The Various Threats of Depakote

Depakote is the brand name of the drug Divalproex Sodium in the U.S. This anti-convulsant prescription drug was developed to treat migraines, seizures due to depression, anxiety, epilepsy, and other problems relating to mental health, but most especially, manic-depression or bipolar disorder. Though Depakote served as an effective treatment for some ailments and disorders, it was also linked to serious side-effects that can cause lasting health problems.

Depakote can cause a variety of unintended health problems beyond the typically mild side-effects. Most notably, women who took Depakote during pregnancy have given birth to babies with severe birth defects. The FDA has released warnings regarding the link between Depakote and birth injuries, including:

  • Spina bifida and other spinal defects
  • Malformation of face or skull
  • Malformation of cardiovascular system
  • Brain defects
  • Fetal valproate syndrome, a condition that causes the development of facial deformities in children
  • Infantile Scoliosis, which is case when this disease develops during infancy or early childhood

Due to the threats to health Depakote is linked to, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a safety alert on May 6, 2013, where it advised health care professionals and women that the anti-seizure medication valproate sodium and related products, valproic acid and divalproex sodium, are contraindicated and should not be taken by pregnant women for the prevention of migraine headaches. The FDA will also be issuing stronger warnings about use of Depakote during pregnancy: from category “D” (the potential benefit of the drug in pregnant women may be acceptable despite its potential risks) warnings will be changed to “X” (the risk of use in pregnant women clearly outweighs any possible benefit of the drug).

Fetal valproate syndrome, which is characterized by distinct facial dysmorphism, can result to cleft palate, cleft lip, deformed ears, facial asymmetries, developmental delay, eyes spaced too far apart or too near each other, mismatched eye colors and others. These deformities definitely have an impact in the life of a child, affecting his or her level of confidence, happiness and health.

Medical treatment to correct the deformity may be available, but such treatment is long and costly. Thus, as parents or guardians of children suffering from facial dysmorphism you need to know that you do not need to suffer from the costly medical treatment required; you can also possibly get compensation for the financial losses you have already suffered due to the harm done. By filing a Depakote birth defects lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories Inc., this drug’s manufacturer, you may be able to avail of the financial compensation that you deserve.

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No Drunk Drivers: Safer Roads for Everybody

Drunk driving is dangerous for obvious reasons. First, alcohol has negative effects to the driver’s body, influencing his or her ability to drive efficiently. Second, it puts not just the drunk driver in danger, but also the other drivers around him or her. Third, drunk driving accidents often involve high speeds and high impacts, resulting into more severe injuries and property damages.

Enforcing DUI Laws

Drunk driving is illegal, and what qualifies for drunk driving may depend on a jurisdiction basis. On most jurisdictions, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is 0.08%, and 0.04% for those who are under twenty-one years old. According to the website of Truslow and Truslow, drunk driving charges can be defended. Therefore, it is safe to assume that these laws are not ridiculously limiting.

Setting up Check Points

If there is a greater risk of getting arrested, less people will drive while under the influence of alcohol. A good technique to achieve this is by setting up a sobriety check point, wherein authorities will stop vehicles and check their occupants for signs of intoxications.

Implementing Severe Penalties

DUI convictions can result into fines, license suspensions, license revocations, and jail times. The severity of these penalties may vary on a jurisdiction basis, but most jurisdictions consider the blood alcohol content level and how high it exceeds to the legal limit. If jurisdictions impose damaging consequences, they are reducing the number of people who even think of driving while drunk.

Installing Ignition Interlocks

The installation of ignition interlocks is one of the severe penalties of drunk driving. Ignition interlocks are devices that monitor whether the driver is drunk or not. If the driver is determined to be under the influence, the vehicle’s ignition will not start. This can be very inconvenient, and it is a good way to make drivers think twice before hitting the road while drunk.

Utilizing Drunk Driving Programs

One of the best ways to avoid drunk driving on the streets is by letting its dangers known to the public and letting authorities be stricter in enforcing the laws. This can be achieved through public education, prioritization of drunk driving cases, and police motivation to make arrests. If the overall attempt to deter drunk driving is convincing, it may significantly reduce the drunk drivers and drunk driving accidents on the road.

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Fit for Duty Testing for Current Employees

Fitness for duty examinations are there to determine whether a newly hired applicant or a current employee is medically fit enough to effectively perform the tasks of his job position or not. In the case of newly hired applicants, fit duty testing may seem logical because the employer is still gauging the capabilities of his new employee. But in the case of current employees, fit duty testing may be unjustifiable. So it is important to know whether a fitness for duty examination is warranted or not.

