What's My Case Worth?
You've been injured and you need answers. Get our dedicated team on your side today.
Findings from studies completed by the British Medical Journal and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) add to evidence linking oral contraceptives to a higher risk of blood clots, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms in women.
These contraceptives—which include Yaz® and Yasmin®, America’s highest selling birth control since 2006—contain a synthetic hormone drospirenone, which has been discovered to marginally increase the risk of blood clots in its users. The increased risk suggested by the studies is about two to three times more than those from older contraceptives.
Studies show that drospirenone, which is similar in chemical makeup to any popular diuretic, can cause significantly increased potassium levels due to its interference with normal kidney functions. When the kidney function is stalled, potassium builds in the bloodstream. Too much potassium, called hyperkalemia, can lead to cardiac arrest, death, and the formulation of blood clots.
While the report recognizes all birth control contraceptives contain risk for blood clots, the use of drospirenone in drugs such as Yaz and Yasmin has further increased the risk of blood clots forming in a deep vein in the body, a potentially fatal condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
DVT, a rare birth control pill side effect, could block blood flow and increase the risk of a pulmonary embolism, which has potential for deadly consequences. A pulmonary embolism is often caused by a blood clot in the leg breaking loose, traveling to the lungs. Each year, more than 300,000 people develop DVT or pulmonary embolisms.
Yaz also is linked to heart attacks. Not only does the blood clotting risk increase the chances of heart attacks from Yaz, but also the drug’s link to dangerously high potassium is an extreme emergency because it can cause the heart to stop suddenly. The symptoms are fairly nonspecific, including muscle weakness, malaise, and heart palpitations. Because of these risks, Yaz should not be taken if you have kidney failure, one kidney, liver disease, adrenal disease, or a history of blood clots. Some drugs—such as ibuprofen, high blood pressure medicine, and certain diuretics—can have serious interactions with Yaz and cause hyperkalemia.
An additional report published by the FDA further supports the BMJ findings, revealing that of 800,000 women analyzed, there is a 75 percent increased risk of blood clots in Yaz users when compared to other oral contraceptives. In response to these findings, Bayer—manufactures of Yaz and Yasmin—began updating packaging labels to properly warn consumers of the health risks associated with the drug. Reflecting this body of evidence, the new labels now state:
A prospective cohort study (EURAS1), conducted in Europe, showed the risk of thromboembolism (particularly venous thromboembolism) and death in Yasmin users to be comparable to that of oral contraceptive preparations, including those containing levonorgestrel.
Another prospective cohort study (Ingenix2), conducted in the USA, also showed a comparable risk of thromboembolism in Yasmin users compared to users of other COCs, including those containing levonorgestrel. In this study, COC comparator groups were selected based on having similar characteristics to those being prescribed Yasmin.
Prior to the release of amended warning labels, lawsuits had been filed against Bayer for unlawfully promoting the drug by concealing side effects, including blood clots, heart attacks, and pulmonary embolisms in Yaz users.
So far, the FDA has received hundreds of reports of injury or death among women taking Yaz or Yasmin. The Institute for Safe Medicine Practices also reported that Yaz and Yasmin ranked second in 2011 for the number of complications reported to the FDA.
Governor Bill Haslam’s Administration’s proposed reform to the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation program is getting heavy attention. A story released by WBIR 10 News stated the governor is considering several changes to the program, including creating a new and independent state agency to handle all the processes of the system.
This new agency, called the Tennessee Division of Workers’ Compensation, would be responsible for handling the processing of incoming claims, as well as appeals going before a state court. This would take all responsibility for the program from the state’s labor department, legislators, and courts. The proposed single entity would create, change, and enforce all regulations regarding workers’ compensation claims throughout Tennessee.
Some other changes being considered include creating guidelines to oversee doctors who diagnose and treat injured workers, and implementing a program to get information to injured workers who do not have an attorney. Also, changes may be made to the definition of an injury and the criteria used to determine if an injury is work-related.
Opponents of the changes say they will impede an injured worker’s right to benefits, while those in favor of the program believe it could save the state millions of dollars.
The Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers with Hughes and Coleman Injury Lawyers hope any changes that are made result in workers who are hurt on-the-job getting better care, treatment, and benefits.
The Tennessee Supreme Court recently issued a ruling stating that workers who are hired to complete temporary duties have rights to the same Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Benefits as a full-time employee.
Court documents from the case of Timmy Dale Britt v. Dyer’s Employment Agency show that in Sept. 2008, the plaintiff was assigned to work at Mark IV. During his time on the job, he suffered an injury and was later diagnosed with a 4 percent permanent medical impairment as a result of carpal tunnel syndrome he developed while working. His position was later terminated with both companies following the end of the assignment.
The victim filed for Tennessee workers’ compensation benefits, where the court then examined laws that establish limits on benefits of one and one-half times the medical impairment rating, if an injured worker returns to work for the pre-injury employer at a wage equal to or greater than the pre-injury wage or six times the medical impairment rating if the injured worker does not return to work for the pre-injury employer.
The court found no distinguishable difference between a temporary and full-time employee, and awarded the plaintiff six times the medical impairment rating, the same as any other employee would receive under similar circumstances.
The Tennessee Injury Lawyers at the law firm of Hughes and Coleman Injury Lawyers are hopeful the decision in the case will bring the victim a sense of closure.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced it was recalling a limited number of lots of hydrocodone Bitartrate and Acetaminophen tablets in 10 mg and 500 mg dosages respectively. According to an FDA press release, the recall is being conducted due to inconsistent tablet weights that could lead to a patient ingesting a hazardous amount of the drug.
The affected three lots of Hydrocodone Bitartrate and Acetaminophen Tablets, USP 10 mg/500 mg (Lots 3037841, 3040859 and 3042573) were manufactured by Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, but the repackaged and distributed by Mylan Institutional, Inc.
Testing showed that some tablets were above standard weight limits, meaning the medications may contain more active ingredient than they are supposed to. If a patient was to take these medications, they could potentially ingest too much of its active ingredient, resulting in a Drug Injury known as liver toxicity.
Chances of developing the condition are especially high in those suffering from liver dysfunction, those who drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day, and people who are already taking other acetaminophen-based medications.
The FDA is also considering revision of the scheduling of Hydrocodone in an effort of preventing drug injuries associated with the medication.
The Tennessee Injury Lawyers with Hughes and Coleman Injury Lawyers are hopeful these measures will be successful in preventing citizens from being injured by taking these particular medications.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a statement on Thursday announcing a voluntary recall on American Signature, Inc.’s Hayward Push Back Reclining Arm Chairs. According to a press release, the recall is being conducted due to a fall hazard with the potential to cause serious injuries.
The affected chairs stand 38-inches high and contain a double needle stich pattern that crosses the center of a brown or black faux leather backing. The recalled chairs were sold at Value City and American Signature Furniture Stores between June 2012 and Aug. 2012 for approximately $150. The chairs also have an item number of HGB-805-1 or HGB-805-2.
Problems with the chairs began when the CPSC began to receive reports of the chairs tipping backwards when in the fully reclined position, which can present a serious safety hazard to someone sitting in the chair.
Those who own an affected chair are being instructed to stop using the piece of furniture immediately. They should contact the manufacturer and the retailer where the item was purchased in order to receive store credit towards the purchase of a replacement item.
The Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers with Hughes and Coleman Injury Lawyers recognize how dangerous a defective product can be, and they suggest speaking to an experienced product liability lawyer if you have been harmed by a defective or unsafe product.