Latest News

CMS to increase weekend inspections of some nursing homes

Under pressure by Congress to increase its oversight of nursing home quality and safety after a growing number of reports of nursing home abuse and neglect, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week that it would be increasing the number of weekend inspections to long-term care facilities with lower-than-average staffing on weekends. CMS notified state survey agencies charged with conducting inspections at nursing homes that receive federal reimbursements that instead of requiring 10 percent of surveys to be conducted on weekends or non-business hours, at least half of the inspections should take place on weekends. Inspectors ... Read More

Opioid Rx from dentist may increase abuse risk in youth

Young people who are given opioids to treat pain following a dental procedure have a higher risk of risk of refilling the prescription within a year, and those who do are at greater risk of becoming addicted to the drugs, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study, conducted by researchers with Stanford University, involved a sampling of youth who had not taken opioids prior to visiting the dentist. About 6.9 percent who had received a prescription for opioids filled at least one additional prescription between three months and one year after they were first prescribed the ... Read More

Florida Man Airlifted to Hospital With E-Cigarette Explosion Injuries

A Florida man whose e-cigarette exploded in his pants pocket was airlifted to a Manatee County hospital Nov. 21 with extensive burn injuries. The 43-year-old man reportedly stowed the e-cigarette in the back pocket of his pants. The device exploded when he sat down on a chair at work. E-cigarettes are powered by powerful lithium-ion batteries, which can burst with intensely hot flames if damaged, flawed, overcharged, or stored with other metal objects. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that the man’s burn injuries are not considered life-threatening, but he was flown to Blake Medical Center by BayFlite as a trauma alert. ... Read More

Listeria Concerns Shut Down Michigan Food Manufacturer

The presence of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in multiple environmental samples collected from a Saranac, Michigan food producer has prompted the federal food police to shut down the company’s facilities. A complaint filed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 29 alleges Saranac Brand Foods Inc. and its owners, Dennis and Daniel Nowak, are producing ready-to-eat foods such as macaroni salad, coleslaw, spinach dip, enchilada sauce, and other salads, dips and sauces in a dangerously dirty facility contaminated by Listeria in several places. Numerous FDA inspections and testing showed that the facility hosted a “resident strain” of the Listeria pathogen, ... Read More

Family hopes others learn from crew member’s on-the-job fatality

On April 28, 2016, at 65 years old, David Younger became the 110th Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) employee killed on the job. Younger was part of a milling crew that had stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 40 in Hickman County, Tennessee to change a flat tire. Suddenly,  a tractor trailer struck one of the parked vehicles, killing Younger and injuring three other TDOT employees. A 22-year-old maintenance worker was taken by life flight to a local hospital and later released. Two other crew members were taken by ambulance to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries. Younger was ... Read More

China, US reach agreement over fentanyl

In an effort to curb the deadly opioid epidemic that killed more than 49,000 in the United States last year, President Donald Trump struck a deal with China’s President Xi over regulation of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl during a scheduled dinner between the two leaders at the G-20 summit. “Very importantly, President Xi, in a wonderful humanitarian gesture, has agreed to designate fentanyl as a controlled substance, meaning that people selling fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. The statement issued ... Read More

Benzene Emissions From Arkansas Dump Fire Prompt Lawsuit

Concerns about benzene and other health threats emanating from an extensive and long-burning underground fire have prompted at least one family in Bella Vista, Arkansas to file a lawsuit. Bella Vista resident Curtis Macomber and his family are suing Brown’s Tree Care, alleging the company created a public health hazard by burning brush on the property, triggering an underground fire that has been burning since July. The fire is smoldering at the site of a “stump dump,” where the Bella Vista Property Owners Association once operated a collection area for residents’ leaves, tree stumps, branches, and brush. Bella Vista Property ... Read More

Family Says American Airlines Abandoned Handicapped Woman in Airport

The family of a wheelchair-bound woman who was allegedly abandoned by American Airlines employees overnight in Chicago O’Hare International Airport says the airline needs to “revisit their policies” for dealing with the disabled and elderly. Sixty-seven-year-old Olimpia Warsaw was on her way to Detroit to attend her ex-husband’s funeral. Her son Claude Coltea told CBS News Chicago that he took his mother to the airport and made sure she was checked in for her flight. Mr. Coltea said an AA staff member assured him that the flight was on time and that they would take good care of his mom, ... Read More

Construction Worker Suffers Arm Amputation At Florida Job Site

A South Florida construction worker suffered an accidental amputation of his full arm on a job site in Hillsboro Beach on the morning of Nov. 29. According to Miami’s WSVN Channel 7 News, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said witnesses reported that the 44-year-old construction worker was working with an auger, a machine used to bore holes into the ground, when his arm became entangled in the machine’s drill bit. “The mechanical force of the drill-bit caused a complete amputation of his right arm just below the shoulder,” Broward Battalion Chief Michael Kane said in a news release. A Hillsboro ... Read More

Nevada Cardiologist Pleads Guilty to Opioid Prescription Fraud

A Nevada cardiologist charged with widespread opioid and health care fraud pleaded guilty on Nov. 26 to one charge of illegal distribution of a controlled substance, federal authorities announced. Dr. Devendra Patel, 59, was the first physician in the state to face criminal drug distribution charges under a federal push to clamp down on opioid “pill mill” clinics and the doctors who run them. The government has stepped up efforts to beat back the rising tide of opioid addiction and death, which former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the “worst drug crisis in American history.” Dr. Patel, who ran ... Read More