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All news posts from March 01, 2009 to March 31, 2009

Posted by Jane Akre
March 31, 2009 11:55 PM

Pistachio nuts are the latest focus of an FDA recall due to salmonella contamination. Several people have been sickened though the type of salmonella found in the nuts has not yet been positively linked to their illness. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 31, 2009 5:58 PM

The FDA is issuing its third alert concerning over-the-counter weight loss products that contain prescription ingredients. A diuretic, anti-seizure, and prescription-only appetite supressant have been found in these OTC drugs the FDA wants taken off the market. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 31, 2009 12:24 PM

While U.S. litigation against Merck over the drug Vioxx is winding down, in Canada it's heating up. A Saskatchewan class action cannot be established says a three judge panel, but Ontario says this action means the more than one million Canadians, who allege harm from Vioxx, can join in one national class action. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 31, 2009 11:45 AM

Two U.S. senators have filed new legislation aimed at initiating a recall and imposing an immediate ban on importing “tainted building products from China." The tainted Chinese-made drywall has been creating problems in homes from Florida to Louisiana.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 30, 2009 11:33 PM

While the complication rate is said to be one in a million, a growing voice of patients claim that the medical device - synthetic surgical mesh - used to treat incontinence and hernias, is not staying put but is migrating, wrapping around organs, requiring repeated surgeries, and in some cases killing patients. They want it off the market. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 30, 2009 11:47 AM

The Watchman, a new device implanted in the heart, proved to be a potential alternative to a warafin, a standard blood thinner for helping patients with atrial fibrillation to prevent stroke.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 30, 2009 11:16 AM

Adolescents and teens taking part in a national survey report only 38 percent had a preventive health visit in the past year that might include counseling on dental care, exercise, diet, wearing helmets or avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke. These years are thought to create many lifelong healthy behaviors.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 30, 2009 10:06 AM

Florida legislators want to restrict the use of tanning beds for teens under the age of 18. Miss Florida Teen USA, Kayla Collier also supports the proposal after she was diagnosed with melanoma she believes came from a tanning salon. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 27, 2009 10:59 PM

Attempting to retrieve a stuck anchor by reving the 21-foot fishing boat caused it to capsize in the Gulf of Mexico last month, killing three of the four young men on board, two of them NFl players.  Cutting the rope and leaving the anchor would have cost about $100, say investigators.    

Posted by Jane Akre
March 27, 2009 4:14 PM

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Armando Hernandez, a mentally challenged 21-year-old, who was the subject of staff induced beatings between residents, that's been dubbed "The Fight Club" by the media.  Texas has immunity from lawsuits, but the smoking gun is the video captured by cell phones belonging to the state. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 27, 2009 12:08 PM

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general’s office conducted a test of the food tracing system and found most companies don’t keep required records showing where products came from and to whom they are sold which undermines the FDA's ability to trace the source of a foodborne illness or bioterrorism attack.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 27, 2009 11:37 AM

Erin Weed has become an advocate for safer spring breaks for college students and for girls learning self defense. Her advocacy comes after a sorority sister was murdered.  Girls who go out with their girlfriends need to go home with their girlfriends, she preaches to college campuses on her spring tour this year. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 26, 2009 10:32 PM

A CDC epidemiologist was often asked about injuries caused by pets. Now she has compiled the first ever report on pet-related injuries and finds that about 86,000 falls a year are pet-related. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 26, 2009 2:37 PM

Circumcision reduced cases of herpes and human papillomavirus in Ugandan men, say researchers from Johns Hopkins. Circumcision is already known to reduce HIV infections. Researchers are calling for higher circumcision rates. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 26, 2009 11:28 AM

Amid embarassing revelations that members of the American Psychiatric Association have taken and not revealed drug industry funding, the APA says it will shun sponsored symposia and meals - it just doesn't say when.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 25, 2009 4:40 PM

Radio producer, Bill Lichtenstein wants to clear the air. He says he knew nothing about the conflicting interests between the host of "The Infinite Mind" Dr. Fred Goodwin, and GlaxoSmithKline who paid Goodwin more $1 million in speaking fees. NPR has apologized to Lichtenstein for its reporting. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 25, 2009 1:35 PM

Will state law concerning pedestrian right-of-way determine the guilt of NFL player Dante Stallworth, accused of hitting and killing a pedestrian with his Bentley?

