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pain 191 articles

FDA approves first fully implantable device for obstructive sleep apnea

Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who have unsuccessfully tried other remedies have a new treatment available. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it has approved the first fully implantable neurostimulator to treat the condition, but only as a second-line therapy. Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation therapy, made by Inspire Medical Systems, is an implant that keeps a patient’s airway open during sleep by stimulating the hypoglossal nerve, causing the upper airway muscles to contract and pull the base of the tongue forward. The device was approved specifically for patients with moderate to severe OSA who cannot use continuous positive ... Read More

Corrective helmets show little benefit for infants with misshapen heads

Many mothers prefer using corrective helmets on their infants to protect against flat spots on their heads caused by lying in the same position for long periods of time, but a new study suggest babies are better off without the gear. Infants have tender skulls that can easily become misshapen, especially when babies are put to sleep on their backs as doctors advise to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). An average of 20 percent of infants younger than 6 months develop a skull deformation from lying in the same spot for a long time. Mothers in several countries, ... Read More

New products, studies could make intrauterine birth control devices more popular

Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are considered a highly effective contraceptive device and more convenient than a once-a-day birth control pill. New products and studies currently underway may make them even more popular in the years to come, according to RH Reality Check, a “Reproductive & Sexual Health and Justice News, Analysis & Commentary” website. Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the cost of an IUD could ring in at as much as $1,000 if it was not covered by a person’s health insurance. Now, all plans are required to cover contraceptive methods and related services without ... Read More

Woman files lawsuit against makers of defective transvaginal mesh

“I get stabbed a thousand times a day,” Frances Shulte told The Gazette. The constant pain prevents the Coralville, Iowa, resident from comfortably moving around or going to the bathroom. She never dreamed that the surgery to correct a pelvic floor disorder would cause her chronic pain and disability. “People don’t understand that I’m in pain every day,” she said. Frances’ ordeal began in 2005, when she had surgery to correct her stress urinary incontinence. Doctors inserted a type of surgical mesh, also known as transvaginal mesh or a bladder sling, into her body to hold up organs that had ... Read More

Fictional Dr. House character helps solve real-life medical mystery

Doctors were stumped by the symptoms exhibited by the 55-year-old man with severe heart failure. He had fever, swollen lymph nodes, hearing and vision loss when he arrived at the Center for Undiagnosed Diseases in Marburg, Germany. He also had a metal hip implant that replaced a previous ceramic one. The team of German doctors was no stranger to medical mysteries. They use a variety of resources to help pinpoint difficult-to-diagnose conditions. For this case, doctors recalled an episode of the then-recently-ended Fox TV series, House, a show in which the fictional character Dr. Gregory House solves some of the ... Read More

Researchers find metal ion concentration, device brand may predict hip implant failure

The amount of metal ions in the blood and the type of hip implant may predict premature failure of metal-on-metal hip replacements, according to a team of United Kingdom researchers. Researchers reviewed data from 299 resurfacing procedures in 278 patients with various brands of hip implants. The patients had reported complications that were likely related to high levels of metal in their blood. Patients were put through a blood metal ion screening protocol, ultrasound scanning, and joint aspiration to determine the level of cobalt concentration. Researchers found that blood-cobalt concentration and the type of device used were significant risk factors ... Read More

3 medical devices that can harm you

Medical devices are vitally important to the industry. They vary in complexity and application, from tongue depressors and disposable gloves to implants and prostheses. Because they are used to diagnose, prevent or treat disease or other conditions, these items are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure their safety and efficacy. However, this does not guarantee the devices don’t have hidden design flaws that can cause serious health risks. Here are three commonly used medical devices that were designed to help people, but ultimately caused more harm that good: 1. Transvaginal mesh – Also known as vaginal ... Read More

Transvaginal mesh manufacturer should be punished for mishandling documents related to lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon mishandled documents related to its transvaginal mesh devices and should be barred from seeking to throw out lawsuits or using some defense tactics, say attorneys for women who filed lawsuits against the companies. Johnson & Johnson’s unit Ethicon makes the Gynecare Prolift implant, a transvaginal mesh device used to treat pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The devices are inserted through the vagina to hold up organs that have dropped for various reasons, usually from childbirth, obesity or age. The devices have been associated with serious complications including ... Read More

Device designed to make IUD implantation easier

Intrauterine devices, such as the Mirena IUD by Bayer Healthcare, are one of the most effective forms of birth control, but having them implanted can be painful. The process generally takes several minutes, during which a sharp, prong-like tool … is used to pierce the tissue of the cervix and clamp it and pull on it,” explains Ben Cappiello, chief scientific officer with Bioceptive. “It takes a lot of expertise to do it perfectly every time, and in a lot of places the IUD isn’t offered because people don’t know how to insert it,” he told WSJ. Inexperienced practitioners also ... Read More

Johnson and Johnson to pay $2.5 billion to resolve thousands of ASR metal hip lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $2.5 billion to resolve more than 7,500 lawsuits involving defective ASR metal-on-metal hip implants made by its subsidiary DePuy Othopaedics. DePuy issued a worldwide recall on an estimated 93,000 of its ASR all-metal hip replacement systems in 2010 after reports that the devices were failing at a faster than expected rate. Traditional hip implants can last 20 years or more before needing to be replaced. However, a large number of DePuy’s ASR devices were failing in five years or less. Unlike traditional hip implants that are made with ceramic or plastic parts, the ... Read More