Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough | Injury Law Blog

Study Shows Drug Injuries Caused By Medication Errors Are Common

by Keith Adkins | October 28th, 2014

One of the most common causes for drug injuries in the United States today is medication errors, which occur when patients are given too much or too little of a drug—or the wrong medication altogether.

And according to new research, these types of drug injuries may be more common than you think, especially among children. An article from Time magazine features a new study showing that one in eight children will be victims of medication errors this year alone.

Researchers examined medical records collected over a decade and discovered more than 200,000 drug errors reported to poison control centers each year. The victims in roughly one-third of those cases were children under age 6. Almost 82 percent of the incidents involved liquid medications, while almost 15 percent of injuries were caused by tablets or capsules.

The research team that conducted the study suggested that drug makers improve the labeling and dosage directions for their products.

The drug injury attorneys with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough have seen the devastating results that medication errors can have and are hopeful this study prompts action to better protect patients from harm.

 

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What You Can Do to Prevent a Painkiller Overdose

by Keith Adkins | October 22nd, 2014

The development of powerful narcotic painkillers is one of the most significant advancements in the history of medicine. But the United States is currently facing an epidemic of drug injuries caused by painkiller overdoses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report there were 41,502 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2012. Of those fatalities, 16,007 were the result of misuse and abuse of opioid analgesics.

These numbers have many citizens who use painkiller medications questioning what they can do to prevent drug injuries. The drug injury attorneys with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough suggest taking the following steps to avoid unintentional overdoses:

  • Get Educated- Ask your doctor and pharmacist any questions you may have pertaining to medications you’re about to take.
  • Always Follow Instructions- Only take a medication as it has been prescribed. Also, keep the drug in the container it was dispensed in so no dosage issues arise.
  • Avoid Drug Interactions- Make sure other products you consume—such as over-the-counter medications or alcohol—will not cause injury when combined with the medications you’re taking.
  • Seek Treatment Immediately- If you begin to feel like you cannot properly function without taking a medication, you should speak with your doctor about the options available to you. The National Safety Council also provides a hotline if you suspect a loved one may be at risk of harming themselves with painkiller medications.

We hope these tips will help to keep you safe. But if you or a loved one is injured as the result of a drug injury while taking a painkiller, we may be able to help. You can get in touch with our legal team by calling (866) 589-0257 today.

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Drug Injuries: Common Causes and Prevention Methods

by Keith Adkins | October 14th, 2014

As Americans, we are privileged to have access to many medications to treat our illnesses and medical conditions. However, it’s important that we remember that taking certain medications can put us at risk of suffering drug injuries.

Estimates show there are as many as 700,000 people will be injured by drugs this year alone. Of those individuals, an estimated 120,000 will be hospitalized.

The Causes of Drug Injuries

Reports indicate that one of the leading causes for medication errors in the United States are miscommunications between medical staff, prescribing doctors, and patients. Hospital staffs have routinely caused drug injuries by dispensing the wrong medication or giving patients too much or too little of a drug.

We must also consider the high volume of medications distributed in the U.S. each year. As many as one in five citizens take at least one medication on a regular basis, and one in 20 take up to five drugs per day. This has led to approximately 4 billion prescriptions filled in our nation annually and where there is a high volume of people, errors can happen.

Protecting Yourself From Drug Injuries

These numbers leave many wondering how they can prevent drug injuries. Most experts attest to better communication being crucial in this situation. Patients should ask plenty of questions to their doctors and pharmacists prior to beginning to take a new medication. A list of questions that should be asked was published in a recent issue of The Bay State Banner.

If you or someone you love has suffered a drug injury, an experienced drug injury lawyer can help protect your rights to compensation. At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. To get in touch with our legal staff today, just call (866) 589-0257.

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FDA to Hold Discussion on Protecting Cybersecurity of Medical Devices

by Keith Adkins | October 7th, 2014

Most of us are aware of the importance of cybersecurity—we protect our accounts with passwords and questions that are ensured to allow only those with permission to access our private data. But while we protect our homes, phones, and computers from being hacked, the medical devices that some people depend on to stay alive may be able to be compromised.

An article the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) points out agency officials are acknowledging the health and safety risks associated with security breaches attacking medical devices or the computer systems that run them. Furthermore, they are searching for solutions.

To address this problem, the FDA announced it will hold a workshop in the near future to brainstorm the best ways to improve medical device cybersecurity. Some of the topics that will be discussed during the event include how to create a safe way to share information, as well as what tools will be needed to prevent a security breaches from affecting medical devices.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we understand the importance of medical devices in thousands of patients’ lives. That’s why our team of defective medical device attorneys is hopeful the upcoming session is able to produce innovative ways to protect the medical devices that help improve our quality of life.

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Ruling Could Have Significant Impact on Drug Injury Cases

by Keith Adkins | September 23rd, 2014

Generic medications can be an affordable way to get the drugs you need, but loose regulations regarding their manufacturing can put users at risk of harm.

While brand name drug makers must abide to strict standards related to the amount of ingredients they use, generic drug manufacturers have much more lenient rules. Despite these differences, generic drug makers cannot be held liable for the harm their products cause. Only brand name drug makers can be held responsible for drug injuries.

birth control drug injury ruling recently handed down by the Alabama Supreme Court further supported this position. The decision stated generic drug manufacturers are not only free of liability for harm their products cause and set a precedent that brand name drug makers could face responsibility for injuries caused by generic products similar to their own.

