Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough | Injury Law Blog

Fentanyl Patch Side Effects Threaten Patient Safety

by Keith Adkins | June 30th, 2015

Painkiller overdoses are one of the leading causes of accidental drug injury and death in the United States today. One of the most common drugs involved in these incidents is a powerful narcotic painkiller known as Fentanyl. In fact, the painkiller is known to be involved in more than 1,000 U.S. deaths per year.

The drug is administered by placing a sticky patch containing the drug to the skin. The drug is then absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. The only way to determine the dosage is to adjust the size of the patch. Fentanyl patch side effects can include nausea, decreases in respiration, slowed heart rate, and death.

Despite these risks, drug manufacturers continue to market dosages of the drug. According to Pharmacy Times, one maker of the medication—Mylan, Inc.—recently announced it would begin distributing three new dosages of the drug. Currently, the drug is dispensed in 12 mcg/hr, 25 mcg/hr, 50 mcg/hr, 75 mcg/hr, and 100 mcg/hr dosages. Now, patients and doctors will have 37.5 mcg/hr, 62.5 mcg/hr, and 87.5 mcg/hr options as well.

With Fentanyl so readily available, some communities are experiencing an epidemic of drug overdoses linked to the medication. This has forced some Canadian cities to adopt policies that require patients taking Fentanyl to return used patches to their pharmacist before new ones can be distributed.

Our drug injury attorneys at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough are aware of the serious dangers that Fentanyl can pose. That’s why we’re hopeful more steps are taken to keep patients safe.

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Defective Medical Device Attorneys Discuss Risks of Bone and Joint Replacement

by Keith Adkins | June 23rd, 2015

Bone and joint implants revolutionized the way many medical conditions are treated, but many of these devices can put a patient’s health in danger. That’s why the defective medical device attorneys at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough would like to raise awareness about a few of the implants on the market today.

Knee Implants

As Americans live longer and exercise more later in life, cases of chronic knee pain have risen. This has led to a rise in the number of knee replacement surgeries performed in the U.S. each year. Patients may not realize that these devices have been known to fail in the past, resulting in the need for revision surgery. Some of the issues that have been reported include inflammation, swelling, chronic pain, and bowing.

Hip Replacement

The recall of millions of hip replacement devices is likely one of the highest profile defective medical device cases of the past decade. Many of the recalled devices were designed using metal parts that could rub together, causing heavy friction. This, in turn, resulted in metal being released into the patient’s body.

The side effects of hip replacement failure include pain, swelling, and a condition known as metallosis. Many patients harmed by these devices filed hip recall lawsuits to seek compensation for their injuries.

Counterfeit Spinal Implants

One of the latest cases of defective bone or joint replacement devices involves counterfeit spinal implants. An article from Al Jazeera America says the company that manufactured the faulty parts, Spinal Solutions, used both counterfeit and genuine parts to build the spinal implants. Now, doctors and hospitals across the nation are coming under fire for using the non-approved parts.

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If you’ve been harmed as the result of using a defective medical device, you have rights—contact our 24/7 legal staff to learn how you can protect them.

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American Medical Association Calls For Better Monitoring to Reduce Painkiller Overdoses

by Keith Adkins | June 16th, 2015

Painkillers can be vital to the care and treatment of those suffering from many injuries or diseases. However, the number of adverse health events involving these drugs continues to increase each year. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that painkiller overdoses accounted for more fatalities in 2013 than gunshot wounds and car accidents combined.

The painkiller overdose lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough explain the federal government is hoping that a better infrastructure of prescription drug monitoring programs will reduce the number of drug injuries that involve painkillers each year.

Reports from The Post and Courier explain the American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for states to improve and build on prescription drug monitoring programs by ensuring they can effectively collect and share patient data. The AMA is also encouraging each state to ensure funding is available for these programs.

