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CATEGORY: Dangerous & Defective Projects

Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps May Cause Death

Columbia Product Liability Lawyers: Columbia Product Liability LawyersOn September 6, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration announced the immediate recall of over 12,000 intra-aortic balloon pumps manufactured by Datascope Corp./MAQUET due to a product defect that could result in death. The recall affects all such devices manufactured by the company from 2003 to 2017, approximately 5,000 of which were distributed in the United States.

According to the FDA’s announcement, the recall is not requiring the return of the devices to the manufacturer, but rather is giving medical providers additional information regarding a potential “false blood detection alarm” which causes the balloon pump to stop working correctly. In the meantime, Datascope Corp. is contacting healthcare providers and is arranging for technicians to service balloon pumps that are subject to the recall.

An intra-aortic balloon pump is a polyethylene device designed to help the heart work. The device is inserted into a patient’s circulatory system usually through an artery in the leg and is then placed in the aorta. There the balloon inflates and deflates as the heart pumps, increasing the heart’s pumping strength while decreasing the effort required from the heart muscle.

A failure of the “blood detection alarm” causes the balloon pump to cease inflating and deflating. The balloon pump then becomes a risk for blood clot formation within the patient’s aorta, which can be fatal.

Many different kinds of heart patients may undergo procedures involving an intra-aortic balloon pump. These include patients suffering from heart failure, cardiogenic shock, an acute heart attack, or surgical patients undergoing an angioplasty or stent placement.

If you or a loved one would like more information about the link between injuries and intra-aortic balloon pumps, contact a Columbia product liability lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden for experienced help moving forward. Since 1993, our lawyers have been committed to protecting our clients’ rights and interests’ and helping them obtain – and keep – the benefits to which they are entitled. Call us today at 803-929-3600 or contact us online.

Workers and Lead Exposure

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Fight for Workers Suffering from Lead Exposure Lead is a naturally occurring metal found in the earth’s crust and in our water, soil, and air. Because of its durability and versatility, it has been used from as far back as 4000 B.C. to create tools, paints, and building supplies. Lead exposure over time, even in small amounts, is dangerous. It is especially important that workers who are exposed to lead on a regular basis are sufficiently protected on the job to prevent serious health problems.

How Lead Exposure Affects the Body

The World Health Organization classifies lead as one of the ten highly toxic substances that poses a major public health concern. Lead accumulates in the human body and is stored in the bones and teeth, and is distributed to the brain, liver, and other organs over time. There is no safe level of lead concentration and as exposure increases, so does the severity of symptoms.

Some of the signs of prolonged lead exposure in adults include headaches, fatigue, memory loss, high blood pressure, anemia, and other neurological and reproductive problems. Lead poisoning is extremely serious and is caused by breathing in or ingesting lead. Severe lead poisoning can cause coma, seizures, and result in fatality.

The Data on Lead Exposure

Workers in industries such as construction and manufacturing are at a greater risk for lead exposure because they often work with equipment and substances that contain lead. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 1.6 million workers in the U.S. are potentially exposed to lead on the job. In California alone, the state Department of Health found that 6,000 workers tested between 2012 and 2014 had elevated levels of lead in their blood.

OSHA established an action plan for employers with workers exposed to lead above the permissible level. Many of these employers work in industries such as painting, demolition, plumbing, bridge work, and building renovation. OSHA’s action plan is designed to not only protect workers during their shifts, but to also prevent lead from getting on their body and clothing.

The action plan requires that employers test lead levels in the air; conduct regular blood tests for lead levels on workers; provide protective clothing and equipment;  and provide showers, hand-washing stations, and changing areas for workers to use after their shifts. Workers exposed to lead should never bring shoes, clothing, and equipment home from work. If they must for any reason, they should be kept in a sealed bag separate from other belongings and always washed separately. These measures not only protect workers, but also their family members at home as pregnant women and children are especially vulnerable to the effects of lead exposure. Employers should also install systems to control dust and fumes containing lead from circulating.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Fight for Workers Suffering from Lead Exposure 

Workers who have been injured in a workplace accident or from lead exposure may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation benefits are designed to cover an ill or injured worker’s medical costs and lost income while they are unable to work. Our highly-experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden will fight for you so that you can focus on your recovery. Call 800-531-9780 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout South Carolina at our Charleston, Aiken, Rock Hill, Florence, Sumter, and Columbia offices.

