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Why You SHOULD NOT Sign a COVID-19 Waiver From Your College or University

Colleges and universities are asking students, faculty, and employees to sign COVID-19 waivers in order to escape liability for any illnesses or injuries that occurs on campuses this fall. In a July 2 op-ed for the Hartford Courant, Georgetown law professor Heidi Li Feldman issues a strong warning to students, faculty and staff about a legal loophole that schools are trying to exploit: "Under no circumstances should anyone sign a waiver for harms and losses inflicted by COVID-19 cases caused by their college's policies."

Some colleges and universities are making the short-sighted and profit-driven decision to allow students back on campus this fall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Feldman's op-ed arises in response to reports that many colleges and universities are either asking or requiring students, faculty, and staff to sign waivers absolving the colleges of their duty of care and legal responsibility. Some schools, such as Ohio State, the University of Missouri, and Southern Methodist University, have reportedly required student-athletes to sign these waivers.

"Schools are preparing to dodge even well-founded lawsuits - to assert that, in essence, students and employees who come to campuses thereby OK carelessness on the part of the schools," writes Feldman. "The technical term for this sort of defense is 'primary assumption of risk.'"

What are the best ways to protect against asbestos?

Workers who may encounter asbestos need to know that it is highly dangerous and can even be deadly. It is a known carcinogen, or a cancer-causing substance, and the mesothelioma that it often leads to is so deadly that the use of asbestos has been largely outlawed in the United States.

That said, since it was used for so many years in the construction industry, modern workers may still encounter it. Much of the danger is when the strands of asbestos get broken apart and turn to dust in the air. This causes workers in the area to inhale it or swallow it, and the microscopic particles become trapped within the body.

Asbestos is still legal in Ohio and beyond

When you hear the word "asbestos," do you typically think of it as a singular item? If so, you would not be alone. However, asbestos refers to six microscopic fibers derived from naturally occurring minerals. These minerals come from rocks and soil. Manufacturers have been using the fibers in products sold in the United States for more than 100 years.

You may have heard that, in the late 1980s, it became illegal to use asbestos in products sold in this country. This is not true; it is still legal and is often used in modern construction, in items that are meant to be fireproof and more. Learning as much as you can about asbestos is a good idea, especially if you believe you or one of your loved ones is at risk for an illness caused by inhaling or ingesting it.

Can a defective medical device be deadly?

When you read about defective medical devices, it's easy to see how such a thing could be painful and inconvenient. For instance, those with defective hip implants often have constant pain as the device wears against the bone. To fix it, they need to have replacement surgery again, which means more pain and discomfort, along with long healing times. There is no way you want to go through something like that, but could it be worse? Could some defective devices put your very life in danger?

They absolutely can. For instance, many people have pacemakers installed, which use wires to send proper electrical impulses to the heart. When these do not work properly, the results can be fatal. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these defects have caused death in the past.

FDA Requests Removal of All Zantac Products (Ranitidine) from the Market

Zantac Removed From Market by FDA

On April 1, 2020, the FDA requested that all manufacturers of ranitidine, also known as Zantac, immediately remove all prescription and over the counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs from the market. The FDA has advised consumers to stop taking ranitidine products and consult their healthcare provider about other treatment options.

In 2019, independent laboratory studies found N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable cancer-causing carcinogen, in ranitidine products. This led to the FDA publishing a warning to manufacturers and consumers about NDMA in ranitidine products. The FDA later found that the level of NDMA in some ranitidine product increases over time and when stored at above room temperature.

Click here to read the FDA's full press release regarding Zantac. (

Here's how to get your doctor to pay more attention

It's tough when you feel like your doctor isn't paying enough attention to you. Maybe they look busy glancing through paperwork or even looking at their phone while you're talking. Maybe they just talk at 100 MPH throughout your appointment and then rush out of the room after two minutes, never giving you time to speak.

This is risky. A doctor who will not listen is more likely to make a mistake or overlook something important.

Beware of long stopping distances for trucks

Semitrucks are a necessary part of the economy and infrastructure in the United States, but they also pose some serious risks on the road. They massively outweigh all of the vehicles around them and sit so high that a collision puts someone in a passenger car at greater risk. Semitrucks also have large blind spots where truckers can't see the vehicles traveling in those areas. Accidents involving these commercial vehicles can be devastating.

One big issue is that, due in part to the high weight limits -- up to 80,000 pounds for some trucks -- these vehicles have very long stopping distances. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) warns that it can take almost 600 feet, or 200 yards, for a semi to come to a stop. They also note that road conditions can increase that distance. Dry summer roads are ideal, but any amount of rain, snow or ice could make it take much longer than 600 feet.

6 examples of never events

If you suffered harm in the hospital, you're probably wondering how common it is. Is this just something that happens to everyone or is your event really an outlier?

One thing to think about is if you experienced a "never event." As the name tells you, these events should never happen and patients should never experience this type of harm. Yet, despite that knowledge, medical professionals do make mistakes that lead to these types of events every year. Six examples include:

  1. Undergoing a wrong-site surgery
  2. Getting the wrong blood type in a transfusion
  3. Falling and getting injured when the staff should have been assisting
  4. Experiencing pressure ulcers, which are commonly known as bedsores
  5. Experiencing preventable physical trauma
  6. Acquiring nosocomial infections, which are infections that only happen because the patient is in the hospital

Suffering headache days after an Ohio collision?

The day the other driver ran a red light and t-boned your vehicle at an intersection is a day you'd likely want to forget. Unfortunately, you may have physical, emotional or financial damages to remind you of the collision every day. Even if rescuers immediately transported you to a nearby hospital for treatment in the immediate aftermath of the crash, it's important to closely monitor your condition in the days and weeks that follow as well.

Not every collision injury is apparent right away. This is why it's a good idea to return to the hospital and report your symptoms to your primary care physician if you feel discomfort or pain of any sort during recovery. It's also important that the medical team who attends to you knows that you were recently involved in a motor vehicle collision. Certain symptoms, no matter when they arise, can lead to potential traumatic brain injury (TBI) if they are not taken care of quickly.

What are the signs of mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an often-fatal type of cancer that can be caused by exposure to asbestos. It typically presents itself in older patients, but it can be found in younger patients, as well. It is a very aggressive disease in the later stages, though many people overlook early symptoms. Medical professionals claim that a lot of people suffer from symptoms for months, at the least, before getting an official diagnosis.

As such, it is important to know what symptoms to watch out for. In general, a few of the main ones include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Blood clots
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Loss of appetite

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