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Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Law Blog

What are your fingernails saying about your health?

You may come from a long line of factory workers in Pittsburgh. Perhaps you grew up, like many others in this area did, watching your grandfather, then your father take their lunch pails and head out the door to report to one of the local steel mills for work. Your family set aside Sundays for going to church and, of course, watching the Steelers on television.

As each of your birthdays passed, you grew more eager for the time to come when you'd be able to follow in your father's and grandfather's footsteps. Finally, that time arrived and you enjoyed a long-lasting career in your favorite blue-collar town. You remember when people voted Pittsburgh the friendliest city in the nation. However, as years wore on, you also began to hear that many of your co-workers were suffering from ill health conditions related to asbestos and you began to worry. Some have filed legal claims regarding their illnesses.

Preeclampsia is a dangerous birth complication

Certain conditions present in a pregnant woman can cause dangerous complications for the expectant mother and unborn child. Most Pittsburgh doctors take the time to review an expectant mother's health and wellness each time that she comes in for an appointment or whenever concerns send her to see a medical professional. This is to be sure that no potentially hazardous circumstances are present that could threaten the lives of the mother and child.

One complication that doctors should check for in their pregnant patients is preeclampsia. Preeclampsia involves the rapid rise in the mother's blood pressure. It can often be diagnosed through an evaluation of an expectant mother's urine. If left unchecked preeclampsia can lead to organ failure, stroke, and even death of the mother and her child.

Are you at risk for exposure to asbestos because of your job?

Pennsylvania readers know there are some jobs that are riskier than others. While some jobs are inherently dangerous, there are certain occupations that could come with the risk of unseen dangers, such as exposure to toxic substances. One of the most dangerous types of work-related toxic exposure is contact with asbestos.

Asbestos is a material commonly found in building materials and industrial products. Because it is highly heat-resistant, it has uses in insulation, cement and more. A person who comes into contact with this type of material could breathe in unseen asbestos fibers, where they could eventually cause serious illnesses, such as lung disease and cancer.

What to look for when selecting a nursing home

A nursing or care home should be a comfortable place where a loved one may find care and support for their medical and occupational needs. Though not all nursing homes are fancy, many provide aging Pennsylvanians with safe places to live out their years under the care of individuals who truly have their best interests in mind. Individuals rarely hear about these types of facilities, though, as it is often the dangerous and abuse-ridden nursing homes that appear as stories on the evening news.

When faced with the difficult task of finding a nursing home for a loved one, there are a number of things that individuals should look for to be proactive about selecting a safe and respectable place. Aside from ensuring that the facility is Medicare and Medicaid certified, a party should inquire about the waiting list for becoming a resident. The person should check into the facility's licenses and discuss background check procedures for employees of the facility. The individual should also find out if the residents of the facility have freedom to follow their own preferences concerning their schedules and if staffing is adequate to care for all of the residents.

What is informed consent?

Going to the doctor's office can be an overwhelming experience for a Pittsburgh resident. Not just because they will have their body examined for injuries and illnesses but also because they may be subjected to what seems like an endless pile of paperwork to fill out. Often when individuals visit their medical professionals they must fill out forms related to their current states of health, changes to their contact and insurance information, and releases related to their medical records.

Just like other types of industries, the medical field is subject to regulation and therefore must ensure that the patients they treat are done so in accordance with current laws. One law that is practically universal throughout the United States is the requirement that a doctor received informed consent from their patient before they initiate a course of treatment for an ailment.

Product liability dangers may lurk in holiday gifts

Last year, hoverboards were a hot gift item for kids and adults alike. The appeal of cruising around on a small electric vehicle caused many Pittsburgh residents to include the electronics item on their wish lists. However, in the last 12 months, a number of families have come to discover a potential danger in these popular items: fire risks from defective charging and electrical systems.

Hoverboards are just one of the many gift items that retailers and manufacturers have been forced to recall when deemed defective and dangerous to consumers. Products should be safe and properly labeled to ensure that purchasers and those who receive the items as gifts can safely use them for their enjoyment. When products pose risks that consumers cannot anticipate or avoid though, manufacturers and others involved in putting those goods into the market may be liable for the injuries the products cause.

How courts assess unavoidably unsafe products

While watching the evening news, a Pittsburgh resident may see one of the many commercials that pharmaceutical companies air to advertise their prescription drugs. During one of these ads the commercial may list some of the drug's potential side effects, and some of those potential complications may be life-threatening. A viewer may wonder why a company would market a drug to treat a medical condition when that drug could result in death.

Some products, like pharmaceuticals, can fall into a category that is often termed "unavoidably unsafe." These products are, when prepared properly and marketed effectively, still potentially dangerous to individuals. Unavoidably unsafe products do not enable consumers to sue under products liability theories of law unless they fail in some capacity to protect consumers from their potential consequences.

Hidden danger lurking in Pittsburgh

Whether you were born and raised in Pittsburgh or, like many, emigrated here from another state or country, you have likely enjoyed the countless amenities life in the Steel City has to offer. From the spectacular view atop Mount Washington to the three rivers below as they sparkle from nighttime lights, from tailgate parties at Heinz Field to the eclectic atmosphere of the Strip District, this city continually ranks high on lists of best places to live in America.

If you were born in "The Burgh," your family may also have a long history associated with the labor unions involved with the railroad, coal mining or steel mill industries. These factories and organizations were key factors in the nation's Industrial Revolution and provided employment opportunities and income to thousands of families through the years. There's another side to all that, however, a much darker side involving hazards associated with asbestos that was often present in the workplace back then.

What is a birth injury?

Every year many Pittsburgh families celebrate the birth of a new baby into their lives. For close to nine months they may wait and count down the days until their baby's due date and expectantly plan for the future they will enjoy with their new addition. A good number of the babies born in the United States are healthy infants who, after a short period of monitoring, are able to go home from their hospitals with their parents. Others, unfortunately, suffer injuries during the labor and delivery processes that leave them with medical problems to overcome.

A birth injury happens when a mother is laboring or delivering a baby. It can be caused by mistakes made by medical professionals or it can be the result of appropriate medical care given the circumstances of a birth situation. If a doctor abides by their duty of care to their patient and gives responsible, competent care during an emergency situation in a birth, and an injury results, it is not guaranteed that the injury will be compensable through a personal injury lawsuit.

Why did I get mesothelioma, but others didn't?

More than likely, you spent a good deal of your workday toiling away side-by-side with other workers. You performed your job duties in the same manner and suffered exposure to the same asbestos-filled air on a daily basis.

Now that your doctors diagnosed you with mesothelioma, you may wonder why you suffer from this rare and mostly asbestos-related cancer, but others who you work with managed to escape its clutches. Perhaps you are one of the rare individuals that didn't get mesothelioma from asbestos. If so, what caused it?