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Mesothelioma Attorney Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Jobs with High Cancer Risk

Jobs with High Cancer Risk
A man being pulled into a scanner

Jobs with high cancer risk are fewer today. Increased safety regulations over the past few decades have caused the rate of workplace-related cancers to decrease significantly, per the American Cancer Society. A small percentage of cancer patients in the US can trace the origin of the disease to occupational exposure to cancer-causing substances, or carcinogens. However, those carcinogens can sometimes take decades to surface. People who worked in various industries 40 years ago might just now be reaping the consequences of those exposures.

Some jobs put you at a higher health risk, like fighting fires, chasing bad guys, or construction work. Then there are jobs that put you at equal risk (possibly even higher), with more hidden but still eerie side effects.

Although contact with toxins is being regulated more carefully by organizations such as the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is still cancer risk at work due to accidents, lax adherence to the rules or stress. Every job comes with its own unique set of health risks. The following occupations could lead to certain cancers, such as lymphoma, leukemia, bladder cancer, lung cancer and other types.

Jobs with high cancer risk:

Cancer Risk in Rubber Manufacturers

Some examples of these careers: people making automobile tires, rubber gloves, rubber bands, and other rubber products that we use every day.

“Rubber is made with myriad chemicals, and the process exposes workers to vapors, dusts, and chemical byproducts that evidently pose serious health risks.”

Studies show “excess deaths” from bladder cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma, “making jobs in the rubber industry some of the most exposed to carcinogens.” The CDC reports these toxins are not just inhaled but can be absorbed through the skin as well.

Per the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), “Historically, cancer has been the chronic disease most frequently reported in cohort studies of rubber products workers.” (CDC.org)

Cancer Risk in Agricultural Workers

One study found an elevated risk of multiple myeloma and melanoma (skin cancer) in women, and prostate cancer in men, when working in agriculture. (ScienceDirect.com)

An Australian study showed that agriculture was one of the top five occupations for cancer risks. Frequent exposure to engine exhaust, pesticides, fertilizers, and other elements were thought to play a key role in the high incidents of lymphoma, leukemia, and several other cancers.” (Time)

Cancer Risk in Nail Salon Workers

There are numerous potentially hazardous chemicals being used in nail salons. Chronic exposure to two of the volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), Formaldehyde and Benzene have been known to cause cancer. (OSHA.gov)

To cut down on exposure, “OSHA recommends that salons be well ventilated and have sufficient airflow. OSHA also suggests that nail-salon workers wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and masks to protect themselves from the chemicals in polishes and astringents.” (BusinessInsider.com)

Cancer Risk in Construction Workers

Asbestos can cause cancer in construction workers. Some older buildings still contain asbestos. Remodeling jobs may pose problems, until it is confirmed asbestos isn’t inside a structure where crews are working.

Unfortunately, the harmful effects of exposure of asbestos may not show up for years. Asbestos exposure can cause a number of deadly conditions including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and gastrointestinal cancer.

Cancer Risk in Mechanics

Because of the heat-resistant qualities, asbestos is sometimes still used for brake linings and clutch configurations. When those parts start “to disintegrate, or are replaced, the asbestos fibers can be released into the air – and mechanics’ lungs.” Mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that can affect the abdomen, heart, or lining of the lungs, can be caused by asbestos. “That’s why, among other regulations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires mechanics to use special procedures for brake and clutch repairs. This is especially true for shops that work with more than five such repairs per week.”

Besides the danger of asbestos, mechanics also come into contact with gasoline, which contains benzene. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene causes cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause leukemia. (Emergency.CDC.gov)

Cancer Risk in Firefighters

Firefighters are in danger every day, saving the lives of others. But there are also hidden deadly risks that come with the job. These are due to smoke inhalation and skin absorption of chemicals in the smoke. “In addition to the danger of putting out fires, firefighters are at an increased risk for different types of cancer due to the smoke and hazardous chemicals they are exposed to in the line of duty. There have been multiple studies that show this increased risk for cancer.” (LLS.org)

A NIOSH study found that firefighters “face a 9% increase in cancer diagnoses and a 14% increase in cancer-related deaths compared to the general US population.” (Blogs.CDC.gov)

These inhalants and chemicals are the reason firefighters must adhere to strict protocol:

  • prevent breathing in smoke as much as possible
  • wear appropriate gear
  • go through decontamination after leaving a site
Cancer rates are rising among firefighters

Is your job affecting your health?

To find out if your job is affecting your health, request a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE): https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/request.html

NIOSH HHE program mission: Helping employees, unions, and employers recognize and control health hazards in their workplace

The Law Offices of David L. Hood – Representing Injured Workers in South Carolina

The Law Offices of David L. Hood have been fighting for the rights of injured workers across South Carolina for over 30 years. We have a dedicated team that will strive to take care of your claim professionally and treat you with respect. Over the years we’ve represented hundreds of injured workers and their families, working hard to get them the medical treatment and compensation they deserve.

