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February 2012 Archives

Attorney asks, "What other city budget line item of $200 million is completely preventable?"

At a time when many cities across the Bay Area are tightening their budgets, San Francisco spends millions to pay for legal claims against it. Most of these lawsuits are personal injury or property damage claims which many legal experts say are wholly preventable.

Design Flaw in Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants endangers patients

The choice of Carbon and Chromium surfaces in metal hip implants may have exposed over a million Americans to serious health risks. Researchers have identified DePuy ASR XL metal hip implants as a source of toxic and potentially carcinogenic substances in patient's bodies. The metal debris generated by post-implant wear can cause inflammation, destroy muscle and soft tissue, and create other serious health risks, often before the patient becomes aware that there is a problem.

Feds: most medical malpractice incidents are swept under rug

A new report by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services indicates that most hospital errors go unreported. The study found that only one in seven hospital errors which harmed patients were reported. Even more worrisome was that even when hospitals did investigate the few medical malpractice incidents that were reported, the hospitals rarely changed their practices to decrease the likelihood that the patient harm would reoccur.

Off-label use of the Medtronic INFUSE bone graft injures patients

In our last post we discussed the pending litigation against one of the nation's largest medical device manufacturers arising out of the off-label use of its bone grafts. Medtronic's INFUSE Bone Grafts were used in several types of spinal surgeries without approval by the Food and Drug Administration. As a result, many patients now suffer debilitating back pain which could have been prevented.

Surgeons Failed to Identify Dangerous Side Effects of INFUSE

When the makers of a drug or medical device pay doctors to provide research on the safety and efficacy of the treatment, can the results be trusted? In the case of Medtronic's bone growth product, INFUSE, there is major controversy over the fact the drug and device maker paid researchers a substantial amount to identify risks and those risks were not reported. INFUSE has been linked to numerous side effects since its release, leading to claims that it is dangerous and that its use can cause harm. This comes in stark contrast to the 13 trials funded by Medtronic in which no negative side effects were reported.