Health Highlights: May 29, 2015
Boston Scientific Ordered to Pay $100 Million in Transvaginal Mesh Insert Case Live Anthrax Samples Sent to at Least 18 Labs Across U.S.: CDC
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Boston Scientific Ordered to Pay $100 Million in Transvaginal Mesh Insert Case
Medical device maker Boston Scientific has been ordered to pay $100 million to a woman who suffered major complications after having the company's transvaginal mesh inserts implanted in 2009.
The inserts are used to treat sagging pelvic organs and incontinence in women. The woman's complications included urinary tract infections and pain during sex, the Associated Press reported.
Despite two surgeries, the 51-year-old woman still has pieces of transvaginal mesh embedded inside her.
The jury issued its verdict Thursday after a two-week trial in Superior Court in Wilmington, Del., saying that Boston Scientific failed to warn doctors and patients of the risks associated with the inserts, the AP reported.
Live Anthrax Samples Sent to at Least 18 Labs Across U.S.: CDC
At least 18 labs across the United States received live anthrax samples from the U.S. Army, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
Another live sample of the deadly bacteria was sent to Osan Air Base in South Korea and 22 personnel there may have been exposed and are receiving treatment as a precaution, according to the U.S. Air Force, USA Today reported.
The CDC said live anthrax samples were shipped from the U.S. Army's Dugwa Proving Grounds in Utah to 18 labs in nine states: California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The exact locations of the labs were not revealed, but "they are mostly private and some are operated by government and public institutions," CDC spokesman Jason McDonald said, USA Today reported.
The error, which is the latest in a series of mistakes involving federal labs, is "gross negligence," according to Richard Ebright, a biosafety expert at Rutgers in New Jersey.
"There is absolutely no excuse. Not for the shipping institution. Not for receiving institutions that failed to confirm inactivation upon receipt," he told USA Today. "Both should lose, irrevocably, authorization for work with active or inactivated select agents."
Anthrax spores can spread through the air and cause a fatal infection in people who don't receive treatment.
There are no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infection in potentially exposed workers at the 18 labs in the U.S., and no risk to the general public, according to the Pentagon.