Category Archives: Medical Update

PSA: Highest Percent Positivity Rating for a Single Day Data Release at 19.9%

Our local community continues to see positive results for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), and with the August 7, 2020 release of data the county has realized its highest percent positivity rating for a single day data release at 19.9%.  Meaning, nearly 1 in 5 individuals being tested is resulting as positive.

COVID-19: Summary for Escambia County >

This data can be framed in the context of information presented with recent publications which document the asymptomatic spread in a community wherein viral shedding is equivalent between an individual who feels ill and is forced to isolate due to extreme symptomatology and an individual who feels well (i.e. does not know they are ill) and in turn may not isolate.  Both individuals shed virus at equivalent levels, the danger to the community is the asymptomatic individual continuing to shed virus while potentially not maintaining basic measures of protection or limited contact.

This is a reminder to those in our community that it continues to be important to maintain physical distancing, masking, hand sanitizer, and similar measures while being alert as to the signs and symptoms of the viral infection.

Are there viral load differences between asymptomatic and symptomatic patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection?

Clinical Course and Molecular Viral Shedding Among Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Patients With SARS-CoV-2 Infection in a Community Treatment Center in the Republic of Korea.

What Does The Research Mean?
Many individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection remained asymptomatic for a prolonged period, and viral load was similar to the in symptomatic patients; therefore, isolation of infected persons should be performed regardless of symptoms.

Read full article and report here >

The Zarzaur Law firm remains fully operational and the staff is working hard on client’s behalf (safely and remotely). Attorneys will still be seeing clients either safely in office or via video conferencing.

About Zarzaur Law, P.A.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
www.zarzaurlaw.com
(855)hirejoe
850-444-9299

COVID-19: Vigilance, Hygiene, and Symptom Recognition Should Not be Abandoned.

Virtual Office to Careful Transition

Thirteen weeks ago the Zarzaur Law office staff moved to a completely remote, work-from-home operation.  While the majority of client meetings, hearings, mediations, and depositions remain “virtual” a careful transition to return some of the office staff back to the office has taken place.

At the outset, thirteen weeks ago, the daily counts and statistics would be the focal point – national, state, county, local.  For Zarzaur Law, the interest in this data hasn’t waned though the addition of many other layers has broadened the overall menu of considerations:  antigen vs antibody testing, airborne droplet vs surface transmission, symptomatic vs asymptomatic, vaccination immunity vs passive immunity, high-risk vs low-risk, and the like.

The Virus Still Remains and Zarzaur Law Continues to Monitor the Statistics

On every level, even locally, the data depicts that the virus remains and that transmission of infection is present in the community.  For this reason, maintaining a sense to physical distancing, practicing routine handwashing, and workspace disinfection are cornerstone to the operation of the office.  Parlaying some of these practices to personal life in the home environment perhaps contribute to keeping this office setting safe as well.

Zarzaur Law remains vigilant and will continue to monitor and follow the measures which are available for public consumption in concert with operating in a way which allows for safety and health for the staff and clients.

All of this is in the context of data which reveal that over the last many days, overlapping the phased reopening of our community, positive antigen tests continue to result.  That’s the not-so-great news and may cause concern for many.

In an attempt to drill down a bit more into this, consider hospitalizations.  A glimpse at the hospitalization data is not entirely possible as the only published data on local and state hospitalizations is in cumulative instances beginning greater than thirteen weeks ago as opposed to real-time data.  But, what is available is the Emergency Department (ED) presentation data which details a decreasing percentage of complaints related to viral signs and symptoms.  Perhaps this indicates a return to par for ED management of injuries and non-viral illness which come with reopening, hence increasing the pool of patients in the ED and thus decreasing the viral presentation percentage.  Counter that notion and look at the total number of presentations related to viral signs and symptoms – also decreasing.

Coronavirus: summary for Escambia County (page 17)
In Summary – Stay Vigilant

Transmission in the community continues.  Vigilance, hygiene, and symptom recognition should not be abandoned.  Acute viral illness warranting ED presentation (and possible hospital admission) trends indicate there is capacity to manage those who are more-severely impacted by ANY illness thus warranting inpatient care.

