Latest News

the decline of smoking, cancer rates, and Chantix

Researchers conducting long term studies of smoking and cancer are impressed by the latest statistics, which show cancer rates falling among both men and women for the first time since the government started keeping track of long-term trends. The favorable data is especially impressive, given the country’s aging population and considering that the number of new lung cancer cases in both sexes grew by nearly one percent each year from 1995 to 1999. Now the country is seeing a near-perfect reversal of the 1990s trend. The number of new cancer cases has shrunk nearly one percent on average from 1995 ... Read More

Nursing home blamed for resident molesting another resident

An Edmond, Okla., nursing home has been fined $3,000 and is currently unable to receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements after an investigation found the nursing home did not respond quickly enough or adequately after learning a female resident was being sexually molested by another resident, according to KOKO-TV. According to state health department documents, the victim had only been at Grace Living Center a short time before she was attacked. Staff witnessed the incident and told the charge nurse, who said to get the woman and dress her. Shortly afterward, the woman was found crying and moaning. Staff noticed she ... Read More

Chinese doctor’s discovery may lead to treatment for SJS

A Chinese dermatologist believes he may have found a human protein that can lead to treatment for the severe and progressive skin disease, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), according to the Taipei Times. Chung Wen-hung with Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei, has discovered that granulysin, a naturally occurring substance in the human body, can attack foreign substances or organisms. This discovery may lead to a therapeutic target for further development of an effective treatment for severe immune-mediated disorders that currently have no satisfactory treatment, according to the report. The report is published in last week’s edition of the biomedical research journal ... Read More

What is a hernia and how is it treated?

The Bard Composix Kugel Mesh hernia patch (X-Large Patch Oval with ePTFE) is used to repair scar tissue, which occurs after hernia repair surgery.  After a small incision, the patch is placed behind the hernia defect. A “memory recoil ring” allows the patch to be folded for an insertion. When in place, the patch will later spring open and lay flat. The Bard Composix Kugel Mesh hernia patch (X-Large Patch Oval with ePTFE) was recalled on December 22, 2005. According to the FDA, “The “memory recoil ring” that opens the Bard® Composix® Kugel® Mesh Patch can break under the stress of ... Read More

FDA warns of link between anti-epilepsy drugs and SJS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating the possibility that phenytoin and fosphenytoin sodium increase the risk of serious skin reactions, such as Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), according to FDA MedWatch. Phenytoin and fosphenytoin are used to control tonic-clonic (grand mal) and complex-partial seizures in epilepsy. In a recent Information for Healthcare Professionals sheet, the FDA described the increased risk of SJS/TEN with another antiepileptic drug, carbamazepine, in patients of Asian ancestry with the HLA-B*1502 allele. HLA-B is a human gene that provides instruction for making a protein that plays a critical role in ... Read More

Pain pump malfunction saves officer’s right shoulder

When a 37-year-old canine officer injured both of her shoulders after a fall at work, she sought shoulder surgery to fix her injuries and to relieve the pain she suffered. Multiple procedures were performed on both shoulders, most of which I can’t even pronounce, and postoperative pain pumps were administered to both shoulders following the surgery.  The problems she suffered in the future were not something she had bargained for. After both pain pumps were implanted in the shoulders, the right sided pump did not function properly, causing the device to leak outside of her shoulder until it was removed. ... Read More

Actavis comments on lawsuit

The Department of Justice, on behalf of the FDA, has filed a compliant against Actavis and is asking for a permanent injunction against its subsidiary. Actavis claims that it has been dedicated to ensuring the value and integrity of its manufacturing since May 2008, which is after the FDA inspected Actavis because the company manufactured Digitek pills that were twice as thick as they ought to have been. According to Market Watch, “The company views the filing of this complaint as one step in a long regulatory process, and is fully committed to working collaboratively and openly with the FDA ... Read More

BBC investigates Chantix suicides in the UK

An investigative report aired by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) tells the stories of two people who became suicidal after taking Chantix (marketed by Pfizer as Champix in Europe and the UK). Chantix became available in the UK in December of 2006. Since then, nearly 400,000 prescriptions for the drug have been written. Karen McGhee, a resident of Greenock on Scotland’s western shore, was one of those Chantix users. McGhee had been taking Chantix only a few days when she attempted to kill herself. The McGhee’s daughter found Karen and ran to get her father’s help, shouting that her mother ... Read More

Doctor warns of inadequate care at D.C. nursing home

A Washington, D.C.-area emergency room doctor fed up with seeing so many patients from one area nursing home sick from obvious neglect, spoke to ABC 7/News Channel 8 to warn others of the poor care offered at the home. The doctor said he routinely sees patients from Grand Park Care Center on the verge of death with serious conditions ranging from acute kidney problems, severe pneumonia and malnutrition. He said the conditions indicate neglect by caregivers. Inspection reports obtained by the television station from the D.C. Department of Health from February and May 2008, reveal numerous deficiencies including failure of ... Read More

IKEA pays large civil penalty to CPSC

IKEA North America Services, LLC of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay a $500,000 civil penalty for its failure to follow procedures issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC announced that Swedish retail giant inadvertently sold some potentially dangerous outdoor candles and failed to immediately report incidents connected to use of the defective candles. The CPSC says that the hazardous candles can flare up unexpectedly when consumers attempt to blow the fames out, potentially causing burn injuries. The candles are also a fire hazard because they are capable of flaring when lit according to the ... Read More