FDA Warns About Risk Of Infection From Another Medical Scope



The Los Angeles Times reports that the Food and Drug Administration said that “it was investigating reports that bronchoscopes are causing infections in patients even after the reusable devices were cleaned – the same problem seen during recent superbug outbreaks involving a gastrointestinal scope.” However, the agency said that no deaths linked to the device have been reported thus far and it believes the risk from bronchoscopes “appears to be lower” than that from duodenoscopes.

Bloomberg News reports that the agency had “recorded 109 reports of infections or contamination related to bronchoscopes in the past five years, including 50 in 2014 alone,” according to its safety notice.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Does Your Credit Card Look Like This?


Do your credit cards have that little metal square that looks like some kind of puzzle? If not, they should soon.

As of October 1, 2015, The United States imposed a “soft” deadline for all credit cards here to have these microprocessor chips. The purpose is to reduce fraud and theft from some hacker breaking into a corporate system as recently happened at Target.

The new system is called the EMV chip credit card payment system and is a somewhat pale imitation of the system used in Europe, where chips have been required for quite a while.

There are several important differences in the chip system and the magnetic stripe system we’ve been using. With the magnetic stripe, all our credit card information is stored on the stripe, for anyone to steal and use. The chip generates a one-time transaction code, which can never be used again for another transaction. So theft is almost impossible. Or more accurately, theft is possible, but useless.

The soft deadline is to give retailers time to buy the hardware to process the new cards. With this hardware, the card is inserted, rather than swiped. Most hardware will enable both insertion and swiping — at least for a few years until the final transition occurs.

Generally speaking, beginning soon any losses due to credit card ID theft must be covered by the retailer rather than by the credit card companies. That’s an incentive for retailers to buy the new hardware. If the retailer does buy the new hardware, then the burden shifts back to the credit card company to cover the loss.

The new payment experience won’t be much different to the consumer — you’ll just insert rather than swipe. The one potential hazard I see is that when you swipe, your card never leaves your hand. When you insert (and leave the card in the machine for a few seconds for the data to be transferred) you may take away your hand. Remember to get your card out of the machine!

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4 Medical Devices for Seniors That Have Caused Injury or Death

4 Medical Devices for Seniors That Have Caused Injury or Death-1

Modern medical technology has created valuable and beneficial medical devices that improve the quality of lives for many seniors. However, certain medical devices can cause discomfort, internal injuries and even fatalities. Read more to learn about four malfunctioning medical devices that can cause serious harm.

Thoratec HeartMate II LVAS Heart Pump

These advanced medical devices protect patients against potential heart failure. The Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) is designed to help the left ventricle of the heart pump blood to the body. The device is surgically implanted into the patient’s body and is controlled from outside. The device is typically implanted in patients who are not eligible for a cardiac transplantation.

However, the FDA has released a safety alert and recall press release regarding certain LVAS models. Specifically, catalog numbers 104692, 103393, 104911 and 104912. This was because there have been reports of the outflow graft bend relief not properly connecting to the device. A defective device may cause speed, power and flow fluctuations. This can result in internal bleeding, heart failure and even fatalities.

Medtronic Infuse Bone Grafts

Bone grafts involve merging bone onto another bone to help it heal or improve functioning. The bone graft materials may be organic or artificial. The material used in Medtronic’s bone grafts is a kind of genetically engineered bone protein called rhBMP-2. These bone grafts were designed to be used during spinal surgeries, such as anterior lumbar fusions. The grafting material is considered advantageous because they are genetically similar to natural bones and therefore eliminate the need for an autograft, or the surgical harvesting of the patient’s bone for the procedure.

While there are tens of thousands of infuse bone grafts performed every year, sometimes surgeons use the material for procedures that are not approved by the FDA. Infuse bone graft materials are not approved for neck and lateral and posterior lumbar fusions. Patients who have received the infuse procedure report limb pain, nerve injuries and excessive spinal bone growth.

Wright Medical Hip Replacements

While these joint implants help the patient regain mobility, they also can cause certain complications. The Profemur Z Stem and Conserve line of MoM models have caused documented medical problems. For example, patients have reported that the Conserve models release metal flakes into the blood stream and surrounding tissue. This results in a variety of health problems, such as metal toxicity.

