More Marines Killed in Motorcycle Wrecks Than in Iraq In Past 12 Months

Motorcycle accidents during the past 12 months have killed more Marines than combat duty in Iraq, a new report says.

The alarming death rate has prompted military officials to call a meeting to address the issue. Since last November, 25 U.S. Marines have died in motorcycle crashes, compared to 20 Marines killed during fighting in Iraq. All but one of the motorcycle wrecks involved a so-called “sport bike,” which can easily exceed 100 mph.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle wreck through no fault of your own, you need the legal help of Munley, Munley & Cartwright. Contact our personal injury lawyers today at 1-800-318-Law1.

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N.J. Jury Awards $25 Million Over Misdiagnosis That Caused Patient’s Brain Injury

A New Jersey jury has awarded $25 million to a patient who suffered severe brain damage after his headaches were misdiagnosed.

The man, Robert Wood Johnson, alleged he went to a hospital in 2001 because of headaches, and that doctors failed to discover his brain aneurysm, instead concluding he suffered from a mental disorder.

The medical mistake left Johnson severely and permanently disabled, his lawyer said. Johnson’s right arm and leg no longer function and he needs assistance to eat and breathe.

If you or someone you care about has been injured by the carelessness of a medical professional, you should speak with one of the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Munley, Munley & Cartwright. Call 1-800-318-LAW1 today for a free consultation.

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Report: FDA officials opposed policy to pre-empt drug lawsuits

Congressional investigators said Wednesday that scientists and longtime employees at the Food and Drug Administration opposed agency regulations that weakened the ability of injured consumers to sue drug manufacturers.

A drug labeling rule approved in 2006 limited when people could sue in state court over injury claims involving dangerous or defective medications. The FDA rule contends that federal regulations prevail when there is a conflict with state law. This concept is called pre-emption. The latest report shows that many knowledgeable scientists and agency officials opposed the 2006 rule.

At Munley, Munley & Cartwright, we believe in your right to seek justice when you have been harmed by a dangerous pharmaceutical product. If you or someone you care about has been injured or killed by an unsafe prescription drug, contact us today for a free consultation at 1-800-318-LAW1.

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Jury Awards $10.5 Million To Motorist Hit By Dump Truck

A California jury has awarded $10.5 million to a Fresno motorist who suffered severe head and brain injuries after she was struck by a dump truck driver who had been drinking.

The 20,000-pound truck was traveling at 25 to 30 mph when it broadsided the woman’s car. The dump truck driver had a blood alcohol content of 0.08%, the legal limit. He later pleaded guilty to driving under the influence. The victim has been institutionalized because of her injuries ever since the accident.

Trucking accidents are bad enough when truck drivers are doing their job right. When they’re drinking on the job, an accident is inexcusable, and the drivers should be held accountable for the injuries and harm they cause.

If you’ve been hurt in a trucking accident, call us today for a free consultation.

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Chantix, Antismoking Drug, Linked to Hundreds of Incidents

A nonprofit group, Institute for Safe Medication Practices, said 1,001 serious incidents involving Chantix, an antismoking drug, were reported in the first quarter of this 2008 — more than the combined adverse events for the top ten most-prescribed brand-name drugs.

The latest incidents involving Chantix include reports of patients blacking out while driving a car. The information may prompt the Food and Drug Administration to call for tougher warnings on the Pfizer Inc. drug.

Chantix has already been linked to serious psychiatric side effects such as depression and suicidal behavior. Chantix had $883 million in sales during 2007, but sales are off sharply this year, in part because of the negative publicity surrounding the product.

If you have been harmed by your use of Chantix, immediately call one of our pharmaceutical injury lawyers for a free consultation.

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ETHEX Recalls Dextromaphetamine Sulfate 5mg Tablets Due to Potential Oversized Tablets

ETHEX Corporation has issued a recall on three specific lots of Dextroamphetamine Sulfate 5mg tablets due to a possible presence of oversized tables. The lot numbers are 77946, 81148, and 81142 and the tablet is round, orange, and debossed on one side with “ETHEX” and “311″ on one side. The oversized tablets may contain twice the labled amounts of the active ingredient. The recalled lots were distributed between January 2007 and May 2008.

