Category: Medical

Dangerous Drugs: Fluoroquinolone Side Effects

Used to treat mild to moderate bacterial infections, fluoroquinolones
are among the most highly prescribed medications in the United States.

When 33 year old Manhattan resident and Website Manager for the City College of New York Lloyd Balch sought medical attention for a fever and cough in April 2013, his doctor deduced from a chest x-ray that he had a mild case of pneumonia. Bach was given a popular antibiotic, Levaquin and shortly thereafter developed severe pain in his joints and vision problems. Balch continued taking the medication and soon became unable to walk uphill and see clearly. He experienced ringing in his ears, tingling in his hands and feet, uncontrollable shaking and muscle spasms. Doctors who have studied the risks of Levaquin say reactions like Balch’s are not unusual for users of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

Used to treat mild to moderate bacterial infections, fluoroquinolones are among the most highly prescribed medications in the United States. In 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported approximately 23.1 million prescriptions, with an additional 3.8 million hospital patients treated with them via injection. Fluoroquinolones include Cipro, Avelox, Noroxin and Levaquin – the latter being the bestselling antibiotic in 2010. By 2012, however, Levaquin was also the subject of more than 2,000 lawsuits by patients who had experienced severe side effects.

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that causes damage to the nerves that send information from the brain to the spinal cord and throughout the rest of the body.

In August 2013, the FDA issued a notice requiring drug labels and medication instructions for all fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs to more accurately describe the serious side effect of peripheral neuropathy (PN) experienced by many users. According to the Mayo Clinic, Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that causes damage to the nerves that send information from the brain to the spinal cord and throughout the rest of the body. Usually occurring in the arms or legs, symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness or changes in sensation of pain, temperature or body position.

Development of PN is only a risk when fluoroquinolones are taken orally or by injection; topical formulations applied to the eyes or ears are not known to cause nerve damage. Symptoms of PN may occur soon after the drug is taken and can last for months or years after use is suspended or may even be permanent.Fluoride, a known neurotoxin, is a central component of fluoroquinolones and can penetrate into very sensitive tissues, entering the brain and damaging the central nervous system. Doctors at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have expressed concern that fluoroquinolones are often prescribed unnecessarily to patients without considering less risky alternatives. Meant for serious, life-threatening bacterial infections, they are frequently prescribed for earaches, bronchitis, urinary infections and other ailments that may go away without treatment or with less potent drugs.

…patients taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics were five times more likely to suffer potentially blinding retinal detachment, kidney failure and tendonitis.

The risks don’t end with nerve damage: In an April 2013 study at the University of British Columbia, Pharmacological Epidemiologist Mahyar Etminian found that patients taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics were five times more likely to suffer potentially blinding retinal detachment, kidney failure and tendonitis. Dr. Etminian expressed concern as well, asserting that the drugs are overused by “lazy doctors who are trying to kill a fly with an automatic weapon.” The American Thoracic Society has issued drug use guidelines that specify fluoroquinolones should not be prescribed as a go-to treatment for non-life threatening conditions, including community-acquired pneumonia. Had Lloyd Balch and other patients harmed by fluoroquinolones known about the risk factors and alternatives, they may have requested a different treatment.

When fluoroquinolone antibiotics are offered for mild conditions
like sinus, urinary tract or ear infections
without any proposed alternatives,
physicians may be negligent in prescribing them
and may be found responsible for resulting pain and suffering.

…it is also a health care professional’s responsibility to provide this information.

Many patients don’t see the mandated FDA warnings on packaging and are not notified by doctors of the potential side effects. While it is always wise to ask about associated risks and possible alternatives when starting drug treatment, it is also a health care professional’s responsibility to provide this information. To avoid further injuries and additional lawsuits, drug manufacturers are now warning patients about fluoroquinolones but, given their potential to harm, it is important that physicians also take the time to discuss their use with patients.When fluoroquinolone antibiotics are offered for mild conditions like sinus, urinary tract or ear infections without any proposed alternatives, physicians may be negligent in prescribing them and may be found responsible for resulting pain and suffering.

Okun Oddo & Babat specializes in Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence claims. Contact us today or call or call us at 212.642.0950 to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced New York attorneys.