Fatality and Seven Injuries Close Rides at Ohio State Fair

Fatality and Seven Injuries Close Rides at Ohio State Fair

Amusement park rides have been closed at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio after a ride broke apart and caused a fatality and a varying range of personal injuries for seven individuals on opening day. On Wednesday night around 7:24 pm, the incident occurred when a ride called the Fire Ball malfunctioned while in the middle of a swinging motion, and broke apart, ejecting several riders. One rider, an 18-year-old man, sustained fatal injuries, three riders sustained critical injuries, one rider is in serious condition, and three other individuals were released from the hospital. Although the state fair is currently open until August 6, all rides have been shut down until additional safety inspections are complete.

More than 10 rides did not pass safety inspections at the Ohio State Fair and have not opened. Despite receiving numerous inspections by a third-party safety inspector, the Fire Ball caused a catastrophic accident, and prompted state fairs in California, Illinois, and New Jersey to close similar rides. The Monroe, New Jersey company who brought the Fire Ball to the fair is working with experts to determine why the ride malfunctioned, and if the ride may have contained a defective part or manufacturing error in its design.

If you have been injured due to a defective product, the Columbia products liability lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden will fight for you. Call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online. With offices located in South Carolina, we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those in the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Avoid Fireworks Accidents this Holiday

Columbia Personal Injury Lawyers Avoid Fireworks Accidents this HolidayThe Fourth of July is a festive holiday commonly associated with barbeques, parades, and fireworks. It is also one of the most dangerous holiday weekends of the year. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 230 people injured by fireworks visit the emergency room every day around the Fourth of July holiday. To avoid injuries and hefty fines, it is imperative to engage in responsible use of consumer fireworks and to be aware of local fireworks laws.

Safety Tips for Fireworks Use

The National Council on Fireworks Safety provides some safety tips to promote safe and responsible use of fireworks.

  Always:

  • Read the instructions and warnings prior to igniting
  • Use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, cars, trees, and plants
  • Wear safety goggles when using fireworks
  • Have a hose ready in case of fire
  • Soak spent or “dud” fireworks in a bucket of water and discard in a metal trash can
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag

  Never:

  • Let children handle fireworks
  • Light more than one firework at a time or relight a firework that did not go off the first time
  • Carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Make your own fireworks or alter purchased fireworks
  • Shoot fireworks off in metal or glass containers
  • Bring your pets to a fireworks event or shoot fireworks near pets

South Carolina Fireworks Laws

Certain types of fireworks are illegal and anyone found manufacturing, storing, transporting or possessing impermissible fireworks may be subject to hefty fines of $200 to $10,000 and imprisonment for 30 days to two years. Also, one must be at least 16 years old to purchase fireworks in South Carolina.

  Illegal fireworks:

  • Ground salutes or cherry bombs
  • T-N-T or bulldog salutes
  • M-80’s

The South Carolina Legislature cautions that this list is non-exhaustive and that any fireworks designed to produce a loud and piercing effect with a pyrotechnic composition of more than two grains is unlawful.

  Legal fireworks:

  • Bottle rockets
  • Spinners
  • Cakes
  • Fountains
  • Sparklers
  • Aerial fireworks

Columbia Personal Injury Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Represent Those Injured in Fireworks Accidents

If someone has handled fireworks improperly and you or a loved one was injured as a result, contact a Columbia personal injury lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden to discuss your legal options and possible recovery. Our firm is known for its experienced, dedicated and responsive lawyers who fight for the best possible outcome while keeping clients informed about the ongoing status of their cases. With offices in Columbia, Charleston, Rock Hill, Aiken, Florence and Sumter, we proudly represent clients throughout South Carolina including in Columbia, Lexington County, Richland County and Kershaw County. Contact us online, or call us at 803-929-3600 or toll-free at 800-531-9780 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

Attorney Graham Newman Featured in The New York Times

South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer, Graham Newman, Featured in New York TimesChappell, Smith & Arden attorney Graham Newman was featured in the May 15, 2017 edition of The New York Times in a front page article discussing Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (often referred to as “BIA-ALCL”). One of Newman’s clients, Kimra Rogers, has been diagnosed with the disease, which is thought to be caused by the manufacturing and distribution of bacteria-covered breast implants. Newman represents many women across the United States who have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL and is actively pursuing litigation against the manufacturers of these defective devices.

