Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Georgia Hospitals Ranked

Ever wondered how your community ranks for its health care in terms of patient satisfaction? Within the state of Georgia, the Rome area (Northwest Georgia) ranks the highest in the state. Rome area hospitals ranked 12th nationally among 295 regional hospital markets across the United States for patient satisfaction. Not bad for Romans!

The study was published by Kaiser Health News and several other communities in Georgia made into the top 295 rankings for the United States:
91. Columbus
145. Augusta
167. Atlanta
176. Macon
188. Savannah
243. Albany

But does this study really mean anything? Well, according to Kasier Health News, Medicare will begin taking patient satisfaction scores into account when determining what a hospital’s reimbursement amounts will be. The hospitals with the best patient scores will be paid (or reimbursed) more on Medicare bills.

According to the Georgia Hospital Association, this isn’t new to Atlanta area hospitals. They have been using patient-satisfaction scores to compete with each other for years. But connecting the scores to federal payments will be a whole new ball game.
All in all, this new system should provide incentives for hospitals to do more to improve patient services. This may result in improvements to quality of employees, amenities, communication between doctors and nurses and their patients, pain management, cleanliness of the facilities, quietness and night, and discharge instructions and planning.

Congratulations to the Rome area physicians and hospitals on a job well done!

Monday, November 21, 2011

How "Hip" Are You?

Do you or a loved one have a Wright CONSERVE or a Wright PROFEMUR Total Hip System or know someone with a Wright PROFEMUR Z? Have you experienced any adverse reactions or symptoms since receiving your implant? Then you need some information that may help you save pain, time and money in the near future.

The Wright Conserve Total Acetabular System is a 3 component, metal-on-metal, device consisting of a femoral stem, a femoral head, and the acetabular cup. Implantation of this system began in 2004 and is very similar in design to the recalled DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant device.

Due to the shallow nature of the Wright CONSERVE cup, constant heat and friction between the metal components may result in excess metal debris being released into the surrounding soft tissue and bloodstream. This metal toxicity is more specifically caused by increased levels of cobalt and chromium ions, which may lead to a multitude of health problems or permanent injury.

The three main problems associated with Wright implants are:

1. loosening of the device
2. the development of metalosis, and
3. the inhibition of bone grafting.

Common symptoms and difficulties associated with component loosening include:

1. difficulty standing or walking
2. difficulty rising from seated positions
3. unexplained hip, thigh, and groin pain
4. popping or crunching noises
5. tissue inflammation or infection, and
6. bone fractures.

Patients are also experiencing Aseptic Lymphocytic Vasculitis Associated Lesions (“ALVAL”) from elevated levels of chromium and cobalt in the bloodstream. Some of the symptoms of this metalosis include swelling in and around the implant site, dislocation, nerve palsy, cysts, necrosis, cardiac problems, intense pain at site of hip replacement, groin or thigh, and a noticeable mass or rash. Long-term injuries from metalosis can occur as well. Lastly, excess metal ions in the bloodstream may result in stunted bone growth.

What should you do if you or someone you know has received a defective joint replacement system? The first thing that you should do is to continue your treatment regimen and consult your doctor about your concerns immediately.

It is very important that you AVOID signing a release form of any kind from your physician, surgeon or Wright. This form would enable Wright to have complete access to all your medical records and give them possession of the defective implant upon removal. Also, it may be helpful to keep a journal detailing your symptoms. This may be helpful to both your physician as well as your legal representative if you believe you may have a claim against Wright. And remember not to release any of your confidential medical information to anyone representing Wright without first contacting an experienced team of hip replacement attorneys.

For more information or to discuss whether you have a potential case, please feel free to call the injury lawyers at the Studstill Firm, LLP at (478) 745-9002.

Even though the Wright Profemur Hip System has not yet been recalled, you may still be entitled to significant compensation if you have been experiencing hip replacement problems. The injury attorneys at the Studstill Firm, LLP have years of experience in defective product cases, including medical devices that claim to be safe. We will fight for your rights against the designer, manufacturer, and seller of defective hip implants such as the Wright Profemur Hip System.

Call our office today at (478) 745-9002 to discuss your situation. Your initial consultation is free of charge – and confidential – and you pay nothing unless we win your case.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Are Bad Boy Buggies Living Up To Their "Bad" Name?

The manufacturer of Bad Boy Buggies, an off-road utility vehicle, has recently recalled 3,200 Bad Boy Buggies due to a defective steering arm assembly. Essentially, the recall was issued because the vehicles contain a defective steering arm assembly which could break during normal operation and leave the vehicle uncontrollable and result in crashes with injuries.

According to the manufacturer, there have been 15 reported incidents of the steering arm breaking in these vehicles causing the driver to lose control. The following Bad Boy Buggy Models (pictured below) are involved in the recall: (1) Bad Boy LT; (2) Classic; (3) XT; (4) XTO, and (5) XT Safari. 
These models were manufactured at BB Buggies in Augusta, Georgia and Bad Boy Enterprises, LLC in Natchez, Mississippi and were sold nationwide.

This recall follows on the heels of an earlier recall of 9,300 Bad Boy Classic Buggies which contained defective accelerator petals that caused sudden and unintended acceleration. That recall involved Bad Boy Classic Buggies which were manufactured by Bad Boy Enterprises, LLC between 2003 and May 2010.

Owners of these vehicles should stop using them immediately and contact Bad Boy Buggies at (855) -738 3711 or visit its website at

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Diabetes Drug Linked to Bladder Cancer

Actos is a drug that is manufactured by Takeda, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, and prescribed to treat type-2 diabetes. In September 2010, the FDA announced that Actos may be linked to urinary bladder cancer. This announcement was made by the FDA after a ten year epidemiological study revealed an increase in bladder cancer in patients taking Actos. After this study was published, Actos was removed from the market in Germany and France, but not in the U.S.

The FDA has since required Actos’ warning label to be revised to include the risk of urinary bladder cancer as a possible side effect.

Actos is currently marketed as a stand-alone drug or in combination form as Actoplus Met, Acoplus Met XR, and Duetact. Actos was designed to increase the cell’s sensitivity to insulin. It was widely prescribed in the United States as the “preferred medicine” for treating type-2 diabetes.

Unbelievably, there is strong evidence that suggests that Takeda, the Japanese manufacturer of Actos, knew of the increased risks of bladder cancer posed by Actos as early as the pre-clinical carcinogenicity studies, which showed an increase in drug-induced tumors in the bladders of rats. Despite these studies, which showed an increased risk of tumors, Takeda marketed and sold Actos without any warning whatsoever of an increased risk of bladder cancer.

In fact, it was only after the FDA required the revision to Actos’ warning label that doctors and patients were made aware of the risk of bladder cancer. Unfortunately, millions of Americans took Actos and were exposed to an increased risk of bladder cancer.

If you or a family member took Actos and have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, our Georgia injury lawyers would like to talk with you about your potential claims against Takeda.