Article by Shea Bergesen for Lavery Design Associates, Ltd. copyright 2013. This article may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

Antipsychotics Prescribed For Elderly Patients

The world’s eighth largest drug manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, agreed to pay as much as $2.2 billion earlier this month to settle US probes into the marketing of antipsychotic drugs – including Risperdal – to older adults, children and the disabled. According to a New York Times article The Justice Department has determined that the company promoted psychiatric medications for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and may have even offered incentives for physicians to frequently prescribe them.

This latest lawsuit kindles concerns
that antipsychotics are being widely and
improperly prescribed to millions of Americans each year.

The American Chemical Society, based in Washington DC published that Antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal work by blocking dopamine, the chemical in the brain that contributes to high risk behaviors. Use of antipsychotics nearly tripled in the past two decades in the United States, with more than 16 million annual prescriptions for drugs such as Abilify, Clozaril and Seroquel. According to a study by Stanford University in 2008, more than half of prescriptions were for “off-label” use not approved safe and effective by the FDA. This latest lawsuit kindles concerns that antipsychotics are being widely and improperly prescribed to millions of Americans each year.

Particularly worrisome is the use of antipsychotics to treat vulnerable patients, including elderly nursing home residents. The federal government alleges that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries promoted the use of the Risperdal for elderly patients with dementia, despite evidence that this would increase their risk of stroke, weight gain and diabetes. According to an audit by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Medicare claims were filed for antipsychotic drugs for 1 in 7 nursing home residents over the age of 65, with 83% attributed to off-label use.  Antipsychotic drugs are increasingly used to treat problems related to dementia in older adults, though the medication has proven more effective for sufferers of schizophrenia and can cause serious side effects.

Antipsychotics are not the only drugs that are commonly misprescribed among the elderly. In 2011, a study published by the British Medical Journal suggested that the prescription of antidepressants may need to be reevaluated as well. The study showed that adults over 65 who took newer generation antidepressants – known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) including Prozac and Zoloft –  had a greater risk of having a stroke, seizures and higher salt levels in the blood than those who took older medications, known as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). These findings are contrary to the prevailing view that SSRIs are safer than TCAs.

In 2012, antidepressants were tied to a higher risk of falls
for nursing home residents, especially those with dementia. 

While antipsychotics are used to manage psychosis symptoms related to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, antidepressants are used to treat disorders like depression or anxiety and are intended to alter mood. As with antipsychotics, the use of antidepressants has increased since 1990 and has been a subject of much debate. Medical News Today reported that in 2012, antidepressants were tied to a higher risk of falls for nursing home residents, especially those with dementia.

Although all prescription medications can have adverse side effects, physicians and drug manufacturers have an ethical obligation to disclose the associated risks and potential
alternatives to patients or family members.

The American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy reported in 2011 that nearly 50% of nursing home residents are given antidepressants, though there is little knowledge available regarding how antidepressants are prescribed. Many may be dispensed solely on the basis of nurses’ observations or patient’s behavior rather than a proper diagnosis by a doctor.
Although all prescription medications can have adverse side effects, physicians and drug manufacturers have an ethical obligation to disclose the associated risks and potential alternatives to patients or family members.

The prevalence of lawsuits associated with antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs sends a strong message to drug manufacturers that they must practice full disclosure regarding the possible side effects, uses and abuses of psychiatric medications – and practitioners should exercise much greater caution in prescribing them.

Okun Oddo & Babat specializes in Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligenceclaims. Contact us today or call or call us at 212.642.0950 to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced New York attorneys.

Article by Shea Bergesen for Lavery Design Associates, Ltd. copyright 2013. This article may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Antipsychotic Drugs and Children

The use of second generation antipsychotic drugs (SGAs) appears to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes in children, according to a 2001-2008 study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. While it was previously known that SGAs could double adult users’ chances of developing diabetes, the study suggests that children who are prescribed them are three times as likely to be diagnosed with the condition.

