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So do you think you can keep your child safe from concussions and other injuries by enrolling him (or her) in a flag football league rather than tackle?  You might reconsider.

A report released in February from the University of Iowa show that flag football is not safer.

The abundance of news over the years about the long-term effects of repeated head injuries from the pro to the youth level has generally concluded that children under the age of 12 should not participate in contact sports such as tackle football.


The UI researchers studied three large youth football leagues with almost 3,800 participants. The research team compared the number of injuries, severe injuries, and concussions in players competing on flag football teams and tackle football squads.



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I hope you enjoy this nice story about what myself and a few cohorts like to do in our “spare time.”  Thanks to Eloise Valadez from the NW Indiana Times for writing this. 

For a group of local doctors and lawyers, music is a wonderful diversion from their hectic, professional work lives.

Barry Rooth, Michael Gideon, Gus Galante, Jeremy Willett, Tom Levin and Michael Brody are blending their non-medical talents together in the band The unProfessionals.

“We didn’t always have a full band. Tom (Levin), had a drum set in his basement and we used to get together every once in a blue moon and play. Different people would come and go,” said vocalist Michael Gideon, during a recent interview at the Halls of St. George. The group was preparing for a recent show at the Schererville venue.


The band members said they started playing simply for fun. The unProfessionals has been together formally for about a year and have only had a few gigs during the past year. The band’s Halls of St. George donated performance was for The Taste of the Region charity event.

Jeremy Willett, a medical attorney, said he got involved in the group about a year ago when Gus Galante was looking for someone else to help fill out the band. Willett plays bass, plays a little guitar and keyboards and does a bit of singing.

“I thought I’d give it a try,” Willett said.

Galante, who is a plastic surgeon, said after just jamming in Levin’s basement, the group members felt they wanted to do a little more with their musical project.

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It seems like Johnson & Johnson, famous for its baby powder used worldwide for decades, is beleaguered with lawsuits as of late.

In early December, a jury in Texas awarded six patients $1 billion in punitive damages for serious complications resulting from a hip replacement device manufactured by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

In May 2016, Johnson & Johnson suffered another costly loss in less than three months over claims that their talcum based baby powder caused cancer. More cases are still pending over similar claims.

Now, an Indiana man has filed another lawsuit in New Jersey against the giant pharmaceutical company claiming that he “suffered substantial injuries and damages” from the hip implant made by DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which manufactures surgical joint replacements and other medical devices related to spinal- and sports-related injuries.


The suit alleges DePuy’s metal-on-metal version of the product, which is the second line of the hip replacement implants, is defective and allows for metal particles to make their way into the recipient’s bloodstream and tissue.

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In every profession, most people are caring, honest, and trustworthy. The medical profession is no different.  Most doctors uphold the Hippocratic Oath, to which they swear to “do no harm” to their patients.  However, a small percentage of doctors do not.  Because of these doctors and medical professionals, medical error has become the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.  Your doctor is one person who you believe you can trust.  There are too many instances where this is just not true.

Early this year, there was another gross example of medical malpractice in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The following information was taken from a January 3, 2017 article in the Albuquerque Journal.

“In one set of cases, patients were told they could alleviate their lower back pain by an injection of untested and unauthorized hot bone cement. In another set, patients agreed to unnecessary implants of pacemakers and other medical devices after being told their conditions were so serious they might die on their way home.”

tr-pacemaker-300x232The two sets of medical malpractice cases were the biggest in decades in New Mexico and involved so many alleged victims that lawyers had to turn potential clients away.

Both sets of cases were rooted in southern New Mexico and involved smaller hospitals that allegedly allowed rogue doctors to take advantage of unwitting patients. Both included major out-of-state corporations as defendants.

The lawsuits involving an Alamogordo pain specialist who performed unorthodox spine treatments that harmed dozens of patients continue to drag on in the courts. However, the other litigation against a Las Cruces osteopathic cardiologist, Demosthenes Klonis, who was accused of implanting unnecessary pacemakers in patients, ended in 2016 with a series of secret settlements worth millions of dollars.

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Friday the 13th of January (2017) was the day was the day that Takata was ordered to pay for their lies about defective airbags they knowingly allowed to be installed in several makes of vehicles in the US and worldwide.   They might still not be off the hook.

We have reported many times in this space about the gross negligence of Takata in the seemingly never-ending saga of airbags that have seriously injured and even killed unknowing drivers.

Takata Corporation on Friday agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud in concealing its sales of defective automotive airbag inflators, and will pay $1 billion in fines and restitution.

