November 2010 Archives

November 29, 2010

Darvon/Darvocet Pulled From The Market

Last week, the FDA finally pulled propoxyphene - sold as Darvon and Darvocet - from the U.S. market. For nearly 50 years concerns have been raised over the side effects of Darvon/Darvocet usage, including its toxicity even at low levels and its highly addictive properties. Additionally, it has not been shown to be very effective as a painkiller - its intended use.

According to reports, its toxicity and risk of causing abnormal heart rhythms have caused thousands of deaths in patients who took these medications.

As recently reported, the FDA now concludes, even the recommended dose caused "significant changes to the electrical activity of the heart" which can "increase the risk for serious abnormal heart rhythms that have been linked to serious adverse effects, including sudden death."

Although last week's FDA actions in removing the drug, as well as its generic equivalents, is a positive step, it comes several decades too late, after thousands of consumers may have died as a result.

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November 15, 2010

Depuy Hip Recall Cases Escalate

Every day more and more cases are reported of patients injured after being fitted with the Depuy hip - an artificial hip replacement. According to reports, metal shards may break off of the hip replacement and lodge themselves in patients' bodies after being fitted. Although sometimes the problem can be resolved with subsequent surgery - many times permanent bone and tissue damage occurs. As one patient described, "It [the hip replacement] had been rotting away and I had been rotting away around it."

As a result of the malfunction, more than 93,000 implants have been recalled.

Sadly, medical devices often are placed on the market - and in our bodies - either without full knowledge of the risks and danger of serious injury or death to patients, or sometimes in spite of this risk.

In the Depuy hip implant cases, many doctors as well as the manufacturer continue to exploit patients who placed their trust in these devices. In certain instances, Depuy is paying surgeons who perform the necessary "revision" surgery removing the faulty device to have patients sign over the implant to them - and feeling obliged to follow doctor's orders, patients do so. However, in doing so, a patient may lose the only evidence of the faulty medical device and reduce the chances of proving a product defect. If you are asked to sign anything - politely decline. Your health care insurer is obligated to pay, and you are entitled to the procedure without having to sign any documents.

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November 8, 2010

Oil Rig Explosions - Update

Thank goodness the BP "Deep water Horizon" oil well was finally capped. However, Congress needs to resolve the matter as to whether or not federal monetary caps for damages against offshore oil companies and there subsidiaries should be pre-imposed.

November 8, 2010

New Mexico Trucking Accidents And Fatigue - A Dangerous Combination

Transportation safety - on roadways and highways in New Mexico and throughout the country is a concern to most Americans. When truck collisions occur, the results often include serious injuries and fatalities, many times the fault of a negligent truck driver or the company that hires them, with drivers forced to work excessive hours with little rest in order to make strict deadlines, and increase profits.

A recent study released examined the impact of fatigue on all transportation accidents, including truck collisions and revealed some startling statistics. The report concluded, "It's impossible to say how many accidents are caused by operators who are just too tired to do their jobs ... fatigue is frequently cited by investigators as a factor in accidents in the air, on the water and on railways and highways."

Although the National Transportation Safety Board ("NTSB") does not track fatigue-related highway accidents on a regular basis, investigators studying the effect of drug and alcohol on trucking accident determined that fatigue was a bigger problem than drug or alcohol impairment, with 30 to 40 percent of all accidents fatigue related. Further, because drivers and paid by the mile, attractive financial incentives exist to "drive as far and as fast as you can." Recent efforts in New Mexico and throughout the country have been stepped up targeting commercial drivers - and their employers to pay attention to this dangerous - often fatal issue.

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