Scalpel Weekly News

Week of: June 01, 2015

IN THE NEWS


$11.2M for Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak; Largest Fine Paid in Food Safety Case

 ConAgra Grocery Products LLC, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods Inc., agreed to plead guilty and pay $11.2 million in connection with the shipment of contaminated peanut butter linked to a 2006 through 2007 nationwide outbreak of salmonellosis, or salmonella poisoning, the Department of Justice announced. ConAgra Grocery Products LLC is based in Omaha, Nebraska, with a manufacturing facility in Sylvester, Georgia. Click title to continue reading...


 
MEDICAL ALERTS


Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Tuna Sushi; 400 Die Each Year From Acute Salmonellosis

 The FDA, CDC, and state and local officials are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infections possibly linked to sushi made from raw tuna. Click title to continue reading...



Antibacterial Drug Labeling Error; Excess Drug Prescribed for Complex Infections

 The FDA is warning health care professionals about the risk for dosing errors with the antibacterial drug Zerbaxa (ceftolozane and tazobactam) due to confusion about the drug strength displayed on the vial and carton labeling. Zerbaxa’s vial label was initially approved with a strength that reflects each individual active ingredient (e.g. 1 g/0.5 g). The product, however, is dosed based on the sum of these ingredients (e.g. 1.5 g). To prevent future medication errors, the strength on the drug labeling has been revised to reflect the sum of the two active ingredients. Thus, one vial of Zerbaxa will now list the strength as 1.5 grams equivalent to ceftolozane 1 gram and tazobactam 0.5 gram. Click title to continue reading...



Breath-Holding Has Lead to Drowning in Otherwise Healthy Swimmers; Navy Seals

 Drowning is an important cause of preventable injury and mortality, ranking fifth among leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. The physiologic causes of drownings related to breath-holding among otherwise healthy swimmers have been the focus of aquatic program–based materials on drowning prevention and academic literature, but little research has examined the epidemiology of contributing behaviors in these incidents. Click title to continue reading...


  CASE ALERTS


Autopsy Results Warranted New Trial; Rehabilitation Center as Cause of Quadriplegia

 A man began developing weakness in his upper extremities. Within the year, he began experiencing progressive numbness, tingling, and weakness in his limbs, requiring him to use a wheelchair and walker. Medical resonance imaging (MRI) showed two distinct problems in the same location of his cervical spine: narrowing of the spinal canal (cervical stenosis) as well as a mass, later determined to be a low-grade astrocytoma or tumor, on the back side of his spinal cord. The man underwent spinal decompression surgery and five days later was transferred to a rehabilitation center. Nine days after his surgery, while at the rehabilitation center, he experienced a rapid decline in his condition resulting in complete quadriplegia. Click title to continue reading...



Noneconomic Damages Cap in Medical Malpractice Not Retroactive; $1.45M Award

 A woman was diagnosed with melanoma. She received medical care, and a cancerous tumor was removed from her leg in an outpatient procedure. While she was told that the tumor had been completely removed and no melanoma remained, she sought a second medical opinion from a surgical oncologist. The surgical oncologist informed the woman that further surgery was warranted to ensure that the entire melanoma had been excised. The surgical oncologist performed the surgical procedure. Postoperative test results showed that there had been no residual melanoma following the first surgical procedure. There were complications following the second surgery. The woman had to be hospitalized for four days to treat an infection, which did not completely resolve for two months. Click title to continue reading...



Montana Applies Notice-Prejudice Rule to First Party Insurance

 A woman purchased a cancer benefit insurance policy. About 12 years later the woman was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent treatment until she died about eight years after she was diagnosed. From the time she purchased the policy until her death, the woman paid all premiums owed. The policy remained in effect when she died. The woman never submitted a claim on the policy while she lived. Click title to continue reading...


FEATURE


Bariatric Surgery Insurance: When Is Weight-Loss Surgery or Malpractice Covered?

Insurance companies that provide individual policies to insureds and malpractice insurance policies to physicians often encounter litigation issues in cases involving weight-loss surgery. Click title to continue reading...