Scalpel Weekly News

Week of: March 30, 2015

IN THE NEWS


Two Deaths Associated with Injectable Schizophrenia Drug Reviewed by FDA

The FDA has concluded the review of a study undertaken to determine the cause of elevated levels of the long-acting, injectable schizophrenia drug Zyprexa Relprevv (olanzapine pamoate) in two patients who died. Both patients were found to have very high olanzapine blood levels after death. High doses of olanzapine can cause delirium, cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, and reduced level of consciousness ranging from sedation to coma. Click title to continue reading...


 
MEDICAL ALERTS


Potential Health Risks of Homeopathic Over-the-Counter Asthma Products

The FDA warned consumers not to rely on asthma products labeled as homeopathic that are sold over-the-counter (OTC). These products have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. Asthma is a serious, chronic lung condition. If asthma is not appropriately treated and managed, patients may have wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing, and could be at risk for life-threatening asthma attacks that may require emergency care or hospitalization. Uncontrolled asthma can lead to chronic lung disease and a poor quality of life, and may slow growth. Although there is no cure for asthma, there are many prescription asthma treatments approved by the FDA as safe and effective, as well as some products that are marketed OTC in accordance with an FDA monograph. Click title to continue reading...



Extensive Nationwide Spinach Recalls; Possible Listeria Contamination

Coastal Green Vegetable Company LLC of Oxnard, CA, initiated a recall of spinach on March 20, 2015, due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Coastal Green Vegetable Company supplies spinach to a number of food processors. Subsequently, a wide variety of spinach products by many grocers and others have been recalled. Click title to continue reading...



Misperceptions Keep Kids from Getting Lifesaving Drug for Tickborne Diseases

Children are five times more likely than adults to die from tickborne diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). Doctors often avoid prescribing doxycycline, the most effective RMSF treatment, for young children because the drug’s warning label cautions that tooth staining may be a side effect in children younger than eight years. A new study suggests that for patients with RMSF, this warning may be doing more harm than good. The study led by experts at the CDC and Indian Health Service (IHS) found that short courses of the antibiotic doxycycline can be used in children under eight years old without staining teeth or weakening tooth enamel. Click title to continue reading...


  CASE ALERTS


New Malpractice Trial Ordered; Websites, Email Admitted Without Authentication

A woman underwent cervical disk replacement surgery. She was discharged from the hospital two days after the surgery. Four days after the surgery, she experienced a pain behind her right eye, numbness around her mouth, confusion, and the sensation of being hot and cold at the same time. She was transported to another hospital, where she was admitted and treated by a doctor. A couple of hours later she was discharged from the hospital and she returned home. Click title to continue reading...



Defendant Surgeon Need Not Qualify as Expert to Testify on Standard of Care

A woman underwent breast implant surgery. After the procedure, her incision did not heal and the implant began to protrude though her skin. The surgeon who performed the breast implant surgery re-sutured the non-healing skin. A month later, the surgeon reinserted the implant and attempted to use the implant as a tissue expander. After suffering further complications, the woman sought the help of another physician who removed the implant. Click title to continue reading...



Insurer Waived Right to Rescind for Willful Misrepresentation

A woman underwent a fine needle aspiration of a lump in her breast. Five days after the procedure, the woman submitted a signed application for medical insurance. The section of the application seeking medical information asked whether the applicant had “received any professional advice or treatment ... from a licensed health practitioner” or “had any symptoms” pertaining to “breast problems, breast implants, adhesion, abnormal bleeding, amenorrhea, endometriosis, fibroid tumors”; “[b]een an inpatient or outpatient in a hospital, surgical center, ... or other medical facility”; had any “[a]bnormal laboratory results”; or had any “[d]iagnoses, symptoms and/or health problems not mentioned elsewhere on this application, or that have not been evaluated by a physician, or have any complications or residuals remaining following any treatment, or been advised to have a physician exam, further testing, treatment or surgery which has not yet been performed by a physician, dentist, or other health care provider?” Click title to continue reading...