Mom finds her son DOA in taxi after hospital sends him home

A North Carolina mother is suing AlliedBarton Security Services after she says they put her son in a taxi and sent him home even though he was already dead.

Hospital security guards sent, A’Darrin Washington, who they claimed was “uncooperative” and “refusing to talk or move,” home from Cumberland County Hospital on Nov. 22, 2011.

A’Darrin had been going to the hospital for 10 years for treatment for recurrent pneumonia associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. On Nov. 14, A’Darrin was admitted to the hospital and misdiagnosed with bacterial pneumonia.

After he was correctly diagnosed with fungal pneumonia and given the proper medication, the hospital said he was ready to be discharged on Nov. 21 even though he was still feeling weak and ill…

“(A) nurse called for security to escort Mr. Washington from his hospital bed to the lobby for discharge because Mr. Washington was allegedly ‘uncooperative’ and ‘refusing to talk or move,'” the complaint states. “Mr. Washington was unresponsive due to the fact that he was dying.”

Deborah Washington claims that the guards put her son in the taxi and even crossed his legs. When he arrived at home after a 45-minute trip, he was “unresponsive and cold to the touch.”

I would sue everyone involved including the cab driver who didn’t notice he was driving a dead man.

Target data theft highlights backwards US transaction security

The massive data breach disclosed by retailer Target Corp last week is likely to teach its U.S. customers a painful lesson in payment card security and build support for an anti-fraud technology now sitting on the shelf.

For years, U.S. merchants and banks have balked at adopting a well-established system that uses credit and debit cards that store information on computer chips. The technology, ubiquitous in Europe, Canada and elsewhere, makes it harder for thieves to misuse data compared with cards that store data only on magnetic stripes.

The stores and credit card issuers don’t want to spend the money needed for a secure change.

The delay may prove costly to Target’s U.S. customers. The third-largest U.S. retailer said unknown hackers stole data from up to 40 million credit and debit cards used at its stores in the first three weeks of the holiday season.

Now, after years in which U.S. companies tolerated fraud as a cost of doing business, high-profile breaches such as the one at Target are raising demand for increased card security…

An early switch to the global card system may not have prevented the Target data theft but the chip technology would have reduced the value of the stolen data by making it harder for hackers to reuse the customer information. For one thing, the new systems are better at detecting counterfeit cards…

In much of Europe, 94 percent of sales terminals use the chip system, according to a 2012 report by consulting firm Javelin Strategy & Research. The figure was 77 percent in Canada and Latin America. That compares with only 10 percent of U.S. sales terminals with upgrades…

Consumers, who are generally not held responsible for covering for fraudulent purchases, have had little incentive to push for change. But the rising fraud rates also mean more dangers of identity theft.

You might think banks and credit card companies would have realized by now the additional risks offered by increasing identity theft. The concept of educated self-interest apparently has as little effect on the managers of big banking systems as it does the average American voter. 🙂

Pic of the Day


REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Natalie Dicou (L) and her partner Nicole Christensen, and James Goodman (2nd R) and his partner Jeffrey Gomez (R), wait to get married at the Salt Lake County Clerks office in Salt Lake City, Utah, December 20, 2013.

As much as folks here in New Mexico celebrated Thursday’s ruling by our state Supreme Court validating the civil rights of same-sex couples – the victory in Utah the next day is even more meaningful. That ruling was delivered by a federal court superseding the Utah state constitution. As it should do.

The stage is set for another era of civil rights rolling out over this federal union of American states.

Unregulated dietary aids = 20% of drug-related liver injuries

Dietary supplements account for nearly 20 percent of drug-related liver injuries that turn up in hospitals, up from 7 percent a decade ago, according to an analysis by a national network of liver specialists. The research included only the most severe cases of liver damage referred to a representative group of hospitals around the country, and the investigators said they were undercounting the actual number of cases.

While many patients recover once they stop taking the supplements and receive treatment, a few require liver transplants or die because of liver failure. Naïve teenagers are not the only consumers at risk, the researchers said. Many are middle-aged women who turn to dietary supplements that promise to burn fat or speed up weight loss.

“It’s really the Wild West,” said Dr. Herbert L. Bonkovsky, the director of the liver, digestive and metabolic disorders laboratory at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C. “When people buy these dietary supplements, it’s anybody’s guess as to what they’re getting…”

Americans spend an estimated $32 billion on dietary supplements every year, attracted by unproven claims that various pills and powders will help them lose weight, build muscle and fight off everything from colds to chronic illnesses. About half of Americans use dietary supplements, and most of them take more than one product at a time.

Dr. Victor Navarro, the chairman of the hepatology division at Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, said that while liver injuries linked to supplements were alarming, he believed that a majority of supplements were generally safe. Most of the liver injuries tracked by a network of medical officials are caused by prescription drugs used to treat things like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, he said.

…A federal law enacted in 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, prevents the Food and Drug Administration from approving or evaluating most supplements before they are sold. Usually the agency must wait until consumers are harmed before officials can remove products from stores. Because the supplement industry operates on the honor system, studies show, the market has been flooded with products that are adulterated, mislabeled or packaged in dosages that have not been studied for safety.

The new research found that many of the products implicated in liver injuries were bodybuilding supplements spiked with unlisted steroids, and herbal pills and powders promising to increase energy and help consumers lose weight…

The F.D.A. estimates that 70 percent of dietary supplement companies are not following basic quality control standards that would help prevent adulteration of their products. Of about 55,000 supplements that are sold in the United States, only 170 — about 0.3 percent — have been studied closely enough to determine their common side effects, said Dr. Paul A. Offit, the chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an expert on dietary supplements.

RTFA for more and more details. One of the important points needing to be repeated is that just because a substance is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s doing a damned thing for you. Unless there is peer-reviewed science with positive results you probably shouldn’t be consuming it.

Cripes, I still wouldn’t touch half the crap that has managed FDA approval – with a dozen advisories about side-effects.