Pain and Fame (2) – Agony Ant

Posts Tagged ‘chronic pain’

Pain and Fame (2) – Agony Ant

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by Mark Tawn No Comments

Pain and Fame (2) – Agony Ant

Sadly, it has recently been claimed that Ant McPartlin, one half of the nation’s favourite double-act Ant & Dec, has checked into rehab.

We have blogged about how pain can affect anyone at any time, including the rich and famous.

Ant McPartlin

Newspaper reports suggest that Ant has been suffering with chronic pain for years – because of  problems with his right knee. Also, it is said that Ant and his wife have been upset by an inability to have children. We add our voice to the outpouring of support for Mr McPartlin, his wife and those around him.

Ant McPartlin

Anthony David ‘Ant’ McPartlin, OBE  was born in 1975.  Best known as one half of the acting and TV presenting duo Ant & Dec.

Ant’s first career break was in the children’s drama series Byker Grove which led to a pop music careeer for himself and Declan Donnolley as PJ & Duncan. Ant and Dec went on to have a very successful career as television presenters, presenting I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway since 2002, Britain’s Got Talent since 2007 and Text Santa since 2011.

It can happen to anyone

We reported in one of our Success Stories how one of our clients suffered botched knee surgery. He went on to develop CRPS, a devastating condition which caused agonising pain and considerable disability. It may be that Ant’s knee problem was age-related and that his surgery was skilfully performed but if somebody else has been at fault, as in our client’s case, compensation can be claimed.

Money may not be an issue for actors and TV stars who can afford to pay for private treatment. For ordinary folk interim payments and a final compensation award can lead to rehabilitation, care and assistance, a move to more suitable accommodation and peace of mind.

Mark Tawn, who has a special interest in chronic pain cases comments:

It is sad to hear about Ant McPartlin. I remember when he was in Byker Grove and over the years my children have grown up watching him on TV. My favourite moment was seeing Ant & Dec in Love Actually – hilarious! Chronic pain is terrible. Some of my clients have fallen into despair, never knowing if or when their troubles will come to an end; others have struggled with side-effects from medication they have been prescribed and others have craved rehabilitation but been unable to access it. Hopefully Ant will make a full recovery and will become a vocal supporter for others who suffer daily.

If you are suffering with chronic pain as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault contact us and see how we can help.

 

Are you dishonest?

Posted on: July 14th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

fundamental dishonesty

It is fair to say that most of us would not consider ourselves to be ‘fundamentally dishonest’ but what does it actually mean and why does it matter?

Fundamental dishonesty. Liar, LiarRecent changes[1] in the rules that affect personal injury practice mean that if a Claimant is found to have been fundamentally dishonest in relation to any aspect of their case then their entire claim can be dismissed[2] and they can become liable for the other party’s costs.

Needless to say this is a change that has been seized upon by the insurers, not least because of the lack of clarity over what will be considered fundamental dishonesty.

Fraud or dishonesty?

Fundamental dishonesty is not defined in any statute, explanatory notes, the Civil Procedure Rules or any practice direction.

Traditionally the standard was always one of fraud but the new rules are enabling judges to set a lower threshold for fundamental dishonesty than they would for fraud.

The most likely area for dispute is medical evidence.   The suggestion that someone  suffered a little less than the evidence suggests or exaggeration of a care claim where a care givers evidence does not align with that of the Claimant under cross-examination.

Often claims can take many months, even years and memories fade and records are mislaid so it is essential for any potential Claimant to instruct a solicitor early to guide them through the claim and ensure that they keep a proper and detailed record of their injury and losses. Failure to do so could be catastrophic.

Personal injury compensation claims have been turbulent over the years with successive governments trying to curb the media-touted increase in low-value claims. A host of measures have been introduced over the years, intended to curb the cost of compensation claims. Fixed costs, the abolition of referral fees, the inability to recover insurance premiums or success fees from losing defendants, various costs protection and budgeting schemes, the increase in court fees, and now ‘fundamental dishonesty’. There is also the recently announced intention to increase the small claims limit to £5,000 and remove the right to compensation completely for soft-tissue minor whiplash injuries.

Dawid Masel v Esure

 

On 21st April 2016 one the first fundamentally dishonesty cases was heard.