The Effects of higher dosage may include: tachycardia, hypertension, tremors, decreased appetite, headache, insomnia, dizziness, blurred vision, stomach upset, and dry mouth.

So far there have been no reported cases of consumers taking oversized tablets.

If you or someone you love has suffered any of the above symptoms or other adverse reactions while taking the recalled tablets, please contact one of our product liability lawyers immediately for a free consultation.

For more information, visit the FDA site at http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/ethex10_08.html

Effikal Recalls Automatic Gas Vent Dampers due to Carbon Monoxide Hazard

Effikal LLC. has recalled nearly 45,000 of its automatic gas vent dampers due to a possible failure which could lead to a carbon monoxide leak.

So far there have been no reported injuries or accidents associated with the product.

The recall involves Effikal RVGP-PC Gas Vent Damper size 4,5,6,7,8,9, or 10 which were sold with various gas boiler systems. Consumers should visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09008.html for a full list of affected boiler systems.

Consumers should stop using suspected boilers immediately if the weather permits and contact their installer to receive a free replacement if necessary.

Never Means Never Under New Policy Under Medicare

Editor: In this world of skyrocketing health-care costs and financial crises, some good news has finally come to the average American consumer and taxpayer.

Last week, Medicare changed its rules to withhold payment for certain “never events” — medical mistakes that should never occur, such as administering the wrong blood type or leaving an instrument inside a surgical patient. Medicare also says it won’t pay for serious bed sores, injuries from falls and urinary tract infections caused by catheters, among other things. Four state Medicaid programs, including Pennsylvania, as well as several of the nation’s largest health insurers, are following suit.

It’s about time. Unlike any other service we consume, we have been living — and dying — with a U.S. health-care system that rewards mistakes and profits by making patients sicker. Hospitals that fail to prevent deadly post-operative infections, turning three-day stays into three-month stays, get paid anyway. Doctors who operate on the wrong body part get paid anyway. Poor quality control is a major contributor to skyrocketing health-care costs, which are driving up insurance rates and bankrupting Americans, as well as their employers.

Patients, insurance companies and employers shouldn’t have to pay for medical mistakes any more than a homeowner should have to pay for a plumber who was hired to fix a leak, but worked on the wrong pipe, broke it and made the situation worse. Withholding payment for medical errors and holding wrongdoers accountable won’t fully cure our nation’s health-care ills, but it’s a sensible step in the right direction.

ATTORNEY DAVID I. FALLK
THE COMMITTEE FOR JUSTICE FOR ALL
KINGSTON

Spiria, Atrovent Up Heart Attack and Stroke Risks

Date Published: Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 NewsInferno.com

Spiriva and Atrovent, inhaled anticholinergic drugs used to treat the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. A new study conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. found that using one of these drugs for a month increased a patient’s risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack or stroke by a whopping 58 percent.

COPD affects as many as 24 million Americans and kills more than 100,000 each year. COPD is a progressive lung disease, often caused by smoking, for which there’s no known cure. Symptoms include restricted breathing, secretion of mucus, oxidative stress and inflammation of the airway.
Spiriva is the most widely prescribed drug for COPD, used by more than 8 million patients globally since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002. Atrovent is the second most commonly prescribed drug in this class.

Inhaled anticholinergic drugs like Atrovent and Spiriva are usually taken once a day by people with COPD. They ease breathing by preventing the airways from constricting. Earlier this year, the FDA issued an “early communication” warning of a possible increased risk of stroke with use of Spiriva. A Veterans Affairs study published last week linked Atrovent with an increased risk for heart-related deaths in men.

This latest study involved a meta-analysis of 17 randomized studies comparing a total of 15,000 mostly older patients who had taken either of the drugs with those on different medicine or a placebo. All of the patients in the study were treated for at least 30 days.