To learn more about what we can do for you, contact our offices to set up a free initial consultation. If you choose to work with us, we will handle your case on a contingent-fee basis. This means you pay nothing unless we make a recovery for you. To get in touch with us, you can call our offices at (843) 491-6025 or email us here.

Categories
Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Childhood obesity epidemic
A child’s feet on scales, showing 33 pounds

There is a childhood obesity epidemic in America

It is troubling to learn that the national average of children aged 2 to 19 who are obese is 19.7 percent, or 14.7 million people (CDC). Obesity can lead to several health issues in children:

  • asthma
  • sleep apnea
  • type 2 diabetes
  • a decline in mental health
  • untreated, obesity can lead to heart disease and some cancers (CDC)

Causes of Obesity

Obesity is caused by several factors:

  • insufficient sleep
  • lack of physical activity
  • certain eating patterns

Taking certain medications such as steroids and antidepressants can also lead to weight gain.

Genetics does not play a role in determining one’s likelihood of developing obesity, though social factors do contribute.

Can lack of sleep contribute to obesity?

While the amount of sleep needed to stay healthy decreases with age, most children and teens need at least 8 to 10 hours every night. The Sleep Foundation says sleep deprivation in children can increase the risk of becoming overweight. This increase can stem from hormonal changes and daytime fatigue (leading to decreased activity levels). Later bedtimes can also lead to “consuming more nutrient-poor foods and fewer fruits and vegetables than children who went to bed earlier.” (SleepFoundation.org)

Childhood Obesity and Exercise

Young children aged 3 to 5 need to stay active throughout the day. Children aged 6 to 17 need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day.

Childhood Obesity and Nutrition

When it comes to food, it is recommended that eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-sodium and low-dairy foods is better for the body. Limiting the amount of sugar consumed daily is also beneficial (CDC).

In order to reduce this childhood obesity epidemic, we need to work harder to be sure our children get the proper sleep, exercise and nutrition needed.

Obesity and Low Income

Many healthier foods are more expensive, and having a child join a sports team requires time and money. For these reasons, childhood obesity is more common among those whose families make less income. Across the nation, 24.7 percent of children in the lowest income bracket are obese compared to 9.2 percent of children in the highest income bracket (State of Childhood Obesity).

There is also a racial disparity among those with childhood obesity. Black, Hispanic, and Native American youths have a much higher rate of obesity with all their percentages being in the 20s, while White and Asian children have percentages in the low teens (State of Childhood Obesity).

Childhood Obesity Statistics

When looking at children within the age range of 10 to 17 who are obese, there are seven states that are significantly higher than the national average. All seven states would be considered southern, with the list including West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina. The national average for this age range is 17 percent, but South Carolina’s youth obesity rate is 21.6 percent (State of Childhood Obesity). However, South Carolina has been improving over time.

Childhood Obesity Statistics in South Carolina

In 2007, South Carolina’s rate of childhood obesity was 33.7 percent. When looking at data from 2016 and 2017, the rate decreased significantly to within 15 to 20 percent (CNN). While our rate has gone up since the Covid pandemic started, that is the case for several other states as well.

Lifestyle Changes

Though it is important to instill some lifestyle changes at home to help prevent or treat childhood obesity, there is another place where children spend time that also needs changes: school. Since this is where children spend a large portion of their days, it is important to advocate for better wellness programs and better nutritional standards for school lunches. With these changes, South Carolina could make significant strides towards decreasing its rate of childhood obesity.

Video – Health Watch: Childhood Obesity

Contact The Law Offices of David L. Hood for a Free Medical Malpractice Consultation

If you or someone you care about has suffered because of medical negligence, please schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a serious malpractice-related injury. At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Medical Malpractice Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses, unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

Categories
Social Security Disability Lawyer

Problems with Social Security

Problems with Social Security
Social Security Administration logo behind a glass window

Problems with Social Security mostly stem from inadequate budgets and staffing shortages.

Social Security History

Social Security has been around for almost a century in America. The program began in 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. Though this act did include benefits for those over 65 and retired and aid to dependent children, other aspects that we would associate with the program today were not included. It was President Eisenhower in 1960 who added disability benefits to the program. This allowed disabled workers of any age and their dependents to claim disability. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson added Medicare to the program. Then in the 1970s, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and automatic cost-of-living-adjustments were incorporated into the Social Security program. However, as the program grew, so did its financial problems. (SSA.gov)

Social Security running out of money?