The claimant had said that he had been injured for a total of four months following a minor car accident. Esure, who insured the defendant’s vehicle uncovered a publicly-available video on YouTube in which the claimant took part in, and won, a ‘Total Full Contact’ kickboxing fight within a month of the accident date. The Judge watched all six rounds of the contest, during which she commented that the claimant looked “a picture of health”. The Claimant’s claim was dismissed following the defendant’s argument that the claim was fundamentally dishonest.    The claimant was ordered to pay the defendant’s costs.

 

If you have been involved in an accident or suffered at the hands of medical professional we urge you to seek early legal advice.

At Davey Law we have decades of experience in personal injury and clinical negligence claims. We can guide you through the process and help you to keep accurate records of your losses and details of your recovery.

Contact our serious injury experts on 01285 654875 for further information.

 

July 2016

 

[1] 13th April 2015

[2] under Section 57 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

 

Would you fail a drug test?

Posted on: May 24th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Would you fail a police drug test on your prescription medication?

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England and Wales have put in place some of the strictest drug driving laws on the planet in an effort to get drug-impaired drivers off the roads.

From 2 March 2015 the introduction of roadside ‘drugalyser’ tests has made it easier and faster for drug drivers to be prosecuted by police.

Police can now use ‘drugalysers’ to screen for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside and for other drugs, including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin, at a police station, even if a driver passes the roadside check.

Roadside ‘drugalysers’ can detect cannabis or cocaine in the saliva, but laboratory testing is needed for other banned substances.

The new law sets permissible limits at very low levels bordering on ‘zero tolerance’. The illicit drug limits have been set at the lowest possible level that rules out accidental exposure. For example, passive inhalation of marijuana smoke at a party.

The law covers for eight illegal drugs including cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy but more alarmingly covers eight prescription drugs, typically used for insomnia or anxiety although the limits generally exceed normal prescribed doses.

The prescription drugs for which legal levels have been set include morphine, methadone and diazepam. People using these drugs within recommended amounts will not be penalised.

Penalties will be stiff with up to six months in prison, up to £5,000 in fines and a license disqualification for at least 12 months. The penalties are designed to be in line with drink driving penalties.

Setting aside the illicit drugs the limits set for prescription drugs are as follows:

  • Clonazepam, 50 µg/L
  • Diazepam, 550 µg/L
  • Flunitrazepam, 300 µg/L
  • Lorazepam, 100 µg/L
  • Methadone, 500 µg/L
  • Morphine, 80 µg/L
  • Oxazepam, 300 µg/L
  • Temazepam, 1000 µg/L

The new rules may be worrying to those people prescribed medication to cope with serious injuries, chronic pain and PSTD.

It is very difficult to provide an estimate of how much of a drug such as Valium or Temazepam will put you over the limit and for how long, because body physiology varies so greatly. Davey Law recommend anyone taking any of these prescription  drugs consult with their doctor about what might constitute safe usage.

There are clearly social consequences to setting limits on prescription drugs. Some people may be forced to give up driving, or stop taking their medication to stay on the road.

If you are feeling any kind of effect from one of these drugs then stay off the roads.

 

 

The mystery of chronic pain

Posted on: May 19th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

The mystery of chronic pain

Why do some people develop chronic pain following an injury while others do not?

The question has remained a mystery to both doctors and scientists.

Chronic pain affects millions of people.  People who suffer from severe, chronic pain know only too well how it can utterly disrupt and damage day-to-day life. Pain can make it a challenge to get through each day let alone to enjoy even the simplest daily activities.

Chronic pain has historically been misunderstood. The medical profession used to believe that pain could only be a manifestation of an underlying injury or disease. As such, doctors focused on treating the underlying cause of the pain, with the belief that once the injury or disease was cured the chronic pain would then disappear.

If no underlying cause could be found for the pain, then the patient was often told that, “the pain must be in your head”. Unfortunately, some doctors still practice in this manner, having no appreciation for the unique difficulties experienced by sufferers of chronic pain.

A new study led by researchers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has revealed that the risk of a patient developing  chronic pain is determined by the brains anatomical properties, and not the initial injury.

“While simple, the logic of addressing problems at the site of an injury to remove pain has resulted in only limited success,” said senior study author Marwan Baliki, PhD, research scientist at RIC and an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Feinberg. “The central processes of chronic pain have largely been ignored, so our research team set out to better understand the brain’s role.”

