Latest News

TVA ups coal ash cleanup costs to $975 million

The huge cleanup effort by the nation’s largest public utility could cost as much as $150 million more than previously estimated, according to the Associated Press. The effort to restore 300 acres of east Tennessee property damaged by the December 2008 coal ash spill from a Kingston, Tennessee, coal-firing plant is also expected to take years to complete. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in a financial report submitted last week, estimated the cleanup costs to be as much as $975 million, up from a previous estimate of $525 million to $825 million. The utility said those costs may continue to ... Read More

Possible insulin pump defect sparks FDA recall

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall of some ACCU-CHEK Sprint insulin pumps manufactured by Disetronic Medical Systems Inc., to customers, distributors and health care professionals. The pumps may have a defect in the “up” and/or “down” buttons, which may present as an intermittent or complete loss of function of the buttons. If the buttons do not function, users may not be able to change any programmed setting on the pump. In the event of a failure, the pump may not respond with a vibration or acoustic confirmation signal to a button press and the display will ... Read More

Two lawsuits filed against makers of Digitek heart medication

Two lawsuits were recently filed against Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Actavis Group, Actavis Totowa LLC, Mylan Bertek Pharmaceuticals Inc., and UDL Laboratories Inc., makers and distributors of the heart medication Digitek, also known as digoxin, on behalf of patients who took Digitek prescribed by their physicians and as a result suffered complications and died, according to the West Virginia The Record. Pansy Mae Christian, who suffered from a cardiac condition, died on November 8, 2007 after taking Digitek prescribed by her doctor. On May 2008, Christian’s estate administrator James R. Christian received notice of the drug’s recall and complaints about significant ... Read More

Athlete’s hopes of playing pro ball dashed by shoulder pain pump

Mathew McKeown, 23, of Blue Ash, Ohio, dreamed of playing pro ball. He was an all-city football player in high school and earned a scholarship to play for Miami. Making it to the NFL was just a matter of time. But during a game in October 2006, McKeown’s left shoulder was injured while trying to recover a fumble. Doctors implanted the catheter of a On-Q PainBuster pain pump manufactured by I-Flow into his shoulder joint. For up to 72 hours, medication gradually dripped into his shoulder and slowly began eating away at the cartilage. But McKeown was tough. He rehabbed ... Read More

EPA to begin inspection of coal ash storage areas

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will send its first teams of inspectors to coal ash storage areas across the country within weeks, according to Knoxville Business News. The inspections are the first step in developing new coal ash regulations for an industry not currently overseen by federal regulations. The EPA is expected to prepare a public report for each unit assessed, with the goal of completing all assessments by the end of the year. The inspections are in response to concerns raised by residents, lawmakers and environmental groups following the December 22, 2008, coal ash spill at the Tennessee ... Read More

Canadian woman with SJS goes home from hospital

Good news for Canadian resident Lisa, the little sister of Dundas Star News managing editor Mark Cripps. The woman was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) two-plus weeks ago after taking antibiotics that had been prescribed to her following minor surgery. She suffered a rare but life-threatening severe adverse reaction to the antibiotics, SJS, which resulted in rashes all over her body that blistered over and caused her skin to peel off in sheets. After a two-week stay in the hospital, where she was treated as if she had suffered serious burns, the woman was able to go home. Cripps ... Read More

Traumatic brain injuries become a priority in U.S. military

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are being taken much more seriously in the U.S. armed forces now than ever. Doctors and scientists estimate that as many as twenty percent of troops returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan have some form and degree of TBI, ranging from blast related concussions to blunt force trauma and penetrating wounds. Because the brain is the human body’s most complex and least understood organ, brain injuries have historically eluded diagnosis and treatment. Fortunately, our understanding of TBI, the “signature injury” of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, is rapidly improving. Members of the Air Force, Army, ... Read More

Nail polish remover recalled for risk of chemical burns

Personal Care Products has notified the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a voluntary nationwide recall of one of its nail polish remover products because it has the potential to cause chemical burns to the fingers of users. Bingham Farms, MI-based Personal Care Products has recalled all lots of Personal Care non-acetone nail polish remover, condition enriched with gelatin 6 fl. Oz., UPC 4815592076 because its formulation does not meet proper specifications. To date, the company has received two complaints from consumers of burns to the fingers resulting from use of the product. The product is sold nationwide in small ... Read More

FDA issues black box warning on OSP products

On December 11, 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a "black box warning" to consumers and health care professionals that a rare but serious form of kidney failure, acute phosphate nephropathy, had been associated with the use of prescription oral sodium phosphate (OSP) products Visicol and Osmo Prep, both made by Salix Pharmaceuticals. The products are routinely prescribed for bowel cleansing prior to colonoscopy, radiographic procedures and surgery. Acute phosphate nephropathy is a rare but serious adverse event that is often permanent and may require chronic dialysis. The FDA expressed equal concern about the risks associated with over-the-counter (OTC) bowel clearing products such as Fleet Phospho-soda and Fleet Accu-Prep solutions. ... Read More

FDA urges dieters to avoid Hydroxycut products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning today advising consumers to immediately stop using Hydroxycut diet products manufactured by Iovate Health Sciences, Inc. The agency has received 23 reports of serious health problems in people using Hydroxcut products, including varying degrees of liver damage ranging from jaundice to liver failure requiring a transplant, and death. Others reported having seizures, cardiovascular abnormalities, and rhabdomyolysis, a form of muscle damage that often leads to other serious health disorders such as liver failure. Patients reporting liver injuries consumed Hydroxycut in doses recommended on the product packaging. According to the FDA alert, ... Read More