Disclosed Medical Issues

If an employee has admitted having some sort of medical condition, he may be required to undergo a fitness for duty examination, to determine whether his medical condition is preventing him from successfully doing his job. It is also important to know whether the physical, emotional, and psychological toll of the job is affecting his medical condition or not.

Excessive Absence Due to Injury or Illness

Not going to work because of an injury or an illness may make an employee subject to a fitness for duty examination. This is to determine if there is a direct or indirect relation between the employee, his job tasks, and his injury or illness.

Performance Issues

If an employee fails to perform the tasks he is supposed to do or accomplishes the task in an unsatisfactory manner, he may be subject to a fitness for duty examination, to know whether his physical, emotional, and psychological condition is affecting the way he does his job.

Return to Work

An employee who has missed work because of injury or illness may be required to take a fitness for duty examination, to make sure that he is not just medically healthy to perform the job, but also recovered enough to prevent further injury or illness.

Unsafe Behavior and Conduct

Unsafe behavior and conduct puts not just the guilty employee at risk, but also the others around him. He may be subject to fitness for duty examination to know whether there are direct correlations between his unsafe behavior and his health.

Fit for duty testing is an essential part of safety in the workplace. If you become subject to one, do not be angry in the hassles that it may bring, especially if it is justifiable. Remember that it is also not just about you, but also about the others around you. A safe workplace is a productive workplace.

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Starting a Business: What is a Limited Liability Company or LLC?

Plenty of effort goes into starting a business. Those that are looking to pursue this goal should be aware that it can be a long and difficult process. So many details must be ironed out to ensure the success of a venture. Aspiring business owners need to have a complete and well-delineated plan in order to decide what sort of business structure will suit the vision that they have. Every business is unique and it’s crucial that the structure plan you settle on suits the unique characteristics of the brand you want to introduce to the public.

An option you can take is structuring your business as a Limited Liability Company, also called ‘LLC’. The U.S. Small Business Association defines an LLC as a legal structure you can use for your company in order to combine key characteristics of partnerships and corporations. In other words, business owners that opt for an LLC will be referred to as members and will be given limited liability protection. This means that their personal assets will be protected from lawsuits and debts that could—if ever— involve your company. This also means that your business can have the opportunity to benefit from flexibility in operations as well as tax efficiencies, thanks to the fact that membership is shared. Lastly, a limited liability company will not be regarded as a separate tax entity. Despite these advantages, however, starting an LLC also marks your business with a limited lifespan, since it relies on members to continue operations.

Choosing the right structure for your new business is a balancing act. While the LLC structure can have several advantages that could contribute to a successful venture, it might also be susceptible to a few bumps on the road. Starting a new business and structuring your own company is a daunting task. This is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. In order to find out what type of business structure is right for you, don’t hesitate to contact a legal expert on corporate formation working in your area. Those in Arizona may contact a Tuscon corporate attorney from Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C. for more detailed advice.

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Effects of Brain Injury On Human Functioning

The brain is perhaps the most important organ in the human body. This is why it is located at the top portion of our head. The brain is the control center of all human activities such as thinking, judgment, and emotional reactions. For this reason, brain injuries can have a huge impact on the life of an individual. The website of Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC reveals that such injuries will usually require intensive and long term care.

In general, the effect of a brain injury is partially dependent on its location. The more areas that are affected, the more severe the injury will be. Traumatic brain injuries for instance usually affect multiple areas of the brain. Let us now take a look at how brain injuries can affect functioning.

Physical Effects

People who suffer from traumatic brain injury can regain their ability to walk and use their hands within 6 – 12 months after injury. In most instances, the individual can resume work and drive their cars. However, long term physical effects of TBI may include reduced coordination, weakness, and problems with balance. They may not be able to engage in sports as well as before they had the injury. Likewise, they may easily get tired.

Cognitive Effects

Moderate to severe brain injury may result to basic cognitive problems such as concentration, paying attention, remembering new information and events. Likewise, they may think slowly, speak slowly, and solve problems slowly. They may experience difficulty finishing tasks and may be unable to switch from one task to another.

Emotional/Behavioral Effects

Brain injuries can bring about disturbing new behaviors or changes in the personality of a person. It can make the individual restless, dependent on other people, unmotivated, irritable, lethargic, and show mood swings.

Communication Effects

Brain injury can bring about language impairment or aphasia. They may experience difficulty understanding language and expressing their thoughts through language. The injury may also cause speech difficulties on the part of the individual.

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