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Kansas City 79 articles

Long-term safety of testosterone treatment remains questionable

Current prescribing practices for testosterone therapy constitute abuse, said Ajay Nangia MD, with the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, during the first-ever “Crossfire” session at the American Urological Association meeting. Nangia was pitted against Martin Miner, MD, with Brown University in Providence, RI. A surge in testosterone supplement prescriptions in the past few years and recent studies questioning the safety of the therapy have made the hormone treatment a hot topic in some medical circles. Low testosterone levels can lead to symptoms such as a low sex drive, weight gain, fatigue and muscle loss. While testosterone levels drop ... Read More

Steering defect, other problems prompt Ford to recall 1.3 million vehicles

Ford Motor Company is recalling 915,000 compact sport utility vehicles to repair a defect in the steering gear that can result in a sudden loss of power steering. The recall is the largest of four safety recalls affecting 1.3 million vehicles the auto maker announced Thursday. According to Ford, the steering defect recall affects model year 2008-2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs manufactured at Ford’s Kansas City, Mo., factory. The company is also recalling 527 of the vehicles outside the U.S. for the same problem. The vehicles affected by the glitch were made between Aug. 18, 2006, and Sept. ... Read More

Takeda hit with more sanctions in Actos bladder cancer trial

Takeda Pharmaceuticals was hit by sanctions for its defense counsel’s “very disrespectful” conduct during the trial of two women who claim the drug company’s type 2 diabetes medication Actos caused them to develop bladder cancer. The trial of Delores Cipriano and Bertha Triana began in February, however the court noted that “defense counsel has repeatedly engaged in disruptive and disrespectful behavior toward the court, which is well-documented in the record. As a result, the court’s decision to impose sanctions is based on the aforementioned cumulative conduct of counsel in disobeying court orders and disrupting court procedings.” Plaintiffs reported they had ... Read More

Body of NFL linebacker Belcher exhumed to test brain for CTE

The body of deceased Kansas City Chief linebacker Jordan Belcher was exhumed last week in order to perform tests on his brain. Belcher’s family requested that researchers conduct the tests in hopes of finding answers as to why the professional NFL player last year shot his longtime girlfriend to death before turning the gun on himself. Belcher’s family wants to know if Belcher was a victim of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a progressive degenerative brain disease found in some contact-sport athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma. CTE can only be diagnosed after death, by analyzing brain tissue ... Read More

Missouri glass company hit with safety fines after worker’s finger amputation

Federal safety regulators have cited a Missouri glass manufacturer for 21 health and safety violations after a worker lost a finger while repairing a machine at the company’s Park Hills, Missouri facility in March. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed fines of $137,400 for the violations, several of which inspectors deemed serious for the substantial risk of physical injury or death they posed. OSHA investigators said that Piramal Glass USA Inc. had not properly disengaged the machine from its power source while it was undergoing maintenance. “An employer’s failure to power off energy sources before conducting equipment maintenance ... Read More

OSHA orders reinstatement of engineer fired for raising safety concerns at Kansas nuclear site

BURLINGTON, KS – The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered Enercon Services Inc., an engineering services firm based in Kennesaw, Ga., to reinstate and pay back wages to a senior engineer who alleges he was fired for raising safety concerns at a Kansas nuclear energy facility. After investigating the claim, OSHA found the engineer’s termination was a violation of whistleblower provisions under the Energy Reorganization Act. The agency proposed that Enercon pay $261,153 in back wages, compensatory damages, interest and attorney’s fees to the engineer. The investigation determined that Enercon fired the licensed professional civil and structural ... Read More

U.S. joins whistleblower lawsuit against hospice provider for Medicare fraud

The federal government is joining a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a California physician under the False Claims Act (FCA) against the largest for-profit hospice provider in the United States. The lawsuit accuses Chemed Corp.’s Vitas Healthcare of certifying patients as eligible for hospice so it could receive money from Medicare for unneeded hospice services. The whistleblower complaint was filed by Dr. Charles Gonzalez, who worked for Vitas in Los Angeles from 2004 to 2011. Dr. Gonzalez accuses the company of “padding its profits at the expense of taxpayers” for deliberately providing hospice care to patients who didn’t qualify. “Many of ... Read More

Degenerative brain disease found in former NFL players who suffered head trauma

The murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher last week came just days before a team of researchers announced that 34 of the 35 brains of former NFL players donated for a special study were found to have Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated hits to the head. It is unknown at this point if Belcher suffered from CTE, but his behavior suggests he may have suffered from the disease.  The study, conducted by researchers at Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, is the largest case series study of CTE to ... Read More

Consumer groups call transvaginal mesh phase-out a small victory

Several Johnson & Johnson surgical mesh implants that have been tied to a growing number of lawsuits will gradually be pulled from the market, a move consumer watchdog groups applaud. The consumer health products giant says it will phase out four of its transvaginal mesh devices over the next three to nine months “in light of changing market dynamics,” the company said in a statement. Johnson & Johnson says the phase-out is not a recall and the decision to stop making the mesh is not due to complaints. Consumer groups say fewer transvaginal mesh products on the market is a ... Read More

Pradaxa may not be best blood thinner to use with ablation therapy

Pradaxa

The blood thinner Pradaxa (dabigatran) is approved for the prevention of strokes in patients with an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation, but experts say because of the bleeding risk, it may not be the best anticoagulant to use in patients undergoing ablation therapy. Ablation therapy is a procedure used to treat atrial fibrillation. During ablation therapy, a thin wire, or catheter, is positioned inside the heart near the pulmonary veins. Radio energy is applied to the tip of the catheter and is used to cauterize, or abate, the heart tissue around each pulmonary vein. This electrically “disconnects” the ... Read More