Is Nothing Sacred Anymore? FDA Warns Bar-B-Q and Dessert Lovers to Guard Against E. coli

On June 19, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned consumers not to eat any varieties of prepackaged Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough due to the risk of contamination with E. coli O157:H7. As of June 25, the CDC reported that 69 persons from 29 states have been infected with the outbreak strain. Thirty-four persons have been hospitalized, nine with a severe complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No one has died.

On June 25, 2009, the FDA found E. coli O157:H7 (a bacterium that can cause serious food … Read the rest

The Tri-State Region’s Most Dangerous Roads for Pedestrians

The tri-state region’s most dangerous road for pedestrians is Hempstead Turnpike in Nassau County, according to a new analysis by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a policy watchdog organization. Between 2005 and 2007, 15 pedestrians were killed along the 15-mile stretch of roadway, with most of those fatalities occurring as the road passes through Elmont, Franklin Square and Hempstead. The TSTC analyzed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, years 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The results:1. Hempstead Turnpike (Route 24), Nassau County, NY 2. Sunrise Highway (Route 27/39), Suffolk County, NY 3. 3rd Avenue, Manhattan 3. Broadway, Manhattan … Read the rest

Danger: Unapproved Ophthalmic Balanced Salt Solution Drug Products and Topical Drug Products Containing Papain

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that companies marketing unapproved ophthalmic balanced salt solutions (BSS) and unapproved topical drugs containing papain must stop manufacturing these products on or before November 24, 2008, and must stop shipping such unapproved products on or before January 21, 2009, or risk enforcement action. FDA is taking these actions because it has received reports of serious adverse events associated with their uses, including eye inflammation, cloudy vision, permanent loss of visual acuity, a serious drop in blood pressure and increased heart rate.

Ophthalmic balanced salt solutions are used to irrigate the eye … Read the rest

Medtronic Recalls Selected Heparin-Coated Products

Medtronic, Inc., in what is termed a precautionary measure, has voluntary recalled selected products featuring its Carmeda BioActive surface, a coating applied to some devices used in heart bypass surgery and dialysis, because the coating includes contaminated heparin, a blood thinner that has been linked to 81 deaths. Affected products include blood oxygenators, reservoirs, pumps, cannulae, and tubing packs.

This action was taken subsequent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s April 8, 2008 recommendation to device manufacturers that heparin supplies be checked with newly-developed tests, and that affected products be evaluated for possible field corrective action.

Limited … Read the rest

Encouraging News? Congress Prepares to Undo Anticipated Supreme Court Decision Precluding Lawsuits Over Dangerous Drugs

In the event that the Supreme Court applies the federal doctrine of preemption to permit the pharmaceutical industry to avoid accountability for the harm dangerous drugs cause, the only remedy would be for Congress to pass a law expressly stating that preemption does not preclude state court lawsuits for compensation.

And that, hopefully, is the goal of the process engaged in by Chairman Rep. Henry A. Waxman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives this past Wednesday, May 14, 2008. Similarly, Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Waxman (D-Calif.) have drafted legislation, the Medical … Read the rest

Possible Medical Malpractice LASIK Cases? FDA Advisers Recommend Clearer Warnings of Risks and Contraindications For Would-Be Patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Ophthalmic Devices Panel convened last Friday to discuss post-LASIK surgery (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) quality-of-life issues. Of the 7.6 million people who have undergone the procedure in the United States since the mid-1990s, 140 have written letters of complaint to the FDA.

Approximately one in four people who seeks Lasik is not a good candidate. Perhaps 1 percent or fewer, suffer serious, life-changing side effects: worse vision, severe dry eye, glare, inability to drive at night. One young man committed suicide because of severe eye pain and fuzzy vision. Some patients have had to … Read the rest

Concerns Over Danger to Children and Others From Synthetic Turf Fields Escalate

This year’s LandTek FieldTurf convention, held last month at a hotel in Huntington, Long Island, New York, was dedicated to addressing recent worries that the filling material, composed of ground up tires, could eventually expose athletes to life-threatening illness.

The concerns have to do with the fact that the artificial fields are constructed using up to ten tons of ground-up used tires, or crumb rubber, as in-fill. The danger is that since tires typically contain toxic substances which prohibit their disposal in landfills and oceans, it seems reasonable to question whether this material is safe for use on fields where … Read the rest

Report Reveals Dramatic Increase in Medication Errors Involving Drugs with Names that Look or Sound Alike

The 8th annual national MEDMARX(R) Data Report released last month by the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) revealed that more than 1,400 commonly used drugs are involved in errors linked to drug names that look alike or sound alike. USP’s review revealed a near doubling since 2004 of the pairs of drug names that look or sound alike, from 1,750 pairs to 3,170 pairs.

According to findings in the MEDMARX report, 1.4% of the errors resulted in patient harm, including seven errors that may have caused or contributed to patient deaths. Medication errors are often the basis of medical malpractice cases.… Read the rest

Urgent Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Icy Hot Heat Therapy Products For Causing First, Second and Third Degree Burns

Chattem, Inc. announced February 8, 2008, that it is initiating a voluntary nationwide recall of its Icy Hot Heat Therapy products, including consumer “samples” that were included on a limited promotional basis in cartons of its 3 oz. Aspercreme product. Chattem is recalling these products because it has received some consumer reports of first, second and third degree burns as well as skin irritation resulting from consumer use or possible misuse of these products.

Consumers who have the Icy Hot products under recall should immediately stop using the products, discard them, and/or return them to Chattem. All lots and all … Read the rest

A Purse Filled with a Pocket Size Cell Phone and a Taser?? (“Don’t Tase Me, Sis”)

Don’t be surprised if one day you’re out somewhere and you hear someone plead, “Don’t tase me, sis!” The manufacturer of Tasers, the controversial stun gun used by police and other law enforcement officials, has started selling a consumer version of this gun known as the “C2.” The C2 can be found at regular sporting good stores, it sells in multiple colors and can be purchased for a rate as low as $299.00. The C2 is marketed for its small size and noted for the fact that it can easily fit in a woman’s purse.

Essentially it seems that the … Read the rest