Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Recalled Defibrillator Leads Could Injure Patients: Report
Riata defibrillator leads have been recalled by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration because they can potentially injure or kill
patients, device maker St. Jude Medical said Thursday.
The devices are used to connect defibrillators to the heart. The
company said about 79,000 patients have the Riata leads,
Bloomberg News reported.
Wires inside some leads can penetrate the insulation and
compromise the device's integrity, St. Jude said. The devices may
inappropriately deliver a shock to a patient's heart or fail to
deliver a needed shock. The company stopped selling the Riata leads
"At this time, no blanket statement can be made about clinical recommendations," Anne Curtis, chairwoman of medicine at the University at Buffalo in New York and a member of St. Jude's medical advisory board, said in a news release, Bloomberg reported.
"Until more data are collected, physicians should follow standard practice of care to manage their patients with Riata silicone leads," Curtis advised.
Drug Shortages Caused by Production Problems: GAO
Production problems and factory shutdowns are the main reason
for the shortages of important drugs in the United States,
according to a report released Thursday by the federal Government
The GAO said the number of shortages of crucial drugs, including
cancer drugs and nutritional products, has more than tripled since
Wall Street Journal reported.
"Manufacturing problems were the primary cause of most shortages," the GAO concluded in its analysis of the situation.
The GAO said the solution includes giving the Food and Drug
Administration the authority to force manufacturers to give
immediate notice when they experience problems that will halt
production, and to require manufacturers to "take certain actions
to prevent, alleviate or resolve shortages," the
Asthma, Bronchitis Among Top Kids' Medical Conditions:
Acute bronchitis, asthma, trauma-related disorders, middle-ear
infections and mental disorders were the five most commonly treated
medical conditions among U.S. children in 2008, a federal
government report says.
More than 40 percent of the nation's children age 17 and younger
were treated for at least one of those conditions that year,
according to the latest
News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and
About 12 million children were treated for acute bronchitis,
making it one of the most common ailments. However, bronchitis had
the lowest treatment cost, an average of $226 per child.
Mental disorders were the fifth most commonly treated condition
(5 million children) and had the highest treatment cost, an average
of $2,483 per child.
Medicare paid the largest share of treatment costs for asthma
(51 percent) and mental disorders (46 percent), while private
insurance paid the largest share for the treatment of middle-ear
infections (64 percent), trauma (62 percent) and bronchitis (55
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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