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All news posts from January 01, 2003 to January 31, 2003

Posted by Staff Writer
January 29, 2003 12:00 AM

New Jersey physicians have threatened to strike if state lawmakers do not pass a medical malpractice insurance reform bill before Tuesday. The latest plan, called the "Patients First Act", calls for placing a cap of $250,000 on jury awards in non-permanent injury cases, limiting increases in insurance premiums, removi

Posted by Staff Writer
January 29, 2003 12:00 AM

A California jury recently awarded $11.5 million to a woman who developed a rare lung cancer from washing her husband's asbestos-riddled work clothing. In October 2001, Genevieve Gunderson, 75, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. From 1948 to 1963, Gunderson's ex-husba

Posted by Staff Writer
January 29, 2003 12:00 AM

An explosion at a Kinston, North Carolina pharmaceutical plant Wednesday afternoon critically injured at least three people and may have killed several others, according to a police spokesperson. Eyewitnesses have reported that the blast occurred at around 1:30 p.m. at West Pharmaceutical Services Inc.'s medical plant

Posted by Staff Writer
January 28, 2003 12:00 AM

The family of a Virginia woman killed in an automobile accident recently settled its claim with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for $1.76 million. Carla Bridget Cox-McCoy, 33, was driving her pickup truck eastbound on Interstate 64 in Henrico County on August 3, 2001 when a USPS tractor-trailer heading westbound crosse

Posted by Staff Writer
January 28, 2003 12:00 AM

Two large clinical trials analyzing the effects of the arthritis medication Enbrel in the treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF) were recently halted in Europe due to the possibility that the drug may worsen a patient's condition. Physicians in the United Kingdom are now being advised to "use caution" when prescr

Posted by Staff Writer
January 28, 2003 12:00 AM

Hundreds of physicians in Florida and Mississippi did not work Monday in protest of the rising cost of medical malpractice insurance premiums. More than 800 doctors in the Palm Beach County area told hospital officials they would be attending a two-day conference to analyze the crisis. Local hospitals were forced to

Posted by Staff Writer
January 24, 2003 12:00 AM

New research indicates that use of the breast cancer medication tamoxifen, sold under the brand name Nolvadex, may prevent the disease in healthy women. Published in the medical journal The Lancet, the inquiry, conducted by scientists with Cancer Research UK, analyzed data from previous studies using tamoxifen for bre

Posted by Staff Writer
January 24, 2003 12:00 AM

Researchers with The Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academy of Sciences, announced Thursday that a type of leukemia is linked to exposure to Agent Orange. According to the institute, exposure to the herbicide, which was used during the Vietnam War in South Vietnam and Cambodia to clear dense jungle,

Posted by Staff Writer
January 23, 2003 12:00 AM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked pharmaceutical maker Purdue Pharma LP to pull all OxyContin advertisements printed in a widely read journal because they fail to properly warn readers of the medication's adverse side effects. The ads, which the FDA says "grossly misrepresent" the safety of OxyContin,

Posted by Staff Writer
January 22, 2003 12:00 AM

Convenient store chain 7-Eleven Inc. and dietary supplement distributor EAS announced Wednesday that they will no longer sell products containing ephedra due to the substance's link to heart attacks, strokes and seizures. Ephedra, which peaked in popularity two years ago when athletes endorsed the supplement as a mean

Posted by Staff Writer
January 22, 2003 12:00 AM

An explosion ripped through a mining shaft in Moundsville, West Virginia, Wednesday morning killing three mineworkers and injuring three others. The miners, employees of Central Cambria Drilling of Evensburg, Pennsylvania, were about 1,000 feet underground digging a vertical air shaft when the explosion occurred aroun

Posted by Staff Writer
January 22, 2003 12:00 AM

A Federal judge in Illinois Tuesday ordered Ford Motor Company to turn over all safety information it has obtained on the company's 15-passenger vans and fined the automaker for concealing evidence about the controversial van model. Plaintiff attorneys filed a motion to impose sanctions against Ford after determining

