Archive for the ‘Forensic Toxicology’ Category

Adverse Drug Reactions

July 1, 2013

Recently there was a new Canadian study that stated there was a “link between some medications and serious health problems.” (Posted by Tom Lamb at DrugInjuryWatch.com)The study went further to say that 1 out of 9 visits to the ER were medication related. As a nurse working in an acute care setting I often see patients admitted to the hospital who are on multiple medications and they are unfamiliar with the names of their medications let alone why they take them. Taking Dr. Johnson’s nursing pharmacology course has been very eye opening to me to see exactly all of the potential problems between medications and how dangerous different interactions truly can be. Patient safety should always be our first priority in the health care industry. When patients are discharged home it should be our priority to keep our patients safe by teaching them how their medications interact together and could potentially cause adverse effects. By being diligent in our education for our patients on their medications there is the potential to not put individuals in harms way from the medication that is meant to keep them healthy. DrugNews Defective Drugs News and DrugNews Pradaxa Updates are two websites for extra reading.

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Safety of Food Trucks

May 24, 2013

When purchasing a meal from a food truck, make sure the food truck is licensed, has a permit, is registered, and/or is certified. The type of document required depends on the city. Food trucks in Florida is my main reference point of writing. I will widen my perspective to refer to all states as I address each Food Cart in the USA.

Be careful with food borne illnesses such as Botulism, Salmonella poisoning, and E. coli poisoning.

If your city does not regulate food trucks or you are not sure about the safety of a food truck, here are some tips.

  • Make sure the truck is clean inside and outside.
  • Make sure the food handlers use safe methods of handling foods. These may include the use of gloves, hair covers, aprons, and clean towels.
  • Ask customers about their experience using the food truck. Are there any illnesses after eating the food?
  • Check public records. These may be available at the public health department or news outlets.
  • Ask the owner and/or workers about their food safety. Honest and diligent individuals do not mind sharing their food safety procedure. Ask during convenient times. If possible, do not ask during rush hours and when there are long lines of customers.

Hepatic Failure

January 31, 2013

Hepatic (liver) failure is the most severe consequence of liver disease. It is caused from massive hepatic necrosis from overuse of drugs, chronic liver disease, or hepatic dysfunction without necrosis. Most people who experience hepatic failure have a liver transplant so that other organ systems do not fail as well. People who have hepatic failure look jaundice. Forensic nurses may see hepatic failure in a variety of patients, including those who were addicted to alcohol or drugs at some point in their lives.

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Second puzzling case of autism reported, comment

April 12, 2010

Over the course of five years that I was an infusion nurse in a naturopathic medical clinic, I saw several cases of children with autism. These children often had one or several forms of heavy metal poisoning mercury and other metals. When treated with IV chelation these children improved drastically. Most of the history assessments revealed vaccines as the only source of mercury poisoning that was a definite factor.

During the course of the IV chelation and nutritional IV supplementation that went along with this, colonic irrigation was ordered to rid the body of metals that were being chelated out and adhering to the wall of the colon. Interestingly enough with these colonics, parasitic infestations were sometimes noted. Along with the chelation, natural antiparasitic botanicals and homeopathic remedies were given with an even more profound improvement in childrens behaviors related to the autism occured. So much that I intend on testing my autistic and even ADD and ADHD children not only for heavy metal poisoning but comprehensive stool analysis from a private lab when I start my practice.

It is a shame that alternative and what some refer even to "fringe" type medical treatments cannot be better studied in this country mostly due to non-acceptance my the traditional medical community and government funding for research.

I also feel, not only the mercury factor in vaccinations can be harmful but also live/attenuated viruses can become active in some sensitive individuals and possibly these illnees we are are trying to prevent are manifesting and effecting the brain and this is not detected ever or until after profound damage is done and the vaccine may not even become a consideration.

Original Post
November 26, 2009
Title: Second puzzling case of autism reported, comment
As governmental funds for researching the causes and eventual cure of Autism increase, it has naturally gained more attention from the public. I agree that this has its pros and cons. More parents are considering the possible ramifications of dosing their children with multiple vaccines. Parents are becoming more proactive and accountable when it comes to decisions regarding the medical care of their children. It is shedding light on a disease that has been, up until recently, misunderstood by most. On the flip side there isn’t a whole lot of concrete evidence linking autism directly to vaccine administration, yet there is a multitude of evidence that suggests that vaccines have saved lives, prevented the spread of potentially fatal disease and in some cases has eradicated the disease all together. I have a family member that became adamant that her children were never going to receive any type of vaccine – she executed extensive research on vaccines and homeopathic alternatives. To date her children have not received a single vaccine, they take multiple vitamins and herbal supplements on a daily basis and their diet is quite restricted. Sadly and ironically, her 13 year old son was diagnosised with autism at 3 years old.

