Pharmaceutical workers charged for 2012 meningitis outbreak

Kentucky patients who were diagnosed with fungal meningitis or spine and joint infections within the past few years may be interested to learn that workers at a pharmaceutical company were charged on Dec. 17 for selling contaminated steroids. The report stated that the steroids, which were given to a large number of people for back pain in 2012, were linked to 64 patient deaths.

Some at greater risk for drinking and driving than others

Drivers in Kentucky likely know that drinking and driving is illegal but do not have all the important safety information regarding this issue. The amount of U.S. adults that have admitted to driving while impaired by alcohol totals 112 million people every year, but only 1.4 million drivers were arrested for alcohol or drug related offenses in 2010. Since more people drive under the influence of alcohol than are caught yearly, this could be a reason 10,322 people died in 2012 due to crashes involving alcohol impairment.

Potassium chloride solution recalled

Baxter International Inc., a pharmaceutical supplier with distribution in Kentucky and across America, has recently issued a recall notice for one lot of their product, Highly Concentrated Potassium Chloride Injection, 10 mEq per 100 mL. This recall was triggered by the number of complaints that they had received from users about mislabeling of the overpouch. The lot in question had been distributed to customers between June 23 and Oct. 2. The corporation has offered to replace any unaffected lot numbers as well. They are also actively soliciting information about adverse reactions from medical personnel and any affected patients.

Identifying defective auto equipment

Motor vehicle accidents kill thousands of people every year and are the leading cause of severe injuries in the United Stated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attempts to reduce accidents by issuing safety standards and recalling vehicles that fail to meet these standards or are defective. Recall campaigns are important for motorists in Kentucky and other states, and more than 66 million auto parts have been recalled by the NHTSA due to defects.

Informed consent guide

Kentucky residents may not be aware of what defines informed consent. Informed consent means that a patient is made aware of the consequences and possible complications that may result from medical care they are given. What legally qualifies as informed consent differs from state to state. However, there are some commonalities. The American Medical Association has summarized some of the basic information that a doctor should communicate to a patient. This information includes the diagnosis, if it is known; the recommended treatment and its risks and benefits; alternative treatments, if available, along with their risks and benefits; and the risks and benefits of receiving no treatment.

How common are wrong-site surgeries?

While surgical patients in Kentucky may share national concerns about wrong-site and wrong-person surgeries, statistics from a 2009 study suggest that only one in 112,000 procedures tend to involve these kinds of errors, known as WSPEs, which are also nicknamed "never events" since they are fully preventable medical errors that often result in serious personal injury or even death. The Joint Commission has released Universal Protocol for all hospitals to follow to prevent such errors, but hospitals and surgeons are not always effective at adhering to these policies.

How medical device recalls work to protect consumers

Kentucky residents who rely on medical devices may be interested in reading about the how a recall of those devices works and what their options include. First, whenever a medical device becomes hazardous to health, defective or both, the responsible party must issue a recall of the product in keeping compliant with Food and Drug Administration regulations. A recall does not necessarily mean that a consumer is no longer able to use the product, but the product may need to be adjusted. For example, if a pacemaker has been recalled due to a potential sudden failure, the manufacturer usually alerts doctors to communicate with their patients about the risks involved in keeping it in place versus taking it out.

Costs of car accidents

Car accidents in Kentucky create many costs, the greatest of which is the human life that is lost. According to a nationwide study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 33,561 people were killed in car accidents in 2012. On average, this number means that about 92 people died in the United States each day in 2012 as a result of a car accident.

Bard to pay $21 million in first big vaginal mesh settlement

Some Kentucky residents may be interested to know that C.R. Bard Inc. recently agreed to settle more than 500 lawsuits that claim the corporation's vaginal-mesh implants damaged women's bodies. Authorities reported that the agreement marks the first mass settlement reached over the New Jersey-based company's implants.

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