April 9, 2012
By Associated Press
“This is when science, medicine and surgery are miraculous.” –KTRN
After 15 years of wearing a mask and living as a recluse, a 37-year-old Virginia man disfigured in a gun accident has been given a new face, nose, teeth and jaw in what his doctors say is the most extensive face transplant yet performed.
Richard Lee Norris, of Hillsville, is recovering well after last week’s surgery, beginning to feel his face, and already brushing his teeth and shaving, University of Maryland medical centre officials said. He has also regained his sense of smell, which he lost after the accident.
February 20, 2012
By Jeremy Laurence
Britain is facing a “massive” rise in antibiotic-resistant blood poisoning caused by the bacterium E.coli – bringing closer the spectre of diseases that are impossible to treat.
Experts say the growth of antibiotic resistance now poses as great a threat to global health as the emergence of new diseases such as Aids and pandemic flu.
Professor Peter Hawkey, a clinical microbiologist and chair of the Government’s antibiotic-resistance working group, said that antibiotic resistance had become medicine’s equivalent of climate change.
The “slow but insidious growth” of resistant organisms was threatening to turn common infections into untreatable diseases, he said. Already, an estimated 25,000 people die each year in the European Union from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
“It is a worldwide issue – there are no boundaries,” he said. “We have very good policies on the use of antibiotics in man and in animals in the UK. But we are not alone. We have to think globally.” Between 2005 and 2009 the incidence of E.coli “bacteraemias” [the presence of bacteria in the blood] rose by 30 per cent, from 18,000 to over 25,000 cases. Those resistant to antibiotics have risen from 1 per cent at the beginning of the century to 10 per cent.
“Only one in 20 of infections with [resistant] E.coli is a bacteraemia, so the above data are only the tip of an iceberg of infected individuals,” says a report produced by Professor Hawkey’s group, commissioned by the Department of Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Dame Sally Davies, the Government’s chief medical officer, has pledged £500,000 to fund research into the threat. Drug companies have lost interest in developing new antibiotics because it is increasingly difficult to find new agents and it is not commercially viable – antibiotics are taken for a few days, compared with, say, a heart drug which may be taken for life.
“There are only so many antibiotics available and as we lose them it becomes more and more difficult to replace them,” Professor Hawkey said.
The rapid rise in E.coli blood poisoning is thought to be linked with the ageing of the population. E.coli is a common cause of urinary-tract infections but may also cause wound infections following surgery or injury. These are regarded as minor conditions, but if they became untreatable they would be life-threatening.
February 17th, 2012
By: Carrie Gann
In the search for treatments to fight obesity, regulators are turning their attention to a diet drug that has already failed to receive government approval as a weight loss treatment.
Next week, a panel of advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will consider whether or not to recommend the diet drug Qnexa for approval. The move is the latest attempt to give new tools to patients and doctors to fight the obesity that currently plagues one-third of Americans. It also fans a fiery debate about the search for a “magic bullet” alternative to difficult lifestyle changes to help obese people lose weight.
Qnexa was rejected by the FDA in 2010 over concerns about potentially dangerous side effects, such as cardiovascular problems and birth defects. Now, the FDA will consider whether or not the drug’s manufacturer, Vivus, should do a larger clinical trial to investigate the potential for cardiovascular side effects.
But some obesity specialists are, in effect, already giving the drug to their patients by prescribing Qnexa’s two major ingredients, phentermine and topiramate. The practice, called off-label prescribing, is not prohibited by the FDA. Doctors who have prescribed this combination say it has helped patients shed pounds when many other paths to weight loss have failed.
Dr. Ken Fujioka, director of the Center for Weight Management at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, said he often sees obese patients who have changed their diets, started exercising more and still have not been able to lose more than a few pounds. Though bariatric surgery is a lasting, effective option for long-term weight loss, many patients either aren’t morbidly obese enough to qualify for the surgery or are reluctant to resort to such a drastic measure to lose weight. For about 30 of these patients, Fujioka has prescribed low doses of phentermine and topiramate.
