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Honolulu Hawaii Sexual Abuse Law Blog

EHR usability issues behind many medication errors

A study published in December 2018 has shown that electronic health records, despite their advantages, can sometimes contribute to safety errors in medicine. Hawaii residents, especially those with children who take medication, should take note that EHR issues are behind an estimated 50 percent of all pediatric safety errors.

Researchers looked at 9,000 patient safety reports filed with three different health care institutions between 2012 and 2017, and they found that more than half of the errors mentioned in them involved both EHR usability and medication. Of those, 36 percent of cases had EHR usability issues that led to specific medication errors, 18.8 percent of which may have resulted in patient harm.

5 dangerous supplements

When you buy a supplement at the store, you expect it to be safe. You may purchase a supplement for weight loss, muscle gain, reducing pain or treating colds. However, many supplements contain unapproved and hazardous ingredients.

Some of the pills you take may cause serious medical problems, including death. Here is a list of some of the most dangerous supplements.

State attorney general reports 685 priests sexually abused kids

Hawaiians may have heard about the shocking allegations against the Catholic church in Pennsylvania that it covered up child sexual assaults that were committed by priests. Now, the Illinois Attorney General's Office reports that almost 700 Catholic priests in the state have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse over the past few decades. The number is far higher than what had been previously reported by the Catholic Church in its own investigation.

The Illinois Attorney General's Office began an investigation into sexual abuse and assault within the Catholic Church in August 2018. Through its own investigation, the Illinois Attorney General's Office reports that it has identified 500 credible child sexual assault allegations against priests in addition to the 185 that the Catholic Church had previously revealed.

How companies decide when to recall a product

Consumers in Hawaii may face unexpected risks when they buy common household products. Toys, furniture and even supplements can be defective, poorly made or dangerous. Some well-known product recalls make the news, especially when serious injuries or fatalities are involved, but many consumers don't know much about the process that companies use to determine when to issue a recall.

When companies learn of a problem with a product, they may weigh several factors before deciding whether to publicly issue a recall, including their responsibility for potential product liability lawsuits. The brand's image is a complex factor in these calculations; a company that does not issue recalls may be the target of consumer anger and mistrust for a long time to come. Consumers expect companies to take responsibility for poorly made or hazardous products.

A products liability claim allows multiple theories of liability

Products liability law is the field of law whereby each segment within the chain of manufacture may be held liable for damage caused by a product. This may include the actual manufacturer, the assembler, the wholesaler and the Hawaii retailer of the product. The consumer who purchased the product or someone who used the product may be potential plaintiffs. The claim may be filed under a negligence theory, as a tortious misrepresentation, as a warranty claim or under strict liability.

Negligence is the basis for the vast majority of personal injury cases. Legal experts indicate that manufacturers have a duty to exercise reasonable care in the manufacture of their products, and reasonable is that care which an average manufacturer of similar products would follow. Misrepresentation involves a false statement made concerning the product that was relied on to the harm of the consumer. Tortious misrepresentation may be intentional or negligent, or there may be a strict liability component if public safety statements are made concerning the product.

Pope halts U.S. bishops from voting on sex abuse reforms

Hawaii residents monitoring the ongoing scandals about clergy sexually abusing people must continue to wait for the Roman Catholic Church to adopt reforms meant to hold abusers accountable. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had been on the verge of voting on new measures to address abusers and leaders who shielded them from consequences when the Vatican sent a last-minute order to hold off on making decisions.

The archbishop who serves as the Vatican's ambassador to the United States said that Pope Francis delayed the U.S. bishops from making reforms because he wants the Church to address the problem as a whole and not country by country. The bishops who had gathered with the intent of dealing with systemic sexual abuse disliked the pope's intervention. They expressed eagerness to take action. The pope plans to hold an international meeting of bishops in February to discuss the sexual abuse crisis.

Is Roundup causing you to get cancer?

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded there is a probable link between the widely used weed killer, Roundup, and cancer in humans. However, the maker of Roundup, Monsanto, was likely already aware of these risks and might have actively kept the information from public knowledge.

As a result, a California jury recently ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million dollars in damages to a school groundskeeper for causing his cancer, and he is likely not the only one. There are currently over 8,000 similar lawsuits going on in the United States against Monsanto.

Pediatric brain tumors frequently misdiagnosed

Children in Hawai'i who have been diagnosed with brain cancer may have a reason for additional testing following discoveries made by research scientists. According to researchers, some children with rare pediatric brain tumors have been misdiagnosed with one type of cancer when they actually have another. Scientists found that when these tumors' molecular profiles were examined using newly developed technologies, they were found to be far different than they originally appeared. The type of tumor in question, called a CNS-PNET, was traditionally diagnosed based on where it was found in the brain as well as how it appeared under a microscope.

When these tumors were reexamined using the newer testing methodologies, called DNA methylation profiling, cancerous growths that had appeared the same under a microscope appeared strikingly different. Of 31 pediatric brain cancer patients participating in a clinical trial who were diagnosed with CNS-PNETs prior to the newer tests, 22 were found to have been misdiagnosed. Some of the children actually had supratentorial embryonal tumors, which had a much higher chance of survival with proper treatment. However, 18 of the kids were found to have glioblastomas, a severely aggressive form of cancer with a high fatality rate.

Study reports warning signs associated with child sexual abuse

General practice physicians in Hawaii have an opportunity to identify possible child victims of sexual assault by screening for certain factors. A study conducted in France that analyzed responses from 850 male and 869 female 15-year-old students discovered strong associations between certain behaviors and feelings and child sexual abuse. The researchers suggested that general practitioners could look for warning signs and then question young people more closely if their initial responses indicated the occurrence of sexual assault or attempted assaults.

Early detection of sexual abuse could connect young victims with therapies that might help them cope with the trauma and reduce the likelihood of engaging in self-destructive behaviors. Children attacked or exploited sexually by their caregivers frequently grow up to experience depression, anxiety, anger, sleep difficulties, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue or heart problems. They also might think about suicide, attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol or engage in risky sexual activities.

The importance of identifying the correct form of dementia

When someone in Hawaii shows signs of dementia, it's common to assume it may be Alzheimer's disease. Sometimes what's assumed to be Alzheimer's is another form or dementia known as Lewy body dementia, or LBD. Receiving a correct diagnosis is important because there are key differences in how each of these conditions is treated. With medications, for instance, people with LBD might respond better to certain dementia drugs than individuals with Alzheimer's.

Patients with LBD may also respond poorly to medications meant to control behavior and movement for people with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The resulting side effects, which may be the basis for a medical malpractice claim if there were clear oversights during diagnosis attempts, are sometimes dangerous and permanent. Part of the confusion may be because of the many forms of dementia although symptoms often provide clues that could help with the diagnosis.

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