Scalpel Weekly News

Week of: November 21, 2016

IN THE NEWS


Cochlear Implants Increase Hearing and Communication When Hearing Aids Fail

On November 10, 2016, the FDA updated its consumer information regarding cochlear implants. The cochlea is the part of the inner ear that contains the endings of the nerve, which carries sound to the brain. A cochlear implant is a small, electronic device that when surgically placed under the skin, stimulates the nerve endings in the cochlea to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. Click title to continue reading...


 
MEDICAL ALERTS


Medical Device Misconnection Risks

On October 7, 2016, the FDA updated its safety information regarding medical device misconnections. Medical device misconnections may occur when one type of medical device is mistakenly attached to another type of medical device that performs a different function. Because these connectors are easy to use and may be compatible with different medical devices, users can mistakenly connect unrelated systems to one another. This may cause medication or other substances to be delivered through the wrong tubing into the incorrect area of the body. Click title to continue reading...



Long Prison Term for Home Health Care Agency Owner; $33M Medicare Fraud

On November 7, 2016, the Department of Justice announced that the co-owner of a Detroit home health care company was sentenced to 96 months in prison for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme that caused approximately $33 million in losses. The U.S. District Judge from the Eastern District of Michigan also ordered him to pay $38,150,113.64 in restitution. The man was convicted at trial of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks. Click title to continue reading...



In 2015, One Out of Ten Babies Born Too Early; Preterm Risks

On November 7, 2016, the CDC published a report finding the preterm birth rate rose slightly in 2015 and about one out of ten babies (10%) was born too soon in the United States. Additionally, racial and ethnic differences in preterm birth rates remain. In 2015, the rate of preterm birth among non-Hispanic black women (13%) was about 50% higher than the rate of preterm birth among non-Hispanic white women (9%). Preterm birth rates decreased from 2007 to 2014. The decline in preterm births is partly due to fewer teens and young women becoming pregnant. Click title to continue reading...


  CASE ALERTS


$38M Verdict in Depakote Failure to Warn Case Upheld

At the time that a woman became pregnant, the label for Depakote had a black box warning that stated: Click title to continue reading...



No Forum Non Conveniens Transfer; Gastric Ulcer

A man presented to his primary care physician with complaints of abdominal pain and cramping. The primary care physician conducted an evaluation and ordered an abdominal CT scan. The CT scan was performed five days later at a hospital. A radiologist interpreted the scan and prepared a report of his findings. In his report, the radiologist did not mention whether a gastric ulcer was evident on the CT scan. Click title to continue reading...



Workers’ Compensation Denied for Chronic Lower Back Pain Predating Work Injuries

A man worked as a welder/fabricator, a job that required carrying and welding heavy, often awkward, parts and required repetitive lifting, bending, and twisting. Four years into his employment, the man began seeing a chiropractor with complaints of back pain. The chiropractor diagnosed the man with mechanical low back pain, possibly complicated by congenital or acquired structural abnormalities. Click title to continue reading...


FEATURE


Physician Letter: Gastrointestinal Disorder

As a special feature for our Premium subscribers we have included this feature containing an illustrative Physician Letter discussing a patient’s stomach disorder, to be used, for example, to show eligibility for Social Security or Medicare benefits. Click title to continue reading...