Monday, 19 of February of 2018

Tag » Virginia

West Virginia Lawmakers Consider Punitive Damages Cap

By Randy Appleton, VA Medical Malpractice Attorney

What Happened:

Senate Bill 215 was recently introduced on the West Virginia Senate floor and could spell serious problems for those injured in the state due to medical malpractice. The bill was written to take aim at the state’s currently unlimited punitive damage awards and would instead create a $500,000 cap in med mal cases resulting in either injury or wrongful death.

The sponsors for Senate Bill 215 say the step is needed to help remove the risks associated with inflated med mal verdicts. They claim West Virginia has developed a reputation as a lawsuit friendly state and the cap will help end that. They also claim the cap will lower medical malpractice insurance premiums and, as a result, ensure that more doctors stay in West Virginia.

Those opposed to the measure say that a cap on damages only serves to protect negligent doctors from their own misconduct. Damage caps do nothing to reduce frivolous litigation and only work to deny much needed money to those found to have been injured by a negligent defendant. In fact, such a cap only becomes relevant once a jury has decided that a victim was injured seriously enough to deserve a substantial amount in damages. At that point, a damage cap comes to the rescue of the responsible doctor or hospital, shielding them from a fittingly serious punishment.

The Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney’s Perspective:

I believe that implementing such medical malpractice damage caps sets the wrong tone for doctors in the state, saying that the cost of their misconduct will be capped and that they do not need to fear severe punishment in truly severe cases. Though most doctors do a great job caring for patients, those that do not should be held accountable for their bad decisions. Capping the amount of punitive damages allowed in med mal cases does away with this accountability and would ultimately be a bad thing for residents of West Virginia.

Potentially Helpful Info:

Our West Virginia and Virginia medical malpractice attorneys have compiled a wealth of useful information regarding what constitutes a medical malpractice claim, limits on the amount of time to file a claim, and how to find the right lawyer to handle your case. For more information, read the following report on Virginia medical malpractice claims.

Have Questions?

Those who have been injured by medical malpractice surely have lots of questions. Common questions for those suffering similar injuries include some of the following: What are typical settlements? How long do I have to bring a med mal claim? What do I have to prove to prevail in a med mail case? For answers to these and other frequently asked questions regarding medical malpractice claims, check out the following guide.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Attorneys with our firm have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. Attorneys with our personal injury law firm have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of practicing attorneys receive.


Virginia Med Mal Awards Arbitrarily Reduced By Damages Cap

By Jim Lewis, VA/NC Med Mal Attorney

What Happened:

A man from Hampton, VA who was seriously injured due to medical malpractice received a jury verdict for $25 million in damages, the largest ever med mal verdict in Virginia. The problem for the man is that the verdict will now be dramatically reduced, down to $2 million thanks to law in Virginia that caps medical malpractice damages.

The case involved a man who suffered from a serious heart attack after being given only an Advil to treat his heart condition. Despite complaints of heart trouble, the doctors said that his arteries were normal and sent the man home. A few months later the man, Christopher Denton, suffered a massive heart attack. The man will now need a heart transplant within five years and only has a 50% chance of survival 10 years after that.

The man sued the Riverside Health System and its cardiologists claiming negligence and won. The jury considered the case and arrived at what it felt was a fair number, $25 million, never being told about the $2 million cap.

This case illustrates the harm of such a damages cap. The only people protected in the case were the doctors and hospital administrators whose negligence led to the massive heart attack in the innocent patient. The only people punished by the cap are those who suffer the most serious injuries while doctors who are responsible for the harm, are spared from the full brunt of their mistakes.

The Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney’s Perspective:

The problem with such caps on med mal damages is that they help the party responsible for causing the harm and punish the innocent victims. By allowing the cost of a doctor’s misconduct to be capped, physicians lose an incentive to keep their patient’s health and safety at the forefront of their minds.

While it’s true that most doctors do a good job caring for their patients, those that do not should be held accountable for their negligence and the jury system should be allowed to function without arbitrary statutory restrains on damages. 

Potentially Helpful Info: 

Our firm has handled dozens of serious medical malpractice cases before, both trying and settling cases to secure much needed money for our seriously injured clients. 

The Virginia medical malpractice attorneys at our firm have compiled a guide containing useful information about medical malpractice claims. The guide answers questions such as what incidents are considered medical malpractice, what time limits apply to med mal cases and how should victims seek out attorneys to assist them after sustaining an injury.

Have Questions?  

If you’ve been injured as a result of a medical professional’s malpractice and have questions about what to do next, take a moment to consult our FAQs regarding medical malpractice cases.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Attorneys with our firm have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. Attorneys with our personal injury law firm have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of practicing attorneys receive.