The Zarzaur Law firm remains fully operational and the staff is working hard on client’s behalf (safely and remotely). Attorneys will still be seeing clients either safely in office or via video conferencing.

Joe Zarzaur, founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., a Pensacola Personal Injury law firm, has created this blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola, Florida about their legal rights. Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced an auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer. For more information, visit: https://www.zarzaurlaw.com

11 E Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Telephone: 850-444-9299
Email: info@zarzaurlaw.com

Sources:

(Escambia County – page 17)

https://covidtracking.com/data

COVID-19 Tracker

The Coronavirus – A Serious Health Crisis

The updates and reports on the the COVID-19 (coronavirus) have been changing daily, but what has not changed is that this virus is a serious threat and everyone should take precautions and be vigilant on proper hygiene and disinfecting of surfaces.

Important Links!

CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND RESEARCH AND POLICY >

FL DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH >

CDC >

https://patch.com/florida/pensacola/s/h1lva/flurry-of-new-coronavirus-cases-reported-in-florida?utm_source=alert-breakingnews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=lifestyle&utm_campaign=alert

What are the Symptoms and When Should a Person Get Tested?

COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when someone coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

Testing is conducted through local DOH (Department of Health) locations – via self-presentation or medical provider referral

CALL ahead to either DOH, physician office, urgent care, or Hospital PRIOR to presentation

If symptoms or backstory of concern (common cold vs Influenza vs seasonal allergies vs COVID), need to isolated and prevent spread +/- testing +/- more than symptom control in home setting (i.e. IV fluid, breathing treatments, systemic medications to treat co-morbid infection or disease), this will slow progression of the spread and buy more time for measured, communal response.

Persistence of Coronaviruses on Inanimate Surfaces and Their Inactivation with Biocidal Agents

“Coronavirus can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days, but can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute”

What Else Can Be Done:

– Influenza vaccine – limiting viral infection in general will limit impact on entire community
– Pneumococcal vaccine – limiting bacterial infection will limit co-infection if suffer viremia
– hand washing – 20+ seconds with soap and WARM water  (tip – say the alphabet)
– limit touching own eyes/mouth
– FDA approved retail/commercial hand sanitizer – 60%-95% alcohol content
– rubbing alcohol – 91% isopropyl alcohol – needs to DRY on the surface being applied to
– ethyl alcohol (ethanol) – need to be 120 proof undiluted to be 60%  (Grain alcohol 120 – 190 proof)
– discourage handshakes
– “mildly ill” = stay home  (employers encourage telecommute options)
– surface cleaning – FDA approved list of products:
https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf

Surfaces to Consider with Day-to-Day Activity:

Exercise towels
Gym equipment
Exercise/Yoga Mats
Kitchen counters and Cutting board
Mobile phone / charger cords
Appliance knobs/buttons/handles
Sinks
re-usable Water bottles
Purse/bag handles
Washcloths/sponges
Lightswitches
Keys
Pet food/water bowls
Cash
Doorknobs
Jewelry
Ride sharing vehicles
Public transportation
Elevator buttons
Handrails
Keyboard/Mouse
video game controllers
TV Remote Control / video game controls
touch screen controls

Joe Zarzaur, founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., a Pensacola Personal Injury law firm, has created this blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola, Florida about their legal rights. Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced an auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer. For more information, visit: https://www.zarzaurlaw.com

11 E Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Telephone: 850-444-9299
Email: info@zarzaurlaw.com

New Florida Law (HB21) Targets Opioid Addiction at the Root Level.

Opioid Epidemic—How Did We Get Here?
According to a report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the early 1990s through 2012, opioids were commonly prescribed to relieve pain. But over time, abuse of the drugs grew.
Some facts on the opioid crisis:

ZL_blog_opioids_2

• Opioid addiction and overdose are the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.

