Top Medical and Drug Stories of 2011

Medical stories are some of the most heartbreaking:  You trust your health to a doctor or hospital, and something goes wrong. Maybe you end up sicker than you were before. Sometimes, the error may result in death. Here is a round-up of the most important medical and drug stories of the year. (To read any of the blogs, click on the title and you’ll be taken directly to the story.)
Harm Done in a Hospital
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that there was a “shockingly high rate of preventable injuries to patients,” specifically in North Carolina hospitals. Of patients admitted to a North Carolina hospital, 1 in 5 will be harmed by the medical care they receive, and about 14% of medically induced harms caused permanent or life-threatening injury.

Defective Hip Replacement Devices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered all producers of “metal-on-metal” hip replacements to study the implants after thousands of patines have had the devices fail, causing tissue damage and requiring second replacements. This serious problem started with DePuy hip replacement devices, and has be expanded. Anyone with a hip replacement should check with their physician to make sure that their devices aren’t in the process of failing.

Transvaginal Mesh

Over the past three years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received nearly 4,000 reports of severe complications (including 3 fatalities) associated with surgical mesh used to treat pelvic prolapse. The most frequent complications include erosion through the vaginal wall, infection, abscesses, pain, and urinary problems.

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