The hope is that these measures will help doctors examine the risks and benefits of prescribing painkillers to patients.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we are aware of how dangerous prescription painkillers can be, and our drug injury lawyers are hopeful these new policies can help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities associated with this type of medication.

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Common Antibiotic Side Effects

by Keith Adkins | June 9th, 2015

Taking certain antibiotic medications can cause serious complications and side effects. That’s why the attorneys at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough would like to let you know about some of the most common cases of antibiotics side effects we see today.

Azithromycin is marketed under the name Zithromax® and is often a first line antibiotic for those who are allergic to penicillin. While the drug boasts of a short, easy regimen, it has also been linked to cardiac abnormalities. Researchers have found that the drug can cause prolonged QT intervals, which can result in death. One study showed Zithromax users faced a two and a half times higher risk of a fatality caused by irregular heart rhythms than those who used other antibiotic treatments.

Levaquin® is another antibiotic that can cause serious side effects. While the drug is effective in eliminating serious infections from the body, it can also cause patients to experience Levaquin nervous system injuries. A story from WPXI News highlighted a few of these risks, including ruptured tendons, tendonitis, and changes in sensation.

While Zithromax and Levaquin are used to treat bacterial infections, Diflucan® is used to rid the body of fungal infections. However, studies have linked the drug to birth defects in children whose mothers take the drug during pregnancy. Our Diflucan injury lawyers discuss some of the birth defects in detail on our website.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we want to provide you with the legal help you need if you’ve been harmed by a prescription drug. Give us a call anytime at (866) 589-0257 to discuss your case.


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Drug Injury Lawyers Examine Risks of Taking Zofran® While Pregnant

by Keith Adkins | June 2nd, 2015

When pregnant women suffer from morning sickness, doctors often prescribe drugs that can help alleviate nausea and other symptoms. But studies show that almost 98 percent of the medications used to treat morning sickness are not approved for use during pregnancy.

One such drug is Zofran®. Often used to ease nausea in cancer patients, doctors sometimes prescribe the drug to women suffering morning sickness.

The Zofran birth defect lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough explain that pregnant women should refrain from using the drug due to the risks it can pose to unborn children, such as:

  • Cleft palates
  • Cleft lips
  • Heart defects
  • Kidney problems

A study released in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showed a 30 percent increase in the risk of congenital cardiac malformations in children born to mothers who take Zofran while pregnant.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we understand the risks that come with certain medications. That’s why our drug injury lawyers urge you to speak with your doctor before taking any medications while pregnant.

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Tiger Paw System II Recalled Due to Risk of Heart Tissue Tears and Serious Bleeding

by Keith Adkins | May 26th, 2015

The Tiger Paw System II is a medical device used during open-heart surgery that is manufactured by Maquet Medical Systems. The device is used to obstruct the left atrial appendage during the procedure. But numerous reports of the Tiger Paw System II causing patients serious injury have surfaced recently, and the device is being recalled and added to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) list of defective medical products.

The Tiger Paw System II can tear the atrial appendage during open-heart surgery, which can lead serious bleeding. According to an FDA press release, these bleeding events have resulted in 51 reports of adverse health events and one fatality.

Facilities that use the Tiger Paw System II have been instructed to examine their inventory of devices to see if any are included in the recall. Any affected products should be removed from inventory, quarantined, and sent back to the manufacturer along with a completed recall form.

Anyone who has been harmed by the device during a surgical procedure should contact their surgeon and FDA officials to report the issue.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our personal injury lawyers are here to help protect the rights of defective medical device injury victims. If you believe you were injured by the Tiger Paw System II, contact us today.

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Research Shows Surgery Boosts Mesothelioma Survival Rate

by Keith Adkins | May 19th, 2015

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer of the lungs and body cavity. The disease often develops in patients who have been exposed to high levels of asbestos, a naturally occurring substance found in many of the work environments and products that are available to consumers in the United States.

There are numerous treatments to help patients battle mesothelioma, but the defective product lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough explain that some of the methods are more effective than others.