• In 2016, more than 40,000 Americans died from drug overdoses that involved an opioid.

• Between 21 percent and 29 percent of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse the drugs.

• Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.

3.6 percent of kids aged 12 to 17 years old misuse opioids as well as 7.3 percent of those 18 to 25 years old.

• In Florida, opioid-related deaths increased 35 percent from 2015 to 2016, with opioids associated with 5,725 deaths in 2016.

As of July 1, 2018, most opioid prescriptions will have a 3-day limit.

What are Opioids and Why Are They Addictive?
Dr. Evan Malone, Board Certified in Internal Medicine and physician consultant for Zarzaur Law, P.A. provided insight on this important subject. Opioids are a class of drugs that include synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, and morphine. Opioid pain relievers are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, but because they produce euphoria in addition to pain relief, they can be misused (taken in a different way or in a larger quantity than prescribed, or taken without a doctor’s prescription). Regular use—even when prescribed by a doctor—can lead to dependence, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says. As the brain becomes used to the dosage, it requires more of the drug to provide pain relief and the feeling of well-being. This makes it easy to become addicted. In a report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), prescription opioid addiction can serve as a gateway to use and misuse of illicit drugs (i.e. heroin, illicitly-manufactured Fentanyl) or controlled substances (i.e. Fentanyl, Dilaudid, Oxycodone).

As of July 1, 2018, This Law Now Implements the Following:

• Limits prescribing of Schedule II medications to a 3-day supply for management of acute pain

• Defines acute pain as – the normal, predicted, physiological, and time-limited response to adverse chemical, thermal, or mechanical stimulus associated with surgery, trauma, or acute “illness”

• May not apply to management of chronic pain, terminal condition and palliative care (i.e. Hospice care)

• May not apply to qualified cases of severe trauma

• A 10-day supply of medications may be provided if the provider documents accordingly

• Requires providers to access the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) when prescribing controlled substances

• The PDMP is a state-wide database which details a patient’s history of controlled substance prescriptions

So, How Does This Impact Patients?

According to Dr. Malone, the end-point of preventing dependence upon opioid agents will hopefully be realized over time. This could directly benefit patients, their family members, friend, co-workers, etc.

The offset will require patients to be diligent in their follow-up and management of acute pain whether it be following an accident, following a planned procedure, or the like.

Besides the aforementioned appropriate use of controlled substances, should a patient’s health care provider deem appropriate for the condition, below are some helpful points to remember:

– If patients continue to have pain beyond the expected “acute” timeframe (a few days in most instances), make sure the pain is not a harbinger of an undiagnosed cause of pain or worsening of the initial condition by following up with their provider (which may include a visit to the ER depending upon the condition or circumstances)

-Once more concerning conditions have been ruled out and after consulting with their provider, consider alternatives to opioids for management of acute pain:

– Over-the-counter agents (Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Aspirin)
– Systemic or local corticosteroid
– Physical therapy
– Massage therapy
– Chiropractic care

The 3-day supply of medications is not limited to a one-time instance – appropriate follow-up with a provider may result in an assessment (following interview, examination, and medication review) which indicates the need for a renewal of the 3-day medication supply should it be appropriate for your condition

What are the Alternate Chronic Pain Management Options?

Pain is a subjective problem, and different people experience pain differently. An injury one person might shrug off is an excruciating experience for another.

The definition of chronic pain is a pain condition that lasts for more than six months. Less than six months, it’s considered subacute pain. It’s something of an arbitrary cutoff, but it’s a standard definition.

The effectiveness of alternative treatments for chronic pain has been known for a long time. There were a large number of multi-disciplinary pain clinics opened on a somewhat experimental basis back in the early 2000s, where patients would come in and see a physician, a physical therapist, a psychologist, a massage therapist, an acupuncturist, etc., all under one roof. These practices were very successful in alleviating pain in chronic pain patients, as the CDC later confirmed, but the idea wasn’t widely adopted because the approaches were expensive and some insurance companies didn’t want to pay. Opioids were cheaper. Unfortunately, opioids don’t work.

