October 2017

Signs your pacemaker is not working properly

Having a pacemaker inserted into your chest cavity is a very stressful time in life. It can happen to just about anyone no matter their age or level of health. It is scary because it means the device is needed to maintain the way your heart pumps. It’s quite possible that the pacemaker can fail, even if it is a newer model recently inserted. Here are some signs to be on the lookout for regarding your pacemaker.

Some of the most common warnings signs that your pacemaker might be failing include the following:

  • Frequent hiccups that are difficult to control
  • Fast or slow heart rate. Also a combination of both
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle twitching in abdomen or chest on a fairly constant basis
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fainting

It is rare for a pacemaker to fail completely, but it is still possible. For the most part, when a pacemaker begins to falter, This is because it needs to be reprogrammed. Some other reasons for a pacemaker to fail, or suffer issues, include the following:

  • Lead in pacemaker is pulled from its position
  • Failure of an electronic circuit
  • Depletion of the battery
  • Change in personal health condition that requires reprogramming of pacemaker
  • Broken or loose wire located between your heart and the device
  • High potassium found in your blood
  • Interference from other electronic devices

Patients rely on medical devices to keep them in good health and alive. When these devices fail, patients can see their health deteriorate. Consult with an experienced defective medical devices attorney in Kingsport about your case.

Source: Hawkins Bingham & Miller, “An Overview Of Defective Medical Device Claims,” accessed

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This little red pill is harming nursing home residents

Nursing home residents are facing aggressive treatment with dangerous effects. According to a CNN investigation, a drug called Nuedexta is inappropriately prescribed to elderly patients. This pharmaceutical drug is unsafe and unnecessary in many cases.

So what is Nuedexta meant to treat? Why is it potentially harmful? Read below for more information about this over-prescribed little red pill.

Approved use

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Nuedexta to treat a mental disorder called pseudobulbar affect, characterized by uncontrollable laughter or crying. PBA is often triggered by conditions that impact the brain, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis or ALS. Less than 1 percent of Americans have this condition.

Inappropriate use

The drug is seeing skyrocketing financial success due to an aggressive sales force pumping it into long-term care facilities. This is despite the fact there have been very limited studies on the effects of the drug on elderly patients. In fact, it can be harmful to patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Dangerous side effects

According to reports by the FDA itself, a link between Nuedexta and the following dangerous consequences is possible:

  • 51 deaths
  • 113 hospitalizations
  • 101 instances of confusion, dizziness and falls
  • 102 instances of sleepiness and sedation

Other common side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, weakness and swelling in the feet, hands or ankles. Serious side effects include easy bruising, muscle spasms, dark urine, abdominal pain, chest pain and yellowing eyes. There are also concerns about potential interactions. A medication with such little research can have very adverse effects in elderly patients who are already prescribed other medications.

Many doctors who prescribe Nuedexta receive payments or other compensation from the drug manufacturer. There are also paid speakers at nursing homes advocating for the drug. This is all devastating news for those with loved ones in nursing homes or patients themselves. If Nuedexta has harmed you or a loved one, contact a personal injury lawyer.

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