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San Diego 117 articles

E-Cigarette Blast Severely Burns California Toddler and Mom

California mom Paige Kadella heard a strange crackling sound coming from her purse as she was traveling in the backseat of her father-in-law’s car with her 18-month-old daughter Ashlynn. When she bent over to investigate, her purse was engulfed in flames. Her e-cigarette had exploded for unknown reasons and she seriously burned her hands as she frantically tried to put out the fire, screaming for her father-in-law to pull the car over. But Ashlynn, who was strapped into a car seat, suffered the worst injuries. The fire had spread from Ms. Kadella’s purse to her daughter’s car seat, leaving the ... Read More

More doctors face discipline in opioid Death Certificate Project

A total of 23 physicians face new disciplinary actions by the Medical Board of California after being flagged because a patient they had prescribed opioids to suffered a fatal overdose. California’s Death Certificate Project, launched three years ago, was designed to curb the nation’s growing opioid epidemic that accidentally kills thousands each year. The project takes death certificates in which prescription opioids were listed as the cause, then matches them with the provider – or providers – who prescribed any controlled substance to that patient within three years of death. The provider is flagged regardless of whether the particular drug ... Read More

Northrop Grumman Pays $31.65M To Settle Air Force Contract Fraud Allegations

A Northrop Grumman subsidiary will pay the U.S. a total of $31.65 million to settle civil and criminal allegations that it intentionally overbilled the federal government for work on two U.S. Air Force contracts for battlefield communications technology. Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation admitted that its employees deployed to a Middle East air base defrauded the U.S. Air Force by overbilling time charged to the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) contract. The Virginia-based company, which maintains operations in Los Angeles and San Diego, also inflated labor hours for employees working under the Dynamic Re-tasking Capabilities Contracts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s ... Read More

San Diego city employees exposed to asbestos, lawsuit claims

Hundreds of San Diego city employees remained in leased office space during building renovations and were exposed to cancer-causing asbestos because city officials did not want to risk being fined for breaking the lease, according to a lawsuit filed by a city employee. The lawsuit was filed by Bryan Monaghan, a city building inspector. As many as 550 may eventually join the litigation. According to the claim, beginning in January 2016, the city began moving employees from the planning department, auditor’s office, homeland security, information technology and other departments into the leased building. In July 2017, the Air Pollution Control ... Read More

Medical examiner letters have impact on doctors’ opioid prescribing

Would doctors who receive letters from a medical examiner informing them that a patient they treated died from a prescription drug overdose be less likely to prescribe opioids in the future? A group of researchers led by Jason Doctor of the University of South California’s Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, set out to tackle this question in a study recently published in the journal Science. The letter, dated Jan. 27, 2017, was sent to 388 doctors, all of whom had prescribed at least one of several drugs with known risks to a patient within a year ... Read More

Whistleblower Awarded $17 Million for Exposing Medicare Fraud

A whistleblower who filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against Prime Healthcare Services, one of the nation’s largest hospital chains, and its founder and chief executive officer, has received an award of $17,225,000 for helping the U.S. recover $65 million in Medicare funds. The U.S. Department of Justice said that Karin Berntsen, the former Director of Performance Improvement at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center in San Diego, brought the suit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. Ms. Berntsen alleged that Prime Healthcare Services, Prime Healthcare Foundation, Prime Healthcare Management, and CEO Dr. Prem Reddy routinely admitted Medicare patients ... Read More

Los Angeles casino bus crash injures 25 passengers

More than two dozen people were injured after a casino shuttle bus carrying 32 people crashed in the early morning hours into a barrier along Highway 10 in Los Angeles and tipped over, skidding to a stop. Twenty-five passengers were taken to nearby hospitals. Four were listed in serious condition, five were in fair condition, and the rest were listed in good condition, according to fire officials. The bus was transporting people from the Pala Casino in San Diego County to Koreatown at about 4 a.m. on July 14 when it collided head-on with sand-filled buffers near the 110 Freeway ... Read More

Nashville’s Hepatitis A Outbreak Sickens At Least 14

Public health authorities in Tennessee say an outbreak of hepatitis A in the state has sickened at least 14 people in the Nashville area. The outbreak is one of a multitude of recent outbreaks ongoing nationwide, some of which have become unusually virile. Although the number of confirmed hepatitis A cases in Tennessee seems small, officials say the Nashville outbreak is almost certainly larger than it seems because the virus can exist dormant and undetected in the body for several weeks. This allows the highly contagious virus to spread exponentially among a population while health authorities search for sources. “However ... Read More

Michigan Hepatitis A Outbreak The Worst in U.S. History

The largest outbreak of Hepatitis A in U.S. history is also the deadliest. A hepatitis A outbreak centered in Southeastern Michigan has prompted federal and state health officials to urge people across Michigan to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, which can lead to severe health complications, liver failure, and in some cases death. The outbreak started in August 2016 and as of May 23 the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recorded 837 cases of hepatitis A infection, including 671 hospitalizations and 27 deaths. Hepatitis A is a serious, highly contagious virus that targets the ... Read More

PPIs linked to liver disease

Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, are generally considered safe for reducing stomach acid and relieving heartburn. But the medication, readily available by prescription and over-the-counter, has been linked to serious side effects. Researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine recently found that PPIs may cause changes to gut bacteria that can promote liver disease. They also linked PPI use along with alcohol abuse to liver damage. PPIs, known by the brand names Prilosec, Prevacid and Protonix, work by reducing gastric acid. But the absence of stomach acid promotes the growth of Enterococcus bacteria in the intestine, ... Read More