If you have a chronic pain condition and the current regimen of treatment is with opioid medications, you have more effective and more long term options without as many side effects. It will require an investment of time and effort, but, in the long run, you will be happy that you made the change. If you have a chronic pain condition, and you’re not satisfied with how things are going, challenge your doctors to see if there is a better approach.

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and suffer from chronic pain caused by negligence of another, it is important to consult with a Board Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you.

Pensacola Personal Injury Attorney, Joe Zarzaur works in all areas of personal injury including motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle and boating accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall and wrongful death. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com. Offices in Pensacola and Destin, Florida.

Resources:
Florida Law Chapter 2018-13 (Controlled Substances)
http://laws.flrules.org/files/Ch_2018_013.pdf

Florida’s Controlled Substance Prescribing Law Patient FAQ

Patients

CDC Opioid Overdose
https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

DEA Drug Schedules
https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml
https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/orangebook/orangebook.pdf

http://www.theledger.com/news/20180702/how-floridas-new-opioid-prescription-law-affects-you

https://www.orlandohealth.com/blog/what-to-know-about-floridas-new-opioid-prescription-law-effective-july-1-2018

https://www.caron.org/blog/2018/03/chronic-pain-management-alternatives-to-opioids

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction/overview

https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/18/health/opioid-crisis-fast-facts/index.html

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/florida/articles/2018-03-19/scott-to-sign-opioids-legislation-on-monday

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids#summary-of-the-issue

Florida Supreme Court Rules Medicaid Liens Cannot Be Applied To Future Medical Expenses

On July 5, 2018, the Florida Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Giraldo v. Agency for Health Care Administration. The case dealt with the federal Medicaid Act, a joint federal-state cooperative program that helps states provide medical services to residents who cannot otherwise afford treatment; the Medicaid Act is part of the broader Social Security Act.

On Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court held that “under federal law, AHCA (the Agency for Health Care Administration) may only reach the past medical expense portion of a Medicaid recipient’s tort recovery to satisfy its Medicaid lien.” In deciding to limit the lien rights of AHCA, the Court cited the federal Medicaid Act’s “anti-lien” provision, noting that the federal Medicaid Act preempts the Florida Medicaid statute on this issue. The ruling is a major victory for plaintiffs with severe injuries or large future medical treatment costs; the ruling prevents AHCA from putting a Medicaid lien on a plaintiff’s future medical treatment received under a settlement or judgment.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you have any questions about this recent Florida Supreme Court ruling or about an injury that you or someone you know has sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence, please do not hesitate to contact Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney, Joe Zarzaur, and the firm of Zarzaur Law, P.A. at 855-hirejoe or on the web at www.zarzaurlaw.com.

References:
http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2018/sc17-297.pdf
http://www.floridasupremecourt.org

AMBULATORY SURGERY CENTER LIFE-THREATENING RISKS

Guaranteeing a patient’s health and safety during surgical procedures requires mandatory care measures that must be considered before, during, and after the operation. In the past, surgical procedures were performed in hospitals, with more than enough staff and equipment to aid patients regardless the type of surgery required. Among the many operations, there are those that need post-operative care without the need for hospitalization, allowing patients to return home a few hours after the surgery. This type of procedure is known as ambulatory surgery.

ZL_blog_Ambulatory_Surgical_CentersThe growing population, new medical discoveries, and increased demand for medical attention has resulted in the lack of enough operating rooms in hospitals. This fact led physicians to open their own Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASC) in order to offer non-invasive surgeries to patients who do not need an overnight stay. This cost-effective solution for outpatients met federal regulations and approved. Currently, many surgical specialties can be treated on an outpatient basis. Health programs as Medicare began to certify the centers that meet the requirements to provide care to their insured. As of today, there are 5,480 ASCs that have been certified by Medicare (Rechtoris, 2017).