According to Injury Lawyer News, the ruling has stirred quite a bit of controversy and could have a significant impact on the way companies who manufacture medications do business.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our drug injury attorneys have seen the devastating effects that can come from unsafe drugs on the market, and we’re here to help you if you’ve suffered severe side effects from a drug.

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$73 Million Awarded in Texas Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit

by Keith Adkins | September 16th, 2014

Medical device manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the products they bring to the market. Failure to do so can result in costly legal action—including one Texas transvaginal mesh lawsuit that resulted in a $73 million award for the victim.

Court documents indicate the 42-year-old victim had transvaginal mesh implanted into her body four years ago to help relieve a urinary leak. But the device failed and led to the woman suffering permanent nerve damage and almost constant pain.

She filed a lawsuit claiming Boston Scientific, the company that created and distributed the Obtryx sling, had wrongfully marketed a faulty product. A jury agreed and awarded the victim $23 million in compensatory damages to cover pain and suffering and her medical and legal bills. Reuters explains the jury then awarded another $50 million in punitive damages.

This was the first of roughly 23,000 lawsuits against Boston Scientific related to their transvaginal mesh devices. Other trials are scheduled to begin in October.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our team of defective medical device attorneys are aware of how difficult it can be to overcome the harm caused by a faulty medical device. That’s why we’re hopeful the decision reached in this case will bring a sense of closure to the victim.

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FDA Warns About Risks of Using Workout Supplements To Treat Traumatic Brain Injuries

by Keith Adkins | September 9th, 2014

Football season is upon us again, and for many players, parents, and coaches, so is the concern over concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). While there are many actions that can be taken to prevent these injuries, the drug injury attorneys at the law firm of Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough would like to remind the public that taking a workout supplement is not one of them.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently stated some companies have begun marketing “untested, unproven, and possibly dangerous” products that are said to help prevent, treat, and even cure TBIs.

The problem came to light after the agency discovered a company marketing a product as an effective way to cut the recovery time after suffering a TBI. The product was even endorsed by a player in the National Football League. The FDA took action to prevent the company from continuing to market the product, but officials say preventing the use of these products comes down to public awareness about workout supplement health risks.

The FDA is asking athletes to avoid using supplements as a means of treating a TBI. Instead, the agency says seeking medical attention from a doctor and taking plenty of time to recuperate is the best way to treat a TBI. Athletes can also prevent TBIs by using proper technique when playing.

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OpenFDA Provides Greater Insight Into Drug Injuries and Defective Medical Devices

by Keith Adkins | September 2nd, 2014

Each year, hundreds of thousands of patients become drug injury victims or are harmed by defective medical devices. Most experts agree that more transparency within the medical field is one of the best ways to reduce the number of adverse health events patients suffer due to negligence or error. This is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new database known as OpenFDA.

Officials say the database, which currently holds more than 3 million documents, gives the public access to reports and records regarding incidents of patient harm. While OpenFDA is still in it’s testing phase, many believe the information provided will lead to faster action being taken when problems with specific medical products are identified.

The new system will also create a more efficient means for data to be analyzed by researchers, providing a greater insight into focused areas of medicine.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our drug injury attorneys are excited about the FDA’s new system and are hopeful that it’s successful in providing a greater scope of information about the medical industry to the American people.

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Victims Receive Payments From $2.5 Billion DePuy Hip Recall Settlement

by Keith Adkins | August 26th, 2014

Medical supply giant, Johnson & Johnson, reached a $2.5 billion settlement with thousands of Americans harmed by defective medical products marketed by the company. Now, payments from the settlement are being made to the victims.

Problems with the DePuy ASR hip implant began were first reported 2010 when patients began to experience premature failures of the devices. Examinations determined friction from the metal-on-metal parts of the device were causing inflammation and pain for patients and also a condition of heavy metal toxicity, known as metallosis.

More than 8,000 hip recall lawsuits were filed in connection with the devices, which means the settlement will an average settlement award of $200,000 to many claimants. Those with extraordinary injuries or conditions can apply for more compensation later.

According to an article from MarketWatch, payments are only being made to claimants who underwent revision surgery prior to Aug. 2013. Claims from those who have not underwent corrective procedures or underwent corrective surgery after Aug. 2013 are still open.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we hope the payments bring a sense of closure to the victims.

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Investigation Into Link Between Viagra® and Skin Cancer Continues

by Keith Adkins | August 19th, 2014

Records indicate that as many as 25 million American men may have used a medication known as sildenafil citrate—better known as Viagra®—to treat conditions of erectile dysfunction or pulmonary hypertension. What they may not realize though is that using the drug could put them at risk of developing certain cancers.

A study released by The Journal of the American Medical Association examined the medical records of more than 25,000 men, including those who had used Viagra and those who had not. Other factors that were examined pertaining to Viagra skin cancer risks included sun exposure and family history. Researchers were able to conclude from their findings that users of Viagra were linked to an 84 percent increase in the chances of developing melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer.

If you’ve developed skin cancer after using Viagra, it may be wise to have a drug injury attorney examine your case.  The legal team at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough is currently conducting such investigations.

A press release from Market Wired explains we believe men who have developed cancer—even after taking just one dose of Viagra—may be entitled to compensation. We have more than 30 years of experience helping people injured by prescription medications, and we’re here to answer questions about your legal rights. Call (866) 589-0257 to learn more about how we can help.

 

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