If you have any questions about this disease or the litigation surrounding breast implants, please contact Attorney Graham Newman at 803-929-3600 or [email protected]. You may also submit an online inquiry.

 

 

Columbia Personal Injury Lawyers: Breast Implants and Lymphoma

Breast-Implant

The FDA is warning physicians and women of a link between breast implants and a rare form of cancer. Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (“ALCL”) is a type of T-cell lymphoma that can be particularly aggressive. Fortunately only about 600 women in the United States contract this cancer each year, but recent studies have shown that women with breast implants contract ALCL at a much higher rate than those who do not have implants.

The FDA first issued preliminary findings in a January 2011 report that announced its intention to collaborate with physicians and breast implant manufacturers to develop a greater body evidence on the possible connection between implants and ALCL. But this week the FDA announced that it now concurs with the World Health Organization designation of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (“BIA-ALCL”) as “a rare T-cell lymphoma that can develop following breast implants.”

The FDA’s announcement comes hot on the heels of December 2016 findings from the Australian Department of Health that the risk of developing BIA-ALCL likely falls in between 1:1,000 and 1:10,000. While still rare, this risk of lymphoma is vastly higher than the risk posed to women who have not received breast implants. In fact, a 2008 study found the risk of ALCL in breast cancer recipients was 18.2 times higher.

For now, the FDA is not suggesting that women with implants have them prophylactically removed. Rather the agency suggests that women speak with their doctors about the possible risk and continue to monitor their implants as they’ve been instructed.

These developments raise the specter of a new wave of products liability litigation against breast implant manufacturers. The first published report linking breast implants to lymphoma appeared in medical journals in August of 1997. Numerous articles in peer-reviewed medical journals have continued to report the association in the intervening 20 years. Industry experts estimate that approximately 10 million women have breast implants worldwide, with about half of those residing within the United States. If implant manufacturers knew of this risk and failed to warn doctors and their patients, they could be held liable for the damages caused by the resulting lymphoma.

Our law firm is investigating cases involving breast implants and lymphoma throughout the United States. If you would like to speak to a South Carolina personal injury lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden about a potential case, please call us at 1 (800) 531-9780 or contact us online.

Lexington County Personal Injury Lawyers discuss Chemotherapy and Permanent Baldness: Why Lawsuits are Emerging

Chemotherapy and Permanent Baldness: Why Lawsuits are Emerging

Chemotherapy and Permanent Baldness: Why Lawsuits are Emerging

Alopecia—hair loss—is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Permanent alopecia is not. Typically, a chemotherapy patient’s hair will fully regrow within 6 months of the end of treatment. In very rare circumstances (less than 1%), however, the intense drug regimen can permanently damage hair follicles, resulting in permanent baldness. But a new wave of lawsuits alleges that a very popular chemotherapy drug for breast cancer—Taxotere—has been causing permanent alopecia at a rate ten times that seen in other chemotherapy drugs. The lawsuits also allege Taxotere’s manufacturer knew of this risk and failed to advise doctors or patients of that fact.

Two of the most popular chemotherapy drugs for breast cancer patients are Taxol (owned by the American company, Bristol-Myers Squibb) and Taxotere (owned by the French company, Sanofi-Aventis). Both drugs emanate from the bark of the yew tree, but Taxotere is 2.5 times as cytotoxic (poisonous to cell growth) as is Taxol.

Both drugs were approved by the FDA for chemotherapy use in breast cancer patients in the 1990s. Concerns over the toxicity of Taxotere, however, limited its approval for treatment of women “with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer after failure of prior chemotherapy.” This prevented Taxotere from becoming a “first-line treatment” option for breast cancer patients, thereby greatly limiting the market of potential customers. It is here that existing litigation alleges the French company Sanofi-Aventis began to engage in nefarious activity designed to boost its sales at the risk of injuring unsuspecting cancer patients.

In May of 2002, Sanofi-Aventis began marketing Taxotere to oncologists as a “first-line treatment” option for breast cancer despite the FDA’s previous limitation. In publicly available documents which can be viewed at www.fda.gov, the agency reprimanded the pharmaceutical giant for false advertising.

[w]ith minimal survival benefits in patients with newly-diagnosed [cancer], and the potential for increased toxicity with its use, Taxotere as a single agent was not indicated as first-line therapy and certainly was not “at the center of more strategies every day” as claimed in your sales aid. Therefore, Aventis’ false or misleading promotion in the sales aid may compromise patient survival and safety.

