Blog Posts in 2007

  • Avandia Stays on the Market

    Recently, the FDA overwhelmingly refused to take Avandia, the diabetes drug, off the market, despite studies that showed increased heart attack as a very realistic side effect. Weaknesses in those studies were one of the reasons cited by the FDA for their decision. However, one of the solid conclusions reached was that Avandia does increase heart attack risk. The FDA did suggest a “black box” ...
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  • A Feline Harbinger of Death

    In the story of Oscar the cat lies a temporary light-hearted break with the serious nature of our blog: Residents at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, have their very own grim reaper…in the form of a feline. Oscar the cat displays an uncanny accuracy in predicting death of the residents on the third floor dementia unit of the nursing home. He has been ...
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  • Impending Dangers of Food Poisoning

    Every year, people travel in droves to visit the Taste of Chicago to sample delicacies from a variety of different restaurants. This year, some consumers who visited the Pars Cove booth contracted food poisoning due to salmonella. Thus far, the problem food has been identified as an herb tomato cucumber salad that was served with their hummus. Another recent salmonella outbreak was traced to the ...
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  • New Guidelines for Detecting Down Syndrome

    Having a baby is a joyous experience. Every mother wants their child to be healthy. Imagine a mother’s consternation in the realization that her baby has Down Syndrome. And imagine her reaction when she is informed that she has the power of prevention. Previously, only women over 35 had amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling tests in addition to the typical blood test and ultrasound for ...
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  • Nursing Home Abuse

    “While the traditional view of elder abuse in nursing homes involves staff harming residents, new research suggests residents may have more to fear from their peers…” Read the full article at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19712822/from/ET/
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  • Pending Lawsuits for Faulty Defibrillators

    “ Boston Scientific Corp. said it agreed to settle all pending federal lawsuits against the company alleging harm from faulty defibrillators and pacemakers for $195 million, well below the sum the company had estimated as its likely liability. The company acquired liability for the suits through its 2006 acquisition of Guidant Corp., which was forced to recall more than 100,000 cardiac-assist ...
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  • Chinese Tires Recalled

    “Federal officials have told a small New Jersey importer to recall 450,000 radial tires for pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans after the company disclosed that its Chinese manufacturer had stopped including a safety feature that prevented the tires from separating. Jeffrey B. Killino, a personal-injury lawyer from Philadelphia, said the company came forward only after it was named as a ...
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  • Hospital Staph Infections Rampant

    “As many as 1.2 million hospital patients are infected with dangerous, drug-resistant staph infections each year, almost 10 times more than previous estimates, based on findings from a major new study. And 48,000 to 119,000 hospital patients a year may be dying from methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, far more than previously thought, the study suggests. The Tribune ...
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  • Prescription Info Used to Improve Sales or Safety?

    “How do pharmaceutical companies know which doctors prescribe the latest and most expensive brand name drugs? They have inside information on the prescribing habits of virtually every doctor in the United States. Pharmaceutical and device manufacturers buy this information from the American Medical Association and from companies that match the AMA’s data with pharmacy records. While such practices ...
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  • Untold Injuries From Hospital Tubing Misconnections

    “When nurse Julie Thao put a spinal drug in Jasmine Gant’s arm at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison a year ago, the fatal mistake struck many as a freak event. But Thao’s intravenous delivery of an epidural pain medication was an unusually public example of a quiet but dangerous health care problem: tubing misconnections. At least 1,200 times in the past nine years, U.S. hospital workers have ...
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  • CDC Wastes Case on Consultants

    “The top U.S. public health agency spent millions of dollars on a Hollywood consultant, a lavish visitors center, and a 70-foot-by-25 foot “wall of plasma televisions,” a senator’s report said. Using some money intended to fight bioterrorism, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention paid out more than $1.7 million since 2001 to get producers to include public health messages in ...
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  • Mississippi Atty General Sues State Farm

    “Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood sued State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. on Monday, claiming the company failed to honor an agreement for a mass settlement of claims over Hurricane Katrina damage. In January, Hood agreed to drop State Farm from a lawsuit his office filed against several insurance companies. Hood did that after State Farm settled with lawyers for homeowners on a $50 million ...
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  • Families Call for Hospital Safety

    “When her 18-month-old daughter Josie died after a series of medical mistakes at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore six years ago, Sorrel King was consumed by grief and anger, wanting to destroy the hospital and even end her own life. But with three other children to live for, she and her husband Tony decided they had to help fix a broken system. “We had to do something good that would ...
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  • Hospital Nightshift Nightmare

    “It’s midnight in Charleston, South Carolina, and something has gone terribly wrong in room 749 of the Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital. The patient, Lewis Blackman, is a 15-year-old boy recovering from surgery to correct a relatively common birth defect called pectus excavatum, or sunken chest. The condition is not life-threatening and never seemed to slow Lewis down. A ...
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  • WTC Dust From 9/11 Blamed For Attorney’s Death

    “New York City's chief medical examiner, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, has for the first time directly linked a death to exposure to dust from the destruction of the World Trade Center. In a letter made public yesterday, Dr. Hirsch said that he was certain "beyond a reasonable doubt" that dust from the twin towers contributed to the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones, 42, a civil rights lawyer who was engulfed ...
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