Britcher Leone, LLC
Call Today For A Free Consultation
Glen Rock, Local: 201-444-1644
Parsippany, Local: 973-898-1766
Toll Free: 877-963-3625
January is Birth Defects Awareness Month

New Jersey Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Lung Cancer Screening Rates Still Abysmally Low

Photo of Armand Leone

Despite lung cancer screening guidelines for smokers being issued in 2013, the rate of lung cancer screening is abysmally low with only about 3% of eligible smokers undergoing low-dose CT lung cancer screening. The USPTFS guidelines are for long term smokers with a 30-pack year history or more of smoking who are between 55 and 80 years of age. Many early lung cancers detected on screening exams can be treated with an 85% cure rate, yet most cancers today are still diagnosed at a late stage with minimal survival. There are approximately 7 million smokers eligible for screening, but only 210,000 are being screened annually as recommended. Under the USPFS guidelines, 12,000 deaths could be avoided each year with screening. With expanded risk-based guidelines, another 5,000 lung cancer deaths could be avoided. Unfortunately, most long-term smokers are not made aware of and do not receive life-saving screening.

Smokers Need Lung Cancer Screening

Photo of Armand Leone

Public health warnings have been effective in getting more Americans to stop smoking cigarettes, but lung cancer still kills more Americans than any other cancer. The percentage of Americans who smoke has decreased by half over about the last 30 years, from 30% in 1980 to 15% in 2012, but there are still over 150,000 deaths a year. Most cancers are still diagnosed at an advanced stage today. In the long run, quitting smoking will reduce lung cancer deaths 20 years from now; however, in the short run, it's not enough because most lung cancer deaths occur in ex-smokers who remain at risk even after they stop. Smokers need screening for lung cancer annually for 15 years after quitting.

Personalized Medicine for Screening Mammograms

Photo of Armand Leone

Thumbnail image for images (1).jpgA woman's decision about when to start breast cancer screening mammograms should be a matter of personal choice, not association guidelines. A recent study in Cancer looked at the differences in likely outcomes of various breast cancer screening guidelines. Screening mammography recommendations for early detection of breast cancer still differ between medical associations that advocate annual breast cancer screening starting at age 40, the American College of Radiology and the American Cancer Society, and others that recommend starting biennial screening starting at 50, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force and the American Academy of Family Practice. The screening recommendation a woman receives unfortunately depends on who is giving it rather than the patient. This study provides information that a woman should know when deciding which breast cancer screening strategy is right for her:

Flu Vaccines - Important for Health but Not Without Risk

As fall approaches, flu vaccines are being administered to young and old to avoid the seasonal flu which comes every year. People need to know that although vaccines have eradicated many diseases, they are not without risk. While most will receive their flu vaccine without event, there are those rare occasions where individuals may suffer serious injuries associated with the vaccine. In 1986 Congress enacted the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. It is now called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act (the Program), because it covers adults as well as children to compensate those who suffer serious injuries following the receipt of vaccines as part of preventive care. The flu vaccine is one of the vaccines covered under the program.

Steroid Injections for Osteoarthritis in Knees Don't Work

Photo of Armand Leone

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that intra-articular injections of the corticosteroid, triamcinolone, over 2 years did not decrease knee pain from osteoarthritis any more than injecting saline. In fact, injecting corticosteroid into the knee causes significant cartilage loss. 

Steroid Injections for Osteoarthritis in Knees Don't Work

Photo of Armand Leone

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that intra-articular injections of the corticosteroid, triamcinolone, over 2 years did not decrease knee pain from osteoarthritis any more than injecting saline. In fact, injecting corticosteroid into the knee causes significant cartilage loss. 

Elderly Hip Fracture Repair is Time Sensitive

Photo of Armand Leone

In a recent British orthopaedic study, researchers found that mortality from hip fractures increased by 8% if operated on more than 24 hours after admission. The morality rate increased by 20% if operated on more than 48 hours after admission. Over 300,000 elderly people fracture hips each year. This study shows that, if possible, same day repair is best and improve chances of survival.

Characteristics and causes of Erb's Palsy

Photo of Drew Britcher

Erb's palsy, also called a brachial plexus injury, is an all too frequent birth injury. Out of 1,000 births, one or two children suffer this injury, which causes loss of motion and feeling in the arm.

Generally, infants with Erb's Palsy experience weakness in their arms due to injuries to the brachial plexus nerves (around the shoulder). Some cases of Erb's Palsy will heal after a few weeks or months of exercise and massage. The more severe injuries will result in long term limited movement of the arm and the most severe cases involve permanent paralysis of the arm.

An Ebola Vaccine - But for Whom?

Photo of Armand Leone

The push to develop a vaccine against the Ebola virus is on, and vaccination is going to be an important part of controlling this contagious disease. Phase 1 trials are slated to begin soon in the United States. Even if adequate safety and immunogenicity are demonstrated in the phase 1 studies, vaccines will not be available in substantial quantity until the first quarter of 2015 at the earliest. Even if an effective vaccine can be produced, it is not likely to be 100% effective to succeed in stemming the current or future outbreaks. There are different strains and the virus continues to mutate. While I agree that an Ebola vaccine is an important of the global strategy to control the virus, I do not agree that Americans should receive an Ebola vaccine and be subjected to the risk a serious adverse event or death, unless they are traveling to an endemic area. So why are we doing these Phase 1 trials on Americans?

Too Many Women Avoid Cervical Cancer Screening

Photo of Armand Leone

More than 12,000 women a year get cervical cancer, yet up to 93% of these cancers are preventable. The Centers for Disease Control reports that up to 8 million American women have not been screened for cervical cancer in the last 5 years, which is approximately 10% of all women who are at risk for the disease. The Papanicoolaou (Pap) test screens for abnormal cells and is a time tested screening method for detecting cervical carcinoma. More recently, testing for HPV infection to identify women at high risk for the disease has also been added to the screening and detection process. HPV vaccination is also another important part of the cervical cancer reduction public health program; however, vaccination does not prevent against all cervical cancers, and screening is critical to early diagnosis. 

Contact Us

Britcher Leone, LLC

Glen Rock
175 Rock Road
Suite 4
Glen Rock, NJ 07452-1724

Toll Free: 866-713-1795
Toll Free: 877-600-7665
Phone: 201-345-5306
Phone: 201-444-1644
Glen Rock Law Office

Parsippany
7 Century Road
Parsippany, NJ 07054

Toll Free: 866-713-1795
Toll Free: 877-600-7665
Phone: 201-345-5306
Phone: 973-898-1766
Map & Directions