As the number of surgery centers has increased throughout the years, so have the risks. According to an investigation by USA Today in conjunction with Kayser Health News, “Florida has counted at least 335 life-threatening or fatal medical ‘adverse events’ since 2013 at ambulatory surgery centers.” Yearly, 911 receives thousands of calls per year from these surgery centers requiring help for patients with both minor and fatal complications. The exact number of people who have died in these centers during a surgical procedure is unknown since there is no official report.

Four factors you need to consider
If you or a family member is planning an outpatient surgery at a surgery center, it is vital that you consider the following aspects.

1. Health Risks involved – Health disorders can represent risk factors resulting in complications or death after surgery. Among them: overweight, obstructive pulmonary disease, and hypertension. Make sure that your current health condition does not represent a risk for the surgery that is to be performed.

2. Emergency crash carts – Emergency equipment is mandatory in any operating room as well as qualified staff that knows how to operate this equipment during a life-threatening situation. Make sure your surgery center has an emergency crash cart.

3. Anesthesia – Health conditions such as obesity, sleep apnea, and respiratory problems can affect patients during surgeries because of the anesthesia. Previous evaluations serve to find if the patients present those conditions. If so, they might need a hospital instead of a surgery center. Remember that all procedures that involve general anesthesia should be performed with an anesthesiologist present.

4. Infections – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conducted an infection control audit in a total of 68 ASCs to assess compliance with recommended practices in 2010. The results, which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), suggested that infection control practices in these ASCs were deficient and not specific for the given state.

According to medical reporter Sandra G. Boodman, studies have found that approximately 1% of patients in surgery centers develop severe complications that require transfer to a hospital during or immediately after a procedure.

There is no way to predict that you will be one of these patients. Inform yourself and ask all the necessary questions to your doctor before undergoing an outpatient procedure in a surgery center.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured during a procedure at an Ambulatory Surgery Center, it is important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents and injuries can be devastating and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Sources:

Gluck, F. & Jewett, C (2010) .Florida surgery centers not always prepared to handle life-threatening medical emergencies. USA Today and Kaiser Health News. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2018/03/02/florida-surgery-centers-not-always-prepared-handle-life-threatening-medical-emergencies/1084132001/

Koenig, L., Doherty, J., Dreyfus, J. & Xanthopoulos, J. (2009). An analysis of recent growth of ambulatory surgical centers: Final report. KNG Health Consulting

Rechtoris, M. (2017, February 21). 51 things to know about the ASC industry | 2017. Becker’s ASC Review. Retrieved from https://www.beckersasc.com/asc-turnarounds-ideas-to-improve-performance/50-things-to-know-about-the-asc-industry-2017.html

Boodman, S. (2014) Popularity of Outpatient Surgery Centers Leads to Questions About Safety. Medpage Today. Retrieved from https://www.medpagetoday.com/publichealthpolicy/publichealth/49213

Jewett C. & Alesia, M. (2018, March) As Surgery Centers Boom, Patients Are Paying With Their Lives. Kayser Health News. Retrieved from https://khn.org/news/medicare-certified-surgery-centers-are-expanding-but-deaths-question-safety/

5 Controversial Medical Treatments Still Used Today

Pensacola Medical Malpractice

Pensacola medical malpractice is a controversial issue nationwide, pitting doctors and hospitals against lawyers and patients in a he-said, she-said battle over healthcare providers’ responsibility, the cost of malpractice insurance, and so-called “tort reform” measures in states that limit recoveries for devastating harm inflicted upon victims of Pensacola medical malpractice.

Controversial Medical Treatments

It’s easy to look back at medieval medical practices and wonder how they ever thought it would work. Theories about the four bodily humors may seem quaint in retrospect, but given the way medical knowledge and technology evolves, it’s almost certain future generations will look back at medicine in our time and similarly wonder what we were thinking.

So which controversial medical treatments are still in practice? Here’s a look at a few.