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 25, 2009 12:55 PM

According to the newly released 2009 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, the total healthcare costs of caring for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia are more than triple those of people 65 and older without the disease.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 25, 2009 11:20 AM

Children who have repeated anesthesia before the age of four, may develop learning disabilities, this published study from Mayo Clinic Rochester finds. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 24, 2009 11:08 PM

Kandace Marriott was convicted by a Texas jury and sentenced to 99 years in prison for her part in mortgage fraud. Falsifying an application to a lender makes up the bulk of fraud, which in this case cost the state of Texas $3 million. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 24, 2009 4:29 PM

In one of the largest imaging studies on whether depression runs in families - researchers find that a thinning in the right hemisphere of the brain appeared to be linked to a risk of depression.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 24, 2009 11:48 AM

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests, people who consume high amounts of red meat and processed meats have a higher risk of mortality from cancer, heart disease and other causes.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 24, 2009 10:25 AM

Vitamin D levels appear to be declining in the general population, according to this published study, even though it is increasingly linked to immune health, bone strength and cardiovascular improvement.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 23, 2009 6:05 PM

Teens will be able to obtain the morning after pill, even under the age of 18, without a prescription under a District Judge ruling.  The change in policy is in response to a lawsuit that challenged requiring prescriptions for the emergency contraceptive for teens 17 and under.   

Posted by Jane Akre
March 23, 2009 3:40 PM

Without a cockpit recorder we may never know what caused a small plane to crash just short of a Butte, Montana runway Sunday afternoon. The plane may have been overloaded and the FAA says it was not certified to carry commercial passengers.  

Posted by Jane Akre
March 23, 2009 10:17 AM

Symbyax will be used for patients who have bipolar depression that is resistant to treatment. It also helps Lilly get around the patent expiration for Prozac.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 23, 2009 12:10 AM

The FDA is expanding its warning about tainted weight loss products that contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients. In other words, the ingredients are not mentioned on the label and pose serious health risks including, heart attack, stroke and seizures.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 20, 2009 5:01 PM

The deposition of Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Biederman, shows that he promises Johnson & Johnson executives positive results of a clinical trial on an antipsychotic, before the study even took place.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 20, 2009 11:24 AM

There is a misconception that some EMT workers and firefighters are heavy because they’re muscular. But a new study in the journal Obesity finds that three-quarters of them are just plain fat.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 20, 2009 11:19 AM

The FDA is warning against the sharing of insulin pens and cartridges after the practice at some Army hospitals apparently led to the sharing of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis C.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 20, 2009 10:27 AM

The sale of prescription drugs appears to be on a decline, partially due to generics and also likely due to a downturn in the economy.  There are no forcasts anytime soon to seeing double-digit profits that the pharmaceutical industry once enjoyed. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 19, 2009 5:21 PM

Traumatic brain injury is more common that previously thought, as the death of Natasha Richardson points out.  Young males 15 to 24 and  people over the age of 75 are mostly impacted, though many injuries are not readily apparent and may go undiagnosed and untreated.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 19, 2009 4:48 PM

Just three weeks before the death of Natasha Richardson from a head injury on the ski slope, emergency room doctors in Quebec had called for a mandatory helmet law, saying they save lives.  It is now under consideration.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 19, 2009 12:47 PM

The U.S. State Department recently issued a travel alert for Mexico due to escalating violence south of the border, but that hasn't stopped thousands of American college students from heading south for spring break.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 19, 2009 12:28 PM

Men have two options when it comes to having a blood test for prostate cancer and these studies don't make the options any clearer. A PSA blood test may detect some type of cancer early, but the treatment can be worse than the disease.  Experts discuss the recommendations. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 19, 2009 12:56 AM

Could a helmet at the ski slope have saved Natasha Richardson?  In some cases yes, unless the concussion occurs at a high speed. The early signs of brain swelling may go unnoticed, which make survival less likely.   