Duly chastised, Aventis assured the agency that all such marketing materials would be destroyed.

Sanofi-Aventis changed its marketing strategy, however, only to market directly to breast cancer patients themselves. The company crafted a circulation wrap for “People” magazine that featured the queen piece with the ominous slogan “THE NEXT MOVE MAY BE THE KEY TO SURVIVAL.” The advertisement was also featured in “Cure” and “Coping” magazines—publications specifically for cancer patients and their families. On November 12, 2003, the FDA issued a warning letter to Aventis separate and apart from its previous reprimand in 2002: “[w]e are concerned that you continued to promote Taxotere in a similar manner to consumers in popular consumer magazines.”

Your claim also implies to patients that if they do not add Taxotere to their treatment, they will not survive. This is misleading, given that there are other treatments available for breast cancer and lung cancer with proven survival benefits.

Meanwhile, clinical studies continued to confirm that Taxotere showed no medical benefit beyond that offered by its less-toxic competitor, Taxol. In April of 2008, a study of 4,950 breast cancer patients published in the New England Journal of Medicine “found no significant differences in survival between the groups treated with [Taxol] and those treated with [Taxotere]…”. At the same time, a European study funded in part by Sanofi-Aventis revealed that 9.2% of Taxotere patients continued to suffer from permanent baldness 10 years after their initial treatment. No such risk has been associated with Taxol.

But the pharmaceutical company declined to warn doctors or cancer patients of this substantial risk of permanent scarring.

The healthcare community, however, was beginning to catch on. In 2010, an article appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology analyzing the existing body of literature on chemotherapy-related permanent alopecia. The article recognized that “[w]hy some patients develop permanent, rather than temporary, alopecia following chemotherapy is unknown,” but went on to state that the evidence in this particular case study “suggests that [Taxotere] is the implicated agent.” Two years later, a group of French doctors conducted a prospective study of 20 patients receiving Taxotere chemotherapy. After six months of recovery, all of the patients showed signs of permanent alopecia.

On December 11, 2015, Aventis finally changed the Taxotere warning label and package insert to contain the following phrase: “Cases of permanent alopecia have been reported.” Ten days later, the litigation dam burst with the first American lawsuit being filed in the District of Colorado. By October of 2016, 100 additional cases were filed throughout the United States and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered the establishment of an MDL proceeding in the Southern District of Louisiana. There are currently 859 cases pending in the MDL and more are being added each week.

The number of victims of Taxotere-induced permanent alopecia is unknown. But as noted above, this was a billion-dollar drug in the United States, alone. Taxotere patients certainly number in the tens of thousands. With nearly a thousand lawsuits already pending, the likelihood appears high that there will be thousands more.

Our law firm is investigating cases involving Taxotere and permanent baldness across the Southeast. If you would like to speak to a South Carolina personal injury lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden about a potential case, please call us at 1 (800) 531-9780 or contact us online.

Richland County Personal Injury Lawyers discuss IVC Filters: Case Screening

Blood clots are a common—and potentially fatal—condition associated with significant trauma and a variety of surgeries and medical treatments. Typically forming in the legs, clots have the ability to travel to your lungs, plugging vital vessels in those organs and resulting in a pulmonary embolism. One-third of people with untreated pulmonary embolisms do not survive.

Doctors have long prescribed blood-thinners (such as Coumadin or Warfarin) to combat the development of blood clots, but some patients cannot tolerate these medications. In the 1970s, in response to this need, medical engineers developed the first “IVC filter” to implant into patients at risk for blood clotting who could not take blood thinners.

The inferior vena cava is shown as the large blue vein travelling from the legs, between the kidneys, directly to the heart.

The inferior vena cava is shown as the large blue vein travelling from the legs, between the kidneys, directly to the heart.

“IVC” is an acronym for the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body. With an average diameter of 2 centimeters, the function of the inferior vena cava is to drain all of the deoxygenated blood from the lower body into the heart, at which point the blood is pumped to the lungs for a new dose of oxygen. The “IVC filter” is a metallic, net-like device inserted into the inferior vena cava through the femoral vein. The metal prongs of the filter are designed to stop significant clots in the IVC, thereby preventing their migration to the lungs.

