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Ohio workers comp bureau restricts opioids for back injuries

A new rule by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation – the nation’s largest state-run injured-worker fund – has put in place an aggressive restriction regarding back surgery and the prescribing of opioids often used to treat pain following surgery. The organization is requiring injured workers to undergo at leas 60 days of alternative care while avoiding opioid use, if possible, before undergoing spinal fusion surgery. Some exceptions apply for the most severe back injuries, but by restricting opioid use, the state has put forth a more aggressive plan than other states. It represents another example of how local governments ... Read More

Two Workers Suffer Critical Burn Injuries in Tyson Plant Accident

Four workers at an Iowa Tyson plant that processes pork suffered burn injuries on the job in an accident Monday, Jan. 2. Two of the workers are said to be in critical condition. According to KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines, Dallas County Chief Deputy Adam Infante said that two of the workers were flown to the University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center in Iowa City for the treatment of critical burn injuries to their heads, faces, and upper torsos. The other two workers were treated for lesser burn injuries at a health services department at the Tyson Pork Processing plant in ... Read More

Blood thinner recalled over drug ingredient mixup

International Laboratories LLC is recalling one lot of the blood thinner Clopidogrel because the pills may contain the cholesterol-lowering statin Simvastatin instead. The recall affects Lot # 117099A of Clopidogrel Tabloets, USP 75mg, packaged in bottles of 30 tablets. The affected lot was delivered to distribution centers in Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, California and Maryland, and then distributed to retail stores throughout the U.S. Patients prescribed Clopidogrel, the active drug ingredient in Plavix, who miss doses of this medication are at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, both of which can be life threatening. Additionally, unintentional consumption of Simvastatin, ... Read More

One Person Dead in Florida Casino Shuttle Boat Fire

Authorities in Pasco County, Florida, are investigating a casino shuttle boat that caught fire Sunday afternoon off the Florida coast near Tampa, killing one woman and injuring several others. The casino shuttle boat was taking about 50 passengers to the Tropical Breeze casino boat about three miles offshore in international waters when the fire broke out for unknown reasons. The casino shuttle boat was in a canal in Port Richey, Florida, and about 100 feet from the nearest shore when the crew discovered heavy smoke and the captain turned the boat back to port. Video taken by witnesses shows the ... Read More

Easing nursing home fines could put residents at risk

Minnesota officials are expressing concern that the Trump administration’s plans to roll back federal penalties on long-term care facilities that violate health and safety rules could undercut the state’s plans to crack down on nursing home abuse and neglect. Under the Trump administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has asked its regional offices to ease up on some Obama-era enforcement practices that the nursing home industry has found burdensome. The new directives aim to discourage the number of reports and the fines that are imposed, even for violations that lead to serious injury or wrongful death. “It ... Read More

Second Takata Airbag Death In Ford Ranger Prompts Urgent Recall

A Takata airbag that exploded inside a Ford Ranger pickup truck in West Virginia over the summer, killing its driver, has prompted an urgent recall by Ford Motor Co. Ford said the recall covers about 3,000 Ranger pickup trucks and urges owners not to drive the vehicles until the airbag units are repaired. This round of Takata airbag recalls is relatively small considering the recall affects about 42 million U.S. vehicles, but Ford believes the airbags in certain 2006 Rangers are particularly volatile and prone to explode with deadly force. Fifty-six-year-old Steve Mollohan, who lived in the Hedgesville, West Virginia ... Read More

Auto Safety Advocates Seek Release of Goodyear Tire Death Documents

Auto safety advocates are heaping pressure on federal authorities to divulge documents relating to Goodyear’s G159 tire, which has been linked to hundreds of tire-blowout crashes involving motorhomes, causing dozens of injuries and deaths. According to Arizona’s The Republic, the Center for Auto Safety, the nation’s leading auto safety advocacy group, has filed a request to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under the Freedom of Information Act seeking death and injury claim information, tire-testing results, and other information concerning the Goodyear tires. Litigation involving Goodyear’s G159 tires has been ongoing for years, but the manufacturer’s lawyers successfully lobbied ... Read More

Whistleblowers Aid in $24 Million Recovery From Kool Smiles Dental Chain

Multiple whistleblower lawsuits alleging a pediatric dental chain and a dental management company systematically defrauded Medicaid programs in several states have led to a settlement of nearly $24 million. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Kool Smiles Dental Clinics and dental management company Benevis LLC (formerly NCDR LLC) conspired to bill Medicaid programs for root canals and other dental procedures on children that weren’t medically necessary or never provided. According to the whistleblower complaints, Kool Smiles, which operates more than 130 dental clinics in 17 states, routinely pressured and incentivized dentists to meet production goals through a system that ... Read More

Lilly pulls Axiron from Korean market

Eli Lilly & Co. has taken its topical testosterone replacement therapy Axiron off the market in Korea after gaining the blessing of the country’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. The company said that it made the decision to withdraw the treatment from the market in Korea due to several factors including “low male menopause awareness and the existence of substitutable medicines.” Axiron was developed by Australian pharmaceutical company Acrux and marketed by U.S.-based Lilly. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 for the treatment of hypogonadism, a condition in which men do not ... Read More

IV bag shortage worsened by nasty flu season

Ongoing shortages of saline and nutrient solutions from storm-ravaged Puerto Rico have taken a toll during this particularly nasty flu season, leaving hospital officials worried that if the supply of medicine and treatments for dehydrated patients with the flu doesn’t rebound soon, “more people are going to die,” said Deborah Pasko, director of medication safety and quality at the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. “I see it as a crisis.” Hurricane Maria tore through the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico in late September, cutting off power and limiting water supply. It also gravely affected drug makers with manufacturing plants ... Read More