Published in JAMA Psychiatry earlier this year, the study examined the state-provided, anonymous medical records of approximately 43,000 youth under 24 years of age in Tennessee. About 29,000 were recent initiators of SGAs while 14,000 matched controls were receiving other treatments. Researchers found an estimated 16 additional cases of Type 2 diabetes per 10,000 children taking antipsychotic drugs for one year, with increased risk from cumulative dose.
SGAs, also referred to as atypical antipsychotics, are used in the treatment of severe mental health conditions including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and mania. By altering the effects of natural chemicals in the brain including serotonin and dopamine, they regulate mood, emotions, sleep, appetite and other aspects of behavior. While side effects vary by individual drug, SGAs generally cause weight gain, changes in blood sugar level and increase in insulin resistance which all heighten the risk of diabetes.

The use of antipsychotic drugs in children is becoming more and more common. Since 2002, prescriptions for patients under 17 years of age have increased 65% — from 2.9 million to 4.8 million—according to the US Food & Drug Administration. While the FDA has approved SGAs such as Abilify and Seroquel for treatment of schizophrenia, many young people are now prescribed them for bipolar disorder, ADHD, depression and other mood disorders when other psychiatric medications including antidepressants, lithium and psychostimulants are available.

The researchers in the AHRQ study excluded any children who suffered from conditions that could only be treated by SGAs, noting that all those involved were taking antipsychotics for non-psychosis related mood, attention or behavioral disorders. Dr. Wayne Ray, professor of Preventive Medicine and a senior author of the study, said the findings should make doctors more cautious about prescribing antipsychotics to children. “If it turns out that the child does ultimately need an antipsychotic, they should be carefully monitored for metabolic effects and the dose should be as low as possible for the shortest amount of time,” he said. Given the additional risk, why would a doctor choose to prescribe SGAs when alternative treatments are available? One Rutgers University study in 2010 found that children from low income families receiving Medicaid are four times as likely as the privately insured to be prescribed anti-psychotic medication because they do not have access to the best known alternatives: cognitive-behavioral therapy and counseling.

In July,16 State Medicaid directors released a study recommending states require second opinions, outside consultations and other methods to ensure SGAs are not improperly prescribed. Some states including Florida and California have already put laws in place restricting doctors from dispensing SGAs to children. Without authorization from the state, children younger than 3 in Texas cannot receive antipsychotics and Arkansas now requires parents to give informed consent before a child is prescribed an anti-psychotic drug.

Additional Sources:
www.ahrq.gov
www.fda.gov

Article by Shea Bergesen for Lavery Design Associates, Ltd. copyright 2013. This article may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

Cardiovascular Disease, Heart Surgery and Wrongful Death

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for New York citizens and the worldwide population. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2008, 17.3 million people died due to CVD, representing 30% of all global deaths. According to the New York State Department of Health’s comprehensive report, The Burden of Cardiovascular Disease in New York, approximately 40% of NYS deaths in 2008 were caused by CVD.

Often called “heart disease,” CVD includes a number of conditions that affect the heart and circulatory system. Common types are:

  • Coronary Heart Disease: Build-up of fatty deposits on blood vessel linings
  • Congenital Heart Disease: Malformations of heart structure existing at birth
  • Congestive Heart Failure: Failure to pump enough blood throughout the body
  • Pulmonary Heart Disease: Slowed or blocked blood flow into the lungs
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease: Complication of untreated strep throat / rheumatic fever

While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention projects heart disease will remain the leading cause of death globally for the next 20 years, more people are living with CVD than ever before due in part to heighted awareness, medical improvements and less invasive procedures. For some, illness and death due to CVD can be prevented simply by a healthy, conscientious lifestyle. Known and modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease include tobacco use, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, obesity, hypertension, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.
In addition to preventative behavior by individuals, proper pre-care by a doctor is necessary to detect abnormalities in the heart. If a condition is left undiagnosed, it may worsen over time without treatment and can lead to heart attack, stroke or other serious illness and injury. Signs of heart disease medical professionals often mistake for more minor conditions include trouble breathing, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, high blood pressure and pain in the left arm. Once a heart condition is detected, operations may be necessary. As with any surgery, there are risks involved in cardiac operations.

