The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating a medical device that was withdrawn from the market in 2014 after it was found to spread cancer in women. According to a news report in the Wall Street Journal, investigators are looking into what Johnson & Johnson, the largest manufacturer of the device known as laparoscopic power morcellator, knew about the problems.
The Problem with Morcellators
The morcellators were apparently used by surgeons during certain minimally-invasive hysterectomy procedures or to remove uterine fibroids. The morcellator ground up tissue so it could be easily removed through tiny incisions. However, when the device was used on women who had undiscovered uterine sarcoma cancer, it had the effect of spreading the cancerous tissue through the abdomen and pelvis.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the cancer risk in April 2014 saying that morcellation could worsen the patient’s likelihood of long-term survival. In November, the FDA required a strong new warning on the product label. Ethicon, the division of Johnson & Johnson that made the devices, advised doctors to stop using them and pulled them off the market.
However, models made by other medical device makers still remain available. Tens of thousands of women have undergone these procedures. One patient who was interviewed by the FBI said she underwent a hysterectomy with a morcellator and follow-up testing showed she had cancer that had spread through her abdomen. …Read the rest »
Hundreds of women have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson alleging that the company’s popular Shower to Shower brand of talcum powder products for feminine hygiene gave them ovarian cancer. According to a news report on PRI.org, the company markets Shower to Shower as: “Just a sprinkle a day helps keep the odor away.” Now at least 700 lawsuits have been filed arguing that talc in this and other products led to their ovarian cancers and that the company should have warned them of the risk. Some studies beginning in 1982 have indicated that women who used talcum powder products for feminine hygiene have a higher risk of ovarian cancer than those who do not use them. …Read the rest »
The California Department of Public Health has released video advertisements calling electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes toxic, warning that they are being marketed to children.
According to a news report in the Sacramento Bee, e-cigarettes have emerged recently as a popular alternative to regular cigarettes.
Vaping lounges where customers can sample different flavors of liquid in vaping devices have sprung all over California.
Orange and Los Angeles counties are no exception. …Read the rest »
McDonald’s is recalling about 2.3 million Hello Kitty toys that came with its Happy Meals because they pose a choking danger. According to a CNN news report, the item in question is a red whistle that came with the Hello Kitty Birthday Lollipop Toy, which is basically a Hello Kitty figurine holding a pink heart-shaped lollipop. The whistle can be detached from the toy and used to make sounds by inhaling and exhaling.
…Read the rest »
In 2005, General Motors Co. made a conscious decision – to not change the design of a defective ignition switch eventually linked to 13 deaths. According to a Reuters news report, the automaker saved less than $1 per car by putting off that switch redesign, which could have saved lives and prevented injuries. This information came out through an internal GM document provided to U.S. congressional investigators.
Documents Shed Light on Cost of Fix
Lawmakers have been questioning GM CEO Mary Barra about the company’s failure to recall 2.6 million cars for faulty ignition switches that could cut off engines and disable airbags, power steering and power brakes. GM knew about the problem more than a decade ago.
Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette cited a 2005 GM document during the hearings, which she said, showed a cost of 57 cents per fix. Although Reuters could not get a copy of that document, they obtained another one which showed that the change in ignition switch design would have cost an extra 90 cents per vehicle and additional tooling costs of $400,000 overall spread over several years. …Read the rest »
Almost all of the smallest vehicles in the U.S. automotive market failed to get passing grades on a tough new crash test from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). According to a Detroit News report, the group points out that only one mini-car out of 11 that were tested received an acceptable rating in the small-overlap front crash test.
That makes mini-cars the poorest performing group of any evaluated so far. The Chevrolet Spark was the only vehicle that received an acceptable overall rating in the small-overlap test along with good ratings in the IIHS’s four other crashworthiness evaluations.
What is the Small-Overlap Test?
This test was introduced about two years ago and basically replicates what occurs when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a pole or tree. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the driver’s side strikes a stationary object at 40 mph. Safety experts say that when it comes to crashworthiness, lightweight vehicles have an inherent disadvantage, which is why, if you must buy a mini-car, you should choose one that provides maximum occupant protection. The IIHS test rates all mini-cars, including the Chevy Spark, “poor” or “marginal” for structure.
…Read the rest »