“The weight loss with this combination rivals bariatric surgery and I see using these meds in the seriously obese patient as an alternative,” Fujioka said.
Dr. Jana Klauer, a New York City-based doctor specializing in weight management, said her patients lost an average of 40 pounds when taking the drugs along with improved diet and exercise plans.
“The drug combination gives great results, providing diet and exercise are part of the plan,” she said.
Vivus, the company that developed Qnexa, said in a statement that the drug is a combination of low doses of both drugs and it is intended for use in combination with improvements in diet and exercise. Vivus said it does not support the off-label use of phentermine and topiramate.
The drugs work by suppressing appetite, and both have been approved by the FDA for other uses. Phentermine, a stimulant, is already approved for weight loss, but only for short-term use. Topiramate is an anticonvulsant, for which weight loss is a side effect.
But a laundry list of side effects has many experts concerned about the safety of the drugs, if taken over a long period of time. Topiramate creates feelings of mental fogginess, memory lapses and a lack of concentration.
Phentermine, one of drugs that made up the failed diet drug Fen-Phen, can lead to a range of cardiovascular side effects, such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and heart palpitations. Dr. David Katz, co-founder of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, noted that these side effects are the very problems caused by obesity.
Dr. Charles Clark, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Indiana University, said the potential side effects are enough to keep him from prescribing phentermine and topiramate to his patients, particularly in light of the failure of Fen-Phen, which was withdrawn from the market in 1997 after causing fatal blood pressure and heart valve problems in patients.
“Given our experience with Fen-Phen, we should be cautious in our use of these agents until larger and longer-term trials are completed,” Clark said.
Others say concerns about side effects of both drugs and their offspring Qnexa are legitimate, but could be managed or avoided if doctors carefully monitor patients while they’re taking the drug. For example, the FDA’s concerns about potential birth defects caused by Qnexa could be resolved by not prescribing the drug to women who could get pregnant. Many doctors say the risks of these drugs may be outweighed by the benefits for some patients with disabling health problems caused by obesity.
In the past 20 years, a parade of diet drugs have come before the FDA, representing an effort by drug companies to give obese patients and their doctors alternatives to difficult, often unsuccessful lifestyle changes. Most of the drugs have failed to meet the agency’s standards for safety and effectiveness. Many come with a list of embarrassing side effects, such as anal leakage, and only one, Alli, is approved for long-term use. A handful of drugs, such as Metabolife and Meridia, were removed from the market because of heart safety concerns.
Some doctors say there is no evidence that Qnexa will perform better than the diet drugs that have already flopped.
“I have made selective use of some weight loss drugs, but have not to date found much reason for enthusiasm for any of them,” Katz said. “I don’t have much for Qnexa.”
Others are more hopeful that Qnexa is different, including Dr. Chip Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehab and prevention at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans. He cites evidence from previous clinical trials that Qnexa helps patients lose a modest amount of weight, which improves their risk factors for diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. He said cardiovascular and birth defect risks that the FDA cited in its first look at the drug were very slight and “clinically unimportant.”
“Considering the dismal results that many experience with attempted weight loss with diet and exercise, which is always the first choice, and the explosion in the need and use of bariatric surgery, this combination drug should be a major advance, and I hope that it gets approved this time by the FDA,” Lavie said.
For The Full Report Go To ABC News
February 2, 2012
By Jacque Wilson,
“Just like the cancer industry forcing and scaring customers into surgery, the weight loss doctors are trying to do the same thing. The man written about in this article refused the surgery and instead lost 270 pounds on his own with NO side effects. This guy is an inspiration.” –KTRN
Bryan Ganey slowly climbed out of his parents’ car. Michael and Martha Ganey had driven their son to work because he wasn’t feeling well — for the past couple of days, simple tasks had left him short of breath and exhausted.