As the American population ages and more citizens claim their Social Security benefits, there is concern that the money allotted for the program will run out. In 2021, 65 million Americans received Social Security benefits every month. This caused the annual cost of Social Security to be $1.2 trillion dollars. That is 4.8 percent of the United States’ total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). (Zippia.com)

After a financial crisis in the 1980s, there were changes made to the Social Security program to ensure that those dependent on it would receive their benefits for years to come. However, the funds for this program are estimated to run out in 2037. 76% of benefits could be drawn from taxation alone. But there will need to be adjustments made to either the current tax rate or to the amount of benefits each person receives in order to keep the program running past 2037. (SSA.gov)

SS statistics

Though there are potentially 15 years left for Social Security to run as normal, we can already see some of the effects of dwindling financial support for the program. For those seeking Social Security Disability, there is a 70% denial rate for those first applying. Luckily, there are several opportunities to appeal a denial. (DisabilityBenefitsHelp.org)

Video: What are my chances of getting Social Security?

SSA staff shortages

While most businesses and the job market have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the Social Security Administration’s staffing shortage has made it extremely difficult for those seeking to apply for programs. In fact, South Carolina has lost more than 30% of its Disability Determination Service employees between 2010 and 2021. These workers determine if an individual is eligible for either disability or Supplemental Security Income. (CNBC.com)

Social Security customer service long wait-times

Another of the problems with Social Security: Long wait-times.

The Social Security Administration reopened its physical offices in April of this year. Unfortunately, this hasn’t made it any easier on customers. With insane wait times, some are choosing to sleep outside overnight in the hopes of securing a spot to be seen the next day. While the Social Security Administration has encouraged people to make their requests via phone call or online, neither of these options have proved to be any faster or easier than waiting in line for hours.

According to data gathered by the Washington Post, “21 percent of disabled claimants waited 29 to 45 days for a phone appointment and another 24 percent more than 45 days.” Most phone calls are sent to toll-free numbers, and some applications aren’t available online. (WashingtonPost.com)

Whether it is the threat of running out of money in 15 years or the current wait times applicants are facing, there is a need for changes to be made to the Social Security system as soon as possible. That’s the only way to remedy the problems with Social Security.

The Law Offices of David L. Hood: Representing Social Security Disability Applicants in Columbia, Florence, Sumter and throughout Georgetown and Horry Counties 

Social Security Disability claims are highly technical, requiring extensive medical and legal knowledge. Without help from an experienced South Carolina Social Security Disability lawyer, you can easily make mistakes that lead to a denial of benefits. But even if your claim has already been denied, don’t give up hope. Social Security frequently denies legitimate disability claims, and most claims require an appeal to succeed.

At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we fight for the rights of the disabled. If you are considering hiring a lawyer for Social Security Disability, schedule a free consultation with us today at no risk to you. We handle all SSD cases on a contingent fee basis, which means you won’t pay attorney’s fees unless we help you receive benefits. You can easily contact us by filling out our quick and easy online contact form, email us or by calling (843) 491-6025.

*Clients are not liable for any expenses, unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses. 

Categories
Wrongful Death Attorney

MX Facilities in South Carolina Unregulated

MX (motocross) facilities in South Carolina are unregulated. “This lack of regulation means motocross tracks face no legal requirements regarding how they operate, what safety standards they must have on their tracks for recreational use or how much insurance they should carry.” (PostandCourier)

Club MX in Chesterfield

Thirteen-year-old Patrick Terry was killed in a horrible accident that never should have happened. Patrick’s father, Ed Terry has sued Club MX in Chesterfield, SC for the wrongful death of his son.

Patrick had begged his dad to take him to the motocross track in NC where they lived. His dad thought that track was for more experiences riders. Patrick was a beginner and had only ridden on flat trails in their back yard. So his dad refused to take him.

Knowing that Club MX in Chesterfield “offered on-site training and tracks for all levels, Terry gave in and agreed to take Patrick there to ride a motocross track for the first time.” (PostandCourier)

Patrick and his dad unloaded his bike and headed toward the practice track; an employee pointed them in that direction after Terry explained this was his son’s first time riding on a motocross track. Patrick had on all his safety equipment: helmet, riding gloves, boots, neck brace, and chest protector. He decided to try a jump called the catapult first. Only a beginner, Patrick just rolled slowly over it, instead of launching into the air. An experienced biker made his way to the same catapult jump, not knowing that Patrick was still on the track at the end of the jump.

The motocross “rider soared into the air…and there was nothing – no caution flagger on the track, no clear line of sight for the airborne rider, and no sudden change in physics – that could stop him from landing directly on to Patrick’s back,” according to a lawsuit filed by Patrick’s father. Patrick died before reaching the hospital.