This circumstance could cause metal poisoning, tissue loss or death and other major health conditions. The possible metal substances include cobalt and chromium, which have been linked to cancer, heart failure and hypothyroidism. In addition to this, patients have reported that Profemur Z Stem models are liable to fracture or even complete failure. Keep in mind that these symptoms may not appear until serious health issues occur. If you have a Wright medical hip replacement and are experiencing complications, know that a personal injury lawyer in Austin, TX, or your particular locale can help you recoup losses due to injury caused by the device.

Zimmer NexGen Knee Replacement System

These medical devices and components are used during knee replacement surgery. However, there have been many consumer complaints about how these orthopedic devices fail and malfunction. The FDA has recalled specific parts, such as the NexGen LPS-Flex Gender Femoral Component and the MIS Modular Tibial Plates and Keels.

For example, the Tibial plate is designed like a real knee, but the components inside can become loose and the gaps between the components can become filled with fluid or tissue, a condition which causes damage and eventual implant failure. However, the manufacturer has responded that improper surgical techniques are the cause of the problems. Patients typically experience long-term knee pain and swelling. Infections and even implant dislocations have been known to occur.

To sum up, medical devices can save lives, but they can also reduce the quality of life for certain patients. Any senior with an implanted medical device should monitor the news for safety alerts or FDA recalls. The FDA offers a helpful medical device experience database that users can search. Seniors suffering from a faulty medical device should contact a personal injury lawyer.

Author info: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

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5 Ways to Successfully Combat Your Insurance Company After an Auto Accident

5 Ways to Successfully Combat your Insurance Company After an Auto Accident

Accidents involving cars may lead to injuries, deaths or even serious damages that may hinder the normal functioning of a motorist. When choosing an attorney for your case in an auto accident, it is advisable to go for one with a wide experience of insurance law and coverage. Here are some tips on how to push your insurer after such an accident.

Obtain a copy of the policy

This serves as the basis for your lawsuit. Being familiar with the policy is important. Then, let your attorney have a copy of the same so as to understand the scope of the policy

Make your insurer clarify the reasons for denying the claim

Your insurer should make you know the reasons for not honoring the claim and should have them written. This may lead to alterations of the company’s course and cease denying you the claim. It may also serve as evidence that the insurer has bad faith.

Retain all evidence of communications with your insurer

The insurance company assumes the role of the defendant and you should therefore have copies of the various communications with your insurer. Keep all the emails, voice messages, letters and notes taken when conversing face-to-face.

Keep all the supportive evidence

Preserve the evidence that supports your claim and is related to the lawsuit. The evidence can take various forms that include:

  • If your insurer denied you a claim as a first-party, then evidence is needed to prove the damage. The evidence can be in the form of auto repair bills, medical and physical therapist bills.
  • If your insurer fails to defend you in a lawsuit entailing an auto accident, all the information about money spent in relation to your defense against the lawsuit is important. Keep all the information such as a written judgment made against you by a court to indicate how much you should pay to the other party.

Report any violation

The state law requires you to bring to the attention of your state’s Department of Insurance and your insurer if there is any violation. This is done in writing.

If you or your loved ones have been involved in an auto accident, you can always seek the assistance of experienced auto attorneys like those from McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C. A good team of attorneys will help you ensure you get your maximum compensation for any damages incurred in an auto accident. Don’t wait to call a lawyer. The longer you wait the harder your case will become. Bottom line, don’t let your insurance company take advantage of you, and make sure you get the money back that you deserve.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

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Groups Urge State Department to Pressure FDA on Mercury Dental Fillings


McClatchy reports that “sixty U.S. and foreign environmental groups say the Food and Drug Administration is dragging its feet in complying with an international treaty that calls for scaling back the use of dental fillings containing highly toxic mercury and want the State Department to pressure the agency to comply.” The groups petitioned Secretary of State John Kerry in a letter to “take a leadership role in encouraging FDA to reduce amalgam use” to comply with the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Five Surprising Things That Can Affect Older Couples, And What You Can Do

5 Surprising Things That Can Affect Older Couples, And What You Can Do

Contrary to what some people may think, older couples are not immune to having to resolve issues in their relationship. Whether it’s kids, finances or the sickness of a parent, it’s imperative that you and your significant other know how to handle problems when they do arise.