FDA Issues Class I Recall Over Medical Device Used In Heart Surgery

By Kevin Duffan, VA/NC Medical Malpractice Attorney

What Happened:

The FDA recently announced a recall by St. Jude Medical. The recall, released at the end of last month, concerns a device used in heart surgery and has been given the most serious level warning by the regulatory agency.

According to the FDA, in some cases a wire in the Amplatzer TorqVue FX Delivery System can fracture while it is being implanted in the two upper chambers of a patient’s heart. This carries a risk of not only serious injury but also death.

For the devices not yet implanted in patients, St. Jude Medical sent a warning to doctors labeled “Urgent Medical Device Recall Notice” asking that they immediately stop using the device and return any unused inventory they may have.

The recent recall was labeled a Class I, meaning that it is the most serious type of recall given that there is a reasonable probability that using the product will result in adverse health consequences or death.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

Any story about dangers related to a person’s heart is shocking. We all hope that companies responsible for making such critically important devices do a good job. While most do, some companies refuse to invest the time or money needed to ensure that the products they manufacture are completely safe.

If you or a loved has been injured by a medical device and have questions, come talk to one of our Virginia personal injury attorneys about what possible legal options you have to receive compensation. Attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm have helped many victims of dangerous and defective products recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries.

Helpful Info:

If you’ve been injured by a defective product it’s essential that you consult with a Virginia personal injury attorney who has experience handling similar cases. Our firm has successfully represented a variety of clients who have been injured by defective or dangerous products.

To begin to learn about your rights and possible options for filing a civil claim for compensation, read through the following article about defective products written by our firm’s personal injury attorneys.

Got Questions? 

Those who have been injured by a medical device or fear they may be impacted by a medical device recall surely have lots of questions. You might be wondering about what you should do if you’ve been injured by a medical device, what the legal definition of a “defective product” is, or what the requirements of a successful product liability are. For answers to these and other frequently asked questions regarding recalled products check out the following guide.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Attorneys with our firm have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. Attorneys with our personal injury law firm have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of practicing attorneys receive.


Attorney Talks About Unfair Tort Reform Laws

By Jim Lewis, Medical Negligence Injury Lawyer

Texas is an example of how not to address tort laws. The legislature passed a sweeping tort reform package in 2003 which made it more difficult for injured victims to file legitimate claims and capped non-economic damages that an injured victim could receive from a medical malpractice injury claim to only $250,000. To learn why Texas is a terrible model for Virginia and other states, read the story here…

Texas Tort Reform Laws NOT the Model for Virginia Tort Law

About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Attorneys with our firm have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. Attorneys with our personal injury law firm have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of practicing attorneys receive.


Concerns Raised about Blood Thinner Xarelto

By Jim Lewis, VA/NC Medical Malpractice Attorney

What Happened:

Federal drug regulators have received a number of reports involving blood clots associated with the new anticoagulant Xarelto, a surprising twist given that other blood thinners such as Pradaxa have been more often associated with episodes of uncontrolled bleeding.

Xarelto (rivaroxaban) was introduced to the market by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals in July of 2011 and the drug was billed as a superior alternative to warfarin for prevention of blood clots in certain cases, as patients who use the new drug are supposed to require less monitoring.

Another drug from the same class, Pradaxa, was introduced in October 2010 and since has been linked to a shocking number of severe bleeding events, hemorrhages and deaths. Since its introduction, Pradaxa has become one of the medications most often associated with adverse events according to FDA reports.

Last month the Institute for Safe Medication Practices released their QuarterWatch Report, which uncovered a number of alarming reports revealing problems with Xarelto. The new report indicates that there have been at least 356 adverse event reports submitted to the FDA during the first quarter of 2012 alone. This represents a doubling of the number of reports submitted to the agency about the drug in the final quarter of 2011.

Unlike Pradaxa, the most common problem with Xarelto is not uncontrolled bleeding, but instead serious blood clots. The risk is especially pronounced among patients under the age of 66, many of whom were taking the drug after hip or knee surgery. The FDA received 158 reports about the drug associated with blood clots during the first three months of the year. The big problem is, of course, that this is the precise event the drug has been designed to prevent.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has told reporters that the high number of blood clot reports were simply a function of how well the drug was doing commercially. Sadly, the popularity appears to be coming at a high cost to innocent consumers.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

Given the recent studies showing the risks of Xarelto, it’s surprising that the drug is still being marketed to patients. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a dangerous or defective drug, you should contact an experienced VA personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm have helped many victims of dangerous and defective drugs recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries.

Helpful Info:

If you or a family member has been injured by a defective or dangerous drug, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options by reading this article.

Have Questions?

We maintain a library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding defective or dangerous drugs.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


FDA Investigation Into Deaths Linked to 5-Hour Energy

By Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton and Favaloro, Virginia Injury Attorney

What Happened:

According to a recent article, the Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports that the 5-Hour Energy product may be linked to some 13 deaths over the past several years.