No Regulations at South Carolina Motocross

Terry’s legal fight has uncovered a huge problem: “There are no laws or regulations regarding motocross tracks and facilities in South Carolina.” No regulations means there are no legal requirements for safety standards, how they operate, or how much insurance they must carry.

Other states also lack safety regulations. Only a few states have any laws regulating motocross tracks, according to the American Motorcyclist Association. “AMA-sanctioned race events, however, do have standards. The 2018 AMA Racing Rulebook notes riders are separated based on their experience and flaggers must be on the track to warn riders of conditions should they need to proceed cautiously.” However, this is not the case for recreational use. It is left up to the business owner to make decisions regarding safety. Terry said his son had signed a waiver, but that he, the parent did not sign anything.

He explained, the AMA regulations don’t do any good if there is no legislation to enforce them for recreational use.

Terry has contacted several lawmakers trying to get regulations in place for motocross facilities. He’s basically been told that riders participate in this dangerous sport at their own risk. “…there’s a speed limit on the highways that I have to comply with, so why can’t there be something for these places?” Terry has said he will take this fight to the national level if that’s what it takes for change to happen.

Video: Dirt Bike Safety for beginners

Also see: https://hoodlawoffices.com/blog/west-columbia-drug-clinic-at-fault-in-fatal-crash/

Contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood for a Free Wrongful Death Consultation

If someone you care about has died due to someone else’s negligence, please schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a wrongful death. At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Wrongful Death Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses, unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

Categories
Social Security Disability Lawyer

Do You Need a Lawyer to Get Disability?

Do You Need a Lawyer to Get Disability?

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits provide an important safety net for hundreds of thousands of US citizens who can’t work due to serious injuries or illnesses. Unfortunately, the process involved in applying for those benefits can be a stressful and intimidating one — so much so that many people turn back before they even start.

Applying for SSD benefits doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process, especially when you partner with an attorney like David L. Hood who has experience working with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and handling disability claims. In this article, we’ll explore several important reasons to hire a lawyer for your SSD claim. 

SSD Lawyer David L. Hood Provides Expertise, Experience, and Resources

Some people can successfully apply on their own and receive approval for SSD benefits. However, statistics consistently show that the SSA is more likely to approve an applicant who retains legal counsel.

Beyond just giving your case the best chance, though, there are other important arguments in favor of hiring an attorney to handle your case — including the massive amount of time and effort that can go into getting an SSD claim approved.

To help answer the question, ‘Do you need a lawyer to get disability?’, below are five of the most important reasons to consider working with an experienced SSDI attorney:

1: Most SSD claims are initially denied.

The majority of SSD claims (65%) get denied at first. Not only that, but the rate of denial for claims on appeal is even higher. Unfortunately, many SSD claimants who receive a denial notice never pursue their claim any further.

RELATED: Here’s What to Do When Your Social Security Disability Claim is Denied
 
An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can evaluate your case with a critical eye and assess any strengths and weaknesses so you have a good idea from the outset about your odds for success. They can also help you through the complex application process and use their expertise, knowledge of the law, and medical resources to argue on your behalf during an appeal. Sometimes, just knowing you have an expert advocate on your side is enough to keep you going through the challenges involved in a typical SSD claim. 

2: SSD cases often take years to resolve. 

Like most processes involving government bureaucracies, applying for disability benefits is not a speedy affair. SSD claims can take anywhere from a few months to several years to resolve. Most cases end up going to a hearing, which typically takes place around 15 months after the second denial of benefits. 
 
The paperwork and recordkeeping involved in filing an SSD claim is a lot to deal with for
someone who is suffering from a serious injury or illness. Plus, managing a disability case for several years can be frustrating and exhausting. Hiring an experienced attorney can allow you to focus on your health and other aspects of your life without constantly stressing over your case.

Video: What are my chances of getting social security disability?

3: Many SSD applicants are denied benefits for reasons that have nothing to do with their disability or medical condition. 

A 2010 report from the Social Security Administration showed that 31% of SSD applicants (more than 878,000 in total) received denials for reasons that had nothing to do with their medical condition. Instead, their applications were denied for technical reasons before the SSA even examined the medical facts and circumstances of their case. 
 
This rate of technical denials might sound shockingly high
; but it’s easy to understand once you see how complex the paperwork for an SSD claim is. Considering the high overall denial rate for claims, you can’t afford to make any mistakes that will make your claim even more likely to be rejected. Hiring an experienced SSD lawyer is one of the best ways to make sure that your appeals are filled out accurately and completely so your claim has the best possible chance of success. 

4: Evidence shows that hiring an SSDI lawyer improves your chances of receiving benefits.