Original Post
July 1, 2009
Title: Second puzzling case of autism reported
Federal health officials at an upcoming conference the controversial cases of a 9-year-old girl who became autistic after receiving numerous vaccinations. In January a 6-year-old girl received a flu vaccine and a week later became ill requiring hospitalization and ultimately died. Study after study has failed to show a link between vaccines and autism but many parents of autistic children claim that childhood vaccinations they received are responsible. In 1986 a National Vaccine injury compensation program was introduced to compensate injured children from vaccines. Many deadly epidemics have been prevented by vaccination. For the parent of a child injured following vaccination, grief and ambivalence would prevail. The questions that continue regarding these very complicated situations cause great concern for parents trying to decide whether to immunize a child.

Forensic Investigation Vaccine Autism Death Attorney Lawyer

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Deep Vein Thrombosis, comment

December 24, 2009

Three years ago my mother had a severe reaction to two vaccines which were given at the same. Her body had a severe immunological response to the vaccines which resulted in myocarditis. After being treated in the ICU a deep vein thrombosis was detected and she was treated with Heprin, an anticoagulant drug. As a result of having both immunizations simultaneously it was difficult to decipher which one her body responded to so violently. It is therefore essential to not give more than one immunization at one time so as to be able to detect what the individual’s adverse affects are due to.

Original Post
February 11, 2009
Title: Deep Vein Thrombosis
In regards to forensic science, a DVT can have an affect on the cause of death. If a thrombi is not discovered and treated in time it will continue to flow through the artery and finally make its way to the heart which may results in a possible death. If a coroner is trying to decide the cause of death, if they come across the thrombi, they will most likely have found the cause of death for the individual.

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Second puzzling case of autism reported, comment

December 23, 2009

There are many theories as to what the cause of Autism is, yet no definitive answers have yet emerged. Although many believe vaccines are the cause of autism, research has failed to show this correlation. However, Thimerosal, which is a mercury containing organic compound used as a preservative in many vaccines, is implicated in the cause of Autism based on the fact that mercury as a known neurotoxin. In fact, as a result, manufactures such as the Eli Lilly Company, have worked towards decreasing or eliminating the use of Thimerosal in vaccines. As of October 5th the incidence of Autism is 1 in 91 individuals. As vaccines become Thimerosal free it would be interesting to see if the incidence of Autism reflects this change. 

Original Post

November 26, 2009

Title: Second puzzling case of autism reported, comment

As governmental funds for researching the causes and eventual cure of Autism increase, it has naturally gained more attention from the public. I agree that this has its pros and cons. More parents are considering the possible ramifications of dosing their children with multiple vaccines. Parents are becoming more proactive and accountable when it comes to decisions regarding the medical care of their children. It is shedding light on a disease that has been, up until recently, misunderstood by most. On the flip side there isn’t a whole lot of concrete evidence linking autism directly to vaccine administration, yet there is a multitude of evidence that suggests that vaccines have saved lives, prevented the spread of potentially fatal disease and in some cases has eradicated the disease all together. I have a family member that became adamant that her children were never going to receive any type of vaccine – she executed extensive research on vaccines and homeopathic alternatives. To date her children have not received a single vaccine, they take multiple vitamins and herbal supplements on a daily basis and their diet is quite restricted. Sadly and ironically, her 13 year old son was diagnosised with autism at 3 years old.

Original Post
July 1, 2009
Title: Second puzzling case of autism reported
Federal health officials at an upcoming conference the controversial cases of a 9-year-old girl who became autistic after receiving numerous vaccinations. In January a 6-year-old girl received a flu vaccine and a week later became ill requiring hospitalization and ultimately died. Study after study has failed to show a link between vaccines and autism but many parents of autistic children claim that childhood vaccinations they received are responsible. In 1986 a National Vaccine injury compensation program was introduced to compensate injured children from vaccines. Many deadly epidemics have been prevented by vaccination. For the parent of a child injured following vaccination, grief and ambivalence would prevail. The questions that continue regarding these very complicated situations cause great concern for parents trying to decide whether to immunize a child.