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Many Republications believe a malpractice crisis is threatening health care in the United States.  However, experts say this is not the case and that there has been no such “crisis” in more than 10 years.  “It’s a wonderful time for doctors looking for coverage and it’s never been better for insurers,” said Michael Matray, editor of Medical Liability Monitor, a trade publication. Doctors are, in fact, paying less for malpractice insurance than they did in 2001 — without any inflation adjustment and the rate of claims has dropped by half since 2003.

Despite these facts, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Tom Price, the incoming Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, want to boldly reform the malpractice system, saying hundreds of billions are wasted on “lawsuit abuse” and defensive medicine.

As top Republicans see it, frivolous lawsuits are driving up malpractice insurance premiums and forcing physicians out of business.  They claim doctors and hospitals live in fear of litigation, ordering excessive tests and treatments that make health care unaffordable for Americans.  In order to lower insurance premiums and costs, proponents of Tort Reform want to set caps on the amount an injured patient is able to recover if they are successful in a medical malpractice case.  This means that no matter how badly a patient is hurt, or even if the patient dies because of medical malpractice, the plaintiff could only recover a limited amount of money, which in many cases does not fully compensate them for their injuries.TR-stethscope-300x207

More than 30 states across America have some form of cap on damages in malpractice lawsuits to control litigation and awards with helping to contain costs.

As we wrote here last July, “(Here in Indiana) Governor Pence signed a bill approving an increase to the state’s cap on medical malpractice damages.  The new law would raise the cap to $1.65 million in 2017 and $1.8 million in 2019. Indiana’s new law continues to cover both economic and non-economic damages.”

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If you have had heart surgery between 2010 to 2016, you may be at risk of a life-threatening infection linked to a medical device used during your procedure.  The device is the Stockert 3T heater-cooler which is commonly used to heat and cool a patient’s blood during the operation.

Before you panic, government health officials say the risk of infection is generally very low and is not contagious.

Still, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control have received at least 91 reports of patients who developed a nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) infection linked to the heater-coolers. Worldwide, the infections have resulted in at least 12 patient deaths, according to the FDA.  A total of about 600,000 patients in the United States who have had heart operations involving the machines are at risk.

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You think you’re doing the right thing.  You head for the emergency room after your son twists his leg badly while playing football.  You want to find out the extent of the damage.  You checked and found out that this hospital facility is within your health insurance network and are convinced you will have coverage.

Later you are surprised when you get a bill for close to $1,000 and you find out that the doctor who treated your son wasn’t in the network.

busy hospitalA new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that, across the country, 22 percent of people visiting in-network emergency rooms have to deal with bills from out-of-network doctors.

“It’s crazy,” Zach Cooper, assistant professor of public health and of economics at Yale University, who led the study, told NBC News.

“You, as the patient, have absolutely done the right thing. You’ve gone to an in-network hospital, and a doctor who you didn’t choose, who you couldn’t avoid, ends up not being a member of your network and weeks later sends you a bill for tens of thousands of dollars that you’re on the hook to pay.”

“We believe the best solution would be for states to require hospitals to sell a bundled [ER] care package that includes both facility and professional fees,” Cooper writes in his report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Continue reading →

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TakataSince February of this year (2016) we have written several articles about the faulty Takata airbags.   The inflators in these Takata airbags are in danger of rupture and around 69 million of them have been recalled worldwide.  Takata airbags have now killed 16 people internationally and 11 in the United States. Thousands more have been injured. We wonder how many people will have to die before this crisis is fully resolved. 


With the most recent death being a California woman in early November (2016), reports say that owners of more than 300,000 Hondas have yet to get their airbags repaired, despite warnings from the automaker and regulators that the inflators have an extremely high chance of rupturing and causing injury or even death.

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In an article published here on September 12th, we reported on a claim that Indianapolis Fertility Doctor may have used his own sperm to impregnate patients.

On November 22 WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis has broadcast a follow-up report.  The following transcript of the report is courtesy of WTHR News.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Three Indianapolis area mothers and their children are speaking out as a unified front about their fertility doctor’s alleged betrayal.

“It’s devastating. It’s changed my entire life. I’ve cried every day for the past two months,” Julie Manes said. Manes is one of a dozen people who are named in court documents as being the biological child of Indianapolis fertility doctor Donald dr cline

Manes received her DNA test results in mid-October. She has since met others who claim the same.

“To know that a doctor took advantage of that situation is unimaginable,” said Cline’s reported biological son, Matt White. “It’s wrong on so many different levels.” White also recently discovered his connection to Cline.

Another one of Cline’s biological daughters is Jacoba Ballard. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for her entire family, too.

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” Ballard said. “Never. Never.”


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