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January 2012 Archives

Surgeon's delay caused woman lifelong disorder; jury awards $1.5M

After roughly eight years, an Indiana woman's medical malpractice claim has finally been resolved via a favorable jury verdict. The $1.5 million jury award is bittersweet; however, because the woman's suffering will continue throughout her lifetime.

New law: Drug manufacturers must disclose payments to doctors

Recent drug recalls and withdrawals of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval evidence serious safety concerns over many pharmaceutical drugs placed on the market. The pharmaceutical industry has grown tremendously over the past several decades and drug manufacturers have been reaping the benefits with record-setting profits.

Zoloft Lawsuits

A number of Zoloft birth defect lawsuits have been filed recently across the country. The lawsuits have raised claims that Zoloft taken by pregnant mothers have caused severe birth defects, some fatal. The defects include persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH), heart defects, lung defects, abdominal defects, cranial defects and other malformations. The lawsuits have alleged the manufacturer of Zoloft, Pfizer, intentionally covered up data for years that demonstrates Zoloft was dangerous to pregnant women and their unborn children. It is also alleged Pfizer knew of the risks from studies, did not properly study Zoloft, and did not properly publish the data which would have reflected the risk. Even today Pfizer continues to deny the dangers and has not revised its drug labeling.

Put a lid on it: Lidless toilets in hospitals spread dangerous infection

A newly published study in the International Journal of Hospital Infection concluded that bacteria that can cause a life threatening infection, Clostridium difficile, is spread when lidless toilets are flushed. The lack of a toilet lid allows bacteria-laden material into the air which can contaminate surrounding surfaces. The researchers found bacterial counts in the area near the toilet handle to be 12 times higher in a lidless toilet than one with a lid.

Unusual Child Cancer, Unusual Medical Malpractice Case

As Abby Simons reports for the Star Tribune, a Minnesota girl, only five years old, is said to have only a five percent chance that she will survive her battle with a rare type of cancer that attacks children. Were it not for the doctor's delayed cancer diagnosis, her parents argue, their daughter would not be in the precarious position she finds herself in today.

Complications: The Adverse Side Effects of Steroid Injections

"It is a very rare event, but it is not zero, and it's devastating," says James Rathmell, a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "We used to say this is so safe." As David Armstrong reports for Bloomberg Businessweek, steroid injections - epidurals near the spinal cord - in some cases cause paralysis in patients.