Yearly Archives: 2009

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Toyota recalls the most vehicles for first time ever

For the first time ever, Toyota took top spot in the U.S. auto industry for the total number of vehicles recalled within a year. Toyota’s most recent recall of 4.3 million vehicles for sudden, unintended acceleration problems hurdled the company to the top of the 2009 recall list, just above Ford. According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, auto manufacturers recalled 15.2 million vehicles in 2009, a 56 percent leap over the 8.6 million of cars recalled in 2008. Toyota vehicles represent more than 31 percent of all the vehicles recalled in 2009. About 88 percent of all ... Read More

Surgeons discuss characteristics of chondrolysis caused by pain pumps

Characteristics of chondrolysis associated with intra-articular pain pumps after shoulder surgery was among the topics at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons/ the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The discussion included Drs. Peter Thomas Scheffel, Jeremiah Clinton, Joseph Lynch, Winston J. Warme, and Frederick A. Matsen III, and was moderated by Drs. Carl J. Basamania and Guido Marra. The message centered on the need for surgeons and patients to be aware of chondrolysis as a potential complication of the infusion of local anesthetic after shoulder arthroscopy. A recent study published in The American Journal of ... Read More

EPA says coal ash regulations will not come in 2009

Environmental groups and coal-firing operations will have to wait even longer for federal regulations to ensure the protection of public health and the environment regarding the storage of coal ash, according to a statement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency was saddled with the hefty task of setting guidelines on the storage of coal ash impoundment ponds months ago and had promised a decision on regulating those plants by the end of the year. But as the days ticked by, having a proposal before 2010 rang in was looking less and less likely. The EPA confirmed that hunch ... Read More

Blood pressure med receives black box warning

Tekturna (aliskiren) tablets, a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure, has updated its safety label to include a new black box warning about the risk of injury and death to developing fetuses when taken by women who are pregnant or become pregnant, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Tekturna and Tekturna HCT are marketed as an “innovative” treatment and “the first in a different class of blood pressure medications.” The medication is the only one approved that directly targets the enzyme renin to help lower blood pressure. Drugs that act directly on the reninangiotensin system have ... Read More

American toy maker settles lead paint violations for $1.5 million

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced yesterday that RC2 Corp. of Oak Brook, Illinois has agreed to pay a $1.25 million civic penalty for importing toys to the United States that violated the federal lead paint ban. RC2 is the importer and seller of Thomas & Friends ™ Wooden Railway toys. According to the CPSC announcement, the settlement resolves the agency’s allegations that RC2 and one of its subsidiary companies Learning Curve Brands Inc. knowingly imported and sold various Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway Toys with paints and other surface coatings that contained lead above the legally permissible limit. ... Read More

Kentucky teen dies in Christmas day ATV crash

Christmas day may forever be tinged with sadness for the family and friends of 18-year-old Andy Case, a resident of Sidney, Kentucky, who died after losing control of the all-terrain vehicle he was driving. Investigators at the scene said that the crash was likely the result of the front left tire coming off of Case’s vehicle. The tire disengagement apparently caused Case to run the ATV headlong into a tree. Authorities said that the boy was not wearing a helmet. Case was rushed to South Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital in South Williamson, Kentucky, where emergency physician Brandon Haake pronounced him dead. ... Read More

Former CDC director to head Merck’s vaccine division, Gardasil

Merck and Co. announced yesterday that Dr. Julie Gerberding, the former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will head the pharmaceutical giant’s vaccine division. Dr. Gerberding served as the CDC director from 2002 to 2009, stepping down when President Barack Obama took office. As head of Merck’s $5 billion global vaccine arm, Dr. Gerberding will likely be responsible for revitalizing Gardasil’s waning sales. Merck won FDA approval for the vaccine in 2007 and immediately launched an aggressive campaign to make Gardasil shots mandatory for school girls as young as 11. However, the ambitious plan ultimately failed, ... Read More

MRI injury leads to thermal blanket recall

Products from the Thermoflect line, which includes blankets used to treat hypothermia, are being recalled so that labels can be placed on the products with instructions to remind health care professionals that the products should not be used in the Magnetic Resonance (MR) environment or MR-compatible environments. In the past, the product instructions stated that they could be used in the MR environment, but a recent FDA investigation led the agency to require the company advise against use of the blankets in MR environments. The recall was initiated following a report of an injury to an MRI patient. Several items ... Read More

Tenn. coal ash spill among worst man-made environmental disasters

Last year, when a coal ash impoundment pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) fossil fuel plant in east Tennessee breached, sending a wave of toxic material on to a neighboring rural community, the event made headlines worldwide as one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history. It also landed in the No. 1 spot on’s “America’s Top 10 Worst Man-Made Environmental Disasters”. “Humans have turned screwing up the earth into an art form, skillfully wreaking havoc on the land, water and air through negligence, lack of concern or even the greedy desire to profit at all costs,” ... Read More

Tylenol Arthritis Caplets recalled due to consumer reports of odor, illness

All product lots of Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplet 100-count bottles with the distinctive red EZ-OPEN CAP are being recalled after reports from consumers of an unusual moldy, musty or mildew-like odor that was associated with nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The recall follows a similar recall in November 2009 of only five lots of the product due to similar consumer reports. ... Read More