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Deadly Dentistry - Part 6 - Could Dental Malpractice be Considered Murder?

A California dentist, Dr. Claire, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his son, after performing a routine dental procedure. Patrick Claire, a developmentally disabled 36-year-old whose condition resembled autism, died shortly after having a painful wisdom tooth extracted by his father. Patrick died from respiratory failure and cardiac arrest as a result of an overdose of the sedatives morphine and valium. The dentist had been practicing for forty years and had a history of complaints filed against him for sedation-related issues. Morphine is not an approved sedative and Dr. Claire did not have a license to practice aesthetics.

What elevated the incident of death from dental malpractice to suspicion of murder was the testimony of an eyewitness to the entire procedure. Sandra Montoya was the dental assistant at the time and claimed that Dr. Claire did nothing when she tried to alert him that his son was struggling to breathe. She said that the doctor claimed that such was common and his son was prone to having seizures. After Ms. Montoya left work at 5:00 pm the doctor waited an hour and called 911. When police and rescue workers arrived around 6:00 pm they found Dr. Claire half-heartedly administering CPR to his son with a force the equivalent of “honking a car horn with one hand”. Patrick was taken to a local hospital where he was declared dead. Montoya told police that she did not see the doctor administer the required blood pressure tests to Patrick prior to giving him the sedatives and that there were no vital signs monitored during the procedure as required by law.

Although Dr. Claire claimed that he had given Patrick a standard intravenous dosage of valium and morphine, lethal amounts nearly three times the required level to sedate a patient of his height and weight were found in his system including some in his stomach. It was discovered that Patrick had sought medical attention at the local emergency room and was given pain prescription painkillers including novocaine. It is suspected that Patrick, a known local drug user, could have secured the morphine illegally and used it to relieve his pain without telling his father.

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bigstock-Vaping-Man-Holding-A-Mod-A-Cl-227600464-1024x683A former CNBC producer was killed when his vape exploded and lodged in his skull, according to an autopsy confirmed by the medical examiner of Pinellas County.

Tallmadge Wakeman D’Elia, 38, who went by “Wake,” died on Cinco de Mayo in St. Petersburg, FL after his vape pen ignited a fire in his bedroom. The autopsy results  reportedly showed the vape not only exploded and sparked the blaze, but it made a “projectile wound” in D’Elia’s skull.

Bill Pellan, Director of Investigations at the Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the report.

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bigstock-Car-Crash-6699116-1024x683Today, driving is arguably safer than it has ever been before with decreased car crashes.

Modern vehicles now boast a number of safety features, including blind spot monitoring, driver alertness detection systems and emergency braking. Additionally, highway engineering has improved over the last several decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called motor vehicle safety one of the top 10 U.S. public health achievements of the 20th century.

Despite this, there were 32,166 crashes that led to at least one death in the U.S. in 2015.

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car-safety-gear-cuts-deaths-in-dallas-300x200Driving regulations, such as no texting and driving, are good measures to ensure drivers are safer on the road, but are not the only actions in place to keep roads safer. A new study shows that safety gear and equipment being installed in new model cars has proven to decrease the amount of deaths resulting from auto accidents.

According to the Wall Street Journal, federal data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in December 2017 shows that safety features being built into cars in recent years have allowed for a drop in auto fatalities. In the study, it shows that in the past decade the number of fatalities from accidents has dropped by nearly two-thirds with each new model car released. In 2016, the number of fatalities dropped by 3.1% over the previous year, while the number of those injured fell 2.1%.

Traction And Stability Systems Lead To Safer Vehicles

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bigstock-Hispanic-worker-falling-from-l-149757296-1024x683In 2017 more than 6,400 American workers suffered fatal injuries. Of these incidents, Latinos made up 19 percent of all fatal occupational injuries in the United States. While there are inherent risks on construction and extraction sites, Latino workers also face a bigger dilemma because they’re not fully aware of the rights and resources afforded to them through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and workers’ compensation, respectively.

