Latest News

New SJS warnings added to cancer treatment drug

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in partnership with OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Genentech have issued a warning letter to healthcare professionals informing them of new safety information added to the WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS section of the cancer treatment drug Tarceva. The new information, gathered from a clinical study and postmarketing reports, revealed sometimes fatal incidences of gastrointestinal perforation, bullous, blistering and exfoliative skin conditions including cases suggestive of Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and/or toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and ocular disorders including corneal perforation or ulceration. SJS/TEN is a rare but life-threatening reaction to medication that presents with a rash ... Read More

Defective bassinets pose suffocation hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissionand Health Canada announced a recall in conjunction with Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc. of Columbus, Ind., of approximately 77,000 Eddie Bauer “Sooth & Sway” Play Yards. The play yards function as all-in-one play pens, changing tables, and bassinets with various features designed to entertain children and help keep their diapers and other needs organized. The agencies issued the recall after receiving complaints about the rocking bassinet feature of the play yards. According to the CPSC, the bassinets can tilt even when they are secured by straps in non-rocking mode. They can also become stuck in ... Read More

Composite decking materials recalled

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Louisiana-Pacific Corp. of Nashville, Tenn. announced a voluntary recall of composite decking material and decks made with the recalled material after receiving numerous reports of injuries associated with deterioration of the decking. The recalled products include approximately 48 million linear feet of Louisiana-Pacific composite deck board and railing sold under the brand names LP WeatherBest®, ABTCo, and Veranda®. Products sold under the Veranda® name are manufactured by multiple companies, but only the materials made by Louisiana-Pacific are included in the recall. According to the CPSC, the decking materials, which are designed to look ... Read More

Working conditions may have contributed to Colgan air crash

When one thinks of commercial airline pilots, one doesn’t ordinarily think of working part-time at a coffee shop, living with mom and dad, sleeping on crew lounge couches, and making $16,000 per year. But at that rate of pay, what other options are there? That was the life of Rebecca Shaw, first officer of Continental Connection flight 3407, which crashed after stalling in skies above Buffalo, New York. Tuesday we wrote that the National Transportation Safety Board was focusing its investigations on how much training and experience Captain Marvin Renslow had and whether he was competent enough to pull the ... Read More

New deaths, illness following heparin use spark FDA investigation

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is testing batches of the blood thinner heparin after two people died and one became ill after receiving doses of the heparin, according to the Wall Street Journal. All three incidences occurred at the Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, Delaware, and all three were given heparin supplied by Baxter, the same drug company at the center of last year’s contaminated heparin scandal. That heparin, which killed more than 80 people and injured hundreds more, was manufactured in China. The latest batch was manufactured in Ohio. The heparin in question involves premixed intravenous bags of ... Read More

FDA issues recall of face paints due to adverse reactions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall on Fun Express, Inc. brand water-based face paints due to adverse event reports of skin reactions in children exposed to various colors of the face paint. The “Face Paint” was labeled and distributed by Oriental Trading Co., and all exposures happened at the same day and at the same organized event. Adverse events reports included rashes, itchiness, burning sensation and swelling where the face paints were applied. Significant microbial contamination was indicated in most of the products tested by an FDA laboratory. The paints are designed to be used on ... Read More

Investigators focus on pilot competency in Buffalo plane crash

Serious questions have arisen about the competency and training of the pilot who was in charge of flying the Colgan Air commuter plane when it crashed last February in Buffalo, New York. The crash claimed the lives of all 49 people aboard and one person on the ground. Investigators will announce their findings tomorrow in the case. Transcripts of the cockpit conversation revealed that Captain Marvin Renslow and first officer Rebecca Shaw were likely not adequately trained and experienced to handle the particular flying conditions they faced. Moreover, the crew may have violated the cockpit rule of refraining from “irrelevant ... Read More

Kentucky oil company repeatedly damages environment, sued by state

A Kentucky oil company faces a criminal investigation and possible $25,000-per-day fines for multiple environmental violations that have marred the local community, according to a report by Convenience Store News Online. Childers Oil Co., a petroleum vendor and operator of 45 convenience stores, is responsible for a serious oil sludge leak in November of last year and a diesel fuel leak February. According to government records, Childers Oil, which is based in the eastern Kentucky city of Whitesburg, has also been cited for at least 10 other violations since 1995. The November incident occurred when oil waste from a Childers ... Read More

I-Flow pain pump manufacturers face more lawsuits

Postoperative pain pump marketer I-Flow Corporation is facing more lawsuits, this time from a pain pump competitor over the package inserts I-Flow distributes about its On-Q pain pump. Zone Medical LLC claims I-Flow is misrepresenting latex exposure risks and putting patients and health care professionals at risk in order to gain commercial advantages. Zone maintains that the cover of I-Flow’s On-Q pain pump contains holes that allow latex to come in contact with patients and health care professionals. The company contends that individuals who come in contact with the pump and suffer a latex reaction may not be properly treated ... Read More

Coming off antidepressants can take months of effort

News of frustrating and sometimes serious side effects to antidepressants can be enough to motivate one to wean oneself off the medication. New reports show SSRIs have been linked to suicidal thoughts, a Parkinsons-like condition known as Tardive Dyskinesia, and serious birth defects in infants born to women who took SSRIs during pregnancy. But coming off antidepressants is not always easy and if done improperly can cause uncomfortable withdrawal effects, also known as SSRI discontinuation syndrome. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are antidepressants that affect serotonin levels in the brain. It’s not fully understood how they work but it is ... Read More