Forensic Investigation Vaccine Autism Death Attorney Lawyer

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Second puzzling case of autism reported, comment

November 26, 2009

As governmental funds for researching the causes and eventual cure of Autism increase, it has naturally gained more attention from the public. I agree that this has its pros and cons. More parents are considering the possible ramifications of dosing their children with multiple vaccines. Parents are becoming more proactive and accountable when it comes to decisions regarding the medical care of their children. It is shedding light on a disease that has been, up until recently, misunderstood by most. On the flip side there isn’t a whole lot of concrete evidence linking autism directly to vaccine administration, yet there is a multitude of evidence that suggests that vaccines have saved lives, prevented the spread of potentially fatal disease and in some cases has eradicated the disease all together. I have a family member that became adamant that her children were never going to receive any type of vaccine – she executed extensive research on vaccines and homeopathic alternatives. To date her children have not received a single vaccine, they take multiple vitamins and herbal supplements on a daily basis and their diet is quite restricted. Sadly and ironically, her 13 year old son was diagnosised with autism at 3 years old.

Original Post
July 1, 2009
Title: Second puzzling case of autism reported
Federal health officials at an upcoming conference the controversial cases of a 9-year-old girl who became autistic after receiving numerous vaccinations. In January a 6-year-old girl received a flu vaccine and a week later became ill requiring hospitalization and ultimately died. Study after study has failed to show a link between vaccines and autism but many parents of autistic children claim that childhood vaccinations they received are responsible. In 1986 a National Vaccine injury compensation program was introduced to compensate injured children from vaccines. Many deadly epidemics have been prevented by vaccination. For the parent of a child injured following vaccination, grief and ambivalence would prevail. The questions that continue regarding these very complicated situations cause great concern for parents trying to decide whether to immunize a child.

Forensic Investigation Vaccine Autism Death Attorney Lawyer

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Brad Renfro and the ending to his life

October 9, 2009

Brad Renfro was born on July 25, 1982 in Knoxville Tennessee and passed away in his apartment in Los Angeles January 15, 2008. He started his career at a young age in 1994’s The Client. As a mere child, I was obsessed with this rising celebrity. I was heartbroken when I heard the news of his death. He had a lot of potential, but unfortunately he battled drug addiction. He passed away from accidental heroin overdose.

Pharmacodynamics as explained by Lehne (2007), is the study of the biochemical and physiologic effects of drugs and the molecular mechanisms by which those effects are produced. Pharmacodynamics is the study of what drugs do to the body and how they do it (Pg. 46). Brad Renfro never would have looked into this term and stopped to think how the illegal drugs could be harmful enough in taking his life. I think it is ironic how as young children we enter into DARE programs and they are taught to us in school, yet we soon forget all that was learned about substance abuse. Children may experience peer pressure throughout their years in school and what was once taught gets overlooked as they start experimenting with illegal substances and then become addicted. Brad Renfro played in a school production sponsored by DARE, a program in which young people learn about the danger of drugs. It is too sardonic that he went down the path that led to drug addiction.

Brad Renfro was never on prescription drugs as Heath Ledger and Anna Nicole Smith were from my previous postings, so there were no side effects from illegal drugs and prescription drugs. Two occurrences in which I found engaging was that Brad Renfro auditioned for a role in 2000’s The Patriot, which went to Heath Ledger and Heath Ledger passed away exactly a week after Brad Renfro. What are the odds of that?

Brad Renfro mingled with cocaine, marijuana, and heroin through his young years. No one knows if he ever mixed anything with another substance in causing a drug interaction. He was arrested a few times in his life for possession of illegal narcotics. Another habit of his was abusing alcohol in which he drove under the influence and was arrested as well. He was working on his sobriety, but the night before his death he drank with some friends. There are other reports of not knowing whether the drugs or the combination of both the drugs and alcohol killed him. For all intents and purposes he was looked upon as a talented person who was discovered at age ten for a successful life in the movie business. It is such a shame that his life came to an end so suddenly.

It was reported that his death had no foul play intentions. Since he abused different drugs, toxicity comes into the picture. According to Lehne (2007), the formal definition of toxicity is an adverse drug reaction caused by excessive dosing (Pg. 65). A toxicology test was to determine what drugs played a role in his death (The Los Angeles Times).

In these chapters I mentioned above, they deal with adverse drug reaction and toxicity with medications required to aid in relieving pain, helping with a disease, etc, but it goes to show that illegal substances play a vital role in adverse drug reactions and the toxicity it may cause on the body and eventually leading to death for some. These terms are serious and should be taught to all patients because one day they may have to take more than one medication, which will cause side effects as well adverse drug reactions. It is better to know and be aware than to be left with the unknown and possibly death as a result.

           References

Lehne, Richard A. (2007). Pharmacology For Nursing Care (Sixth Edition).  St. Louis,

MO: SAUNDERS ELSEVIER. (Pgs. 46-65).