IVC filters first appeared on the market in the 1970s. Boston Scientific designed and marketed the first model, known as the “Kimray-Greenfield filter” (or KG filter), and it enjoyed substantial success. The KG filter was designed to be permanent and required annual check-ups for evidence of clotting around the filter, evidence of damage to the blood vessel, or signs that the filter was migrating towards the heart.

In 1995, a prospective study revealed that KG filter recipients were experiencing recurrent pulmonary embolisms in only 4% of cases, that damage to the inferior vena cava was negligible, and that only 8% of patients showed any movement of the filter within the IVC itself.

An example of one model of IVC filter. The tip of the filter is inserted through the femoral vein towards the heart. Upon releasing the filter, the “legs” expand to the internal wall of the inferior vena cava.

An example of one model of IVC filter. The tip of the filter is inserted through the femoral vein towards the heart. Upon releasing the filter, the “legs” expand to the internal wall of the inferior vena cava.

The success of the KG filter caught the attention of Boston Scientific’s competitors and the race to patent better filters for more prolific uses was on. The biggest problem the industry faced, however, was the fact that pulmonary embolism patients who cannot use blood thinners are relatively few in number. So even if KG filter competitors gained market share, the market itself was quite small.

The competitors—primarily Bard, Cook Medical, and Cordis—chose to attempt to expand the market and differentiate their products from the KG filter by creating a line of filters that could be removed from the inferior vena cava after a short period of time. Theoretically, such filters could then be prescribed for patients for whom the permanent KG filter would not be—namely, those for whom a pulmonary embolism was not an existing problem, but was merely a threat due to tangential (and very common) medical issues such as traumatic injuries, cancer treatment, orthopedic surgery, OB/GYN surgery, and bariatric surgery.

The first “retrievable filters” began to be implanted in late 2003. The marketing efforts of Bard, Cook, and Cordis dramatically increased the ubiquity of the product: in 2004, 49,000 filters were implanted; by 2013, approximately 400,000 Cook filters, alone, were implanted (and Cook controlled only 43% of the market).

But trouble was on the horizon. The “retrievable” filters turned out to be not-so-retrievable. Within weeks of the filters’ insertion, the walls of the inferior vena cava began to grow around the metal “legs” of the filter. This increased the danger of removal of the filters, as doing so risked puncturing the largest vein in the body—a possibly fatal consequence for the patient.

As more doctors abandoned the practice of retrieving these devices, additional problems began to arise. The filter “legs” began to punch through and protrude from the walls of the inferior vena cava. The device would sometimes tilt, placing unequal pressure on the legs. Those that did not punch through the vein often broke off, becoming free-floating objects and lodging themselves in the patient’s heart or lungs. Worst of all, the device broke free of the vein of some patients, becoming lodged in the heart and requiring open heart surgery.

This is an image of open heart surgery being performed on a patient whose IVC filter has migrated through the inferior vena cava approximately 10 inches from its place of implantation (about an inch below the kidneys) into the heart itself. The white arrow indicates the filter, which is covered in tissue.

This is an image of open heart surgery being performed on a patient whose IVC filter has migrated through the inferior vena cava approximately 10 inches from its place of implantation (about an inch below the kidneys) into the heart itself. The white arrow indicates the filter, which is covered in tissue.

As one might imagine, a flood of litigation has ensued. Presently, 1,244 lawsuits are pending against Bard in federal court. These suits have been consolidated, for discovery purposes only, in the District of Arizona. Likewise, 1,237 suits are pending against Cook, consolidated in the Southern District of Indiana. The first Cook case is scheduled to be tried on October 2, 2017 while no trials of Bard have been scheduled as of yet.

Our law firm is investigating many IVC filter cases across the State of South Carolina. If you would like to speak to a Columbia personal injury lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden about your potential case, please call us at 1 (800) 531-9780 or contact us online.

Talc and Ovarian Cancer Update: Heading to New Jersey

Talc and Ovarian Cancer Update: Heading to New Jersey

Talc and Ovarian Cancer Update: Heading to New Jersey

A judicial panel has consolidated all federal talcum powder/ovarian cancer litigation in the District of New Jersey, joining sixty-six cases and what promises to be hundreds (if not thousands) more.  The order creates what is known as an “MDL” (multidistrict litigation) court in which single federal judge will coordinate the pretrial procedures of all talcum powder/ovarian cancer litigation in federal court.