At 577 pounds, being out of shape was normal for Bryan, so he ignored it. But as he headed toward the door of his office on June 20, 2010, the ground suddenly shifted.
The Ganeys were pulling away when Martha’s cell phone rang. All she heard on the other end was gasping.
The couple stopped the car and sprinted back to the building, where they found their son lying in the bushes, struggling to breathe. The ride to the hospital took only five minutes, but to Martha, it seemed like hours. Bryan didn’t care how long it took — he knew he was going to die.
“I was absolutely convinced that I was having a heart attack. I had been told by doctors before that at my size, if I ever had heart problems, they weren’t going to be able to operate on me. So there was a very good chance that this was the end — that I would get there and there wouldn’t be anything they could do,” he said.
Out of control
For years, Bryan worked the night shift at a Verizon call center in Charleston, South Carolina, 20 miles from his home in Moncks Corner.
He skipped breakfast, ate fast food for lunch and dinner, then picked up a pizza or some convenience store snacks on his way home. He often drank more than a gallon of soda a day. By the age of 37, he had a body mass index around 87. A BMI over 30 is considered obese.
“He was very aware that he had a problem,” Martha said. “It was out of control.”
June 20 was possibly the best thing that could have happened to Bryan, although it certainly didn’t seem like it at the time. His “heart attack” was actually a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot that had traveled to his lungs, blocking his oxygen flow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “sudden death is the first symptom” in about a quarter of patients who have a pulmonary embolism.
November 7, 2011
By Joanna Douglas, Shine Fashion
“Wonder how many people will go blind from this procedure.” –KTRN
In the never-ending quest for vanity, one surgeon in Laguna Beach, California think he’s found a way to turn brown eyes blue. After 10 years of research Dr. Gregg Homer of Stroma Medical says he’s discovered that brown pigment can be removed from the surface of the iris with a laser leaving the rarer blue pigment underneath. Dr. Homer told KTLA that the body expels the altered tissue and changing brown eyes to blue ones within two to three weeks.
Thus far Dr. Homer says tests have shown no signs of tissue damage, but naturally there could be negative side effects that have are yet undetected. While he still has about a year of research remaining, he expects the procedure will be available outside the US in 18 months, and in the US within three years. The 20-second laser surgery will cost around $5,000. Apparently “thousands” of people have emailed Dr. Homer expressing interest in the iris transformation.
Since this sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel, we contacted Dr. Conswalla Shavers, a surgeon at Park Avenue Lasek in New York City, for a little medical insight. She laughed at the description of this procedure and said it was unnecessarily dangerous with many potential side effects. “I’d imagine that the risks would outweigh the benefits in a patient,” she said. “It could release too much pigment into the anterior chamber that can clog up the draining system in the eye. This makes the pressure go up and causes glaucoma.”
October 31, 2011
By S. D. Wells
Doctors and hospitals in the United States have a financial incentive to perform surgery on dying seniors because Medicare is guaranteed to pay for it, and most of the procedures fail to improve the patients’ lives at all.
Several colleagues from the Harvard School of Public Health recently reported that 1.8 million Medicare beneficiaries age 65 or older died in 2008, and over 34% were operated on during their last year, 25% in their last month, and 10% in their last week of life.
Other studies show that just the stress of surgery and poor conditions of hospitals is adding to mortality rates, including post surgery pneumonia and heart attacks. To throw salt in the wound, the nation’s 175 lowest quality hospitals are actually the highest cost institutions.
Doctors simply are not having conversations with patients about what they want out of their last days, and probably don’t care because of the guaranteed revenue increases they receive from surgery. Most of the unnecessary surgery is a distraction from what is really important to patients, like being able to spend time with their loved ones and have some “quality of life.”