1. Removing Part of the Skull to Relieve Pressure in the Brain

As WebMD notes, a craniectomy for patients suffering from brain swelling can save a person’s life, but also leave them permanently disabled. A recent study found that the procedure “can drastically reduce risk of death, with about 30 percent of patients dying following the procedure compared to 52 percent of those treated with standard medical care,” but at the same time, “people treated with a craniectomy were three times more likely to wind up in a vegetative state … and often were as likely to suffer long-term disabilities as patients receiving standard medical care.”

2. Chiropractic Treatments

It’s a running theme — among non-chiropractors of course — that chiropractors aren’t medical doctors. And as a recent Pain Science article noted, “The concepts of chiropractic are not based on solid science and its therapeutic value has not been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt.” Which is not to say chiropractic treatments don’t work, just that their scientific basis hasn’t been established.

3. Electroshock Therapy

Ernest Hemingway blamed it for his memory loss and diminishing writing ability late in his life. According to Live Science, “Today, the therapy is safer, because patients receive anesthesia and electricity doses are much more controlled … Still, the treatment can impair short-term memory and, in rare cases, cause heart problems.”

4. Leech Therapy

If you thought doctors stopped applying leeches to patients in the dark ages, think again. Heathline notes that leech therapy is making a comeback, treating “nervous system abnormalities, dental problems, skin diseases, and infections.” Even Demi Moore thinks so.

5. Maggot Therapy

Battlefield surgeons first started to notice that injured soldiers would heal more quickly in the field if flies laid eggs in their wounds. Later studies revealed that fly larvae “secrete digestive enzymes that can dissolve the wound’s dead and infected tissue, a process known as debridement.” Even though the FDA cleared maggots for medical use in 2004, it doesn’t sound all that appealing.

Pensacola Medical Malpractice laws are aimed at protecting the patient from negligent medical treatment. These cases usually arise when the patient has been injured due to the improper actions of a healthcare professional. Take note, though–these cases can also arise through the inaction of the healthcare professional.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and are suffering from delayed symptoms, it is important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Zarzaur Law TV: Zika Virus Update from Board Certified Internal Medicine

In this video, Pensacola Auto Accident Attorney Joe Zarzaur and Board Certified Internal Medicine Doctor, Dr. Evan Malone discuss the dangers of the Zika Virus & updates that have occurred over the past few months.

As of October 2016, The CDC has issued an alert for travel to areas where Zika virus is spreading, which now includes Miami-Dade County, Florida. Travelers who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should consult a doctor.

If you are a loved one have a question about the Zika Virus, call Zarzaur Law P.A. today at: 855-HIRE-JOE.

Informed Consent for Minor Patients

Informed ConsentInformed Consent for Minor Patients

The law authorizes parent(s) or guardian(s) of a minor (anyone under the age of 18) to give informed consent for most medical decisions on behalf of the child. Claims by parents alleging treatment of a minor patient without the consent of the parent are relatively rare. Laws vary from state to state, but here is a general approach to the situation.

Q & A: Your Questions, Answered.

Q:  Do minors who are undergoing a series of treatments need a signed parental consent each time they are seen at the office?
A:  If a minor patient needs a series of treatments or exams, it is strongly advised that the parent/guardian sign a consent form prior to the first treatment stating that the minor patient can be treated and examined by the ophthalmologist and staff even if the minor patient is not accompanied by an adult. Of course, if the nature of the treatment or exam changes, a new consent must be obtained.

Q:  Do both parents have to agree to a proposed treatment/procedure?
A:  For most medical procedures, it is sufficient to obtain the consent of one parent (in an intact married couple). However, if treatment poses a significant risk to the minor or violates the personal or religious beliefs of one or both parents, it is advisable to obtain the consent of both parents. If the parents disagree about the advisability of the procedure, and the dispute cannot be resolved, it may be necessary for a juvenile court to intervene.

Q: Who can give consent when parents are divorced?
A:  If the parents share joint legal custody, they “share” the right to make health care decisions for their child. Either parent alone may consent to a recommended medical procedure unless the court issuing the order of joint legal custody has specified that the consent of both parents is required for certain, or all, medical decisions. If parents have joint legal custody and are unable to agree about treatment, it may be necessary to obtain a court order before treatment is provided unless there is an emergency. If a parent has sole legal custody, that parent has the sole legal right to make health care decisions for the child.

