Tagged Articles

Pittsburgh 36 articles

Will Smith to star in movie about NFL concussions, CTE

Will Smith concussion movie

Variety announced that filmmaker Ridley Scott is shooting the story of the doctor who identified the debilitating brain injury associated with sports-related head injuries that started a concussion awareness campaign and ultimately affected all levels of high-impact sports. The announcement comes just months after the National Football League (NFL) struck a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars with former players who alleged the league did not do enough to protect them from repeated concussions during practices and games. Will Smith will star as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the first pathologist to detect a degenerative brain injury called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in a former ... Read More

Another Los Angeles-area hospital reports superbug infections


Los Angeles-area Huntington Memorial Hospital announced that some of its patients had contracted a drug-resistant superbug after undergoing procedures using a specialized endoscope known as a duodenoscope. Hospital authorities say they contacted public health authorities after the bacteria pseudomonas was found in patients who had undergone procedures in which Olympus Corporation duodenoscopes were used. The hospital did not say how many patients were infected, however the Los Angeles Times reported that the bacteria was found in three of the hospital’s patients in June. Duodenoscopes are specially designed endoscopes that are fed down a person’s throat to treat gallstones, tumors and ... Read More

FDA cites duodenoscope makers for safety violations


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a first step toward formal legal action against manufacturers of specialized endoscopes called duodenoscopes linked to outbreaks of deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections at some hospitals, issuing warning letters citing manufacturing safety violations. The warning letters were sent to Olympus, Pentax and FujiFilm for various manufacturing and quality control violations. Olympus and Pentax were also cited for not properly notifying the FDA after learning their scopes were linked to infections. The agency also questioned whether Pentax and FujiFilm obtained proper clearance for their duodenoscopes before marketing them. Olympus was previously cited for this issue, the ... Read More

Chevron to pay $5 million to family of worker killed in fracking blast


A Pennsylvania County court approved a $5-million settlement Tuesday between Chevron Appalachia and the parents of a man killed in a 2014 natural gas explosion at a fracking operation in the southwestern corner of the state. Ian McKee was 27 when he was killed in a violent explosion at the Marcellus Shale fracking well on Feb. 11, 2014. He had been working as a field service technician for Houston-based Cameron International Corp., which Chevron had contracted for service work at the well site, when the blast occurred, setting off a fire that raged for five days before it burned out. ... Read More

OSHA calls roofer’s disregard for worker safety “horrifying”

Working on the Wall

TARENTUM, Penn. — A Pennsylvania roofing company has been cited for its reckless disregard for worker safety after Andrew “CK” Sakala, Jr., was fatally electrocuted on a roofing job at a Tarentum, Penn., home in September 2014 when the aluminum ladder he was using contacted a 7,200-volt power line. Only three days later, his employer sent another worker to finish the job, exposing him to the same hazardous conditions that led to Sakala’s death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which investigated the incidents, cited Kolek Woodshop Inc. for willfully exposing the second worker to the same, preventable electrocution hazards ... Read More

Another lawsuit filed in wake of superbug outbreak


A Washington state woman has filed a lawsuit against the makers of a specialized endoscope blamed for a life threatening superbug outbreak in some medical facilities, alleging she became infected at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle two years ago. The hospital, however, says it has no record of a carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infection caused by the medical devices. Debbie Newton, 54, claims she contracted CRE after undergoing a procedure with a duodenoscope made by Olympus America Inc. on Feb. 7, 2013. Duodenoscopes are a type of endoscope that is fed down patients’ throats to treat or diagnose various gastrointestinal ailments. About ... Read More

Endoscope at center of superbug outbreak was never FDA approved


The manufacturer of the specialized endoscope at the center of the deadly drug-resistant bacteria outbreak at UCLA never obtained approval from drug and medical device regulators to sell the surgical tool in the United States, CNN has learned. Olympus began selling its TJF-Q180V duodenoscope in 2010. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), didn’t realize until late 2013 or early 2014 that Olympus had never filed for FDA approval on the device. Duodenoscopes are a type of flexible endoscope fitted with a camera that is put down throats of patients to treat a variety of gastrointestinal conditions. A half million duodenoscope ... Read More

Patient files first lawsuit in deadly superbug outbreak


An 18-year-old boy who became infected with a deadly superbug after undergoing a procedure using a specialized endoscope at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the surgical tool. The patient, high school student Aaron Young, remains hospitalized with carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, a highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria that kills up to 50 percent of infected patients. The lawsuit names Olympus Corp. of Americans, manufacturers of the specialized endoscope, known as a duodenoscope. UCLA and the University of California regents may also be added as defendants following more investigations into the matter. Duodenoscopes are flexible fiber-optic ... Read More

Three superbug cases, one possible related death at NC hospital


One person has died in a North Carolina hospital after becoming infected with the same superbug bacteria blamed for two recent deaths in Los Angeles. According to the Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C., 15 patients admitted to the hospital carried carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) upon admission. Three patients contracted a CRE infection in the hospital, and one of the patients died. The North Carolina hospital has not said how three of its patients contracted the infection, and it is not yet clear whether the reported death was caused by a CRE infection. The CRE bacteria are from a family of ... Read More

Family of teen infected by superbug at UCLA may sue endocope maker


A California teenager is in “grave condition” with an antibiotic resistant superbug infection months after undergoing an endoscopic procedure at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, stoking fears that the design of specialized duodenoscopes used on about a half a million patients a year makes them difficult to thoroughly sanitize. Duodenoscopes are flexible fiber-optic tubes fitted with a light and camera that that are inserted down the throat, enabling physicians to examine an organ. Regulators and medical professionals are now learning the devices are can be extremely difficult to disinfect, a potential design flaw that could open the ... Read More