Posted by Jane Akre
March 18, 2009 5:59 PM

Michiganders gathered in Lansing today to have their say about a proposed repeal of the state drugmaker immunity law, the only one in the country. This year they want it overturned and the Republican majority in the house to stop stonewalling, especially in light of a recent Supreme Court decision that negated the federal preemption argument.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 18, 2009 12:34 PM

Being obese can take years off your life and in some cases may be as dangerous as smoking, suggests a new study. The findings, published in The Lancet, come from data on nearly a million people from around the world.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 18, 2009 9:15 AM

Blame it on the Internet. Juries are increasingly found to search for information outside of the evidence presented in a courtroom, a violation of the rules. Some even choose to become a mini-broadcaster to their own Twitter accounts. The end result  - more mistrials. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 17, 2009 3:33 PM

AIG, the global insurance company, had to hire guards and lock its doors following death threats upon the news that top executives will receive bonuses, as part of the taxpayer bailout. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 17, 2009 11:48 AM

New recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggest low doses of aspirin daily are just as effective as higher doses and safer at preventing a first heart attack in men and first stroke in women.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 16, 2009 7:26 PM

Opposing forces, from citizens injured by drugs or their survivors, to lobbyists from the largest drug companies are expected in Lansing, Michigan Wednesday, as the state considers repealing its drugmaker immunity law - the only one in the nation put in place by former Gov. John Engler. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 16, 2009 12:52 PM

Some Michiganders say they feel left out since the Diana Levine decision by the Supreme Court threw out the federal preemption argument of drug companies. Michigan law does not permit remedies in court from dangerous drugs, but a hearing this week could begin to change that. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 15, 2009 10:49 PM

On Sunday, scientists presented new research at the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology meeting, in Washington, that suggests life-threatening peanut allergies may one day be cured.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 13, 2009 5:44 PM

Michiganders did not rejoice over the Diana Levine decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last week. The court rejected the federal preemption argument of drugmaker, Wyeth and returned to citizens the right to sue in state court.  That is, unless you live in Michigan, which offers drugmakers immunity from lawsuits. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 13, 2009 11:12 AM

Despite marketing claims like “gentle” and “pure,” several top-selling children’s bath products are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals, according to a Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report, "No More Toxic Tub."

Posted by Jane Akre
March 12, 2009 11:28 PM

The founder of Google is underwriting research into the causes of Parkinson's disease with the help of his wife's online DNA collection and analysis company. Segey Brin's mother has Parkinson's disease, and his philanthropy is at least partially motivated by selfish reasons. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 12, 2009 1:03 PM

Ozone pollution eminating from fossil fuel plants, chemical solvents, and cars, is linked to an increase in respiratory deaths in this published study. Los Angeles and Riverside California are particularly high in ozone levels.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 12, 2009 12:16 PM

New research links low levels of vitamin D to high blood pressure and high blood sugar in teenagers, which can lead to early health problems. The "sunshine" vitamin is needed to keep bones strong, but recent research has linked vitamin D to other possible health benefits in both children and adults.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 12, 2009 11:10 AM

Drs. Margaret Hamburg and Joshua Sharfstein, both Harvard Medical School grads, have been chosen by President Obama to be the commissioner and deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.  They still must face confirmation hearings.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 11, 2009 11:46 AM

Women with clinical depression were twice as likely to experience sudden cardiac death, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 11, 2009 11:05 AM

11 of the nation's busines airports are still not in compliance with runway safety, a Transportation Department report finds.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 10, 2009 9:54 PM

You could have one of these refrigerators in your home. They were sold between 2001 and 2004 and are now being voluntarily recalled by Maytag because of a potential fire hazard. 1.6 million will need repair. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 10, 2009 11:13 AM

The Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act hopes to restore some dignity to the elderly who find themselves injured by a home, yet unable to have their day in court because of language agreed to in the small print of a nursing home contract.  

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 10, 2009 11:11 AM

If you think changes in the weather triggers a migraine attack, it might not be all in your head. A new study in the journal Neurology suggests people are more likely to visit emergency rooms with migraines in warmer weather.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 09, 2009 6:12 PM

The second major drug company merger in as many months, Merck will acquire Schering-Plough for $41 billion.  Fewer blockbuster drugs, and the promises of healthcare reform are pushing changes in the pharmaceutical industry.  