Q: Do legal guardians have the same rights as parents to give consent to treat a minor?
A: A legal guardian has the same authority to consent to medical treatment for a minor as a parent would have.

Q:  Can a stepparent give consent for a minor?
A: A stepparent does not have the authority to give legal consent to medical treatment for a minor stepchild unless the stepparent has legally adopted the child or been designated a legal guardian.

Q:  Can a foster parent give consent for a minor patient?
A:  A foster parent may legally give consent to “ordinary” medical and dental treatment for the child, including immunizations, physical exams, and x-rays.

Q: In what situations can minors be treated if their parents or guardian are unavailable?
A:  An emergency exception may apply to permit examination and treatment of minors requiring immediate services for alleviation of severe pain or immediate diagnosis and treatment of unforeseeable medical conditions, which if not immediately diagnosed and treated, would lead to serious disability or death. Some state education codes establish qualified immunity for physicians who treat school children during regular school hours for emergency treatment.

Also, a child’s parents or legal guardians may sign a statement authorizing a third party to consent to medical care in the event the child or child’s parents (guardians) will be away from home, such as during vacations. A copy of the authorization signed by the parents or legal guardian should be retained with the child’s medical records.

Q: Are there any exceptions to minors consenting for themselves?
A: Some exceptions exist to allow minors to consent to their own treatment; for example, married or divorced minors, minors on active duty in the armed forces, and minors “emancipated” by a court order.

If you have an informed consent question involving a minor patient, please contact Pensacola Auto Accident Attorney, Joe Zarzaur of Zarzaur Law, P.A. Our knowledgeable staff can assist with your questions or concerns.

UPDATE: The Gulf Coast & The Zika Virus

Pensacola Law FirmWe’ve seen it coming for months. Zika has been moving with hurricane intensity throughout South America and the Caribbean, appearing for the first time in 42 countries in the Western Hemisphere in less than two years. Originally thought a mild infection, Zika’s unanticipated ability to cause serious fetal abnormalities startled scientists and health officials into taking the virus much more seriously.

Experts have been warning for months that the U.S. mainland was vulnerable, too, especially southern states that still harbor Aedes aegypti, the principal mosquito species involved in Zika transmission. So it should come as no surprise that last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health confirmed what we’ve all been expecting: four locally transmitted cases of Zika in Miami-Dade and neighboring Broward counties, all apparently acquired in the same part of Miami. Ten more cases were confirmed on Monday, and it is very likely more will come to light over the coming weeks.

Staff Physician Consultant, Dr. Evan Malone, explains “Due to the documentation of domestic infection (South Florida), prevention strategies AT HOME should be at the top of the personal protection list, including transmission via sexual intercourse (i.e. infected individual (from mosquito) transmits the virus to non-infected individual).”

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is notorious for efficiently transmitting deadly yellow fever and dengue, a ubiquitous tropical disease, as well as Zika. A number of U.S. states, especially in the Gulf, have their own sizable populations of Aedes aegypti. Once the local mosquitoes pick up one of these viruses by biting an infected person, they can transmit them as efficiently as their tropical cousins. We know this historically from the rough parallel of dengue, carried by the same mosquito species, which has caused outbreaks in Puerto Rico (now also suffering from Zika since December 2015), Florida, Texas and Arizona.

ika Virus TestTaking this information into consideration be safe and enjoy the season. If you have more specific questions in regard to Zika please consult your community and governmental resources – local health department, CDC, and your medical provider.

Dr. Malone also states. “Testing is available (blood, urine samples) and is directed by your healthcare provider or local health department, however, testing for the virus will not change the outcome so long as the supportive treatment strategy is the same. Those with concurrent medical illness (renal disease, liver disease, immunocompromised state) should not hesitate to report possible exposure or suspected symptoms.”

If you would like to know more, Dr. Malone suggests following the guidelines as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/