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Solara Labs launches BariMelts line of supplements for Bariatric surgery patients

BY Michael Johnsen

MIAMI — Solara Labs on Tuesday announced the launch of its BariMelts line of dietary supplements produced for bariatric surgery patients.

"The enhanced nutrient availability of BariMelts provides patients with a new option for getting the supplemental nutrition so important to their long-term success following bariatric surgery," said J. Rocca, CEO Solara Labs. 

BariMelts provide immediate nutrient availability of active ingredients, the company stated. Because the ingredients dissolve in the mouth, there is no breakdown required from the adjusted digestive systems of bariatric patients to dissolve the tablets.

"BariMelts are a true innovation in the Bariatric marketplace and provide patients with an unmatched tool for complying to their vitamin regimen — a necessity for long-term success," said Monica Ganz, resident bariatric patient on the BariMelts team. "From my own journey, I know how hard it is to take those vitamins, day in and day out. With BariMelts we set out to make that easier — knowing that great taste leads to great compliance." 

 

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What you need to know about medical malpractice

BY Ann Latner

The mere phrase “malpractice lawsuit” has struck fear in the hearts of many healthcare providers, and for good reason. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011 estimated that by age 65 years, most physicians (75% in low-risk specialties and 99% in high-risk specialties) will have faced a malpractice claim. While the numbers are lower for other healthcare providers — including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists — essentially all healthcare providers are at risk of being sued for medical malpractice. In the case of non-physician practitioners, it is more likely that the practitioner’s employer (i.e., hospital or pharmacy) will be sued, rather than the practitioner individually because the employer is generally regarded as the one with “deep pockets.” Regardless, if either you or your employer is being sued based on something you did — or didn’t do — it is essential to understand the basic elements of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice is part of the tort of negligence and can take many forms, including failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, improper medication or dosage, poor follow-up, failure to recognize symptoms, unnecessary surgery and misreading laboratory results. In order for a medical malpractice case to succeed, there are four essential elements that must be proven. If these four elements are not proven, then a healthcare practitioner cannot be found liable.

The elements of medical malpractice

  • Duty: The first element that must be shown is that the practitioner owed a professional duty to the patient. This is clearly the case in a situation where a patient is being treated by his/her healthcare practitioner, or when a patient is seeking advice or picking up medication from his/her pharmacist.
  • Breach: The second element is breach of the duty owed to the patient, meaning that the practitioner did not provide to the standard of care that was required.
  • Injury: The third required element is that the breach of duty caused an injury.
  • Damages: The final required element for medical malpractice is that the injury resulted in damages. Damages can be either economic (e.g., unable to work, medical bills) or non-economic (e.g., pain and suffering, loss of consortium).

What is and isn’t medical malpractice?
Now that we understand the four required elements to prove a medical malpractice case, let’s look at a couple of scenarios and decide if they do or do not amount to medical malpractice.

  • A surgeon removes the wrong kidney of a patient. Malpractice? Yes. The surgeon owed and breached a duty of care to the patient, injury and damage to the patient resulted from the breach.
  • Pharmacist gives patient the wrong medication, but patient realizes this before she takes it. Malpractice? No. A mistake was made, yes; however, no injury or damage resulted from it.
  • Nurse is supposed to give a patient epinephrine via injection, but instead puts it in the patient’s IV. Nurse realizes mistake immediately and notifies supervisors. Malpractice? It depends on whether the patient suffered injury. In this particular case, the patient experienced heart palpitations and anxiety, but suffered no actual damages, so the nurse was found not liable. Had the patient suffered actual harm, the outcome might have been different.
  • A sponge is left inside a patient after surgery, and the patient needs another surgery to remove it after the fact. Malpractice? Yes. The operating room staff had a duty to the patient that was breached. The patient suffered harm and had to have an unnecessary surgery to correct the situation.

As you can see, a mere mistake does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice occurred. Unless all four of the elements can be proven — including injury and damages — the case will not stand up in court.


Ann W. Latner, JD, a former criminal defense attorney, is a freelance medical writer in Port Washington, N.Y.

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NPMA urges precautions against ticks, mosquitos

BY Michael Johnsen

FAIRFAX, Va. — With rising temperatures and an increase in rainfall throughout much of the country comes a predicted increase in mosquito and tick populations, which means a heightened threat of the transmission of such common diseases as Lyme disease, as well as such viruses as West Nile and many others.

Lyme disease and West Nile virus infect thousands of Americans each year and are a growing concern, especially in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2013 news that Lyme disease is ten times more common than previously reported.

Other lesser-known, vector-borne diseases — such as the Heartland virus, babesiosis and dengue fever — are found around the country in smaller numbers, with the highest numbers of cases reported during the warmer summer months. These diseases are transmitted when a mosquito or tick bites and feeds on the blood of its host.

According to data compiled by the CDC, cases of locally acquired dengue fever have been on the rise in Texas and Florida, where state health officials documented two cases of human infection in both states in 2013.

According to the NPMA, the top five ways to protect against mosquito- and tick-borne illnesses include conducting a daily check for ticks, protecting skin with extra clothing or insect repellent, inspecting property, protecting pets, and avoiding dusk and dawn.

To read about climate change and its effects on allergies, click here.

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