An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer should know what’s required for your claim to succeed. They should be able to guide and advise you at every step of the complex appeals process. Put simply, an SSD lawyer should have the experience and expertise that an average person doesn’t. That could mean the difference between winning your case and losing.  

The positive effect an experienced attorney can have on your claim’s chances for success isn’t just a theory, either. Data gathered from SSD appeals shows that 60% of disability claims are approved by an administrative judge when the case is presented by an attorney. On the other hand, a claim has only a 40% chance for approval when the person appealing doesn’t have legal representation.

In a September 2012 report, the Social Security Advisory Board said the help of a third-party representative with a thorough knowledge of SSA policy “has the potential to greatly expedite the disability determination process while ensuring that the claimant receives the most informed determination possible at the initial claims stage.” 

5: You won’t have to pay your SSD lawyer unless you receive benefits.

Attorney David L. Hood handles SSD cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that you won’t have to pay any attorney’s fees unless we win your case.* You simply meet with Attorney Hood at an initial consultation and agree to let us handle your case. Then, you pay only if your SSD application or appeal succeeds.

If you’re skeptical about a lawyer working for you at no up-front cost and taking on all the risk for your case, consider it a rare case where the playing field is level for everyone. Contingent fees are important in this area of the law because most people who are applying for SSD benefits wouldn’t be able to afford a lawyer if they had to pay up front. They deserve the same access to quality legal counsel that a person of means would enjoy. 

Overall, on the question of whether to hire an attorney, there’s no single right answer that applies to every disability case. However, if you choose to go it alone, understand that SSD claims tend to be complicated and time-consuming — so unless you feel like becoming a Social Security Disability lawyer for the next few months or even years, you might be best served by getting in touch with one. 

The Law Offices of David L. Hood: Representing Social Security Disability Applicants in Columbia, Florence, Sumter, and Throughout Horry and Georgetown Counties

Filing a Social Security Disability claim and seeing the process through can be a long and challenging journey. For SSD applicants in South Carolina, Attorney David L. Hood is here to help. With years of experience representing clients throughout the SSD filing and appeals processes, David L. Hood will fight to make sure your claim receives full and fair consideration. He will pursue every avenue available to get you the benefits you deserve.

To speak with Attorney David L. Hood about your case at no risk to you, call The Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our convenient online contact form and we’ll get in touch shortly to schedule your free initial consultation.

*Clients are not liable for any expenses, unless there is a recovery in their case. However, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

References

Moore, T. (n.d.). What will a disability lawyer do to win a Social Security case? Social Security Disability Resource Center. Retrieved from http://www.ssdrc.com/disabilityquestions4-61.html

Social Security Administration. (2010). Annual statistical report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program: Outcomes of applications for disability benefits. Washington, DC: Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/di_asr/2010/sect04.html

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

 

Categories
Wrongful Death Attorney

Life Expectancy in the US Drops Again, SC Below Average

Life expectancy in the US has dropped by over two years, over the past two years. This has been the largest decline since World War II (CNN). The obvious cause for this decline is the coronavirus pandemic. It has resulted in over 998,000 deaths as of May 13th, according to the New York Times. COVID-19 “was the third leading cause of death, behind cancer and heart disease. Together, those three causes accounted for nearly half of all deaths in the U.S. in 2020,” the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports (WCBD News 2). The new life expectancy of an American citizen is 76.60 years. The expectancy for males is 74.2 years and the expectancy for women is 79.9 years (WCBD News 2).

Life Expectancy two-year decline

South Carolina Life Expectancy – Below Average

The average life expectancy in South Carolina is even lower than the national average. Compared to the rest of the country, SC ranks 43rd overall, with men living an average of 73.9 years and women living an average of 79.7 years (US News)

Leading Causes of Death in South Carolina

The phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is one that everybody is familiar with. It claims that eating right will keep a person healthy for longer. But what if something happens that is outside the control of that individual?

The leading causes of death in South Carolina are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and accidents (WCBD News 2). In 2019, 10,578 South Carolinians died from heart disease, and 55,853 citizens were hospitalized due to heart disease. This led to $4.5 billion of hospitalization charges, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). Their studies also found that many South Carolinians fell into categories that put them more at-risk for heart disease:

  • having a sedentary lifestyle
  • having high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • being overweight or obese

In 2019, 69.3 percent of people over 18 in South Carolina were overweight or obese. 38.3 percent suffered from high blood pressure; and 36.7 percent suffered from high cholesterol. Though heart disease is the leading cause of death in South Carolina, strokes have many of the same risk factors. Strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in South Carolina. Strokes led to over 1.3 billion dollars in hospitalization charges in 2019. As part of the “Stroke Belt,” it is important for South Carolinians to be aware of risk factors and to avoid them whenever possible

Fatal Accidents

While the likelihood of dying from one of these causes can be reduced based on lifestyle, it is difficult to be prepared against accidents. It is also concerning that accidents are one of South Carolina’s leading causes of death. According to the US Department of Labor, the most common fatal occupational injury in SC is transportation incidents. These incidents resulted in 41% of all fatal occupational injuries, which is 4% higher than the national average (U.S. Department of Labor).