Helping Elderly Parents

Managing the healthcare of elderly parents may be necessary. It is important to make sure pertinent information is kept up to date and both partners are on the same page regarding parents’ finances and healthcare plans. There are many couples who aren’t fortunate enough to put their elderly parent into a good nursing home, in turn leaving couples no other choice but to take on the care and needs of that said parent. Making such a challenging decision can do more than just change your lifestyle, it can bring extra added stress to your relationship and overall happiness.

Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, there are many couples who have decided to endure, ignore, and accept a life full of pain. If domestic violence occurs, it is imperative not to ignore this problem. Older couples may not immediately jump to the option of separating, but it is important that the victim contact a lawyer regarding any incidents that have occurred. It’s important to talk to a criminal defense attorney if the relationship has a history of domestic violence. No matter how mature the relationship, violence shouldn’t be tolerated.


Older couples are more likely to think they have their finances in order due to a mortgage-free home or paid-off financial debt. However, it may be helpful for a couple with children and grandchildren to discuss the possibility of being asked to help with their grandchildren’s schooling, healthcare, and other expenses. One of the things that a couple can do is talk about setting up an investment plan so that when the time comes to assist their children or grandchildren, they will be able to make it happen without any added stress.

Differing Goals/Dreams

There may come a time when one particular partner decides to go after a lifelong dream. This decision might sound minimal, but in actuality it’s a major life decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. When a partner chooses to have sudden desires to achieve lifelong goals, the feasibility of such goals should be discussed and a mutual understanding should be reached regarding actual steps that can be taken to appease these desires.

Lost Sense Of Purpose

Couples whose children have just moved out after two decades of living in the home may experience “empty nest syndrome.” Empty nest syndrome is when a parent experiences loss and sadness when their child leaves home. This is perfectly natural, and as a couple you shouldn’t allow this to hinder your relationship. Take the time to make future plans, and figure out what you two are going to do with all the extra added free time. Even though your purpose is not raising kids anymore, there are many ways you can make a difference and grow your relationship.

No matter the wisdom in the relationship, older couples should expect that issues will arise. If you’ve lasted decades with your partner, then working to find a solution to your problem might be a challenge, but it will do nothing but bring you two closer together in the end.

This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

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Report: Senior VA Executives Abused Positions for Financial Gain


If a recent story at Stripes.com is true, it’s a shocking indictment of the way the Department of Veterans Affairs is being run. Our veterans have to put up with enough trouble from the VA already, and they certainly don’t need to deal with managers stealing money from the system.

Here are the opening paragraphs of the article:

A senior Department of Veterans Affairs manager who was supposed to clean up a beleaguered regional office abused her position for financial gain, part of a wider scheme to give stealth raises to executives, according to a VA Office of Inspector General report released Monday.

The inspector general had been investigating Philadelphia VA Regional Office Director Diana Rubens since March, after it became known that she received nearly $300,000 in compensation to move about 140 miles from Washington to Philadelphia. While the inspector general’s office concluded that her moving expenses were allowable, it found she and one other executive had manipulated the VA hiring system to create vacancies they sought for financial gain in an era of government pay freezes.

The inspector general has made a criminal referral to the District of Columbia U.S. Attorney’s Office for actions by Rubens and Kimberly Graves, who is accused of a similar scheme to become director of the St. Paul Veterans Affairs Regional Office. No charges have been filed.

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The 8 Strangest State Laws That Leave You Wondering… Why?

ID-10075925Did you know that lawyers in Kansas can’t have duels? Here are just eight laws from around the country that you’ll have to see to believe.

California: You can’t eat a frog that dies during a frog-jumping contest.

File it under “strange but true.” Thanks to the popularity of events like the Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jumping Jubilee, it’s become necessary to prohibit the consumption of frogs competing in frog-jumping contents.

Hawaii: Billboards are almost completely outlawed.

The Hawaiian government has an “urban beautification” program dating back to the 1920s. Part of it specifies that “large outdoor advertising devices” aren’t allowed to be displayed in public. Some companies have applied for exceptions, but only 18 have won them.

