Latest News

Speak out!

As for people with family in nursing homes, Kathleen Sadlier says to be careful. “If you have someone there, really keep an eye on everything to see what is going on. Don’t just think they are being taken care of, because they might not be. I feel sorry for those in nursing homes who don’t have family members to watch over them. More people need to speak out about this.” Sadlier transferred her mother, Rita, from a hospital to a nursing home, thinking she would get rehabilitation. Instead, her mother received poor care and even an injury. Although Rita was ... Read More

Avandia heart attack controversy results in black box warning

Avandia, a drug used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, has been at the center of controversy since being linked to an increased risk of heart attack last May. An update to the black box warning-today’s strongest drug warning-is now being added to the Avandia label. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised that GlaxoSmithKline, Avandia’s maker, agreed to add the new warning to the existing black box warning. But, despite the revision, the FDA will not withdraw Avandia from the market, claiming that evidence for increased heart attack is inconclusive and does not appear to be higher ... Read More

Gadolinium based MRI contrast agents put kidney patients at risk

Gadolinium based MRI contrast agents have been implicated in at least 1,000 cases of a debilitating disorder called Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis/ Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NSF/NSD) around the world. This horrible disease causes a buildup of collagen in tissues, leading to a severe thickening and hardening of the skin. NSF/NSD can completely immobilize patients, and in severe cases it can lead to death. NSF/NSD is a rare disease that so far has affected only people with pre-existing kidney problems. The first case of NSF/NSD was reported in 1997, and it wasn’t mentioned in medical literature until 2000. NSF/NSD leads to excessive ... Read More

Avandia side effects prompt new caution from American Diabetes Association

Risks associated with Avandia have led the American Diabetes Association to call on doctors to use more caution when prescribing oral medications to treat people with type two diabetes. The Association announced on Tuesday that it was updating its “consensus statement” on the use of oral diabetes medications in light of the increased heart attack risks linked to some diabetes medicines, such as Avandia. Avandia’s heart attack link came to light in May, when an analysis of 42 clinical trails published by the Cleveland Clinic showed that patients taking the drug had a 43% higher risk of having a heart ... Read More

Avandia reviewer calls for changes in FDA drug approval process

The Avandia debacle has prompted a safety official from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to call for changes in the way diabetes medications are approved for use in the United States. The FDA official, who reviewed the original approval application for Avandia, told the Journal of Diabetes Care that the safety and effectiveness of experimental diabetes medications should be tested against existing drugs before they are approved. If such a testing protocol were to be adopted by the FDA, it would mark a significant departure from the way most medications are granted approval in the United States. Avandia has ... Read More

Some kidney patients suffer MRI poisoning

A growing number of people are becoming afflicted with an incurable, man-made disease that is related to a common medical procedure performed every single day in this country, a KCRA 3 investigation has found. Sarah Fracella is one the victims. The 38-year-old Santa Barbara resident said what happened to her is “devastating.” The issue involves magnetic resonance imaging scans that include the use of a contrast dye containing gadolinium. For people with healthy, functioning kidneys, the risk of using the element gadolinium to pinpoint potential health problems in MRI scans is zero. “Gadolinium is extremely safe,” said neuroradiologist David Seidenwurm ... Read More

Sprint Fidelis defibrillator lead wire recall

Medtronic Inc. has had to go back to an old-reliable in the wake of last month’s Sprint Fidelis Defibrillator Lead recall. In order to continue to meet the demand for defibrillator lead wires, Medtronic has begun supplying health care providers with the Sprint Fidelis’ predecessor, the Sprint Quattro. The Sprint Quattro Defibrillator Lead is a thicker wire than the recalled Sprint Fidelis, and for some time before the recall, it was becoming apparent that the older Sprint Quattro model was safer than new Medtronic lead. Medtronic suspended sales of the Sprint Fidelis Leads in October, after receiving reports of 5 ... Read More

decorated veteran abuse victim

A daughter was horrified when she found that her 82-year-old father had been badly neglected while in a Florida nursing home. The WWII veteran entered the nursing home at the recommendation of hospice workers, due to serious lung problems and the inability to use his legs. They recommended the more constant care provided in a nursing home environment. Unfortunately, the man’s condition deteriorated in the facility due to apparent neglect. Anthony Vincent Digiannurio was eventually taken to the Florida Hospital DeLand by ambulance, where he was initially admitted for respiratory problems. However, after examining him, hospital staff were shocked to ... Read More

Did Medtronic act quickly enough on recall

Medtronic issued the recall of leads in October, amid mounting evidence that a small percentage of the leads were fracturing. Those fractures caused some patients to receive unneccessary shocks from their defibrillators, while other patients did not receive a lifesaving shock when they had a slow heart rhythm. The lead failures may have contributed to five deaths. At the time of the recall, Medtronic took great pains to underscore that the Fidelis leads had a 2.3 percent failure rate after 30 months of implantation. That compared to a 1 percent failure rate among the company’s Quattro leads, which have been ... Read More

Safety concerns over defibrillator wires

Shares of medical device maker St. Jude Medical could face pressure Monday on a media report that raised safety concerns over some of its defibrillator wires. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that in rare instances, the company’s Riata line of defibrillator leads are poking holes through the hearts of cardiac patients rather than remaining attached to the heart wall. The leads connect a patients heart to an implantable defibrillator, which helps maintain a proper heart rhythm. The cases have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration. The newspaper said the most recent cases involve the accounts of four ... Read More