When totaling the number of drunk-driving related fatalities per state during the years 2009-2018, SC had the fourth highest number of fatalities in the US, according to Forbes Magazine (Forbes). There was also a 14% increase in alcohol-related deaths from 2019 to 2020, despite there being a decrease in miles traveled during the pandemic (MADD).

South Carolina is a beautiful state to live in with its mountains, beaches, and plentiful wildlife. However, in order to appreciate its beauty for longer, the average citizen must be aware of the risk factors faced here that cause the population to have one of the lowest life expectancies within the US and be willing to combat them when possible.

Contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood for a Free Wrongful Death Consultation

If someone you care about has died due to someone else’s negligence, please schedule your free consultation by calling The Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a wrongful death. At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Wrongful Death Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses, unless there is a recovery in their case. However, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

Categories
Medical Malpractice Lawyer

TCAR Surgery – Safer and Less-Invasive

TCAR surgery (transcarotid artery revascularization) is safer and less-invasive than the traditional CEA procedure (carotid endarterectomy).

TCAR Surgery

Ann Keetch became one of the first patients to undergo a new procedure, transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) at Roper St. Francis in Charleston, South Carolina.

When Ann Keetch was at the dentist last year, her dentist spotted something severely wrong on an x-ray. After a trip to the emergency room, it was discovered that Keetch had severe plaque buildup in a carotid artery.

What are Carotid Arteries?

Carotid arteries carry blood to the head and neck. Since these arteries deliver blood to the brain, a blockage carries with it a high risk of stroke for the patient.

Treatment for Clogged Carotid

“Before 2018, the main treatment [for carotid artery disease] came with its own risk: If pieces of the clogged debris were displaced during the procedure and traveled to the brain, it could cause a stroke. Patients also faced long recovery times.” (The Post and Courier)

The most common procedure for a mild carotid artery blockage is a carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Plaque is removed through a large incision in the neck; the artery is then repaired, and the incision is closed.

A more severe blockage, like Keetch’s may need stenting. In stenting, an incision in made in the groin, where a catheter is put and guided through to the neck. Then, “a stent is placed that manually expands the artery to increase blood flow.” There is a slight chance that during this expansion, debris can break off and travel to the brain.

TCAR

With the new TCAR procedure, a small incision is made at the neckline. Then a tube is place directly into the carotid artery. This tube is connected “to a system that will temporarily direct blood flow away from the brain, protecting against dangerous debris reaching the brain during the procedure.” A filter outside of the body will catch any debris traveling in the blood. The filtered blood is then returned through another tube in the upper thigh. A stent is placed to stabilize the plaque and prevent future strokes. Then the blood flow is reversed to its normal direction. (Carondelet Health Network)

“It allows us to treat patients who are sicker, with higher risk for complications, in a safer manner,” said Dr. Sean Hislop, a vascular surgeon at Roper St. Francis in Charleston, South Carolina.

Benefits of TCAR versus traditional CEA and/or stenting:

  • A smaller incision, thus less scarring
  • Lower risk of stroke (1% versus 3%)
  • Prevents procedural stroke, since blood is reversed away from the brain
  • Minimal procedure time (7 minutes versus 45 minutes)

Elaine Newcomb has had both surgeries. In June of 2018, she had the traditional CEA in Myrtle Beach. She said she had to have staples to repair the huge incision, and it took three months to recover.

TCAR Procedure Recovery Time

When an additional blockage was found in November, Newcomb was referred to The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston. She said the recovery after TCAR surgery was only about 10 days. “It didn’t feel like major surgery to me,” she said.

Contact The Law Offices of David L. Hood for a Free Medical Malpractice Consultation

If you or someone you care about has suffered because of medical negligence, please schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a serious malpractice-related injury. At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Medical Malpractice Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses, unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

Categories
Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Type 2 Diabetes in South Carolina

Type 2 Diabetes, checking blood sugar
A woman checking her blood sugar

Types of diabetes mellitus

Type 2 diabetes is when the body has difficulty regulating and using sugar as fuel, which results in too much sugar in the bloodstream. If left untreated, high blood sugar levels can lead to problems with the nervous, circulatory, and immune systems.

Type 1 diabetes (once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes), on the other hand, is when the pancreas makes little or no insulin.

