Archive for December, 2012

Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

The adult brain is comprised of roughly 100 billion neurons which are interconnected and interdependent. This incredibly complex organ has the consistency of Jello and is comprised of spongy gray matter and more dense white matter. Since the internal structures of the brain are different densities and any sudden change in acceleration, be it a car wreck or helmet to helmet contact, can cause shearing of the nerve fibers where gray and white matter meet.

In any case involving a brain injury it is vitally important to spot the symptoms of a brain injury as early as possible (from the intake phone call) and to take steps in order to preserve proof of the injury or to procure additional testing to establish this new injury at trial. A personal injury attorney should equip themselves to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of brain injury, and make it more likely that they will be able to spot and prove this hidden injury.

The most frequently injured area of the brain is the frontal lobe, the area of the brain responsible for coordinating the functions of the different areas of the brain and focus. The function of the frontal lobe is not reproducible anywhere else in the brain. This means that even the smallest disruption of this area will likely affect the injured individual’s ability to focus and complete day-to-day tasks in the short term. Injuries which involve nerve damage or death of nerve cells can change the functioning of the brain permanently.

Recognizing a brain injury:

Some symptoms of a brain injury will be noted by the individual or recorded in their early medical records. These could include:

Headache, dizziness, nausea, unsteadiness, confusion, disorientation, feeling “dinged” or stunned or “dazed”, seeing stars or flashing lights, poor short term memory, sensitivity to light, reduced sense of smell or taste, ringing in the ears, double vision, fatigue or sleep disturbance.

Friend or Family Member Diagnosis:

Other times the injured individual cannot see their own deficits and relying on a family member or close friend can reveal a change in normal behavior which could include the injured individual being:
Confused, unaware of time, date, place, any lost memory, any lost consciousness, lessened coordination, changed mood, slowed response to questions, lessened concentration, facial droop or loss of use of any faculties.

Depending on Averages:

Without a baseline of what is normal from the injured individual or someone who knows them it may become necessary to rely on national averages for evidence of a brain injury. The following are indicators of injury:

Glasgow Coma Scale (even deceased patients score a 3)
Onset of headache with exercise below peak heartrate.
Elevated resting heart rate and dilation of the pupils

These numbers which may have been measured both before and after the injury, but still may be probative if they are found to be different from the average. Resting heart rate between 70-76 is a normal baseline but varies based on sex, age, and fitness level. Pupil size is normally between 4-8 mm but varies depending on light levels.

One of the clearest indications that an individual has a brain injury is that these symptoms worsen throughout the day. If one or more of these symptoms is present advise the injured party to seek assistance immediately.

Verifying Brain Injuries:

Once a symptom has emerged it could indicate a brain injury assessment by a neurologist and potentially get one of the following scans (from most helpful to least):
Diffusion-Tensor MRI,
Functional MRI,
Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography,
Photon Emission Tomography,
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or
Computed Tomography scan.

Of these scans the Diffusion-Tensor MRI is the gold standard for spotting injuries due to its ability to show incredible detail and show specific neurons’ ability to send or receive messages. A functional MRI maps the use of oxygen in the brain and allows patterns of brain activity to be observed. MRI and CT scans alone do not show the detail necessary to diagnose damage on the cellular level, SPECT and PET scans can show brain activity but use radioactive tracers and may also lack helpful detail.

It will be important to have the injured individual assessed under a neuropsychological test battery which assesses attention and memory function. These tests have proven effective in showing the extent of an injury on a percentile basis against the national average. Additional tests such as a Vocational Capacity Evaluation or a Functional Capacity Evaluation may also be useful in establishing deficits and supporting damages.

Our firm is currently involved in the NFL Concussion Litigation and has found a niche in Traumatic Brain Injuries (“TBI”) among other serious personal injuries. We see a lot of head injuries and feel it bears repeating that if any of the symptoms listed above are present after a blow to the head the injured individual should seek immediate medical attention and be monitored closely as these symptoms could point to nerve damage or a possible brain bleed.

