Scalpel Weekly News

Week of: November 17, 2014

IN THE NEWS


Defective Power Source Disrupts Infusions; Worldwide Recall

Hospira recalled its GemStar Power Supply, 3 VDC, because the power supply may not properly deliver electric power to the GemStar Infusion Pump. If the power supply fails and a backup power supply is not used, planned infusion therapy may be delayed. Hospira received a total of 20 reported incidents including one report of smoke and found that the GemStar Infusion Pump was operating on battery power while connected to the 3VDC power supply. In oxygen-rich environments, an electric shock or spark from a malfunctioning pump could cause a fire. The use of the recalled devices may cause serious health risks, including delay in therapy, delivery of too much fluid, too high or too low blood pressure, slow or fast heart rhythm/beat, shock, trauma, 1st or 2nd degree burns, smoke inhalation, problems breathing, stroke, and death. Click title to continue reading...


 
MEDICAL ALERTS


Ventilator May Fail Due to Software Problem; Possible Patient Death

Nellcor Puritan Bennett Inc. (doing business as Covidien LP) recalled its 980 Ventilator Systems with software versions below 2.8 because it may have a software problem that causes the ventilator to stop working after the air and oxygen gas supply lines are disconnected and then reconnected. This can lead to serious health problems or death if the healthcare provider does not connect the patient to another ventilator or to a different form of breathing support. Click title to continue reading...



Cyanide in Almonds; Recall to Western Whole Foods Markets

Marin Foods Specialties, Inc. of Byron, California, recalled Organic Raw Almonds (bitter almonds), due to their possibly containing elevated levels of naturally occurring hydrogen cyanide according to laboratory test results. Bitter almonds are the wild form of the edible "sweet almonds." Bitter almonds contain a chemical called glycoside amygdalin, which becomes transformed into toxic prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide) after they are crushed or chewed. Click title to continue reading...



Cervical Cancers Preventable; More Screening and Vaccination Needed

Cervical cancer is a top cancer cause for women, currently ranking number 13 for new cancer cases and number 14 for cancer deaths. Every year, 12,000 women get cervical cancer and 4,000 women still die from it. While deaths from cervical cancer have fallen since the Pap test was introduced in 1950, between 2007 and 2011, the death rate remained stable, not yet reaching the healthy people 20/20 objective. Click title to continue reading...


  CASE ALERTS


Rheumatologists’ Opinions On Fibromyalgia Given Greater Weight Than Treating Doctor

A 44-year-old woman alleged that she was disabled due to breathing problems and painful joints. She applied for disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act. Her application reported that she had worked as a secretary, ticketing agent, and file clerk. She had been laid off from her most recent job as a title searcher and had collected unemployment benefits for four months. Click title to continue reading...



Untested Clot Treatment Not Accepted Care for Children

An eight-year-old girl collapsed in her schoolyard suffering from an acute ischemic stroke. She and her mother filed a lawsuit against the state department of education (DOE), New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (hospital), and the City of New York (city). The complaint asserted negligence and medical malpractice claims. As to the DOE and the City, the plaintiffs alleged that their treatment delays worsened the child plaintiff's condition. As to the hospital, the complaint stated that it delayed CT scan testing for over an hour and failed to administer tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a treatment using drugs to dissolve dangerous clots in blood vessels, which worsened the girl’s condition. Click title to continue reading...



Proper to Discontinue Claim Processing for Employee's Failure to Submit Info

A man was a participant in his employer’s self-funded benefit plan. His son was a beneficiary under the plan. The plan considered one source of insurance coverage “primary” and another source of coverage “secondary.” If the plan was primary, its benefits were determined before those of another plan. The benefits of the other plan were not considered. When the plan was secondary, its benefits were determined after those of the other plan. In such a case, the plan's benefits may be reduced because of the other plan's benefits. Click title to continue reading...