Mississippi: You can’t swear in groups.

According to Mississippi state law, it’s illegal to use profanity while in groups of two or more. It’s perfectly fine to swear to individual parties, but as soon as your duo becomes a trio, your foul mouth becomes punishable by law.

Utah: Drunk driving is illegal unless you’re on a horse.

While all states have laws against driving under the influence, Utah’s official Traffic Code defines “driving” as “operating a device for transportation.” According to a 1986 court case, horses aren’t considered “devices,” so it’s perfectly legal to ride a horse while drunk. This doesn’t mean Utah DUI laws are lax in any way, shape or form. A specialist from Druyon Law says that, in Utah, a DUI conviction could result in fines, license suspension, and jail time.

Illinois: Liquor stores can’t sell cold soda.

This law is a head-scratcher. While room temperature sodas can be sold without penalty, the state has strict regulations in place about chilled beverages for sale in liquor stores.

Alabama: It’s illegal to buy a bear for bear wrestling.

It is, in fact, a Class B felony according to the state’s penal code. If you’re caught buying, training or possessing a bear for the purposes of bear wrestling, you’ll be found guilty of unlawful bear exploitation.

Kansas: State employees must swear not to have duels.

Another outdated law that simply never caught up with the times, this one requires all lawyers, public officials and state employees to swear that they haven’t and will never engage in duels with deadly weapons.

Florida: It’s illegal to toss little people in a bar.

After complaints from people with dwarfism, it became necessary for Florida lawmakers to prohibit the tossing of little people in establishments that sell alcohol. Violators can face fines up to $1,000.

These are just eight of the weirdest laws you’ll find in the United States. Some have legitimate origins; some are completely out of left field; all are extremely bizarre.

Author info: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber

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Car Accidents: Understanding What Happens If You Leave the Scene

Car Accidents Understanding what Happens if you Leave the Scene

Unfortunately, vehicle accidents occur on a daily basis. As a human being, it is natural to instinctively flee whenever you are in a chaotic and/or daunting situation. However, following that instinct after a car crash may lead to some dire consequences. There are a few things that may happen to you if you leave the scene of a car accident.

If you leave the scene of a hit-and-run accident that only causes property damage, it is considered as a misdemeanor in most states. A misdemeanor may result with a jail time or a fine of up to $1,000 or both.


The punishment can be far more severe if the accident caused injuries to other people such as a pedestrian, passenger or the other driver. It will be termed as a felony hit-and-run. For such a crime penalties are different in every state. However, they involve a fine not exceeding $10,000 and/or incarceration.

According to Clark & Clark LLC., it is illegal to leave the scene of any car accident. If you leave the scene of an accident, it could result in jail time. Take note that the severity of both felony and misdemeanor hit-and-run charges is mostly due to the fleeing (hit-and-run) aspect. You will need a professional attorney to get the best deal.

Arrest warrant

At the scene of any car accident, police usually conduct a thorough and in-depth investigation. It involves reviewing any surveillance systems available, interviewing witnesses and more. If the police find out that you were involved and you fled the scene, the next step is getting a warrant for your arrest. It is also likely that they will proceed to look for you and arrest you.

No consequences

There are some situations, though are, that one may be allowed to leave the scene of an accident without risking any legal action. For instance, hit-and-run laws are not applicable to people who were not in direct involvement in the accident. People such as passers-by, passengers, witnesses and other drivers will not be liable. Even though their participation is encouraged and appreciated, they can leave the scene of a car accident without fear of any legal consequences.

If you have been involved in a car accident, fight the urge to run or flee and stay. In case you have already ‘run,’ you will need to contact a good law firm as soon as possible.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

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FDA Acknowledges Medical Ads May Have Too Many Warnings


The Food and Drug Administration “is studying whether those warnings, in broadcast and print ads, overwhelm and confuse consumers” the Chicago Tribune reports, adding “The agency says no one reads more than half of the fine print in drug ads, and of those who do, 55 percent say it’s hard to understand.” The Tribune discusses the FDA’s efforts “to make the ads clearer and drive home the most important safety risks.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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