The researchers found that patients who developed chronic pain had a smaller hippocampus and amygdala compared with those who recovered. The hippocampus is the primary brain region involved in memory formation and retention, while the amygdala is involved in the processing of emotions and fear. In addition to changes in size, these regions also showed differences in connections to the rest of the brain, particularly to the frontal cortex, an area involved in judgment.

The study’s results challenge long-standing views of the science of pain, establishing that the gross anatomical properties of the brain determine the most risk for developing chronic pain.

The results pave the way for the development of a different approach for the prevention and treatment of chronic pain.

The full study, “Corticolimbic anatomical characteristics predetermine risk for chronic pain,” will be published in the June edition of Brain. In addition to Apkarian, Baliki and Vachon-Presseau, study authors include Pascal Tétreault, Bogdan Petre, Lejian Huang, Sara E. Berger, Souraya Torbey, Alexis T. Baria, Ali R.Mansour, Javeria A. Hashmi, James W. Griffith, Erika Comasco, and Thomas J. Schnitzer.

More: http://www.pharmiweb.com/PressReleases/pressrel.asp?ROW_ID=167888#.Vz2KU9L2ZMg#ixzz4961Bq7CF

Compensation Claims

Posted on: April 22nd, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Brining your compensation claim is what we do. Welcome to our new video about our serious injury team.

      

Our serious injury expert Peter Davies explains what Davey Law can do for you. 

Compensation claim

With over 100 years of experience of bringing compensation claims across Gloucestershire and across England and Wales, our aim is to obtain compensation and restore your quality of life.

So if you, or someone you know, has suffered a serious injury, why not call us on 01285 654875 to discuss making a claim. You won’t speak to a call centre but to one of our experienced serious injury experts.

No Win, No Fee. No call centres, No nonsense. Just serious injury experts.

 

 

Axium™ Neurostimulator

Posted on: April 12th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator Stimulator launched

On 11th April 2016 St. Jude Medical, Inc., a global medical device company, announced the U.S. launch and first post-approval implants of the St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator System.

The treatment for patients with chronic pain involves dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. it is hoped that the treatment will help patients who have not been receptive to traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

The first commercial implants of the St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator System device have taken place at the Centre for Pain Relief in Charleston, and at the Sutter Santa Rosa Surgery and Endoscopy Centre in Santa Rosa, California.

 

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(Photo: Business Wire)

Half of the states in the USA will treat patients using the  DRG implants in the coming weeks.

St. Jude Medical has partnered with 59 implanting chronic pain specialist centres across the country. They hope to conduct more than 100 procedures in the first month.

They aim to train more than 300 physicians to effectively deliver DRG therapy to patients over the next year.

The treatment is designed for patients in immediate need of targeted stimulation to alleviate chronic pain resulting from moderate to severe chronic intractable pain of the lower limbs in adult patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) types I and II.

Stimulation of the DRG, a spinal structure densely populated with sensory nerves that transmit information to the brain via the spinal cord, allows physicians to treat the specific areas of the body where pain occurs. This new approach is designed exclusively to treat moderate to severe chronic intractable pain of the lower limbs in adult patients with CRPS.

Dr Pope, who has already performed the procedure says that, “Stimulation of the dorsal root ganglion is the first therapy option designed specifically for patients suffering from complex regional pain syndromes. This serious and traditionally challenging to treat chronic pain condition can occur from complications to recovery from surgeries such as knee arthroscopy, foot surgery or hernia surgery. Having a treatment option rooted in clinical evidence fundamentally changes our approach to treating patients.”

The Institute of Medicine reports that chronic pain affects more than 100 million Americans. This is more than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. Neuropathic pain represents one of the most prevalent yet under-treated forms of chronic pain in the United States.

Initial results evaluating patients suffering from neuropathic chronic intractable pain associated with CRPS I and II or peripheral causalgia (PC), showed DRG stimulation provided patients with superior pain relief over traditional tonic SCS.

Information for patients to learn more about chronic pain can be found at www.sjm.com/pain.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160411005397/en/

If you are suffering from chronic pain syndrome as a result of an accident or someone else’s negligence call our experts on 01285 654875.

