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Charlotte 57 articles

Recalled artificial hips were never tested for safety in clinical trials

Artificial hips manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, were never put through clinical trials to ensure they were safe, according to the BBC. Now an estimated 12 percent of the 93,000 patients worldwide who were fitted with the devices could experience problems and face a second surgery to replace defective parts. Last August, DePuy issued a recall on two of its artificial hip parts following reports that a higher than expected number of hip joints failed in less than five years after they were implanted. The recalled parts included the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ... Read More

Former NBA star Manute Bol dies from complications of SJS, kidney failure

Manute Bol, 47, has died. The 7-foot-7 former NBA star died Saturday at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, where he was being treated for acute kidney failure and Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a serious skin disorder caused by an allergic reaction to medication. Bol was hospitalized last month upon returning to the United States from his hometown of Sudan, where he was building a school through the group Sudan Sunrise. According to the NBA star’s Facebook page, Bol put off seeking medical attention while in Sudan because he wanted to continue his work there. When his condition ... Read More

Man suffers permanent disability from heartburn drug

When 57-year-old August Macaluso, a former nuclear-plant maintenance worker in Charlotte, N.C., began shaking violently, blinking incessantly and slurring his speech, he and his wife Sharon were both puzzled. Desperate for answers, Sharon Googled his symptoms and learned that the drug her husband had been taking for just three months was linked to the involuntary movement disorder Tardive Dyskinesia with frighteningly similar symptoms. He stopped taking the drug and after a battery of medical tests, doctors confirmed the Macalusoes’ worst fears. August had suffered permanent damage. Reglan (metoclopramide) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1979 for the ... Read More

father and son hit the road to raise brain injury awareness

When Joshua Brantner was 20 years old, he attended a party that changed his life forever. He arrived as a healthy, ordinary guy but left in an ambulance with a traumatic brain injury that severely impaired his mental and physical functions. After he had a few drinks at the party, Joshua climbed a tree and ended up falling 30 feet to the concrete driveway below. Joshua spent the next three months at the hospital in a coma. Doctors told Joshua’s parents that their son would be in a vegetative state if he were able to live at all. Now, almost ... Read More

Former CDC director to head Merck’s vaccine division, Gardasil

Merck and Co. announced yesterday that Dr. Julie Gerberding, the former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will head the pharmaceutical giant’s vaccine division. Dr. Gerberding served as the CDC director from 2002 to 2009, stepping down when President Barack Obama took office. As head of Merck’s $5 billion global vaccine arm, Dr. Gerberding will likely be responsible for revitalizing Gardasil’s waning sales. Merck won FDA approval for the vaccine in 2007 and immediately launched an aggressive campaign to make Gardasil shots mandatory for school girls as young as 11. However, the ambitious plan ultimately failed, ... Read More

ATV collision claims the life of North Carolina racing enthusiast

One of the most frustrating aspects of blogging about all-terrain vehicle rollovers and collisions is knowing that there are lots of good people out there right now enjoying their lives and planning their futures who won’t be here tomorrow – everyday people like 27-year-old Anthony Ritter of North Carolina, who died last week in an ATV accident. Friends of Ritter told the Gaston Gazette that he was always smiling, that he would never part with his ragged Old Navy cap, that he had an appetite for double cheeseburgers and was seldom seen without a Pepsi. He was someone we all ... Read More

Family’s water contaminated by leaking gas station tanks

A leaking underground storage tank on the premises of an old, defunct gas station in Keswick, Virginia, demonstrates how destructive a seemingly innocuous fuel tank leak can be. A report by Charlottesville News & Arts tells the story of David and Holli Traud, who bought a brand-new home just east of Charlottesville last year. However, when they moved in, they noticed that the tap water in their new home had a strange smell and bad taste. At first the Trauds assumed the water’s bad odor and taste came from being unused, so they gave it the benefit of the doubt ... Read More