Work Safety: An Uphill Battle for Latino Workers

According to a recent analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Latino workers over-populate some of the country’s most dangerous industries. In fact, nearly one in three workers in the construction and natural resource extraction industries is Latino. This is a 23.7 percent increase since 2015.

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AdobeStock_201446988-1024x683Hit-and-run crash deaths are rising nationwide, and pedestrians and bicyclists account for close to 70 percent of the victims, according to a new report, as more people cycle to work and motor-vehicle fatalities are at a near-decade-high level.

The number of hit-and-run fatalities jumped 61 percent from 2009 to 2016, the most recent year for which data are available, according to the report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

About 68 percent of fatal hit-and-run victims in 2016 were pedestrians or cyclists, compared with 61 percent a decade earlier, according to federal data cited in the report.
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Texting-and-Driving-Accident-e1493302018200Autonomy is poised to disrupt the automotive industry as we know it today. Large technology players, nuanced startups, automotive manufacturers and suppliers are developing automated driving features and driverless vehicles that have the potential to reshape how we live and move.

The technology brings with it the promise of fewer crashes and minimized harm once fully developed. In a fully automated future there is the potential for redistributing time towards activities that promote greater productivity and quality of life. However, that reality is not yet here, and the schedule for getting there is far from certain. In the meantime, autonomy-involved fatalities, lawsuits around automated vehicles, and legislative discussions at the state and federal level dominate the news.

There is mounting evidence from naturalistic studies that suggest today’s drivers are engaging in an increasing array of distracting secondary tasks. Casual observation of drivers on any given morning commute anecdotally confirms that these studies may in fact under-represent the scale of the current problem. Recent surges in auto crash frequencies and severity, dramatic gains in smartphone ownership among American adults, and a daily teen and adult reality in which the smartphone has become a “remote control” for one’s life suggest that driving may rapidly become the secondary task in the vehicle.

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shutterstock_131047082-200x300A new drug is FDA approved and released on the market which is made to solve one medical issue, but also ends up helping in other ways. That’s generally a very good thing. That is, until the marketers get wind of it. One of the most common of these stories is Viagra. Pfizer was working on a drug to help with blood pressure and ended up with the little blue pill that solved men’s bedroom issues. Often these types of incidents end up for the better. However, there are potentially large risks involved when using a drug for something other than its intended use – even when it’s doctor prescribed.

One recent example of off-label drug use is the Low Testosterone therapy (Low T) craze. Low T therapy was first FDA approved as a way to treat men with hypogonadism, which affects the hormones developed in male genitalia. It didn’t take long for the pharmaceutical industry to figure out how to market “Low T” to every man over 40 who was grouchy or had lost a step to their 25 year old self. The resulting boom in the Low T industry (nearly $2B a year!) is now thought by many to be responsible for an increase of men experiencing heart attacks, strokes, and other circulatory problems as their slightly-worn ‘engines’ try to cope with an increased red blood cell count and thicker viscosity blood (known as polycythemia).

Off-label drug use is increasing, leading to more and more complications with prescription drug users. Off-label drug use means a medication is being used for something other than its originally intended purpose, as specified by the FDA. The sole purpose of the Food and Drug Administration is to regulate drug approval and make sure every drug is safe for people to use. However, the FDA has little say over how doctors actually prescribe the drugs.

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PHILADELPHIA –A Southwest Airlines jet reportedly blew an engine at about 30,000 feet, producing shrapnel that broke a window and damaged the fuselage Tuesday. The NTSB confirmed one person has died after the emergency landing of a Southwest Airlines plane at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday.

“We do have information there was one fatality,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said. No further details were provided.

Another 12 people were assessed by medics, officials reported, and seven of those people were treated for minor injuries.

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Sixteen people are being treated for injuries when a bus crashed on its way to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National on Thursday morning, according to WRDW and the Georgia State Patrol.

A tour bus heading from Atlanta to Augusta carrying 18 people overturned around 8:45 a.m. on the eastbound side of I-20. The bus, carrying 18 people, went off the right side of the road before going off the left side of the road and flipping over in the median.

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