A study that was released in the April issue of Oncology states that, of the 14,288 cases of mesothelioma that researchers examined, patients who underwent surgery to remove a tumor or reduce the size of the growth had the most promising survival rates.

Researchers looked at the age, sex, race, date of diagnosis, and other factors of a patient in order to divide the massive pool of participants into groups for data collection. The data determined that surgery seems to have the greatest impact on survival, while surgery combined with radiation shared similar results.

Despite improvements in medical technology and patient care, mortality rates for mesothelioma patients has not wavered from the average 18 months of life following a diagnosis.

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you likely have many questions regarding your rights. Speaking with a mesothelioma lawyer at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough can help.


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$2.4 Billion Settlement Offered to Actos® Drug Injury Lawsuit Plaintiffs

by Keith Adkins | May 12th, 2015

Actos® is a drug that can treat diabetes, but studies show that the drug may significantly increase the chances of patients developing bladder cancer. Unfortunately, the risk wasn’t communicated to many patients who took the drug.

As a result, patients who developed bladder cancer after taking Actos filed drug injury lawsuits against the manufacturer of Actos, Takeda Pharmaceutical. Several of those cases went to trial with mixed results. And now Takeda has announced that it wishes to settle a majority of the remaining Actos drug injury lawsuits for an estimated $2.4 billion.

According to The New York Times, the settlement will only be finalized if 95 percent of the plaintiffs who qualify agree to the terms of the offer. The cutoff for victims to submit their approval or denial is mid-July. If the settlement is finalized, victims can expect to see payments up to $296,000 each.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our drug injury lawyers are hopeful that Actos injury victims and their families get the compensation they deserve.


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FDA Issues Warnings Regarding Testosterone Therapy Heart Attack Risks

by Keith Adkins | May 5th, 2015

Testosterone is a hormone that helps regulate energy levels, body mass, and sex drive in males. Several medications can raise a man’s testosterone levels, but it’s important to note the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved a majority of these drugs to treat certain medical conditions—not low testosterone levels resulting from aging.

Despite the FDA’s regulations, these treatments continue to be prescribed to patients considered unfit to take the drugs. Studies have shown men with a history of heart disease who use low testosterone therapy drugs have an increased Testosterone therapy heart attack risk.

These risks have prompted the FDA to issue a press release warning drug manufacturers and medical professionals about the drug injury risks. Furthermore, the agency issued a press release calling for updates to the labels of low testosterone therapy drugs that would clearly state a warnings to patients.

The FDA goes on to recommend that anyone using a low testosterone therapy drug who experiences symptoms of a heart attack should speak with a medical professional immediately.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our drug injury lawyers are hopeful these new warnings will be successful in reducing the amount of Low T treatment heart attacks.

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FDA Launches Mucinex® Recall Due to Acetaminophen Overdose Risks

by Keith Adkins | April 28th, 2015

Acetaminophen can be used to effectively control and treat pain. However, taking too much of this drug can lead to serious harm. Some symptoms of an acetaminophen overdose can be:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Liver damage

To help reduce acetaminophen injuries, products containing the medication are labeled to display information such as safety warnings and proper dosages. Drugs with improper labeling are subject to recalls.

According to KSN News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has initiated such a recall on Mucinex® products due to mislabeling, including certain lots of:

  • MUCINEX® FAST-MAX® Night Time Cold & Flu
  • MUCINEX® FAST-MAX® Cold & Sinus
  • MUCINEX® FAST-MAX® Severe Congestion & Cough
  • MUCINEX® FAST-MAX® Cold, Flu & Sore Throat

The drugs were recalled because information on the front labels of the products did not match the information found on the back labels of the product. Anyone in possession of the affected product has been instructed to mix the product with inedible items in a plastic bag before properly disposing of it.

If you’ve been harmed by a recalled drug, the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough want to protect your rights. Call us 24/7 to get in touch with our legal staff—just dial (866) 589-0257.

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