Causes of type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by two main problems:

  • the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels
  • cells in muscles, fat, and the liver no longer take in enough sugar because they have become resistant to insulin

Though the causes of these problems are still unknown, there are several risk factors that affect one’s likelihood of developing the condition. Being overweight or obese is a main risk, and unfortunately, two-thirds of adults in South Carolina are overweight or obese. In addition, holding weight mostly in your abdomen instead of your hips and thighs indicates an increased risk. A family history of type 2 diabetes is a risk as well as being over the age of 45.

Diabetes in Women

In women, polycystic ovarian syndrome, developing gestational diabetes when pregnant, and giving birth to a baby over 9 pounds increases the risk of developing diabetes.

Finally, prediabetes, which 34.9 percent of South Carolina’s adult population has, can turn into type 2 diabetes.

Can type 2 diabetes be cured?

As of 2022, there is no cure for diabetes, though exercise, losing weight, eating well, and medication can help manage the condition (Mayo Clinic).

Diabetes statistics in South Carolina

South Carolina has one of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the United States. In 2018, we were ranked 8th in prevalence of diabetes, but in 2020, we jumped to 6th highest prevalence. A whopping 13.2% of South Carolina’s population has type 2 diabetes, which is over 530,000 people. Every year, another 35,000 people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. An additional 120,000 people in South Carolina have diabetes but don’t know it. Because symptoms of diabetes develop slowly over time, it is easy for them to go unnoticed.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • blurred vision
  • slow-healing sores
  • frequent infections
  • increased hunger and thirst
  • fatigue
  • numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • frequent urination
  • unintended weight loss
  • areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits or neck

Risk factors for developing diabetes

The risk of getting diabetes increases with age, and one in four South Carolinians over the age of 65 have type 2 diabetes. 1 in every 8 white people have diabetes, while one in every 6 African-Americans have diabetes (SCDHEC).

Long term complications of diabetes

In South Carolina, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death, with an average of four diabetes-related deaths happening every day. Diagnosed diabetes costs an estimated $5.9 billion every year in our state. This is because diabetes often leads to other severe health complications, like heart disease, stroke, neuropathy, kidney diseases, eye damage, amputation, and death (SC Fact Sheet).

People diagnosed with diabetes typically spend 2.3 times more money annually on medical expenses with an average being $16,750. In 2018, about 33,000 hospitalizations and emergency department visits occurred in South Carolina due to complications of diabetes.

Prevention of Diabetes

While diabetes is incurable, it is manageable with lifestyle changes. However, if possible, prevention is key. Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle can prove the best defense when it comes to diabetes.

Contact Attorney David L. Hood for a Free Medical Malpractice Consultation

If you or someone you care about has suffered medical negligence due to diabetes, please schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a serious malpractice-related injury. At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Medical Malpractice Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

Other online resources used for this blog:

https://diabetes.org/tools-support/devices-technology

Categories
Personal Injury Attorney

Pool Chlorine Dangers

Pool chlorine dangers are lurking, and most people don’t even realize it. Swimming can be a fun and healthy activity, for children and adults alike, especially in the summer heat. Unfortunately, with that fun there are dangers.

Dangers of Chlorine

Chlorine, like household chemicals has many risks, if not used and stored properly.

What is chlorine used for?

Chlorine is used to keep swimming pools clean, and free from bacteria, alga and other harmful substances, so the water is safe for swimming. “Chlorine breaks down oils, lotions and skin flakes, more commonly known as “bather waste”.” (LovetoKnow.com)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 4,535 people per year have gone to the emergency room for exposure to chlorine, in the last decade. More than half of those injuries are taking place at home pools, and more than a third of the injured are children and teens. (CDC.com)

Pool Chlorine Side Effects

The most common injury is poisoning, by breathing in the fumes. Other injuries occur when chlorine is not secured out of the reach of children, and “when people enter a pool too soon after chemicals have been added.” (TheWashingtonPost.com)

Pool chlorine dangers:

  • Can be a skin irritant, causing skin rashes like eczema, and aggravating conditions like acne, psoriasis and seborrhea. If you notice your skin becoming irritated by a chlorinated pool, doctors suggest supplementing your diet with essential fatty acids.
  • Can cause itchy, burning eyes.
  • Can aggravate or trigger bronchial problems, such as asthma.
  • There is a possible association between exposure to chlorine and some types of cancer (bladder and breast cancer, and malignant melanoma).
  • Can be linked to bowel difficulties.

The reported dangers of chlorine use in swimming pools is scary, but there are some things you can do to keep safe.