The Los Angeles Times, (2008).

http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1579719/20080115/story.jhtml

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Second puzzling autism case reported, comment

October 6, 2009

This is a very interesting topic. From my experience in pediatrics, I am noticing many parents rejecting immunizations these because of the Autism/Immunization controversy. Others are deciding to do a delayed vaccine schedule because of the belief that injecting numerous viruses into a child’s system at one time may cause harm to the brain, which may be a better solution than no vaccines at all. There are several books, articles and Internet sites supporting the delayed vaccine schedule but just be very selective in the source; not all information is accurate.

Original Post
July 1, 2009
Second puzzling autism case reported
Federal health officials at an upcoming conference the controversial cases of a 9-year-old girl who became autistic after receiving numerous vaccinations. In January a 6-year-old girl received a flu vaccine and a week later became ill requiring hospitalization and ultimately died. Study after study has failed to show a link between vaccines and autism but many parents of autistic children claim that childhood vaccinations they received are responsible. In 1986 a National Vaccine injury compensation program was introduced to compensate injured children from vaccines. Many deadly epidemics have been prevented by vaccination. For the parent of a child injured following vaccination, grief and ambivalence would prevail. The questions that continue regarding these very complicated situations cause great concern for parents trying to decide whether to immunize a child.

Adverse vaccine immunization drug health attorney lawyer

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Anna Nicole Smith and her Accidental Death

August 19, 2009

            Unfortunately Anna Nicole Smith was a victim of an accidental death due to an overdose of sleeping medications as well as eight other prescription drugs.  Smith’s system acted on the respiration and circulation systems and basically shut them down (CNN). It is extremely important to consider any other medications that the patient has been taken because it subsequently will have a near death or deadly outcome.  There was no “foul play” or illegal substances found.  The medical examiner for Smith’s death stated that her death was from the “combined drug intoxication’ with the sleeping medication chloral hydrate as the major factor in combination with therapeutic levels of other drugs” (Fox News Website). CNN states, that a contributory cause in Smith’s death was a viral flu and a bacterial infection from injecting drugs into her buttocks. Smith’s sudden spike in fever a few days before she died to an alarming 105 degrees was likely a symptom of the infection caused by an injection of a weight-loss drug into her left buttock.

The nursing process and the Five Rights of Drug Administration are incorporated towards drug therapy. Before Miss Smith was given the medications, there should have been knowledge about her past history and the medications she was currently taking. Healthcare professionals need to promote “maximal benefit with minimum harm” as well (Lehne, pg. 10). Due to other medications that were prescribed for Miss. Smith, she should have had patient education on all medications and their side effects with one another. She should have never been prescribed medications that would interfere with her already prescribed medications. These medications included methadone for pain, Valium, anti-anxiety, anti-depression drugs, along with longevity medications of B12 and growth hormone, which are used for weight loss (Fox News Website). Her doctors should have taken more precautions based on all the medications she was taken. An assistant medical examiner’s report described seeing a table in Smith’s hotel room containing cold medicine, sodas cans, Slim Fast, nicotine gum and an open box of Tamiflu tablets (Fox News Website).

Although, Miss Smith’s death was reported as accidental, her idol Marilyn Monroe also died of chloral hydrate and barbiturates. Even though she had lost her twenty-year-old son Daniel, there were no signs of suicidal tendencies.

We need to know how to manage toxicity of certain drugs mixed with others. As stated by Fox News, “Dr. Chip Walls, a forensic toxicologist for the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, said chloral hydrate is rarely prescribed and is known to be fatal if combined with certain other drugs including the sedative Lorazepam, which the autopsy showed she was taking” Medication administration is not something to be taken lightly because it can become very dangerous and may cost someone his or her life as it has done to people the past. We as patient advocates need to be held responsible for any mishap. Miss Smith could still possibly be alive today had she had an evaluation of her self-care and the drug therapy. Granted if she had helped herself by going to get treatment for her fever and the infection she had at the site of injection she may still be here as well. She has had been depressed and had anxiety issues, so she should have been observed and evaluated even more frequently. Hopefully, every drug prescribed was effective for her. Lehne states, “We must take into account the unique characteristics of each patient. That is, we must individualize therapy (Pg. 10). As these instances prove of accidental over doses, it holds true that “There is no such thing as a safe drug” (Lehne, pg. 2).

References

Anna Nicole Smith’s Death Due to Accidental Overdose [Television series episode]. In Fox News. New York, NY: Fox News. (2007 03 26). http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,261160,00.html

Lehne, Richard A. (2007). Pharmacology For Nursing Care (Sixth Edition).  St. Louis, MO: SAUNDERS ELSEVIER.

Officials: Smith’s Death Caused by Overdose. [Television series episode]. In Cable News Network. Atlanta Georgia: CNN.com (2007 0327). http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/03/26/smith.autopsy/index.html

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