The editors describe the 15-part series: At some point over the course of this massive, magisterial 15-chapter story, you will get angry, and you will stay angry. It may happen when you learn that Johnson & Johnson handed out promotional Legos to pediatricians so that they’d be more likely to prescribe a drug called Risperdal to children with behavioral problems, although the…

Can Your Hospital Make You Sick?

            According to Consumer Reports, the answer is a definite “yes.” Consumer Reports’ new Ratings of more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals show which do a good job of avoiding MRSA, C.diff, and other deadly infections. Every year an estimated 648,000 people in the U.S. develop infections during a hospital stay, and about 75,000 die with them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – more than twice the number of people who die each year in car crashes. Many of those illnesses and deaths can be traced back to the use of…