Scalpel Weekly News

Week of: March 23, 2015

IN THE NEWS


New Chantix Label Warns of Seizures, Effects from Alcohol Use, Psychic Injury

The FDA is warning that the prescription smoking cessation medicine Chantix (varenicline) can change the way people react to alcohol. In addition, rare accounts of seizures in patients treated with Chantix have been reported. The FDA approved changes to the Chantix label to warn about these risks. Click title to continue reading...


 
MEDICAL ALERTS


Chemo Drug Dissolves Material in Some Chemotherapy Preparation Devices; Injury Risk

The FDA warned health care professionals not to use Treanda Injection (45 mg/0.5 mL or 180 mg/2 mL solution) with closed system transfer devices (CSTD), adapters, and syringes containing polycarbonate or acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS). Most marketed CSTDs, devices that are used to prepare and administer hazardous drugs for intravenous infusion such as chemotherapy drugs, contain either polycarbonate or ABS and are not compatible with Treanda Injection. Click title to continue reading...



FDA Guidance on Reprocessing of Reusable Medical Devices

The FDA announced new actions to enhance the safety of reusable medical devices and address the possible spread of infectious agents between uses. The new recommendations are outlined in a final industry guidance aimed at helping device manufacturers develop safer reusable devices, especially those devices that pose a greater risk of infection such as endoscopes. Click title to continue reading...



New CDC Cancer Study; Men and Blacks Have High Incidence; Survival Rates Good

Two out of three people diagnosed with cancer survive five years or more, according to a CDC study. Cancer is a leading cause of illness in the United States. Because of earlier detection of cancers with effective treatments, improved cancer treatments, and better general medical care, the percentage of persons living after a cancer diagnosis has increased over the past decades. Click title to continue reading...


  CASE ALERTS


Physician Exercise of Judgment Jury Instruction Appropriate in Failure to Diagnose Cases

A man found a small lump on his ankle that was causing slight discomfort. The next week he went to see a doctor regarding the lump. The doctor completed a physical examination of the ankle and described the lump in his chart notes as a “slight nodule” that was “smooth, soft, and nontender.” The man was not experiencing any redness, swelling, or other abnormalities. The doctor assessed it as a ganglion cyst, a fluid-filled cyst that is considered to be benign; ordered an x-ray to make sure there were no structural defects; referred the man to an orthopedic specialist; and instructed him to follow up with his office as necessary. The x-ray confirmed an absence of any problems in the ankle, but the radiologist noted, “If a soft tissue cyst is felt an ultrasound might be of help.” The doctor informed the man that the x-ray was negative but did not order an ultrasound. Click title to continue reading...



$2.4M Excessive for Cancer Treatment; Failure to Diagnose Lymphoma

A woman was treated at a hospital for swollen lymph nodes in her neck. Later that year, she was diagnosed with lymphoma. Cancerous masses were located on her liver and spleen, and the disease had reached her bone marrow. She later died. Her husband sued the doctor and hospital. After a trial, the jury returned a verdict for the husband finding that the hospital's employees were negligent in not diagnosing the woman's lymphoma and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing the woman’s injury and death. The jury awarded $2,400,000 for pain and suffering for one year of additional cancer treatment. Click title to continue reading...



Federal Arbitration Act Preempts Texas Health Law Invalidating Arbitration Clause

A woman was a patient and resident under the care and supervision of a nursing home at the time of her death. The nursing home resident’s wrongful death and survival beneficiaries filed suit against the nursing home for medical negligence and wrongful death. Click title to continue reading...