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Kentucky nursing home facing most serious citation

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has issued its most serious citation against a Winchester nursing home and as a result it will lose its Medicare and Medicaid funding, according to the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader. The citation is based on claims of abuse and neglect at Winchester Centre for Health and Rehabilitation that Health and Family Services officials would not detail. However Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency executive director Kathy Gannoe says her agency has received 31 complaints about the nursing home. Almost all were resolved satisfactorily, she says. However, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans ... Read More

FDA awaits Actavis permanent injunction

The drug company Actavis, producer of the heart drug Digitek, agreed to close several plants in New Jersey and will not resume operations at these plants until U.S. standards for testing and manufacturing have been met by the FDA. According to Pharma Tech Live, the FDA has filed a consent degree, banning Actavis from distributing drugs in Totowa and Little Falls, N.J. The agreement also gives the FDA the right to close the plants if violations persist and to fine the company $15,000 a day afterward. The FDA filed an action against Actavis Dec. 23, which was signed by Actavis on ... Read More

CPSC recalls window blinds that pose risk of strangulation

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced another voluntary recall of window blinds that may be unsafe to use, especially in homes or other areas where children can be found. The blinds were distributed by Cost Plus Inc., of Oakland California and sold in Cost Plus and World Market stores from February 2006 to August 2008. The recall was announced after the CPSC found looped pull cords and exposed inner cords on the back of some models of the Roman blinds. Some models of roll-up blinds also had looped pull cords, as well as two cord loops that ... Read More

SJS support site offers valuable resources to those affected

If you or a family member has suffered from the rare but life-threatening adverse reaction to medication known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), or its most severe form, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), you already may be aware of the value information available at the Stevens Johnson Syndrome Foundation site ( Unless you study the site, you may not be away of all the resources available. One such resource is an online survey designed to develop an international SJS/TEN registry with the goal of lobbying the federal government for a mandatory reporting system of all adverse drug reactions. You can help ... Read More

Salmonella outbreak linked to death of nursing home resident

When investigators tested the opened tub of King Nut peanut butter from a Minnesota nursing home, it confirmed their fears. The peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella – the same exact strain of the bacteria as the one linked to three deaths and more than 400 reported cases of salmonella poising in 43 states, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota Star Tribune. An elderly Minnesota woman who had other health problems was among the victims who died. The product, sold by the King Nut Co., of Solon, Ohio, under the brand names King Nut and Parnell’s Pride, are sold primarily ... Read More

Pharmacy tech steals bagfuls of heparin and other drugs

Pharmacy technician Wanda Lopez told guards she had left her wallet in the pharmacy at Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, Mass. Guards led her back to the pharmacy, where she used her key code to re-enter the room with the guards. She searched for her wallet and as her search became fruitless, guards left her alone. Shortly afterward, the guards saw Lopez walking around the hospital with a plastic bag covered by her coat. It was the third trip the pharmacy technician made to her car with bags taken from the hospital, according to a hospital employee. That’s when security ... Read More

Mother offers sight for sore eyes

Helen Milne makes a good point. In a recent post on her blog, Sight for Sore Eyes SJS, the mother of a boy who had been diagnosed with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), the most severe form of Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), ranted about the updates to over-the-counter medications to kids. The warnings, she said, were nondescript and did not adequately portray the dangers that could occur when taking the medication, like the reaction her son had when he was just 3. For Helen, a more reasonable warning label would read: “If your child survives the most agonizing drug reaction, they ... Read More

Tennessee nursing homes lobby for caps on damage claims

Tennessee nursing homes are lobbying the legislature to put a cap on the amount of damages that plaintiffs can collect in court, according to a report in Nashville, Tennessee’s The City Paper. Sixteen states, including Tennessee, do not put monetary limit for damages such as pain and suffering, which has resulted in millions of dollars in damages awarded to victims for nursing homes‘ violations of patient care. The nursing home industry says without damage limits, nursing homes in those states become a target for out-of-state trial lawyers. The AARP and trial lawyers say that the nursing home industry is simply ... Read More

AP: 'software glitches' led to prolonged infusions of heparin

Medical mishaps including prolonged infusions of drugs such as the blood thinner heparin were given to patients at Veterans Affairs medical centers throughout the U.S., potentially putting their lives in danger, according to the Associated Press. The errors, which occurred between August 2008 and December 2008, were blamed on “software glitches” that interfered with patients’ electronic health records. Nearly one-third of the country’s 153 VA hospitals reported seeing problems with the electronic medical records. Moving from a paper system to an electronic medical records system was designed to reduce human error; however, health care experts say the errors prove that ... Read More

RMK fund set for liquidation

The Memphis Daily News recently reported that Hyperion Brookfield Asset Management, which in July took over administration of seven Regions Morgan Keegan funds under fire for misrepresentation, will liquidate one of the funds, pending shareholder approval. The fund in question is the Regions Morgan Keegan Select Short Term Bond Fund. Hyperion took over management of the Morgan Keegan investment arm of Regions after several funds suffered steep and sudden drops in value as a result of their connection to the subprime mortgage securities market. On Dec. 30, the Daily News announced that Hyperion had changed the names of seven former ... Read More