Scalpel Weekly News

Week of: October 26, 2015

IN THE NEWS


Use of Heater-Cooler Devices May Cause Infection in Some Patients

The FDA recently became aware, through analysis of adverse event reports, the medical literature, and information from national and international public health agencies that the use of heater-cooler devices has been associated with Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) infections, primarily in patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgical procedures. NTM organisms are widespread in nature and can be found in soil and water, including tap water sources. They are typically not harmful, but in rare cases may cause infections in very ill patients and/or in individuals with compromised immune systems. Click title to continue reading...


 
MEDICAL ALERTS


Drug to Reverse Pardaxa Blood-Thinning Effects Approved for Emergencies

The FDA has granted accelerated approval to Praxbind (idarucizumab) for use in patients who are taking the anticoagulant Pradaxa (dabigatran) during emergency situations when there is a need to reverse Pradaxa’s blood-thinning effects. Praxbind and Pradaxa are both marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim of Ridgefield, Ct. Click title to continue reading...



FDA’s Evaluation of New Combination Medical Products

Combination products – medical products that do not fit into the traditional categories of drugs, devices, or biological products – are a growing and important category of therapeutic and diagnostic products under the FDA’s regulatory authority. These products, that combine drugs, devices, and/or biological product (“constituent parts”) with one another, come in three configurations. The constituent parts may be physically or chemically combined, co-packaged, or separately distributed with specific labeling for their combined use. Click title to continue reading...



Study Shows Urgent Need for Improved Prescribing Practices; Opioid Abuse

Drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death in the United States. The death rate from drug overdose in the United States more than doubled during 1999 to 2013, from 6.0 per 100,000 population in 1999 to 13.8 in 2013. The increase in drug overdoses is attributable primarily to the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, especially opioid analgesics, sedatives/tranquilizers, and stimulants. Information from state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) can be used to detect and measure prescribing patterns that suggest abuse and misuse of controlled substances, according to a recent CDC report. Click title to continue reading...


  CASE ALERTS


Doctors’ Notes in Medical Records Fall Under Medical Treatment Hearsay Exception

A woman was referred to a rheumatologist to treat her inflammatory arthritis associated with inflammatory chronic immune demyelinating polyneuropathy and monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance. Chronic immune demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a rare neurological disorder in which there is inflammation of nerve roots and peripheral nerves and destruction of the fatty protective covering (myelin sheath) over the nerves. This affects how fast the nerve signals are transmitted and leads to loss of nerve fibers. This causes weakness, paralysis and/or impairment in motor function, especially of the arms and legs (limbs). Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is a condition in which an abnormal protein (monoclonal protein, or M protein) is in the blood. Click title to continue reading...



Malpractice Claim Dismissal for Failure to File Expert Affidavit Did Not Violate Rights

A man under the care of chiropractors died. His family members filed a wrongful death action alleging medical negligence. The complaint alleged that the negligent chiropractic services caused the man’s death. Along with the complaint, the family members filed an affidavit stating that they obtained the written opinion of a qualified health care provider in support of their claims as required by Missouri law. Click title to continue reading...



Defense Expert Cardiologist Fee Not Taxed To Plaintiff Who Died After Stopping Plavix

A woman with a history of heart disease regularly took aspirin and Plavix (clopidogrel) a blood thinner used to help prevent stroke, heart attack, and other heart problems. In preparation for arthroscopic knee surgery, she followed the instructions of her cardiologist to stop taking aspirin and Plavix. The day before the scheduled surgery, the woman suffered a myocardial infarction and died. Click title to continue reading...


FEATURE


Complaint: Alzheimer’s Abuse

As a special feature to our Premium subscribers we have included this feature containing an illustrative Complaint for elder abuse, neglect, negligence, and malpractice involving an Alzheimer’s nursing facility resident. Click title to continue reading...