The Medicare website for reporting unnecessary and inappropriate surgery describes it as being an operation for a condition that could effectively be treated with medication or physical therapy. Unfortunately, there is nothing listed about nutrition, vitamins, or supplements of any kind. In fact, there is no doctor in the country who can mention natural remedies without endangering his or her license to practice medicine. The FDA outlaws any natural remedy from claiming it can cure a disease, so the general public still believes surgery and chemotherapy are their only options.
Doctors in the United States are trained to do mainly three general procedures for the sick and dying; operate to surgically remove the problem, administer chemotherapy, and prescribe pharmaceuticals to mask or relieve symptoms and pain. The effort to remove cancer that surrounds or invades organs is one of the most popular surgical procedures. Unfortunately, clipping off the “tops of weeds” doesn’t change the fact that they’ll grow back, and since the chemicals in food and overall bad nutrition fuel the issues, most of these cases return as life-threatening situations within a few years, if not a few months.
In one case where an elderly man had pancreatic cancer, the doctors did an endoscopy and a colonoscopy because they said they were, “Trying desperately to find something we could fix.” But surgery can be painful and debilitating, and pancreatic tumors are rarely discovered early enough to save the patient, so the surgery was a complete waste.
October 18, 2011
By S. L. Baker
According to mainstream medicine, mammograms are the key to surviving breast cancer because they supposedly catch the disease early for quick treatment. What this advice invariably leaves out is evidence that exposure to the radiation used in the tests may actually cause breast cancer in some women.
For example, a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) concluded annual mammography screening significantly increases breast cancer risk in women with a genetic or familial predisposition to the disease .
Now there’s another reason to be concerned about the push for women to have yearly mammograms. In a new study by University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) research shows that among women who receive a decade of annual mammograms, more than half of those women will be called and told the gut-wrenching news that their tests are positive when they are actually cancer-free. The victims of false-positive results — not a malignancy — are then subjected to more tests. In fact, one in twelve of these women will undergo invasive, potentially breast-scarring biopsy surgery.
“This study provides accurate estimates of the risk of a false-positive mammography and breast biopsy for women undergoing repeat mammography in community practice, and so provides important information about the potential harms of undergoing regular mammography,” states Karla Kerlikowske, a professor of medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine. Karla is also the co-author of the study, which was just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The research, led by Group Health Research Institute of Seattle for the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, investigated false-positives in mammography by studying the records of approximately 170,000 women between the ages of 40 and 59 from seven regions around the United States. Almost 4,500 of these research subjects were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.
The study found that women who started having mammograms at age 40 instead of 50 were far more likely to have false-positive findings that resulted in more expensive and needless medical tests, including biopsies.
Just by changing breast screening from every year to every other year, the researchers documented that a woman’s risk of having a false-positive finding dropped from 61 percent to 42 percent (about a third) over the course of ten years. What’s more, they found that if radiologists would simply review a patient’s previous mammograms it “may halve the odds of a false-positive recall.”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines now recommend biennial mammograms starting at age 50 and continuing until age 74. However, many doctors still recommend annual mammograms, often beginning at age 40.
The new study concluded that after a decade of yearly screening, a majority of women will receive at least one false-positive result. Out of these, 7 to 9 percent will face having a biopsy and the risks that involves — from anesthesia complications to scarring to infection — although these women are, in fact, cancer-free.
And what about the argument that yearly mammograms are needed to catch cancer early enough to cure? The researchers found that women screened every two years were not significantly more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer.
“We conducted this study to help women know what to expect when they get regular mammograms over the course of many years,” study leader Rebecca Hubbard, PhD, an assistant investigator at Group Health Research Institute, explained in the media statement. “We hope that if women know what to expect with screening, they’ll feel less anxiety if – or when – they are called back for more testing. In the vast majority of cases, this does not mean they have cancer.”
September 14th, 2011
CBS 2 Chicago
By: Dave Savini
A weight-loss surgery turned into a nightmare and cost a woman both of her legs.
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini examines allegations that she was not properly monitored or treated, in part, because she was hospitalized during a holiday.
