Latest News

Kim continues to recover from dangerous bout with TEN

Kim Oake’s voice on the phone is strong. It is hard to believe she is the same woman I first wrote about less than a month ago. Then, she was in the hospital and fighting for her life. Seventy percent of her skin had blistered and peeled away, and she was put into a drug-induced coma to shield her from pain and help her fight infection. Kim had suffered a severe adverse reaction to a common antibiotic she received after being bitten by a feral cat. She was diagnosed with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), the most severe form of Stevens ... Read More

recalled cribs contain lead paint finish

Children’s furniture manufacturer Munire of Piscataway, N.J., has recalled 3,000 cribs and 6,000 pieces of matching furniture. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that a child fell ill after ingesting some of the paint off a piece of Munire furniture. The child was diagnosed with lead poisoning, prompting investigators to examine the child’s crib. Paint samples taken from the child’s furniture showed that the finish violates federal lead paint standard. The red paint underneath the black finish on all Munire’s “Newport rubbed black” series of cribs and matching furniture was found to contain toxic levels of lead. The recalled ... Read More

roof crush safety delays may be good for consumers

An activist and advocate for higher automobile roof strength standards believes that the federal government’s latest delay will ultimately benefit the consumer. As we have reported in the past, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a branch of the Department of Transportation, decided in 2005 to boost its archaic standards for roof strength, issuing a deadline of mid-2008 to accomplish that. However, when June 2008 arrived, the NHTSA said it wasn’t ready and deadline was moved back to July. Then to October. Then to December. Now to April … Paula Lawlor, the founder of People Safe in Rollovers Foundation, ... Read More

Actavis N.J. plant agrees with FDA

Actavis Inc. has made an agreement with the FDA not to issue any drugs from its Totowa facilities in Morristown, N.J., where Digitek is produced. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the agreement says Actavis cannot resume its practices until it conforms to “the agency’s good manufacturing practice.” Actavis must improve its labs, facilities, and equipment. Actavis has faced numerous lawsuits over the recalled drug Digitek. One such lawsuit includes the death of a patient and claims that Digitek is an unsafe and flawed drug. Actavis would not comment if the FDA agreement had influenced the Digitek lawsuits or not. ... Read More

Life slowly returns to normal for SJS survivor, SpunkyRachel

Rachel, known as SpunkyRachel online, says she was caught off guard by friends – both old and new – who had seen her videos on YouTube. She had posted several of them these past few months – some with her bald head uncovered and her dark skin blotched with white patches. Rachel was looking for others like her – people who had taken common medication, like ibuprofen from the super market, and had a severe adverse reaction called Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) or its most severe form toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). She shared her struggle in the videos and in ... Read More

Celgene issues letter warning of limited use of heparin drug

Just weeks after the FDA requested revised labeling for the low molecular weight heparin, Innohep, the FDA announced that its maker Celgene Corporation has issued a “Dear Healthcare Professional” letter describing a controlled clinical study that suggests an increased risk of death in elderly patients who received Innohep. Innohep contains tinzaparin sodium that is given to patients in conjunction with warfarin sodium intravenously to treat blood clots that have occurred deep in the veins of hospitalized patients who may or may not have also experienced the occurrence of blood clots in their lungs (pulmonary embolism). In early December, the FDA ... Read More

Nursing home sued for wrongful death of man with dementia

Dean Cole’s dementia was getting unmanageable for his wife, Virginia, so on Dec. 8, 2006, his family moved him into Golden Living Center Greeley nursing home in Oakdale, Minn. Within 20 days he had lost 20 pounds and had slipped into a coma. A month later, the 71-year-old man was dead, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. Star Tribune. The cause? Severe dehydration, renal failure, pneumonia and colitis. Last week, Cole’s family filed a federal wrongful-death lawsuit against the nursing home seeking more than $75,000 in damages. Cole’s wife visited her husband daily and, noticing his weight loss, questioned nursing ... Read More

Heparin scandal makes 2008 top 10 lists

The tainted heparin scandal was listed as the No. 1 story in the Chicago Tribune’s “The Top 10 local business stories of 2008.” Early in 2008, more than 80 Americans died and hundreds more were sickened after receiving injections of heparin. An investigation found that batches of heparin manufactured in Baxter International’s China facility had been tainted with a contaminant that caused severe allergic reactions in patients who received the doses. As a result, lots of heparin manufactured by Baxter International were recalled. The Chicago Tribune story says both the FDA and Baxter International believe the heparin was “intentionally adulterated ... Read More

Scleral lenses gives sight to man blinded by SJS

In 1996, Joe Zienowicz suffered from tennis elbow. An avid athlete, he sought help from his doctor, who prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug. The medication nearly killed him. He was struck by Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), an adverse reaction to common medication in which skin peels off in sheets. It also can affect mucus membranes, blistering the mouth and eyes. Joe’s corneas were severely damaged, and he was permanently blinded. For a year Joe lived in the dark, lying in the dark of his home, unable to even see the face of his wife. That, he said, is what he most ... Read More

‘Abuse-for-thrills’ case top 2008 news story in Albert Lea

The physical and sexual “abuse-for-thrills” case at Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Albert Lea, Minn., was listed as “far and away the leading news story in the Albert Lea area for 2008,” by the Albert Lea Tribune. The story first broke in May with reports that investigators were looking into allegations of abuse at the nursing home. By August, the details began to be revealed. An employee at the nursing home told facility authorities that she was aware that other aides in the home were holding down residents, putting their fingers in residents’ mouths and noses to quiet their ... Read More