This “MDL” procedure is commonly confused with a class action in which a single plaintiff represents the interests of all other similarly-situated persons. In an “MDL,” all individual cases remain separate from one another. Once pretrial proceedings are completed, the cases return to their original jurisdictions for trial.

So what does the formation of the Talcum Powder MDL mean for women? There will now be an intensive, coordinated effort to discover all of the facts pertaining to the risks of talcum powder, what Johnson & Johnson knew about those risks, and what steps the company took (or didn’t take) to minimize those risks or warn its consumers. This process could be time consuming: MDLs often take several years to mature. But the process will be very thorough and may position individual cases advantageously for trial.

There is danger in the formation of an MDL, however. Johnson & Johnson will, no doubt, use the consolidated proceedings as an opportunity to continue its attack on the science underlying the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Despite strong evidence to the contrary, the company continues to argue that no such connection exists. Consolidated proceedings give Johnson & Johnson the ability to attack all cases with a single motion, seeking a court order that all expert testimony linking cancer and talc is inadmissible.

In the meantime, state litigation continues in both Missouri and California. A St. Louis jury is currently hearing the fourth trial on this matter. All three previous trials have resulted in verdicts on behalf of the women who suffered from ovarian cancer, including verdicts of $72 million and $55 million.

Our law firm will be filing its first round of talcum powder/ovarian cancer cases in the District of South Carolina in the coming weeks. We look forward to joining forces with other lawyers throughout the United States to better represent our clients who have battled ovarian cancer.

We continue to investigate many cases of ovarian cancer across the State of South Carolina. If you would like to speak to a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden about your potential case, please call us at 1 (800) 531-9780 or contact us online.

Dangerous Drug News: FDA Strengthens Warnings for Levaquin Antibiotics

FDA Strengthens Warnings for Levaquin Antibiotics

FDA Strengthens Warnings for Levaquin Antibiotics

A certain class of antibiotics used to treat serious bacterial infections has recently become the focus of a strong public warning issued by regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

These antibiotics – known as fluoroquinolones and sold under various brand names (including Levaquin) – have been linked to “disabling and potentially permanent side effects,” as regulators have explained.

That’s why FDA officials are now warning that fluoroquinolone antibiotics should only be used for patients who have no other treatment options because the potential for “serious side effects generally outweigh the benefits” of taking these drugs.

Dr. Edward Cox, a research director at the FDA, has pointed out that:

Fluoroquinolones [like Levaquin] have risks and benefits that should be considered very carefully… It’s important that both health care providers and patients are aware of both the risks and benefits of fluoroquinolones and make an informed decision about their use.

Revealing more about this new FDA warning – and what it can mean for people battling serious bacterial infections, below, we have answered some commonly asked questions about the warnings and risks associated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

The Risks Linked to Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics: FAQs

Q – What are the serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics?

A – To date, medical research and patient reports have indicated that taking fluoroquinolones can be associated with a significantly higher risk of developing severe and potentially irreversible side effects, including (but possibly not limited to):

  • Nerve damage
  • Tendon and joint injuries
  • Muscle damage.

According to the FDA, “these side effects can occur hours to weeks after exposure.”

Q – When are these antibiotics typically prescribed?

A – This class of drugs is generally reserved for the treatment of severe bacterial infections, including:

  • Acute bacterial sinusitis
  • Acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

Although fluoroquinolones may have been a go-to treatment in the past, however, the FDA is now urging doctors to explore any and all other treatment options before prescribing these drugs (due to their potentially serious risks).

Q – Has the FDA issued previous warnings about Levaquin and other fluoroquinolones?

A – Yes. Since 2011, the FDA has issued at least a handful of warnings regarding the possible risks linked to this group of drugs.

The most recent FDA warning for these medications was released this past May, when regulators announced that they were requiring labeling updates for fluoroquinolones as they continued to investigate the possible dangers associated with these medications.

Q – What should I do if I’m currently taking one of these types of antibiotics?

A – Consult your doctor immediately to find out if there may be a safer alternative treatment for your condition.

Get More Answers Now: Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden Attorneys at Law

If you have been harmed after taking a fluoroquinolone antibiotic or any risky/dangerous drug, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden for clear answers about your rights and recovery options.

Since 1993, our lawyers have been dedicated to helping injured people protect their rights and interests as they pursue the justice – and the financial recoveries – they deserve for their injuries and losses.

Call our firm at (800) 531-9780 or contact us online to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.

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