Life for Mary Beth Ruphard has changed drastically since last Thanksgiving. Weighing 278 pounds, she went to Provena St. Joseph Medical Center, in Joliet, for surgery to beat her battle with obesity.
“I just wanted to live longer, live better you know, said Ruphard. “I had diabetes (and) hypertension as my risk factors.”
Ruphard had weight-loss surgery in early November, then was back in the hospital for surgery to repair a perforation. Then, on Thanksgiving morning, she started complaining about her legs.
“I did complain to a nurse,” said Ruphard. “I say, ‘my legs, they are aching and they are tingling.’”
Repeated notes in her medical chart say Ruphard’s toes were cold and blue then later there was no feeling below the knees. She reportedly was losing circulation, but no immediate action was taken, according to her attorney Laird Ozmon.
“The doctor that amputated her legs was highly upset and made the statement, ‘Why was I not called in earlier’?” said Ozmon.
Ozmon says it then took 36 hours for another surgeon to be called in, to try and save her legs. It was too late and both legs had to be amputated.
“I remember laying in the bed kind of feeling down here and not being able to feel anything,” Ruphard said while pointing to the bottom of her leg. “No knees, no calves, no nothing.”
Ozmon filed a lawsuit against the medical center claiming they failed to monitor her and failed to act when she had symptoms of blood clots in her legs, even though he says they knew she had a pre-existing blood clotting condition.
“Simply because someone happens to get ill on a holiday doesn’t mean that their not entitled to that same standard of care, and that clearly, clearly in this case was not abided by,” said Ozmon.
Ruphard is still recovering and trying to deal with new limitations.
“Being able to walk alongside my husband holding his hand or, you know, dancing to our wedding song,” said Ruphard. “That’s not going to happen again.”
A statement from Provena St. Joseph Medical Center said the surgery carries risks and complications. It also said patients are diligently monitored and cared for.
“While patient privacy laws prevent us from commenting on the specifics of this isolated incident, this patient’s continued recovery remains in our prayers,” officials said in a prepared statement.
Today, from a top secret location in Europe, Kevin explains why chemotherapy is a 100% absolute SCAM and gives you the truth about hair loss. Plus, get more proof that the government is not looking out for your best interests and what you can to protect yourself and your family.
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July 6th, 2011
By: Associated Press
Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday announced another Tylenol recall due to a musty moldy odor linked to a trace chemical.
The company’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit is recalling one product lot of Tylenol Extra Strength Caplets made in February 2009 and distributed in the U.S. The recall totals 60,912 bottles, each of which has 225 caplets.
McNeil said it has received a small number of reports about the pills’ odor, which has been linked in past J&J recalls to the presence of trace amounts of “2,4,6-tribromoanisole.” TBA is a byproduct of a chemical preservative sometimes used on shipping pallets.
Besides causing an unpleasant odor, TBA has been associated with temporary and non-serious gastrointestinal symptoms.
Since September 2009, New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson has had about two dozen recalls of prescription and nonprescription medicines, replacement hips, contact lenses and diabetes test strips, including tens of millions of bottles of children’s and adult Tylenol and Motrin.
The reasons have ranged from metal and other contaminants, to nauseating odors and packaging issues. Joint replacement systems so painful they required corrective surgery were also recalled, as were contact lenses that irritated eyes, along with potentially contaminated syringes full of the antipsychotic drug Invega.
The high-profile lapses have tugged at J&J’s revenue, profit and stock price, as well as its once-stellar reputation. J&J has said that it has inspected more than 100 plants around the world and invested millions to improve the quality of its manufacturing and satisfy federal regulators, who have three of its factories under scrutiny.
The product lot number for the recalled Tylenol Extra Strength product can be found on the side of the bottle label — it is ABA619 300450444271.
Customers should stop using the product from the lot immediately and contact McNeil at http://www.tylenol.com or by calling 1-888-222-6036 for instructions on receiving a refund or product coupon.