February 2010 Archives

February 24, 2010

New Mexico Women Taking Yaz At Risk For Gallbladder Disease

Despite growing claims of gallbladder problems and increased litigation, Bayer Health Care Inc. continues to market Yaz and Yasmin, without adequate warning of the potential gallbladder risks.

If you've been taking one of these birth control pills, contact a New Mexico personal injury attorney immediately for more information.

The popular birth control pill Yaz, and its counterpart Yasmin, have been linked to severe gall bladder problems, including gallstones, in otherwise healthy women. Often, these women had no gall bladder problems nor had any of the traditional risk factors for gall bladder disease before taking the pills. Typical risk factors include multiple pregnancies, obesity and rapid weight loss.

Under normal circumstances, bile is produced by the liver and travels to the gallbladder, where it stays until it is released into the small intestine. However, the composition of bile is changed in women who take Yaz and Yasmin. Studies have linked the hormones in Yaz and Yasmin to increased cholesterol levels in bile that causes the bile to harden and form gallstones. Gallstones can become excruciatingly painful and cause gallbladder inflammation and disease.

Symptoms of gallbladder problems include - but are not limited to:

• Pain or discomfort in the upper right side of the abdomen
• Nausea
• Diarrhea
• Abdominal bloating
• Jaundice

However, in many cases, gallstones are asymptomatic. The stones may not be discovered until years later when they become extremely painful. At that point, surgical removal of the gall bladder may be your only option. Even after surgery is completed, many women still face gallbladder removal side effects.

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February 23, 2010

Thousands Of New Mexico Cars Affected By Toyota Accelerator Recall

On January 21, 21010 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. recalled and suspended sales on several different models of its cars due to a defect in the accelerator pedal. The recall affects 3.1 million vehicles. As a result of the defect, the accelerator pedal sticks causing sudden acceleration. These "run-away" vehicles have caused serious accidents, injuries and deaths.

ABC News reports that despite Toyota's decision to recall the vehicles and fix the sudden accelerator problems, this is not enough. Toyota plans to change the design of its accelerator pedals as well as the shape of the floor under the pedal, claiming that this will address the root cause for the potential risk for floor mat entrapment.

However, evidence exists that the electronic throttle control system is to blame. Toyota continues to deny this as the reasons for the accelerator problem and continues its focus on the floor mats.

As New Mexico personal injury attorneys concerned for your safety, we urge anyone driving a Toyota to determine whether your vehicle is affected by the recall. For more information, or if you or a loved one has been injured in a collision involving a recalled Toyota, please contact the Branch Law Firm.

February 15, 2010

Zimmer Durom Cup Lawsuits On The Rise

The Zimmer Durom Cup, also known as the Zimmer Durom Acetabular component, was introduced in the U.S. in 2006 and meant to be an improvement over traditional hip replacement components. Instead of using screws, cement or epoxy to secure the Cup, the Cup was intended to bond to the patient's hip socket as bone grows into the device's shell.

However, almost as soon as the Durom Cup was introduced, problems with the hip replacement components began. Rather than being an improvement over previous hip replacement components, the Cup has been linked to serious problems, including excruciating pain requiring additional hip replacement surgery. Often, the bone doesn't grow into the device correctly and the metal socket loosens and separates, grinding against the bone as it moves.

As a result, lawsuits against Zimmer Holdings Inc. are on the rise. These lawsuits allege both that the hip replacement system is defective and that Zimmer failed to provide adequately warning or instructions about the proper use and the proper techniques for implantation.

Despite a brief suspension of the sale of the Zimmer Durom cup in 2008, Zimmer continues to manufacturer and sell these components and remains a dominant force in the hip replacement market.

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February 8, 2010

Harvard Study Links Avandia To Increased Risk of Heart Attack

A soon to be published report by the American Diabetes Association has found that the number of heart attacks by diabetic patients who took Avandia is double that of those who took a different oral diabetic medication. In the study, Harvard University researchers analyzed clinical data from more than 26,375 patients from 2000 to 2006 in the Boston area who took at least one oral diabetes medication. Of these patients, the incidence of heart attack among Avandia users was more than double that of those who used a different drug.

Further, a jointly sponsored study by both GlaxoSmithKline and i3 Drug Safety showed that diabetic patients who took Avandia had a 35-41% increased risk of heart attack over users of Actos, Avandia's main competitor.

These findings reinforce the claims of thousands of former users - that Avandia causes serious illnesses and complications, including heart attack and death, within an already vulnerable population. In fact, over 13,000 former Avandia users have filed claims against GlaxoSmithKline in both Federal and State court as the result of significant illnesses and complications.

However, despite these known, life-threatening dangers associated with Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline still continues to market and sell the drug, placing thousands of people at risk. This is unacceptable.

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February 1, 2010

New Mexico Medical Devices - Studies Link Pain Pumps To Cartilage Deterioration

On January 22, an Oregon jury awarded a chondrolysis patient nearly $5.5 million in compensation. According New York Times, more than 150 such lawsuits are currently making their way through the court system.

Chondrolysis is a rare ailment in which joint cartilage dies, resulting in bone grinding on bone. Many times this surgery affects athletes, ending their athletic careers and leaving them with a lifetime of pain and disability.

Litigation against pain pump manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and physicians using the pumps has exploded recently as more and more patients are discovering injuries attributable to the use of pain pumps during surgery. The pumps deliver controlled doses of pain medication directly to the surgical site, and often eliminate the need for post-surgical pain medication.

Findings suggest using these pain pumps in surgery causes shoulder joint cartilage to break down, resulting in pain and loss of mobility.

In November, the FDA issued a bulletin stating that it had never approved the use of shoulder pain pumps directly with joints. Doctors counter this, arguing that labels on pain pumps were vague and labels did not specifically warn against use of pain pumps in the joints.

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