Medical Risk Law Weekly News

Week of: December 17, 2018

IN THE NEWS


Nationwide Recall of Infant Ibuprofen; Risk of Kidney Injury

On December 5, 2018, Tris Pharma, Inc., recalled three lots of Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID) 50 mg per 1.25 mL. The recalled lots of the product have been found to have higher concentrations of ibuprofen than 50 mg per 1.25 mL. Click title to continue reading...


 
MEDICAL ALERTS


Leukemia Medicine Masks Serious Blood Condition Symptoms

On November 29, 2018, the FDA warned that signs and symptoms of a life-threatening side effect called differentiation syndrome are not being recognized in patients receiving the acute myeloid leukemia medicine Idhifa (enasidenib). Click title to continue reading...



Multiple Sclerosis Drug Risks Stroke and Blood Vessel Wall Tears

On November 29, 2018, the FDA warned that rare but serious cases of stroke and tears in the lining of arteries in the head and neck (cervicocephalic arterial dissection) have occurred in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) shortly after they received Lemtrada (alemtuzumab). These problems can lead to permanent disability and even death. As a result, the FDA added a new warning about these risks to the prescribing information on the drug label and to the patient Medication Guide. The FDA also added the risk of stroke to the existing Boxed Warning, the FDA’s most prominent warning. Click title to continue reading...



Uterine Cancer Incidence Increases; Deaths Rise

On December 7, 2018, the CDC published a report that found over a sixteen year period the number of women diagnosed with uterine cancer increased by 12 percent and the number of women who died from uterine cancer increased by 21 percent, with black women disproportionately affected. Click title to continue reading...


  CASE ALERTS


Toxicologist Not Qualified on General Practitioner Standard of Care

Over the course of four days at a hospital, a patient, with a history of non-insulin-dependent diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and pneumonia, received treatment for congestive heart failure and acute coronary syndrome, a condition brought on by a sudden reduction or blockage of blood flow to the heart. The patient was on a daily regimen of Cardizem (diltiazem), a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain. Doctors diagnosed the patient with severe right coronary artery stenosis, narrowing of the blood vessel that supplies blood to the heart, and a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), a heart attack in which there is elevation of the blood markers suggesting heart damage, but no ST elevation was seen on the EKG tracing. After the NSTEMI, the patient was administered heparin, an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that prevents the formation of blood clots. The patient underwent coronary angiography, balloon angioplasty, and stenting of the right coronary artery. Click title to continue reading...



Failure to Treat DVT; Leg Amputated

A patient who had undergone the surgical removal of the right lung due to cancer, presented to the emergency room (ER) about one month after the surgery complaining of swelling and pain in the left leg. The patient had a high pulse and high respiratory rate. An ER doctor examined the patient and determined that the patient had swelling to both legs, with greater swelling on the left than the right, as well as leg pain and diminished pulses. Believing that the patient was suffering from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the ER doctor ordered a venous duplex ultrasound of the patient’s leg veins. The ultrasound confirmed the presence of extensive clots in both legs. The situation was not thought to be emergent because the ultrasound revealed the patient still had pulses in both legs. Click title to continue reading...



Total Disability Benefits Denied; Lack of Objective Medical Evidence

An employee underwent gallbladder removal surgery for gallbladder cancer. The employee became disabled as a result. The employee was a plan participant in the employer’s disability benefit plan. Click title to continue reading...


FEATURE


Defense Counsel Checklist: Surgical Burn Malpractice

As a special feature for our Premium subscribers, we have included this checklist to be used by counsel in preparing the defense for a physician in a medical malpractice action involving surgical burns. In this illustrative situation, a man underwent high-current radiofrequency ablation to treat a tumor in the man’s liver. During the procedure, the man suffered third degree burns at the site of the grounding pad. The man sued the surgeon and the hospital for malpractice. Party identifying information has been redacted to protect privacy. Click title to continue reading...