Complications can arise due to a number of factors, including:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Reactions to anesthesia
  • Tissue damage
  • Severing of the aortic valve
  • Hematomas
  • Heart valve damage or dysfunction
  • Neurological complications
  • Damage to surrounding blood vessels
  • Infection, excessive bleeding or blood clotting
  • Inadequate surgical techniques or inexperience of the surgeon

While cardiac surgeons are among the most highly trained specialists in the medical industry, human error or bad judgment can be a factor in the success of surgery and recovery. Miscalculations can be life-threatening and there are cases when medical professionals do not provide proper care, increasing the risk of further illness, injury or even death. After an operation, close monitoring, medication adjustments and progress evaluations are vital factors in the recovery of a cardiovascular surgery patient. It is important for doctors to notify the patient of any ongoing risks they may have, particularly if additional treatments are needed or they lead a physically demanding lifestyle.

Cardiovascular disease treatments and surgery can save lives but when surgeons and their staff make errors or exercise inadequate medical judgment, it can also end up causing serious harm and in some cases, wrongful death. Evaluating whether medical negligence is involved – whether pre-, during, or post operation – requires the expertise of experienced lawyers. An individual or family that has suffered by inadequate medical care may choose to pursue legal action against the medical professionals involved.

Okun Oddo & Babat specializes in Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence claims. Contact us today or call or call us at 212.642.0950 to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced New York attorneys. 

Additional Sources:
http://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/diseases/cardiovascular/
www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/ ‎
http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/en/
Article by Shea Bergesen for Lavery Design Associates, Ltd. copyright 2013. This article may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

Effectiveness and Reliability of the Drugs Presently Prescribed to Treat Hypothyroidism

According to a recent publication in the Wall Street Journal, some sufferers of hypothyroidism and several associated activist organizations are calling for more thorough screening tests and more effective treatment of the condition.
Though studies regarding alternative therapies and medications show conflicting results, Michelle Bickford, the 36 year old founder of the advocacy group, ThyroidChange, insists she experienced higher energy and less anxiety, depression and fatigue when she was prescribed a less commonly distributed, animal-derived medication. Bickford had been taking the popular levothyroxine prescription for hypothyroidism since the age of 11 but reports minimal alleviation of her symptoms until the switch.
Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical Center Jeffrey Garber, on the other hand, believes, “The vast majority of people are fine on the standard therapy.”

While thyroid patients and medical professionals may be at odds over what, if any, further research is needed, the complaints have called into question the effectiveness and reliability of the drugs presently prescribed to treat hypothyroidism.

Earlier this year, the brand Levoxyl recalled 52,000 bottles of levothyroxine due to a bad odor.
Uncertainty about stability and potency in a second batch of the drug led to another recall, potentially causing a shortage of the drug for the remainder of 2013.

Another levothyroxine brand, Synthroid has a long history of problems, including a class action lawsuit in the 1990s claiming millions of patients were overcharged for the drug, as well as more recent concerns over batch potency and stability.

Low potency of hypothyroid medication can cause serious harm to patients who depend on them, including little to no relief of symptoms and exacerbation of the condition. In such cases, patients may opt to take more than the recommended amount of the drug and an overdose is possible.

Thyroid disease affects 15 million people in the United States. The American Thyroid Association reports that approximately 50% of sufferers are not even aware that they have it, attributing it to other issues they are experiencing like aging, menopause or depression. The thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland at the back of the neck, controls the body’s metabolism. It affects the functioning rate of cells, tissues and organs and controls heart rate, weight, temperature, energy level and muscle strength.
Thyroid malfunctions can happen in one of two ways.

The first, hypothyroidism, involves too little production of the thyroid hormone, causing the body to function at a lower rate.
Hypothyroidism is the most common type of thyroid disease, affecting 11 million Americans in 2012 according to the Center for Disease Control. Symptoms include:
• Fatigue
• Memory loss
• Depression
• Difficulty concentrating
• Coarse, dry skin and hair
• Intolerance to cold
• Constipation

Too much of the thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) causes the metabolism to function at a higher rate. Symptoms include:
• Nervousness
• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Weight loss
• Irregular heartbeat
• Increased metabolism
• Nervousness
• Perspiration

After the age of 35, The American Thyroid Association recommends anyone with a family history of testing positive for thyroid disease be evaluated every five years. Doctors can provide a definitive diagnosis with a simple blood test to measure the levels of thyroid hormones TSH, T-4 and T3. If a doctor fails to diagnose or improperly treats thyroid disease, the patient can experience severe consequences including heightened lethargy, depression, anxiety, weight gain, hair loss, bulging of the eyes, and hypoglecemia.