Pool chemical safety tips for pool owners and operators:

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage and storage. Chlorine is poisonous, flammable and corrosive. When “used improperly, chlorine poses serious risks of illness, injury, fire and explosion.” (LovetoKnow.com)
  • Wear safety equipment, like gloves, respirators, and goggles.
  • Keep pool chemicals out of the reach of children, teens and animals.
  • Do not mix chlorine with any other chemicals.
  • Do not mix different forms of chlorine together.
  • Do not remove chlorine from its original container.
  • Keep poison control phone number handy.
  • Maintain proper water pH levels.
  • Do not over chlorinate your pool.
  • Research chemical-free alternatives.

Pool chemical safety tips for swimmers:

  • If possible, limit your time in the water.
  • Keep the chemicals in the pool healthy by showering for at least 1 minute before getting into the water. This will remove dirt, oils, sweat and chemicals from your body.
  • Never use the pool as a toilet. This causes an unhealthy reaction with the chlorine.
Pool Chlorine Safety Tips, Produced by The Chlorine Institute and the American Chemistry Council

The Law Offices of David L. Hood: Here to Fight for Injury Victims in Georgetown and Horry Counties and Throughout South Carolina

Here at the The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience representing injured victims in South Carolina, and we offer a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story and provide candid advice about what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we also work on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay fees or expenses unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured through no fault of your own, contact The Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We know accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down, but we’re here to support you and guide you at every step in your journey toward justice and healing.

Categories
Wrongful Death Attorney

Umbrella Dangers at the Beach

Umbrella dangers at the beach.
Beach umbrellas and chairs on the beach

Umbrella dangers are not what most people think of when dreaming of a day at the beach. You may think of crashing waves, warm sand, and plenty of relaxation. If you were to think about the dangers of a beach day, you might think about getting a bad sunburn or maybe even a shark attack. However, none of these things are what hurt one and killed another woman this summer in South Carolina. Unfortunately, their attackers are something that litter the shore as far as the eye can see: beach umbrellas.

Beach Umbrella Accidents

In June of 2021, Berenice Kelly and her husband were vacationing at the Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms. As weather conditions worsened, the umbrellas that the resort had put out on the beach for guests to use were blown loose from where they had been placed in the sand. One such umbrella hit Kelly in the face, shattering her face and nose. This required extensive surgery to repair. As Kelly’s husband, Theodore, provided aid to his wife while waiting for emergency services to arrive, he was also injured. On July 5th of this year, the couple filed a lawsuit against the Wild Dunes Resort. The Kellys claim that the resort “failed to properly install the umbrella and monitor weather conditions” (News13). As of July 10th, a court date has not been set for what the couple hopes will be a jury trial.

On August 10th of this year, another woman was killed after being impaled in the chest by a loose beach umbrella. Tammy Perreault was enjoying a day at a Garden City beach when an umbrella blew loose from its anchoring and hit her. She was rushed to a hospital, but unfortunately, she died about an hour later from chest trauma (CBS News). According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), because of their wide canopy, it is easy for umbrellas to get caught in a strong wind if they aren’t anchored properly. To help anchor them, umbrellas typically have a spiked end to cut through sand easily. However, this makes them incredibly dangerous if they are being hurtled through the air.

How many beach umbrella injuries happen each year?

The CPSC has reported that around 3,000 Americans a year are hospitalized due to injuries caused by all types of umbrellas.

The Journal of Safety Research estimates that between 2000 and 2019, an estimated 5,512 beach umbrella injuries were identified (The Journal of Safety Research).

The CPSC is aware of this fatal incident involving Terry Perreault. They are working to develop a standard that will establish requirements for beach umbrellas and their anchoring systems to make them safer and more reliable.

Implementing Changes

Horry County officials have not said whether or not this tragedy will cause changes to be implemented to beach umbrella policies. Horry County boasts 14 miles of public beaches, and current policies state that “shading devices of any kind cannot be tied, bound, or connected to each other in any manner, and they must be secured.” It is not known whether or not the umbrella that killed Perreault was properly secured before the wind swept it away (The Post and Courier).

While beach days can be a fun way to relax, it is important to be aware of weather conditions and of your surroundings. If you’re using an umbrella on the beach, make sure that it is properly secured in the sand and don’t leave it unattended if there is relatively strong wind. And, of course, always wear sunscreen when hitting the beach!

Video by Inside Edition

Beach umbrella safety tips:

  • “Spike your beach umbrella pole into the sand.
  • Firmly rock it back and forth until it’s buried deep into the sand.
  • Tilt it into the wind to keep it from blowing away and injuring someone.
  • Anchor the base of the pole with some form of anchor or weight.
  • Ensure the sand is packed well around the base.” (CPSC.gov)

Contact The Law Offices of David L. Hood for a Free Wrongful Death Consultation

If someone you care about has died due to someone else’s negligence, please schedule your free consultation by calling The Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a wrongful death. At The Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Wrongful Death Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses, unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.