Posted by Staff Writer
January 21, 2003 12:00 AM

Pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Synthelabo announced Monday that it was halting the clinical trial of the heart arrhythmia medication dronedarone due to safety concerns. According to the drug maker, 24 patients died while taking dronedarone, compared to 10 in the placebo group. Sanofi was attempting to develop a safer

Posted by Staff Writer
January 21, 2003 12:00 AM

A St. Paul, Minnesota hospital issued an apology Monday for accidentally amputating a healthy woman's breasts in June 2002. Linda McDougal, 46, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer after her physician at United Hospital ordered a biopsy when a suspicious spot appeared on her mammogram. Unknown to McDo

Posted by Staff Writer
January 21, 2003 12:00 AM

The safety of Ford Motor Company's controversial 15-passenger vans will be reviewed in Federal court next month as the automobile maker faces accusations it withheld test data on the vehicles. The new case, scheduled for trial February 24, stems from a lawsuit involving the deaths of two van passengers in an accident

Posted by Staff Writer
January 20, 2003 12:00 AM

The California Court of Appeal upheld a $15.4 million verdict last week in a rollover lawsuit involving General Motors' Chevrolet Blazer. In 1990, Robbie Lambert, then 18, was driving on Interstate 40 in San Bernardino County when he fell asleep at the wheel and drifted off the road. Lambert's Blazer rolled over thre

Posted by Staff Writer
January 20, 2003 12:00 AM

A Texas woman permanently injured during two operations five years ago settled a medical malpractice lawsuit for $8.4 million last week. Arlisa Cooper, 35, was admitted to Columbia Woman's Hospital of Houston in January 1998 to deliver her baby. During the birth, Dr. Earl Lombard caused a massive fourth degree tear w

Posted by Staff Writer
January 17, 2003 12:00 AM

President Bush called on Congress to pass legislation capping medical malpractice damages during a speech in Scranton, Pennsylvania Thursday. Saying that the medical liability system was "broken," Bush urged lawmakers to limit non-economic damages at $250,000, with an unspecified cap on punitive awards. The deba

Posted by Staff Writer
January 17, 2003 12:00 AM

A New York jury awarded $14.5 million Thursday to the family of a Long Island woman who died of cervical cancer due to medical malpractice. Karen Pedone, 35, died in March 1997 after a medical laboratory failed to detect her cancer on a pap smear. Pedone's family sued her gynecologist, Richard Halpert, and the Metpat

Posted by Staff Writer
January 16, 2003 12:00 AM

Pharmaceutical maker Bayer announced this week that it is facing 7,400 lawsuits stemming from the August 2001 recall of the cholesterol-lowering medication Baycol, up from 5,700 in November 2002. A spokesperson for Bayer said the company has settled 400 of those suits but refused to disclose the amount of the settleme

Posted by Staff Writer
January 16, 2003 12:00 AM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cited pharmaceutical maker Pharmacia for improper safety procedures at a drug-manufacturing plant in Puerto Rico. According to a FDA letter sent to Pharmacia officials, during a September 2002 inspection of the facility, investigators discovered employees inadequately monito

Posted by Staff Writer
January 16, 2003 12:00 AM

Researchers investigating the frequency of medical errors during surgical operations discovered that surgery tools are left inside about 1,500 patients every year. The study, conducted by examiners at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health, analyzed insurance records from 800,000 ope

Posted by Staff Writer
January 15, 2003 12:00 AM

A new Swiss study on the effects of COX-2 inhibitors reveals the medications may play a major role in the prevention of heart disease. As part of a 14-person study at the University of Zurich, researchers distributed Celebrex, a COX-2 inhibitor used to treat arthritis, to patients taking cardiovascular disease prevent

Posted by Staff Writer
January 15, 2003 12:00 AM

Britain's Department of Health announced Tuesday that it will continue to use thimerosal-based vaccines in children despite reports that the mercury-based preservative may harm infants. Designed to prevent microbial contamination, thimerosal has been used in vaccines for over 60 years, but recent reports have linked t