Sources:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324635904578644532652110970.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130510-713949.html

http://nahypothyroidism.org/

Article by Shea Bergesen for Lavery Design Associates, Ltd. copyright 2013.
This article may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

Poor Hygiene and Inadequate Care in Nursing Homes

When a loved one is no longer able to live independently due to age or illness, many families decide to place them in the care of a nursing home. According to the Center for Medicare Services, approximately 3.3 million Americans will live in an elder care facility in 2013.

In the over 16,000 facilities nationwide, federal and state regulations are in place to protect nursing home residents from harm and ensure they are receiving proper care. However, a National Center for Elderly Abuse study of 2,000 nursing home residents in 2000 reported that 44% said they had been abused in some way and 95% reported witnessing or experiencing neglect. Instances of mistreatment may involve extreme abuse, including physical or sexual assault. However in many cases, neglecting personal hygiene and facility sanitation are the cause of illness, injury or even the death of a resident. Because many elderly patients are unable to take care of personal grooming without assistance, failure to maintain a consistent hygiene routine with residents — including not bathing them or changing dirty clothes/bed linens for hours or days at a time — can lead to serious physical and emotional problems.

Poor hygiene and inadequate care in nursing homes can result in:
• Bed sores
• Ulcers
• Skin and eye infections
• Internal parasites
• Ingrown fingernails/toenails
• Cataracts
• Kidney infections
• Malnutrition
• Oral pain and gum infections
• Dehydration
• Depression
• Lowered sense of well-being and self-esteem

Because their immune systems may already be compromised by preexisting medical conditions or advanced age, elderly people are more likely to develop infections from germs spread by poor hygiene. The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that infections are a leading cause of death in long term care patients, with an average of 1.5 to 2 million infections occurring in nursing homes each year. The risk of infectious and bacterial diseases such as colds and influenza can be significantly diminished by hygienic practices such as proper bathing, hand washing and oral care. Instead, these infections impact the health of thousands of people and cost billions of dollars in medical costs, with an estimated $1.4 billion spent each year.

While poor personal hygiene may seem minor compared to more egregious forms of neglect in nursing homes, it is a serious hazard that can result in severe medical conditions and even death. Nursing homes are required by law to maintain good hygiene for their residents.

If a resident has been injured or suffers premature death as a result of improper hygiene at a nursing home facility, a lawsuit may be the logical next step and can result in compensation awarded to the victim and/or their family. Contact Okun, Oddo & Babbat to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

Sources and Resources:
www.centeronelderabuse.org
www.ncea.aoa.gov
www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/hai/actionplan
www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/nursingh.htm
www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/CertificationandComplianc/NHs.html

Article by Shea Bergesen for Lavery Design Associates, Ltd.
copyright 2013. This article may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

beer-on-bar

Recent Johns Hopkins Study Links Certain Brands of Beer to Emergency Room Visits

A New York Times article by Anahad O’Connor titled “Beers Implicated in Emergency Room Visits” addresses some questions raised by a new study at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore which narrows down the five beer brands consumed most often by patents who ended up in the emergency room due to their consumption. The article cites Budweiser, Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice and Bud Light, three of which are malt liquors, and contain more alcohol than regular beer. While alcohol frequently plays a part in many emergency room visits – causing car-related accidents, falls, injuries, homicides, drownings, shootings and domestic violence – this new study examines the brands, their consumption and how this could potentially influence labeling requirements on certain beers. It is important to note that the study relies on data collected from one urban treatment center. The complete study was published by the journal of Substance Use and Misuse and is available online.

Informed Consent: Premature Births

In 2010, the New England Journal of Medicine published the details of a 2004-2009 study of 1,300 severely premature infants at 23 medical institutions across the United States. The study, called the Surfactant, Positive Pressure and Oxygenation Randomized Trial (SUPPORT), was designed to address a longstanding issue in the care of premature babies: Oxygen, considered a crucial component in preemie care, administered to an infant in too high a dose can result in blindness while too low a dose can cause severe brain damage or death. Doctors hoped to discover what level of oxygen administration was best to prevent blindness without increasing the risk of neurological damage or death by randomly assigning the infants involved to receive different levels.

