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Chobani recalls Greek yogurt cups due to mold contamination

At least 89 people have become ill with nausea and cramps after eating Chobani Greek yogurt products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned. The company last week issued a recall and told grocery stores to destroy 35 varieties of its yogurt because some of the products were contaminated with a mold that can cause the yogurt cups to bloat and swell. The mold, known as mucor circinelloides, is associated with diary products but is not known to cause any health issues, at least for healthy individuals. Those with compromised immune systems may be more apt to fall ill after ... Read More

Three more hospitalized in Alabama with mystery illness

Three more people from southeast Alabama have fallen ill from a mystery disease since state health officials alerted the media Wednesday that an investigation into the cause of the illness was underway. To date, 10 people have been hospitalized, two of whom have died, since April 19. All patients had the same flu-like symptoms including cough, fever, shortness of breath and “’something’ on their chest x-rays,” said Dr. Mary McIntyre, a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Public Health. It is not known where in Alabama the three latest patients are from, but the original seven are from Barbour, Coffee, Dale, ... Read More

Propofol makers ordered to pay millions for hepatitis outbreak

Three manufacturers of the anesthetic drug propofol have been ordered to pay $162.5 million in punitive damages for selling the drug in large vials that enabled them to be reused by doctors, which led to three colonoscopy patients developing Hepatitis C. Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Baxter Healthcare Corp., and McKesson Corp., were found liable by a Las Vegas jury. Plaintiffs Anne Arnold, Richard Sacks and Anthony Devito sought more than $700 million in damages. They claim the large vials of the anesthetic provided by the drug makers were intended to be reused. However, reusing the drug caused them to become ill. ... Read More

Nursing home aides need training to handle dementia patient aggression

The 87-year-old nursing home resident likely meant no harm. He suffers from dementia and wouldn’t give a belt used to assist residents with walking back to certified nursing assistant Sharoia D. Hill. But Hill became frustrated with his aggressive behavior. She decided to remedy the situation by hitting the frail man with a closed fist. Now the 28-year-old nursing aide faces up to five years in prison on a Class 3 felony charge, according to The News-Gazette. The elderly nursing home resident lives in an Alzheimer’s unit at Champaign County Nursing Home in Urbana, Illinois. The nurse who is accused ... Read More

Nursing home resident’s son charged with theft by swindle

Nora Bekis trusted her son Larry to handle her matters. The 83-year-old woman had chronic lung disease and dementia and had moved into a Minnesota nursing home. She gave her son power of attorney to pay her bills and care for her home. Larry took out a $100,000 reverse mortgage on his mother’s home, but somehow Nora’s nursing home bill went unpaid to the point where she owed a whopping $49,000, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Rose of Sharon nursing home pressured Larry to pay his mother’s bill. He promised to sell her house, but instead took out ... Read More

Pilot project has coroners investigate all nursing home deaths

John Whalen visited 87-year-old Bernice Mulch weekly at a Jacksonville, Ill., nursing home. Whalen, who had legal authority over the woman’s care, had no reason to believe that his friend was not getting adequate care. After she passed away, the Morgan County coroner investigated her death and determined that that Mulch’s death was caused by a nursing home staff member’s failure to follow doctor’s orders to give her antibiotics for an arm infection. As a result, the nursing home was fined $10,000 by the state, according to the State Journal-Register. When Whalen learned that his friend’s death was being investigated, ... Read More

Nursing home investigation impacts coroner race

Last month I told you the story of two nurses at Woodstock Residence in Woodstock, Ill., who were charged with criminal neglect and obstructing justice as a result into investigations into murders at the nursing home. Marty Himebaugh allegedly administered drugs such as morphine to calm restless patients and gave overdoses to others she deemed had lived long enough. Complaints made to her supervisor Penny Whitlock were dismissed. It appears the impact of this case is being felt in the McHenry County coroner’s race, according to the Daily Herald. Democratic challenger David Bachmann claims his five-term Republican opponent Marlene Lantz ... Read More

Health department stripped of nursing home responsibilities

The Westside Health Care Center nursing home and its adjacent Terrace at Westside residential-care facility in Cincinnati, Ohio, had become known as the home of last resort for the poor and mentally ill. Many of the residents had been kicked out of other nursing facilities and halfway houses. Many had drug addictions or mental illnesses. It seemed as if there was no one else to care for them. A recent investigation has revealed that the residents there were subjected to deplorable living conditions, resulting in the nursing home closing and the Cincinnati Health Department being stripped of its ability to ... Read More

Nursing home deaths were not merciful

A truly disturbing report out of Illinois this week. A series of suspicious deaths at a Chicago-suburban nursing home in 2006, the so-called “mercy killings” of one nurse, now appear to be ruthless murders committed by a caregiver who became “fed up” with certain patients. According to The Daily Herald, a 15-month investigation into the deaths at the Woodstock Residence in Woodstock, Ill., led to the indictment in April of two nurses – Marty Himebaugh of Lake in the Hills, Ill., and her supervisor, Penny Whitlock of Woodstock, Ill. Himebaugh faces charges of criminal neglect, obtaining morphine by fraud and ... Read More

Senate to consider Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention bill

This week, members of the U.S. Senate will consider a bill that will establish a nationwide system of background checks for individuals who apply for jobs at long-term care facilities, The Daily Times (Farmington, New Mexico) reported today. If passed, the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act would allow nursing homes to choose not to hire potentially abusive caregivers based on a coordinated system of checks against abuse and neglect registries, state police records and the FBI national database of criminal history records. The Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act is sponsored by New Mexico’s senior senator, Pete Domenici, R-N.M., ... Read More