The FDA confirmed that it has begun an investigation into the 13 deaths which all occurred within the last four years. The investigation is similar to the one involving Monster Energy Drink and the five deaths that were related to its use.

A report by the New York Times reveals that since 2009, 5-Hour Energy has been named in some 90 filings with the FDA including 30 that involved life-threatening incidents. These include incidents of heart attack, convulsions and, in one case, a spontaneous abortion.

The company has responded by issuing a statement saying that the small shot of caffeine is safe when used as directed. The company, Living Essentials, says that no more than two of the 2-ounce shots should be consumed in a day and the two shots should not be consumed close together. Each tiny shot contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

Consumer Reports recently studied the levels of caffeine in a wide array of energy drinks and found that the highest amount per serving was found in 2-ounce 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength which contained 242 milligrams of caffeine. This is many times more than 35 milligrams of caffeine found in a 12-ounce can of Coke.

The Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

Though caffeine may not be a prescription medication, there’s no doubt that that such high levels can cause serious harm. Seemingly safe ingredients in products we use and consume every day can cause great harm given the right set of circumstances. For example, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said more than 13,000 emergency room visits in 2009 were linked to energy drinks.

If you’ve been injured by a dangerous product, you may be able to hold the company that manufactured the product accountable by filing a claim for compensation.

Helpful Info:

Read this article to begin learning about your legal rights and options when a faulty product leads to injuries.

Have Questions?

We maintain a library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding defective or dangerous drugs.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


FDA Launches Investigation After Deaths Tied to Monster Energy Drink

By Mark Favaloro, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The FDA recently said that it would begin an investigation into Monster Energy Drink after five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack were linked to the highly caffeinated beverage. To learn more, read the full story here…

Monster Energy Drink Under Investigation by FDA Following Five Deaths

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


FDA Publishes Study Regarding Pradaxa’s Risk of Bleeding

By Randy Appleton, Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

What Happened:

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the risk of serious bleeding among new users of Pradaxa appears to be no higher than in patients on other widely used blood thinners. The announcement by the FDA concerned the controversial blood-clot preventer made by Boehringer Ingelheim and said that Pradaxa’s risk of bleeding is in line with the more commonly prescribed drug, warfarin.

The news was meant to reduce worries among the many patients, including those in Virginia, who have used the drug, however the results were not based on any new clinical study. Instead, the FDA said they based their assessment on insurance claims and other data about patient healthcare outcomes.

The regulatory agency said over a year ago that it would launch an investigation into reports of serious bleeding among patients who had been prescribed Pradaxa. The drug was originally meant to prevent strokes in patients with an irregular heartbeat, a condition known as atrial fibrillation. Reports surfaced describing instances of gastrointestinal bleeding and uncontrolled bleeding in the brain, some of which resulted in death, which prompted a new look at the drug.

The FDA has said that while the information they reviewed indicates that there is a bleeding risk associated with Pradaxa, it is similar to the risk posed by warfarin. This does not mean the end of the investigation into the drug. On the contrary, the FDA announced it was planning to assess Pradaxa’s bleeding risks by other means and would report back on its findings.

Despite this seemingly good news about Pradaxa, another recent announcement highlights the lingering concerns about the blood thinner. A report issued by the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices’ QuarterWatch reveals that prescription drug complaints to the FDA have risen 90% in the past four years, and two drugs, Pradaxa and Chantix (a smoking cessation drug), are responsible for 37% of that increase.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

Since the news of the negative affects of the drug came to light, Pradaxa has been in the spotlight as thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the drug’s manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim. Sickened Virginia patients have alleged that the drug led to serious and even fatal bleeding, a problem that they say they were never properly warned about.

Given the recent studies showing the downsides of Pradaxa, it’s a wonder that the drug is still being marketed to patients. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a dangerous or defective drug, you should contact an experienced VA personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm have helped many victims of dangerous and defective drugs recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries. 

Helpful Info:

If you or a family member has been injured by a defective or dangerous drug, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options by reading this article.

Have Questions? 

We maintain a library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding defective or dangerous drugs.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.

 

 


Study Reveals Dangers of Yaz/Yasmin Birth Control

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

What Happened:

It’s been a week of bad news for the maker of the birth control drugs Yasmin and Yaz, as Bayer AG announced in its most recent financial report that it had agreed to pay a combined $750 million thus far to settle thousands of claims regarding its birth control drugs causing blood clots.

Adding insult to injury, a new study has found increased risk of blood clots with the use of birth control pills such as Yaz and Yasmin. According to the most recent study published in the journal Contraception, women who take oral contraceptives containing the synthetic hormone drospirenone are more likely to suffer from potentially fatal blood-clotting complications compared to those who were taking another type birth control.

Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research gathered data on 573,680 women between the ages of 10 and 55 between 2001 and 2007. The study looked at women who were new users of combined hormonal contraceptives (CHCs), and compared the rate of blood clot related events among women who did or did not take contraceptives containing drospirenone. Overall, the study found that women who took birth control pills containing drospirenone were 77% more likely to experience blood clot related conditions such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Deep vein thrombosis is when a blood clot becomes lodged in the veins of the leg; this can lead to a pulmonary embolism when part of the clot breaks away and travels to blood vessels in the lungs. The study also found that women who take birth control pills containing drospirenone had double the risk of suffering a blockage in their arteries.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest financial report from Bayer indicates the company has put aside an additional $262.5 million to settle Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits over blood clots. This follows a Bloomberg report over the summer that found that Bayer had reserved $610 million to settle cases, leading to an average of nearly $212,000 per case.

Yaz and Yasmin were among the most commonly named drugs in personal injury lawsuits last year, according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ QuarterWatch Report; there were over 8,300 claims involving the medications in 2011 alone. Given the number of problems it’s perhaps not a surprise that the company is facing some 12,000 lawsuits alleging Yaz or Yasmin caused blood clots, gallbladder damage and other injuries.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

As experienced Virginia dangerous drug and device attorneys, my colleagues and I have helped clients through many cases like this. Sadly, thousands of people experience the pain of taking a medication prescribed by their doctor only to have it cause serious health problems later on. This happens far too often and the side effects can last a lifetime.

Helpful Info:

If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective drug, you may be able to hold the company that manufactured and marketed the drug accountable by filing claims for compensation. Read this article to begin learning about your legal rights and options when a faulty product leads to injuries.

Have Questions?

To learn more about how to proceed if you have been injured as a result of a prescription drug in Virginia, please read this free report

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


What Caused the Recent Fungal Meningitis Outbreak?

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

What Happened:

The recent outbreak of fungal meningitis has many in the medical community desperate to get to the bottom of the cause. Possibilities abound and everyone appears to have a theory. Could it have been some moldy ceiling tiles? What about the dirty shoes of a careless employee? How about a contaminated ingredient?

There are many ways the fungus could have gotten inside the New England Compounding Center, a pharmacy in Massachusetts that has been blamed for the outbreak. The steroid injections made by the compounding pharmacy have already been recalled after leading to the death of 25 people and sickness in nearly 350 more.

So far regulators from both state and federal agencies have been quiet about what problem may have led to the contamination. It has been revealed that inspectors found fungus growing in more than 50 vials from the pharmacy. FDA investigators remain on the scene in Farmingham, Massachusetts in an attempt to better understand what went wrong.

Despite the lack of information, outside experts tend to agree that dirty conditions in the plant are likely to blame. This could include a number of possible sources of contamination, including faulty sterilizing equipment, tainted ingredients or sloppiness on the part of employees.

One problem for the pharmacy is that the drug used in the steroid injection is made without preservatives meaning there is no additive that is able to kill germs lurking in the medicine. Given this lack of preservative, it’s critical that the drug be manufactured under incredibly sterile conditions.

Though compounding pharmacies aren’t as tightly regulated as major manufacturers, they are supposed to follow certain basic rules including cleaning the floors and all other surfaces daily, monitoring the air supply in “clean rooms” where the drugs are actually made, ensuring that employees wear gloves and gowns and testing samples from each lot. These rules of standard practice exist in the U.S. Pharmacopeia, a national standards book for compounding medicines that is written by a nonprofit scientific organization.

To make the steroid used in this case, a chemical powder from a supplier was mixed with a liquid, sterilized through heating, then pumped into vials. It’s possible that the powder was contaminated, either at the New England Compounding Center or another location. Given the vast amount of the medicine produced, the time it would take to make the batches might allow the medicine time to be contaminated. It’s also possible that if a worker took a break for coffee or to go to the bathroom that they could have hurried back into the lab without properly washing up, thus introducing contamination.

Though this event has received a significant amount of media attention, it’s important to note that it’s not as uncommon as many people would think. In fact, just last year there were three similar incidents. At least 33 patients came down with fungal eye infections linked to a compounding pharmacy in Florida; a dozen patients were blinded after an outbreak caused by another compounder in Florida; and nine people in Alabama died from taking IV nutritional supplements made by a compounder in that state.

The North Carolina Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

As experienced North Carolina dangerous drug attorneys, my colleagues and I have helped clients through many cases like this one. Sadly, thousands of people experience the pain of taking a medication prescribed by their doctor only to have it cause serious health problems later on. This happens far too often and the side effects can last a lifetime.

Helpful Info:

If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective drug, you may be able to hold the company that manufactured and marketed the drug accountable by filing claims for compensation. Read this article to begin learning about your legal rights and options when a faulty product leads to injuries.

Have Questions?

To learn more about how to proceed if you have been injured as a result of a prescription drug in North Carolina, please read the following FAQs.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.