 

Workplace accidents

Posted on: April 7th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Avoiding chronic pain after injury in the workplace

American workers compensation insurers, The Travelers* Companies, has announced that it has developed the first predictive model designed to reverse a sharp rise in chronic pain caused by workplace injuries.

The patent-pending Travelers Early Severity PredictorSM identifies the likelihood of an injured employee developing chronic pain.

It is reported that 50% of serious injuries in America result in chronic pain.

Those with an identified risk receive a customised, sports medicine-like regime of treatment precisely sequenced to aid and accelerate their recovery. The aim being to avoid the development of chronic pain during their recovery and reduce the use of opioids or other painkillers.

The scheme has already been applied in more than 20,000 cases since early 2015 with more than 9,000 injured employees identified as being at risk of developing chronic pain.

It is claimed that those who participated in the program in the past year have, on average, recovered and returned to work more quickly. They were also far less likely to have needed to utilise opioids, and when they did, it was typically at a lower dosage or for short-term use.

Clearly the system is more appealing in the USA due to the cost of medical treatment being met privately as part of employment terms. With the average costs of each claim being nearly $40,000 per injury, the scheme hopes to reduce medical expenses by as much as 50 percent.

*Travelers is the leading workers compensation carrier in the United States. The company manages more than 250,000 workplace injury claims and 3.5 billion medical treatments per year.

Cell Therapy

Posted on: April 4th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Regenerative Cell-based Therapies

A multi-disciplinary medical practice in the USA, has introduced a new way to treat chronic pain.

The practice has launched a Total Joint Rejuvenation Program, offering a proprietary regenerative cell therapy for the treatment of large joint osteoarthritis (shoulder, knee, hip and ankle) as well as degenerative spinal conditions.

It is anticipated that the therapy will be used to manage a variety of ailments, from a torn rotator cuff, to a former athlete’s lower back pain, or an active adult’s long-standing knee pain.

This advanced therapy treatment is a non-surgical outpatient procedure. An injectable regenerative tissue matrix derived from maternal placental tissue donated after a healthy, live birth, yielding healthy tissue rich in proteins, growth factors, hyaluronic acid, cytokines and other natural cells that heal soft tissue damage.

The treatment uses the building blocks for the cells in the body to regenerate tissue at the site of injection. Over the course of several weeks to months, the tissue is rebuilt, joints are healed and hopefully patients can go back to doing the activities they love, pain free. The procedure does not work in all cases. Patients suffering from any kind of joint, tendon or ligament pain in any area of their body may be considered candidates.

Placental tissue injections focus on harnessing the body’s natural regenerative power to transform damaged tissue into healthy tissue.

Tissues are sourced from screened donors after C-section births.

Such therapies have not been approved for widespread use in the UK at this time.

Experimental Drug Leaves Man In Chronic Pain

Posted on: January 5th, 2016 by Mark Tawn No Comments

Dr Ranjana Srivastava writing in the Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/05/we-need-clinical-trials-but-we-must-remain-vigilant-against-their-abuse

reports that after two doses of an experimental drug in a clinical trial a man she knows has been left with profound nerve damage, chronic pain and the inability to use his dominant hand.

The man, already suffering from a rare multisystem disease, was caught between a rock and a hard place: continue to suffer (when no conventional medicine would help) or participate in a clinical trial that might, ultimately, help him and others. Sadly the side-effects of the trial medication exaggerated his problems and have left him worse off.

In this case the gentleman known to Dr Srivastava alleged that rare but serious toxicities should have been better explained to him and had they been he would not have participated in the trial, there was a lack of good communication, his complaints were not taken seriously and the process of obtaining informed consent was lax.

A perhaps surprising flip-side to researcher misconduct is that participants in clinical trials have also been found to mislead. Some withhold relevant medical information (such as the use of prescription and recreational drugs) and others exaggerate symptoms or even pretend to have them in order to be allowed to participate. Dr Srivastava describes this having had tragic consequences for a participant in a sleep study who died having failed to disclose anorexia and self-induced vomiting which, had they known about it, would have caused the researchers to exclude her.

This interesting article concludes that we must hope for total integrity in researchers and participants involved in clinical trials. We need clinical trials but their outcomes may impact on the medicines prescribed to us by our doctors – and thus our lives.