The researchers found that the use of inhaled anticholinergic drugs increased the risk of a heart attack by 53 percent, cardiovascular death by 80 percent and stroke by 46 percent. An increased risk of all-cause death was not clinically significant, but just barely so.

Among about 7,400 patients on either inhaled drug, 1.8 percent or 135 people developed fatal or nonfatal heart problems over a period of several weeks to several years. By contrast, among about 7,300 patients on other drugs or dummy medicine, 1.2 percent or 86 had those problems.
“In absolute terms, what it means is that if you were to use these drugs for a year, your absolute risk of developing an additional cardiac death would be one in 40,” Dr. Sonal Singh, assistant professor of internal medicine at Wake Forest and author of an article detailing the study that appeared in the Sept. 24 issue of the “Journal of the American Medical Association”, told “US News and World Report”.

Dr. Singh said before starting drugs, patients should try to reduce heart risks by quitting smoking, keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control, and using oxygen. The study authors also urged doctors to closely monitor patients who use the inhalers.

Class 1 Medical Device Recall

Class 1 Recall: Medtronic Neuromodulation INDURA One-Piece (IP) Intrathecal Catheters, Sutureless Pump Connector Revision Kit, and Intrathecal Catheter Pump Segment Revision Kit
Date Recall Initiated
June 26, 2008
Product:
Medtronic Neuromodulation INDURA IP:
Intrathecal Catheter, Model 8709SC
Intrathecal Catheter, Model 8731SC
Sutureless Pump; Connector Revision Kit, Model 8678
Intrathecal Catheter Pump Segment Revision Kit, Model 8596SC
These products were manufactured beginning on November 21, 2006 and are still being manufactured, and were distributed beginning in January 22, 2007 and are still in distribution.
This recall does not include the Medtronic MiniMed infusion pumps.
Use:
The intrathecal catheter or intrathecal catheter revision kits use a sutureless connector for the final connection to the implanted Medtronic SyncroMed II, SynchroMed EL, and IsoMed infusion pumps. The catheter is part of an infusion system that stores and delivers parenteral drugs to the intrathecal space.
Recalling Firm:
Medtronic Neuromodulation800 53rd Avenue NEMinneapolis, Minnesota 55440-1250
Reason for Recall:
This recall is being conducted due to potential misconnections of the Medtronic sutureless connector (“SC”) catheters from the catheter port on the pump. These misconnections have resulted in a blockage (occlusion) between the sutureless pump connector and the catheter port on the pump and disconnection from the pump connector.
Public Contact:
Patients with questions are encouraged to talk with their physician or contact Medtronic Patient Services at 1-800-510-6735, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time.
Physicians with medical questions related to this issue or Medtronic therapies should contact Medtronic at 1-800-328-0810, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time.
FDA District:
Minneapolis
FDA Comment:
In June 2008, the company sent a notification to healthcare professionals which described the problem. The notification identified the:
affected catheters
revision kits’ model numbers
associated implantable infusion pumps
The notification recommended that healthcare professionals:
verify cerebrospinal fluid (csf) backflow through the catheter
ensure alignment of sutureless connector to the pump
snap the sutureless connector into place
tug and rotate to test the connection
follow recommendations for managing patients with implanted “SC” catheters
provide ongoing education of patients and caregivers of the signs and symptoms of drug underdose and withdrawal
Please see the firm’s notification dated June 2008, located at:http://www.medtronic.com/disclosure/product-advisories.html
For more information about this recall, please see the company’s press release at: http://wwwp.medtronic.com/Newsroom/NewsReleaseDetails.do?itemId=1222437479990&lang=en_US
Class 1 recalls are the most serious type of recall and involve situations in which there is a reasonable probability that use of the product will cause serious injury or death.
Health care professionals and consumers may report adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by FAX.
Online:www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
Regular Mail: use postage-paid FDA form 3500 available at: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htmMail to MedWatch 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
FAX: 1-800-FDA-0178
Updated October 1, 2008