Posted by Jane Akre
March 09, 2009 2:05 PM

Hospitals and doctors turn to a basic of human compassion - saying I'm sorry -  when they make a medical mistake to lower the costs associated with litigation.  About five percent of doctors in the U.S. are responsible for about 54 percent of all malpractice, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 09, 2009 12:29 PM

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and the American Cancer Society is promoting safe screening practices. Both men and women are at risk of colon cancer and should begin screening at 50.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 09, 2009 10:35 AM

The FDA has issued a Public Health Advisory about the possible risk of skin burns from certain transdermal patches, as some of these medications may contain aluminum or other metal that could overheat during an MRI scan

Posted by Jane Akre
March 09, 2009 10:30 AM

Alan Landers was the poster-man for Winston cigarettes for decades - strong, sexy, confident, he lured smokers with the image of invincibility into an addictive habit. Later he would become an anti-smoking advocate and filed four lawsuits against Big Tobacco. One was to be heard next month, but Landers has died of throat cancer.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 06, 2009 12:53 PM

The Medical Device Safety Act introduced into Congress, would allow consumers to hold manufacturers of defective medical devices accountable, even if the device has been approved by the FDA. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 06, 2009 10:32 AM

Six baby bottle manufacturers will voluntarily agree to take BPA out of their bottles. The plastic component, know to disrupt the endocrine system in children, has been under increasing pressure from lawsuits, consumers and three state Attorneys General. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 05, 2009 12:27 PM

One day after the Supreme Court decision, the cameras have left and Diana Levine realizes that even with a decision in her favor and a $6.7 million award for damages, she's still missing most of her right arm. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 05, 2009 11:40 AM

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are introducing new legislation that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration new control to order recalls and open companies’ internal records for inspection.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 04, 2009 7:39 PM

Nick Schuyler is recovering in a Tampa, Florida hospital and may be released soon, but there is still no word of his friends in the fishing boat that capsized in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday night. The Coast Guard says capsizing is the number one safety hazard for hundreds of small boats off the Florida coast each year. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 04, 2009 2:14 PM

Diana Levine herself speaks about the specifics of her case in a video filmed by the Alliance for Justice on the Injuryboard Web site. Alliance for Justice and Wyeth all weigh in today too following the U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Wyeth v. Levine. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 04, 2009 1:30 PM

In a victory for consumer rights, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that consumers do have the right to sue a pharmaceutical company when it does not make a drug warning label clear enough to prevent injury.  The decision is a defeat for drugmaker, Wyeth and a victory for musician Diana Levine, who had won $7 million in a lower court ruling that Wyeth was challenging.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 04, 2009 12:59 PM

Lawmakers are planning again to try to pass legislation that would require government regulation of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 03, 2009 5:56 PM

Both conductors were text messaging just before a fatal train collision last September that killed 25 aboard a Los Angeles Metrolink commuter train, the National Transportation Safety Board reports.  

Posted by Jane Akre
March 03, 2009 3:39 PM

Seroquel, the antipsychotic, will have a further safety review by advisers brought in by the FDA because the drug is known to produce symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, a metabolic effect that causes involuntary movements, lip smacking, and grimacing.  Diabetes is a known side effect and the subject of thousands of lawsuits currently underway.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 03, 2009 11:10 AM

It may be the most significant criminal prosecution ever brought against a corporate polluter. The town of Libby, Montana is finally having its day in court. Town residents claim that the vermiculite mining operation, W.R. Grace, withheld information about the dangers of asbestos that blanketed the entire town with a fine dust.  More than 1,200 died or developed lung disease from asbestos fibers. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 03, 2009 10:23 AM

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows Tamiflu, the main drug used to treat the most-common form of flu in the U.S., is ineffective against most cases tested so far this flu season.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
March 02, 2009 6:23 PM

For nearly 100 years, tobacco companies have tried to associate smoking with slimness and glamour. Now, Silk Cut is launching a new line of super-slim cigarettes in packaging that resembles a perfume box in an attempt to attract women smokers.

Posted by Jane Akre
March 02, 2009 5:53 PM

Lead levels in the blood of youngsters has reached a 20 year low, according to a CDC report.  The 84 percent drop in lead levels in youngsters is reminiscent of levels not seen since the 1970s when lead was removed from gasoline and paint. 

Posted by Jane Akre
March 02, 2009 12:02 PM

Holland America may not have to compensate passengers who were onboard a cruise where norovirus broke out. More than 100 passengers were sickened and the cruise out of San Diego curtailed while the sick stayed in their cabins.

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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