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E. Coli Outbreak Sickens Hundreds of Marine Recruits

Hundreds of Marine recruits fell ill in an outbreak of E. coli at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Edson Range at Camp Pendleton, California, including nine that have developed kidney failure. U.S. Marine Corps officials have not identified the source of the E. coli outbreak but said the matter is under investigation and announced several measures being implemented to prevent further illnesses. Seventeen of the Marines-in-training sickened in the E. coli outbreak have required hospitalization off base, including nine whose illness led to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that can cause strokes, seizures, ... Read More

Vitamin D Helps Patients Recover From Burn Injuries, Study Finds

People suffering from severe burn injuries could experience faster recovery and fewer complications if their medical care includes vitamin D supplementation, a new study has found. Researchers with the Institute of Inflammation & Aging at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, found that vitamin D levels in patients plummet immediately after a burn injury but that adding vitamin D back into their bodies can improve the overall healing process. “Major burn injury severely reduces vitamin D levels and adding this vitamin back may be a simple, safe and cost-effective way to improve outcomes for burns patients, with minimal cost to ... Read More

New study confirms heartburn drugs linked to progression of kidney disease

Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, used to treat heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers, are some of the most prescribed drugs in the world. PPIs are sold under name brands such as Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec, by prescription and over the counter, and they are taken by more than 20 million Americans in any given year. “PPIs have been regarded as generally safe and without serious adverse effects. However, this perspective is changing,” said Danish scientists earlier this year when they published a study linking the drugs to an increased risk for serious foodborne infection, listeriosis. The drugs have been linked ... Read More

Whistleblower Sues Epic Systems, Alleging Fraudulent Double Billing

A whistleblower suing Verona, Wisconsin-based Epic Systems alleges the medical IT company’s software defaults to double-billing Medicare and Medicaid for anesthesia services, costing U.S. taxpayers to overpay by hundreds of millions of dollars. According to Law 360, Geraldine Petrowski, an employee of Raleigh, North Carolina-based WakeMed Health between 2008 and 2014, filed the False Claims complaint against Epic under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act after her experiences with implementing Epic’s billing system raised “major concerns” about overbilling the government. Ms. Petrowski’s whistleblower complaint contends that Epic’s billing software defaults to charging Medicare and Medicaid for actual time ... Read More

Dangerous drugs found in bodybuilding supplement

Dietary supplement maker and marketer IronMagLabs, of Henderson, Nevada, was hit with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter for peddling products that contain steroids, steroid-like substances, or selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs). “Synthetic steroids have been associated with life threatening reaction, including liver damage, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, and deep vein thrombosis,” the warning letter states. “In addition, life threatening reactions, including liver toxicity, have occurred in people taking products containing SARMs. SARMs also have the potential to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.” At issue is the company’s dietary supplement called Super DMZ 4.0, which ... Read More

FDA rejects testosterone autoinjector

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected Antares Pharma’s new drug application for testosterone enanthate, a proprietary autoinjector called Xyosted. The agency’s decision was based on two safety concerns with the testosterone replacement therapy. The FDA found that Xyosted could cause a clinically meaningful spike in blood pressure. Regulators were also concerned about the occurrence of depression and suicidality reported by participants in clinical trials. Andares Pharma was seeking approval of Xyosted for men with physician-determined hypogonadism, a condition in which men do not produce enough testosterone due to injury, defect or disease. The product consists of a prefilled, ... Read More

Air Evac Lifeteam Helicopter Crashes, 3 Injured

An Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter crashed during a non-medical flight Wednesday in a residential area in Union City, Tennessee, the Associated Press reports. Three crew members, including the pilot, flight nurse and a paramedic, were taken to a nearby hospital where they were treated for minor injuries and released. According to the Jackson Sun, no houses were damaged and no other injuries were reported. The location of the crash is approximately 100 miles northeast of Memphis. The helicopter was part of Air Evac 143, which is based in Troy, Tennessee. The crew was flying to the 911 Dispatch Center in ... Read More

Many supplements contain dangerous drugs

Dietary supplements – especially those promoted for weight loss and bodybuilding – are often mislabeled, meaning they contain hidden ingredients that in many cases can cause serious harm to consumers, said Victor J. Navarro, M.D., during a presentation at The Liver Meeting 2017. “Dietary supplements are a common cause of liver injury,” added Dr. Navarro, with the department of transplantation at the Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia. “In looking at those cases, we find that there are a lot of products that are difficult to identify exactly what they are and what they’re used for. There has been a lot ... Read More

Plaintiffs in ovarian cancer talc cases are still fighting

In August the first California jury to hear a talc ovarian cancer case awarded now-deceased plaintiff Eva Echeverria a staggering $417 million, $110 million more than all four of the previous Missouri verdicts combined. The jury found that Johnson and Johnson’s talc-containing products contributed to the development of Echeverria’s ovarian cancer and the company should have warned her and other consumers of its products’ risks. They backed up this conclusion with $347 million in punitive damages. However, on Oct. 20, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maren E. Nelson overturned the verdict, granting Johnson and Johnson’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the ... Read More

Lawsuit Alleges 3M Pollutants Caused Cancer, Other Health Problems

A lawsuit accusing 3M and related companies of contaminating the Tennessee River with PFOA and PFOS chemicals has been filed by 23 plaintiffs who allege the industrial pollution caused them to develop cancer and other serious health problems. The federal lawsuit seeks class-action status for customers of the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority, which provides drinking water to more than 10,000 residents of Alabama’s Morgan and Lawrence Counties. In addition to 3M, the lawsuit names as defendants 3M subsidiary Dyneon, Daikin America, and the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority, which sold the contaminated water. The plaintiffs allege the defendants were ... Read More