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3 Crew Dead After Medical Helicopter Crash in Arkansas

Three crew members were killed when their medical helicopter crashed Sunday night in DeWitt, Arkansas, approximately 60 miles southeast of Little Rock, the Associated Press reported. A post-crash fire engulfed the helicopter in flames, preventing first responders from approaching the crash site when they arrived. The Bell 407 helicopter, known as Pafford AIR ONE, was owned and operated by Pafford EMS and Air Methods. Pafford EMS confirmed no patients were on board at the time of the crash, but that the aircraft was flying from Pine Bluff to pick up a patient in West Helena. The three crew members who ... Read More

Peyronie’s disease linked to increased cancer risk, possible genetic link

New research presented at the American Society for Reproductive Cancer Scientific Congress and published in Fertility & Sterility found that men with Peyronie’s disease had an increased risk for developing cancer. Peyronie’s disease, also known as penile fibrosis, is a disorder where fibrous scar tissue forms in the connective tissue in the penis causing the penis to curve. It can cause painful erections and erectile dysfunction. “Men with PD [Peyronie’s disease] have an increased risk of developing cancer, suggesting a possible common etiology between PD and cancer development, supporting recent genetic findings,” said the study authors. In the large retrospective ... Read More

Baxter recalls intravenous heart drug

Baxter International Inc., is recalling one lot of the heart medication Nexterone (amiodarone) after the company discovered particles floating in the solution during a stability study. The particulate was identified as consistent with polyethylene, the primary constituent of the film and ports used to manufacture the bag in which Nexterone is packaged. The matter is believed to have entered the solution during the manufacturing process. Intravenous administration of a solution containing sterile particulate matter may cause adverse health consequences, the extent and severity of which depends on the size, number, and composition of the foreign matter and the patient’s underlying ... Read More

CTE could be diagnosed before death with new information

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, the degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head, can currently only be diagnosed after an autopsy. But a new study shows that doctors may soon be able to diagnose patients with the disease while they are still living. When someone experiences head trauma, the brain releases a protein called tau. Repeated concussions can cause a build up of tau over neural cells that have been damaged. As the protein slowly spreads through the brain, brain cells die, leading to symptoms like dementia, agitation and aggression. The condition has been diagnosed in dozens ... Read More

Investigators Link Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak To Disneyland

Health authorities suspect an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that sickened at least 15 people in Southern California is tied to two cooling towers at Disneyland in Anaheim, but how the illness infected some of the individuals remains a mystery. Orange County health agency spokeswoman Jessica Good told the Los Angeles Times that 11 of the 15 people with confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease visited Disneyland in September. Two of those sickened in the outbreak have died. Four of those infected did not visit Disneyland. Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the naturally occurring Legionella bacteria, which exists in low concentrations in ... Read More

Vehicles With Soy-Based Wiring May Attract Hungry Rodents

As the weather turns cooler, some car owners are finding that their Honda and Toyota vehicles have become a bed and breakfast for mice and other rodents, thanks to the use of soy-based wiring. Rodent damage in the electrical systems of Honda and Toyota vehicles containing soy-based wiring – wires with an environmentally friendly soy-based outer coating, that is – is not a new problem, but it is a persistent one. Some owners of vehicles with the specially coated wiring say it attracts rodents to nest in their vehicles and feed on the soy wiring. Lisa Barrett told Raleigh-Durham’s WRAL ... Read More

Former FDA chief: Xarelto makers did not adequately warn of bleeding risks

Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner David Kessler told a Philadelphia jury that the warning labels on the blood thinner Xarelto did not give consumers or their doctors enough information about the risk of significant bleeding events using the drug posed. “They did not adequately notify physicians that some patients are at higher risk than other,” he said. “That’s what I believe.” Kessler testified for plaintiff Lynn Hartman during the first bellwether involving Xarelto side effects to go to trial in Philadelphia. Hartman sued Xarelto makers Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer claiming the drug caused her to ... Read More

First device approved to aid in opioid withdrawal

In an ongoing effort to quell the national opioid epidemic and provide better resources for recovering addicts, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new indication to an electric stimulation device for use in helping to reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. “Given the scope of the epidemic of opioid addiction, we need to find innovative new ways to help those currently addicted live lives of sobriety with the assistance of medically assisted treatment. There are three approved drugs for helping treat opioid addiction. While we continue to pursue better medicines for the treatment of opioid use disorder, ... Read More

Gout medication linked to heart-related death

Preliminary results from a clinical trial show that patients taking the gout medication febuxostat (brand name Uloric) were at greater risk of heart-related death than patients taking another gout medication called allopurinol, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in a safety communication. The agency had ordered Uloric’s maker, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, to conduct a safety study when the medication was approved in 2009 to better understand its risks. The agency is still evaluating the data and will update the public once the final results are available from Takeda and a comprehensive review is conducted. Febuxostat already carries a warning about ... Read More

Ambien in high cumulative doses linked to Alzheimer’s in elderly

High cumulative doses of the sleep aid Ambien have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease in elderly individuals, according to a retrospective study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. Ambien contains the active ingredient zolpidem, which is also found in the brand name sleep aids Intermezzo, Edluar and Zolpimist. It is a prescription medication used to treat insomnia. The study involved the evaluation of nearly 7,000 patients 65 and older who had never been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Half were prescribed zolpidem and the other half were not. Among the group taking zolpidem, 71 percent were taking what ... Read More