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Texas lawmakers target ‘bad’ nursing homes

woman in hospital bed

Texas lawmakers are taking aim at bad nursing homes after a report by AARP Texas revealed that the state officials were surprisingly lax when it comes to making nursing homes own up to violations. There are about 1,200 nursing home facilities in Texas. According to the report, nursing homes state officials reported 17,466 violations at state nursing homes in 2015, but only 40 resulted in enforcement actions. Of those violations, 328 were listed as serious, but the state only fined 22 of them, allowing others to skirt accountability at the expense of residents’ health, AARP Texas said. In 2016, 18,089 violations ... Read More

Dietary supplement maker sentenced, fined for selling illegal steroids

dietary supplements, body building

Matthew Greaten, 50, former president and owner of Virginia-based Nature’s Chemistry LLC, was sentenced and fined by a federal judge in Virginia for selling dietary supplements that contained a dangerous and illegal hidden drug ingredient. Greacen and Nature’s Chemistry vice president James W. Mills were accused of manufacturing nearly 45,000 bottles of capsules containing methasterone, known by the name Superdrol, an anabolic steroid that was never marketed through legitimate channels for medicinal purposes. The U.S. Attorney’s office calls Superdrol a dangerous “designer steroid.” Anabolic steroids are used – and often misused and abused – by athletes and bodybuilders to build ... Read More

Scalp cooling devices good news for Taxotere users worried about risk of permanent hair loss?

bald woman, Taxotere - Pixabay image

In an editorial accompanying two separate studies on scalp cooling devices, both published online Feb. 14 in JAMA Oncology, Dawn L. Hershman, MD, from the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork–Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, New York City speaks about quality of life for individuals with cancer. The scalp cooling devices are designed to help to prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia (hair loss) by reducing blood flow to the scalp and thus the amount of chemotherapy delivered to the hair follicles. She said that “[o]ne of the strongest deterrents for a woman who is deciding whether to undergo chemotherapy is concern about alopecia.” ... Read More

Medical marijuana rife with bacteria, fungi

medicinal marijuana

Consuming medical marijuana in baked goods may be a safer bet than inhaling aerosolized versions of the weed, especially for cancer patients with compromised immune systems, according to a team of researchers from the University of California at Davis. Medical marijuana is just beginning to find favor as a medical treatment to ease nausea and pain. But a new study published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection suggests the botanical may be rife with infectious bacteria and fungi that can pose life-threatening risks. The issue was identified after a patient using aerosolized marijuana to treat symptoms from chemotherapy and stem ... Read More

Florida Dermatologist Settles Medicare Fraud, Kickback Complaints

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

A Florida federal judge has entered a judgement against a dermatologist and his medical practice, ordering them to pay more than $18 million for allegedly pocketing tens of millions of dollars from Medicare by ordering medically unnecessary biopsies, falsely diagnosing patients with cancer, performing unnecessary radiation treatments on patients, and illegally billing the government for those biopsies and radiation treatments. The allegations were originally made in two separate False Claims Act lawsuits filed in December 2013 and June 2014 by Dr. Theodore Schiff, a dermatologist who is the medical director and managing partner of Water’s Edge Dermatology LLC, a dermatology ... Read More

Vaping Exposes the User and Others to Carcinogens

e-cigarette vaping - photo by the-best-electronic-cigarette-review dot com

A team of atmospheric scientists, experienced in more than 30 years of air quality research in the most polluted urban environments in the world, have tested the effects of vaping on human health. The study, published in November 2016’s issue of Environmental Science & Technology, focuses on the affects of aerosols, or “vapor,” produced by flavored e-cigarettes. The study confirms that the aerosols contain high levels of carcinogens, providing a dangerous risk for the user and dangerous second-hand vapor to others. Flavoring compounds release aldehydes, such as formaldehyde, which is formed by the chemical breakdown of the flavored variety of e-cigarette ... Read More

Collision With Tractor-Trailer Near Birmingham Kills Sister and Brother, Injures Two other siblings

trucks on highway

A collision between a passenger vehicle and a tractor-trailer in west Jefferson County, Alabama, Monday, Feb. 13, killed two siblings and left two surviving siblings fighting for their lives in Birmingham hospitals. Jefferson County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Randy Christian told AL.com that the crash occurred around 8 a.m. on Highway 269 near the intersection of Short Creek Road, which is in the Mulga community. The four siblings were the only occupants of the car. Nine-year-old Michael Scoggins was pronounced dead at the scene. His 17-year-old sister, Meagan Scoggins, was pronounced dead later at an area hospital. Katie Scoggins, 19, the ... Read More

Withdrawal from motion sickness patch linked to severe, lingering effects

motion sickness patch, recall, Transderm Scop

It took nine days for Dave Maeder to go through withdrawal from the medication patch he was prescribed to treat nausea caused by a brain injury. Nine days of tortuous symptoms like severe nausea and vomiting, insomnia and sleepiness, restlessness and paranoia. It was like he was withdrawing from heroin. But the medicine patch Dave was on – scopolamine – is not a controlled substance. It does not give users a euphoric feeling. It’s not sought after as a recreational drug at all. In fact, the safety label only suggests that the medication “may result in withdrawal symptoms” in the ... Read More

Deutsch Kase Haus cheese recall expands to Biery Cheese and MDS Foods

Recall - cheese, Sargento, Longhorn colby - image by Sargento

February continues to rack up recalls as Deutsch Kase Haus, LLC, not only expands its original cheese recall, but also spurs Biery Cheese Company and MDS Foods Inc. to recall cheese supplied by it. The recalled cheese may be contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes – pathogenic organisms that can cause dangerous infections in young children, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), both companies were made aware this month that various types of Deutsch Kase Haus cheese are now subject to recall. MDS Foods Inc. is also recalling cheese that may ... Read More

NHL tries to skirt head injury claims by denouncing CTE research

Hockey

Ice hockey is considered one of the most violent contact sports, but the National Hockey League (NHL) begged to differ when it was faced with a proposed class action lawsuit alleging that the league hid the dangers of head injuries from professional players and encouraged aggressive behavior in the games. The NHL argued against the collective knowledge of medical experts and scientists by arguing there is not a link between repeated head blows and the much-talked about degenerative brain disease CTE. Researchers have found that when a brain is concussed, proteins called tau are released in the brain. Repeated head ... Read More