Mississippi Mirena IUD Lawsuit Attorneys

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Mirena IUD (Intrauterine Device) is a birth control solution that is physically placed into the female uterus to prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately there have been documented side effects which have been linked to serious injuries in Mississippi and all over the country. People who have used Mirena have reported perforation of the uterus, puncturing of the uterus and tearing of the uterus, movement of the Mirena device to other parts of the body and serious infections as a result of Mirena. These injuries can cause scar tissue and may cause infertility in the women who have used Mirena.

John D. Giddens, P.A. handles Mirena cases for women who have been injured by this device, and have experienced uterus perforation, movement or migration of the Mirena IUD, expulsion of the device, or infection from Mirena each of which could be accompanied by scarring which would affect a woman’s ability to have children in the future.

In December 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) realized that there was an issue with Mirena and issued a warning letter to Bayer stating that Bayer had overstated how well Mirena works and that Bayer had made claims without basis about how well Mirena could prevent pregnancy. These false and misleading statements potentially caused more individuals to take the drug and be affected by these dangerous issues.
Other side effects of Mirena include irregular bleeding, ovarian cysts, back pain, weight increase, breast pain and tenderness, and acne.

If you or a loved one have used Mirena and experienced any of the following: uterus perforation or other uterine tearing, dislodging or migration of the Mirena device, expulsion of the Mirena device, or infections from Mirena contact our offices and we will help you determine what to do.

BP Business Claims

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

When the BP oil spill occurred on April 20, 2010 it didn’t just affect the fishing industry or the tourism industry, it affected everyone in Mississippi in one way or another. The economy slowed down as a result of the spill and every type of business across the southeast lost revenue during that time.

In 2012, funds were set aside by BP to pay back any type of business which showed a dip in its projected earnings in the time after the oil spill. Many businesses in North Mississippi have ignored their potential settlement because they were not aware that the settlement was for them. Our firm has been spreading the message and working with businesses to determine whether or not they have a claim, and the evaluation is free.

We have seen claims from all sorts of businesses including: Car dealerships, Retail storefronts, Hotels, Restaurants, Law Firms, Realtors, Developers, and Construction companies. Any type of business can file a claim, our experienced attorneys can quickly determine if your business is eligible for settlement funds and submit your claim. Our assessment of your business is confidential and free, you owe us nothing until we collect for you.

The process is simple and can be completed in just a few minutes online by filling out an Attorney / Client Agreement and Records Release. Once these documents are in place we will begin immediately to assess your claim.

If you have any questions or wonder if your business qualifies, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Baskin L. Jones
Attorney at John D. Giddens, P.A.
601-355-2022 (o)

Rose Cancer Criminal Sentencing

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III presided over the sentancing hearing of Dr. Meera Sachdeva, Brittany McCoskey, and Monica Weeks on Friday, December 7, 2012. The hearing was to assign sentences to the three Healthcare workers for their involvement in the criminal side of the Rose Cancer Center case.

There have been allegations that the workers at the Rose Cancer Center diluted chemotherapy medication and reused dirty one-use needles on patients causing transmission of blood bourne diseases. This criminal hearing sentenced Sachdeva, McCoskey for providing false information to healthcare officials and changing numbers in their books.

Judge Jordan sentenced Dr. Sachdeva to twenty years in prison and nine year supervised release with a $250,000.00 fine and restitution in the amount of $8,168,524.72 to the companies who were defrauded in this matter.

This is the heaviest sentence allowable under the one count of health care fraud and two counts of making false statements charges Dr. Sachdeva pled guilty to on July 13, 2012.

Judge Jordan explained his sentence from the bench stating, “”It’s a very small thing to send this woman to jail for the next 20 years when you compare it to the damage she has done.”

Rose Cancer Center’s office manager, Brittany McCoskey, 26, of Monticello, was sentenced to thirteen months of incarceration and upon release three years supervised release along with $55,068.83 in restitution.

McCoskey pled guilty to making false statements, but said at the sentencing hearing that she knew a bone marrow biopsy was done at the Clinic by a phlebotomist who normally only takes blood. McCoskey said she knew that a Doctor should have performed the procedure but on certain occassions Dr. Sachdeva was not even at the Clinic when these procedures were performed.

Monica Weeks, 40, of Madison, MS, was in charge of the clinic’s billing from her Ridgeland firm, Medical Billing Group. She was sentenced to three months home confinement and 3 years probation. She was ordered to pay $19,549.00 restitution and a $2000.00 fine.