St. Jude Medical’s Riata and Riata ST defibrillator leads were recalled in the past due to “lead externalizations”, a defect where the wires protrude through the insulation. Now, a Danish study has linked this issue to a higher risk of electrical failures that worsens with time. Continue reading
Late last Friday, a Florida jury awarded $23 billion in punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in the death of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer at age 36.
The suit was brought by Cynthia Robinson, widow of Michael Johnson Sr., who died in 1996. He had smoked for more than 20 years, beginning around age 13. The lawsuit argued that Reynolds had deliberately concealed the health hazards of Kool cigarettes, Johnson’s brand, The New York Times reports. The jury first awarded $17 million in compensatory damages and then the staggering $23.6 billion in punitive damages. Continue reading
California officials have shut-down 11 oil and gas waste water injection sites in the Central Valley and ordered a review of more than 100 others, fearing that energy companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers.
The Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources issued cease and desist orders on July 7 to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting waste into drinking water sources. The waste water disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources,” the investigative journalism organization ProPublica reports. Continue reading
Powdered caffeine sold in bulk over the internet is dangerous and should be avoided, warned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency’s warning follows the death of an Ohio teenager who died after using the product, NBC News reports.
Logan Stiner, 18, of La Grange, Ohio consumed powdered caffeine and died on May 27th, according to NBC News.
The FDA warns that powdered caffeine may be particularly appealing to teenagers and young adults. The agency emphasizes that “These products are essentially 100 percent caffeine. A single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee.” Even one teaspoon can be deadly. Continue reading
California-based White & Blue Lion, Incorporated has issued a nationwide recall on all of its tattoo inks, needles, and ink and needle kits over potential bacterial contamination.
Infections may lead to sepsis, which is a potentially deadly infection complication, according to Fox31Denver KDVR, citing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The inks and needles were sold in kits, as well as separately, by 8Decades and White & Blue Lion, Inc. Sales were nationwide and through direct and online sales. One illness has been tied to use of the recalled inks and needles, to date. Continue reading
Walgreens Company has been accused of overcharging consumers more than what is legally allowed for making copies of their medical records.
Based in Deerfield, Illinois, Walgreens is the largest drug retailer in the United States, operating 9,000 stores nationwide and in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam, as of the first-quarter of 2014. Now, at least one civil action has been brought accusing the retailer of charging consumers too much for copying medical records and of Walgreens being in violation of state laws. Continue reading
The criticism surrounding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to grow, with reports that veterans who have cancer are waiting much too long for treatment. CNN recounts the story of Sgt. Terry Mitchell, who survived the Vietnam War and exposure to Agent Orange. His wife, Vicki Mitchell, believes that he died because of delays in care at the VA. Continue reading
In recent years, increasing numbers of women with breast cancer in one breast have been choosing to have the other breast removed as a precaution – prophylactic or preventive mastectomy. But a new study finds a survival benefit of less than 1 percent over 20 years for women who’ve had a preventive mastectomy.
Dr. Todd Tuttle, one of the researchers, said, “We found fairly convincing evidence that there really is no meaningful long-term survival benefit for the vast majority of women with breast cancer by having their opposite breast removed,” the news service HealthDay reports. Tuttle is chief of surgical oncology at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. “Most patients have very minimal increases in life expectancy, one to seven months,” Tuttle said. And that difference was spread over two or more decades, especially in the younger women. Continue reading
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new guidelines on obtaining informed consent in clinical trials that will eventually replace the consent guide in use since 1998.
According to the new Informed Consent Information Sheet, the process of obtaining consent goes beyond merely obtaining written consent from the subject to participate in a medical study, according to Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS). Continue reading
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in collaboration with Health Canada, just announced a recall of thousands of fitness resistance bands over injury hazard.
Approximately 60,000 Bollinger Fitness Classic and SoftTouch fitness resistance bands with door attachment were recalled in the United States. Another 3,000 units were recalled in Canada.
A black plastic ball attached to the resistance band’s door anchor may unexpectedly release and strike the user, which poses an injury hazard to consumers. To date, there has been one report of the door anchor ball releasing, which resulted in an injury to the user. Continue reading