Posted by Staff Writer
January 14, 2003 12:00 AM

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials investigating last week's crash of US Airways Express Flight 5481 are focusing on a mechanic's adjustment of one of the plane's cables connecting the control column to the elevators on the aircraft's tail. According to an article in Tuesday's Charlotte Observer, th

Posted by Staff Writer
January 14, 2003 12:00 AM

According to a new study published in the January 13th issue of the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine, patients taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in combination with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are 12 times more likely to suffer from upper gastrointestinal bleeding than those wh

Posted by Staff Writer
January 14, 2003 12:00 AM

West Virginia physicians received encouraging news Monday when the state's House Judiciary Committee passed a medical malpractice reform bill that caps damage awards in lawsuits and provides doctors with financial relief from high insurance premiums. As part of the new legislation, damages sought by malpractice patien

Posted by Staff Writer
January 13, 2003 12:00 AM

A new report released Thursday by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts reveals that more than half of the women in the United States undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) continued treatment last year despite reports that HRT may cause heart disease, strokes, blood clots and breast cancer. According to the

Posted by Staff Writer
January 13, 2003 12:00 AM

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine released a study last week blaming Viagra's link to heart attacks and strokes on the drug's tendency to cause platelets to aggregate. According to the study, which appears in the January 10 issue of the scientific journal Cell , Viagra elevates

Posted by Staff Writer
January 13, 2003 12:00 AM

A new study published in the January 11th issue of The Lancet reveals the need for better safety monitoring of dietary supplements due to their potential for "substantial hazard." Conducted by researchers from Wayne State University in Detroit, the study analyzed 2300 calls made in 1998 to 11 poison control centers in

Posted by Staff Writer
January 10, 2003 12:00 AM

Three West Virginia surgeons who went on strike January 1 in protest of the high cost of malpractice insurance returned to work Friday, calming fears that the walkout would last months. Since the beginning of the year, two dozen physicians have been on leaves of absence at four state hospitals to protest the current m

Posted by Staff Writer
January 10, 2003 12:00 AM

Consumer interest groups accused the medical establishment and insurance companies Thursday of causing the recent spike in malpractice insurance premiums. Spokespersons for Public Citizen and the Consumer Federation of America blamed high premiums on poor investment decisions made by insurance companies. According to

Posted by Staff Writer
January 10, 2003 12:00 AM

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are focusing their investigation of the US Airways Express/Air Midwest commuter plane that crashed Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina on maintenance conducted on the aircraft two nights before the accident. According to a NTSB spokesperson, the Beech 1

Posted by Staff Writer
January 09, 2003 12:00 AM

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials investigating Wednesday's crash of a US Airways Express/Air Midwest commuter plane in Charlotte, North Carolina have found the airliner's vital voice recorder and flight data recorder. According to NTSB head John Goglia, the voice recorder contains 34 minutes of "v

Posted by Staff Writer
January 09, 2003 12:00 AM

Britain's Committee on Safety of Medicines has ordered a review panel to evaluate the safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) due to claims that the medications cause suicidal feelings. SSRIs, a group of antidepressants that include GlaxoSmithKline's Seroxat, sold in the United States as Paxil, have

Posted by Staff Writer
January 09, 2003 12:00 AM

Serzone withdrawal: Pharmaceutical maker Bristol-Myers Squibb announced this week that it will stop selling the antidepressant medication Dutonin in Europe because of its link to 25 reports of liver failure and 18 deaths. Sold in the United States under the brand name Serzone, Dutonin has been linked to severe liver p

Posted by Staff Writer
January 08, 2003 12:00 AM

A US Airways Express/Air Midwest commuter plane crashed at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport Wednesday morning, killing 19 passengers and two crewmembers. Flight 5481 was departing for Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport when it crashed on takeoff. A spokesperson for US Airways told aviation offici

