Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
J&J Announces $2.5B Settlement for Hip Implant Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson says it will pay $2.5 billion to settle
lawsuits over faulty hip replacements, making it one of the largest
settlements paid out in the medical device industry.
The agreement presented in U.S. District Court in Toledo, Ohio,
resolves about 8,000 cases involving patients who had to have the
metal ball-and-socket hip implant -- called the ASR Hip System --
removed or replaced, the
The metal implant was pulled from the market in 2010 after data
showed that it failed sooner than older types of plastic or ceramic
The settlement announced late Tuesday provides about $250,000
per patient and covers those whose implants were removed or
replaced before Aug. 31, 2013. Most of the patients are expected to
receive their payments in 2014, the
J&J's lawyers have denied that the company acted
The deal does not cover all lawsuits related to the hip implant,
J&J's DePuy unit said in a statement. "DePuy will continue to
defend against remaining claims and believes its actions related to
the ASR Hip System have been appropriate and responsible," the
The ASR Hip System was sold for eight years and used in about
35,000 patients in the United States and more than 90,000
worldwide. Production of the hip implant was halted in 2009 and it
was recalled in 2010, the
Internal J&J documents suggest that company officials knew
about problems with the device at last as far back as 2008. And a
2011 company review of a patient registry said that more than
one-third of the hip implants were expected to fail within five
years of implantation, the
Replacement hips are generally supposed to last at least 10 to
20 years, according to the news service.
Obese Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers Must Be Checked for Sleep
Obese pilots and air traffic controllers in the United States
will soon have to undergo screening to determine if their excess
weight is causing them to lose sleep and therefore affecting their
work performance, the Federal Aviation Administration says.
Agency officials explained that overweight people are at
increased risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder that
impairs sleep and can cause drowsiness when people are awake,
"Airman applicants with a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more will have to be evaluated by a physician who is a board certified sleep specialist," FAA's air surgeon, Fred Tilton, wrote in a recent FAA medical bulletin. "Anyone who is diagnosed with OSA will have to be treated before they can be medically certificated."
Body mass index is a measurement of body fat based on height and
weight. People with a BMI of 40 and higher are considered extremely
The memo also says that the FAA plans to expand the screening
program to include those with a BMI of 30,
FoxNews.comreported. People with a BMI of 30 are considered
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