Considered ethically flawed by a number of federal officials, the study resulted in much negative feedback and a 2013 lawsuit against overseers of the study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The suit by parents of five Alabama children claims negligence and failure to properly inform the family of the risks involved. Along with questions about the ethics of medical experimentation, publicity around the study has raised the issue of informed consent processes as they pertain to premature infants.

Informed consent is a legal procedure to ensure that patients and caregivers are aware of all the potential risks involved in a particular medical treatment.

In the case of SUPPORT, the US Department of Health and Human Services acknowledged many of the parents would not have allowed their newborns to undergo the oxygen level tests had they been aware of the potential for serious harm or fatality.

It is a doctor’s responsibility to notify pregnant patients of the risks associated with carrying and delivering a baby – including factors that may increase their chances of premature labor. Some of the most common conditions that make a mother high risk for a premature birth are:

  • Multiple babies including twins and triplets
  • History of premature birth
  • Short intervals between pregnancies
  • Smoking, drinking and/or drug abuse during pregnancy
  • Poor nutrition
  • Infections of the amniotic fluid or lower genital tract
  • High blood pressure and diabetes
  • Stress
  • Unusual shape of the uterus
  • Physical injury or trauma
  • Age of the mother, with heightened risk for those under 18 or over 35

With 500,000 cases of premature birth in the US each year, it is not always possible for a doctor to arrest early labor and prevent injury to the infant. During and post-delivery, the premature child may experience bleeding in the brain, low blood sugar, infections, severe lung damage and breathing problems that require close post-birth monitoring in neonatal intensive care units. As the baby develops, they are more likely to show signs of cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, vision and hearing problems and learning difficulties.

Failure of hospital personnel to fully disclose the treatment options
available and the risk factors involved in premature birth
may be grounds for a medical negligence claim.

While it is up to the parents to assess the quality of life their child will lead and determine if further operations and life-sustaining treatment should be administered, it remains the doctor’s responsibility to help them make educated decisions in the child’s best interest and obtain their informed consent before carrying out or withholding treatment.

When a baby is born with unexpected brain damage or physical defects, it will alter the course of their life and create significant hardship for the family. According to a report published by the Institute of Medicine in 2006, the cost of medical care in the first year of life for premature babies is 10 times higher than for full-term infants. The resulting disabilities can cost millions of dollars over a lifetime in rehabilitation fees and special education. Failure of hospital personnel to fully disclose the treatment options available and the risk factors involved in premature birth may be grounds for a medical negligence claim. If a doctor fails to notify a patient of risk factors or performs a procedure without informed consent of the patient, they may be liable for damages sustained as a result.

Okun Oddo & Babat specializes in Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence claims. Contact us today or call or call us at 212.642.0950 to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced New York attorneys.

Sources & Resources:
www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe1304996
www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/921/81/
www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/MaternalInfantHealth/PretermBirth.htm
www.marchofdimes.com/mission/the-economic-and-societal-costs.aspx
www.mayoclinic.com/health/premature-birth/DS00137/DSECTION=risk-factors

Article by Shea Bergesen for Lavery Design Associates, Ltd.
copyright 2013. This article may not be reproduced without permission from the author. 

U.S. Department of Justice Releases Details of Rapamune Kidney Transplant Drug Settlement Case against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

The marketing and sales practices of major pharmaceutical companies has been under scrutiny in the last few years. This week, the U.S. Justice Department announced that drug maker Wyeth Pharmaceuticals has agreed to a $490.9 million settlement for criminal and civil liability charges in connection with improperly marketing Rapamune, the kidney transplant drug. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Pfizer in 2009. According to the Press Release issued by the Justice Department on Tuesday, July 30 the drug was not approved as safe and effective by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Continue reading “U.S. Department of Justice Releases Details of Rapamune Kidney Transplant Drug Settlement Case against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals”

Common Causes of Medical Malpractice Before, During and After Surgery

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately5.4 million surgical procedures performed annually in the United States. Though all operations involve a certain degree of risk, patients should have the reasonable expectation that a high standard of care will be provided to them. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Each year, thousands of people are affected by preventable surgical errors, a common form of medical malpractice.

Continue reading “Common Causes of Medical Malpractice Before, During and After Surgery”