Posted by Staff Writer
January 08, 2003 12:00 AM

Spanish researchers report in the latest issue of The Lancet that nearly half of all drug advertisements published in medical journals cite studies or other evidence that does not support their promotional claims. As part of their research, co-author Dr. Salvador Peiro and colleagues with the Valencia School for Healt

Posted by Staff Writer
January 07, 2003 12:00 AM

West Virginia physicians seeking caps on medical malpractice jury verdicts received distressing news Monday when a state legislative panel released data from a year-long review of the matter without recommending claim limits. According to the panel, the Select Committee on Insurance Availability and Medical Malpractic

Posted by Staff Writer
January 07, 2003 12:00 AM

As part of a $6 million settlement reached with 19 states over the antibiotic Zithromax, Pfizer will change the way it advertises the medication. In their complaint, the states alleged the pharmaceutical company misrepresented the antibiotic's performance by calling the drug superior to other medications because it re

Posted by Staff Writer
January 07, 2003 12:00 AM

A truck collided with a commuter train outside of Los Angeles Monday, killing one person and injuring dozens more. According to witnesses, the truck's driver, whose name has not been released, was attempting to bypass a railroad crossing at an intersection 10 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, ignoring the lower

Posted by Staff Writer
January 06, 2003 12:00 AM

Just days after more than two dozen West Virginia physicians took leaves of absence in protest of the high cost of medical malpractice insurance, a consumer interest coalition released a study blaming the soaring rates on poor business decisions made by the insurance industry. The study, which was conducted by America

Posted by Staff Writer
January 06, 2003 12:00 AM

A settlement has been reached in a California lawsuit filed against Ford Motor Company and Bridgestone/Firestone over faulty tires on a woman's Ford Explorer. In May 1999, Dolores Castro suffered a broken neck and brain damage when her Explorer rolled over on a Los Angeles highway after tread allegedly separated from

Posted by Staff Writer
January 06, 2003 12:00 AM

According to a new report conducted by the newspaper Lawyers Weekly USA, large jury verdict awards to individual plaintiffs significantly decreased in the year following the September 11 terrorist attacks but increased considerably in the latter months of 2002. The report reveals that only one of the top 10 jury verdi

Posted by Staff Writer
January 03, 2003 12:00 AM

The Food and Drug Administration has approved new uses for the antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) to treat children and adolescents seven to 17 years of age for depression (major depressive disorder) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This is the first approval of one of the newer types of antidepressants (select

Posted by Staff Writer
January 03, 2003 12:00 AM

According to consumer interest groups and major automakers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) decision to remove warning labels on enhanced airbag systems places children at risk of serious injury and death. Known as "smart" airbags, the improved safety devices adjust inflation based on the

Posted by Staff Writer
January 03, 2003 12:00 AM

In another lawsuit involving the controversial Crown Victoria police cruiser, the city of Dallas recently sued Ford Motor Company seeking information on the safety of the vehicle. Plaintiff attorneys insist the Crown Victoria's fuel-tank design is defective. The placement of the tank behind the rear axle, according t

Posted by Staff Writer
January 02, 2003 12:00 AM

Federal regulators announced this week that the American Red Cross recently received 134 reports of patients contracting hepatitis B after blood transfusions. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Red Cross, which handles nearly half of the nation's blood supply, failed to investigate the hepati

Posted by Staff Writer
January 02, 2003 12:00 AM

More than two dozen orthopedic, cardiac and general surgeons at four West Virginia hospitals are taking leave this week in protest of the high cost of malpractice insurance. As a result, almost all surgeries have been canceled at the facilities and at least one patient has been transferred 90 miles to another hospital

Posted by Staff Writer
January 02, 2003 12:00 AM

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warned consumers to watch out for problems with child seats equipped with recessed buckles built into the seat between the child's legs. NHTSA said the buckles in these seats can easily collect particles of food, drink, dirt

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

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