The Law Offices of John Phebus

Phoenix Criminal Law and Personal Injury Blog

Being misdiagnosed with Lyme disease

Arizona residents who were diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease should be aware that misdiagnoses of this condition are increasing. Some people who have been diagnosed with this disease may not actually have it, so their health is being compromised when doctors prescribe them expensive and often dangerous treatments.

Typically, chronic Lyme disease symptoms include a skin rash with a characteristic bull's eye shape, fatigue, headaches and fever. However, some health care providers erroneously diagnose patients with chronic Lyme disease when generalized pain and neurological issues are present. Chronic Lyme disease can be a confusing term since different practitioners may use it to indicate varying conditions. For example, some doctors it as a catchall term even if there is no evidence that the patient has been infected with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, the actual cause of Lyme disease.

What to know about Arizona sexual assault statutes

In the state of Arizona, a person may be charged with sexual assault by having sexual intercourse of oral sexual contact with another person without consent. If the victim is under the age of 15, there may be harsher penalties for those who are convicted of the crime. In some cases, verbal threats or other forms of intimidation may be used on a victim.

Those who are mentally disabled or are impaired by drugs or alcohol generally cannot give consent to commit a sexual act. If an individual is convicted of sexual assault, that person may sentenced to time in prison. A life sentence may be handed down to those who are convicted of assaulting a person under the age of 15. It may also be possible to receive 35 years in prison before having a chance to be paroled or go on probation.

Unnecessary testing for some breast cancer patients

Women in Arizona and throughout the country who are treated for early-stage asymptomatic breast cancer might be getting more tests than needed according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology The ASCO, in conjunction with the American Board of Internal Medicine, has recommended against routine surveillance tests for these types of breast cancer patients.

The issue is that the tests can be expensive while studies show their benefits are few or nonexistent. False-positive results are a serious risk because they may lead to misdiagnosis, unnecessary procedures, unneeded radiation and overtreatment.

What does “misdemeanor” mean?

Many people who face DUI charges see that they now have a misdemeanor and let out a sigh of relief. “A misdemeanor is not so bad,” they think. “It’s really like a speeding ticket!”

Well, no. A misdemeanor is less serious than a felony, but it is still a crime. Being convicted of it means being convicted of a crime that can hurt your employment prospects and much more for years.

Improperly administering blood thinners can cause deaths

Arizonans might think about hospitals as settings in which medical malpractice happens, but this type of negligence also frequently happens in nursing homes in the state. One of the types of medical errors that frequently occurs in nursing homes is the improper administration of blood thinners such as Coumadin to elderly patients.

Blood thinners like Coumadin or Warfarin can be very dangerous for elderly people who suffer from some conditions. If older people are given these drugs, they should be monitored for any adverse events following the administration. In many cases, the patients are inadequately monitored, and they are at a higher risk of suffering strokes or blood clots if they are given too little or internal bleeding if they are given too much.

About collapsed lungs

Arizona residents should be aware that if they sustain trauma to their chest, it could cause a collapsed lung. The collapse of a lung, or pneumothorax, occurs when a buildup of air that has leaked into the area between the chest wall and lung begins to exert pressure on the lung, causing it to collapse. In many instances, only a portion of the lung will collapse.

A collapsed lung is unable to fully expand as it should when an individual attempts to breathe in and can cause chest pain and a shortness of breath. A severely collapsed lung can result in cardiac arrest, low levels of blood oxygen, shock and respiratory failure. If it is not immediately and properly addressed, it can be fatal.

Tips for helping your child with a DUI charge

Different parents have different reactions when they find out their children have DUI charges. One parent may be understanding and sympathetic and want to work with the child to ensure safe driving in the future. Another parent might get angry and say things like, "How could you be so stupid?" In fact, many parents react initially in ways that they regret. Part of this regret may come from the fact that it does not take much alcohol at all for someone under 21 to receive a DUI charge. Arizona law says that even a 0.01 BAC is sufficient for such a charge.

No matter how you react at first, there are many things you can do to help your child. Here is a look at a few.

Quick treatment critical for stroke victims

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 130,000 people die in the country each year from a stroke. However, not every stroke is fatal. There are steps that people in Arizona might be able to take to prevent a stroke or recover if one occurs.

Certain conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, can all contribute to the likelihood that a person may have a stroke. Certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol abuse, might also increase stroke risk. One key to surviving a stroke is identifying that a stroke is underway and getting treatment quickly.

New drill could make surgery safer

Arizona residents may have heard about a new drill that aims to make certain types of surgeries safer for patients. The technology was developed by University of Utah researchers. It can go 50 times faster than a human, which may significantly reduce cranial procedures. Currently, surgeons have to drill holes by hand slowly and carefully in these types of operations.

Patients who undergo a procedure with the new technology will first have a map of their brain created. From there, the software can tell the drill where to operate, and if it gets too close to a barrier created by the surgeon, the drill will turn itself off.

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