Health Highlights: June 5, 2018
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Fashion Designer Kate Spade Dead in Apparent Suicide
American fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead Tuesday in her Manhattan apartment after an apparent suicide, police say.
They said a housekeeper found Spade in her bedroom hanging from a red scarf tied to a doorknob. Spade was unconscious and the housekeeper called 911, The New York Times reported.
Spade was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:26 a.m. She left a note, but police did not say what it said.
Spade's husband was at the scene, but police did not know the whereabouts of her daughter, The Times reported.
FDA Sends Warning Letters About Concentrated Caffeine Products
Warning letters for illegally selling concentrated caffeine products that pose a threat to public health have been sent to the sellers of liquidcaffeine.com and Dual Health Body and Mind, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.
"Despite being informed of the dangers of highly concentrated and pure caffeine, we're still finding companies that are disregarding consumer safety by illegally selling products with potentially dangerous and lethal amounts of caffeine," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in an agency news release.
"The FDA recently took action to explain which pure and highly concentrated caffeine products cannot be lawfully marketed because they pose an unacceptable risk to consumers. We've already seen at least two deaths linked to pure or concentrated caffeine, and we'll be enforcing the law to protect consumers from these products. Today's action is part of these efforts," Gottlieb said.
The recommended safe serving size of highly concentrated or pure caffeine products is often 200 milligrams of caffeine, or about 1/16 of a teaspoon of pure powder or about 2 1/2 teaspoons of a liquid product, according to the FDA.
The 16-ounce package of liquidcaffeine.com contains multiple potentially toxic doses. The product is also sold as two gallons of liquid caffeine, or approximately 128 grams of caffeine, the equivalent of several lethal doses. A life-threatening dose of caffeine is typically between 10 and 14 grams, but a smaller amount can be life-threatening in children and at-risk people.
The Dual Health Body and Mind product contains 8 ounces of pure powdered caffeine, which is well over 1,000 servings of the product. The product is also sold in packages as large as 5 1/2 pounds, which is almost 12,500 servings of the product, the FDA said.
The 200 milligram serving size recommended on the labeling of the Dual Health Body and Mind caffeine powder cannot be accurately measured using common household measuring tools, according to the FDA.
Former NFL Receiver Who Made 'The Catch' Dies After Battle With ALS
Former San Francisco 49ers receiver and legend Dwight Clark, who made one of the most memorable catches in NFL history, died Monday after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Clark, who was 61, died at his home in Montana. News of his death was shared by his wife Kelly via her Twitter account, ESPN reported.
Clark first revealed his ALS diagnosis in early 2017, but said the first signs appeared in 2015. He gradually lost strength in both hands, his midsection, lower back and right leg, and lost a significant amount of weight.
Clark's remarkable fingertip grab of a pass was the game-winning touchdown during the 1982 NFC Championship game and is widely known by fans as "The Catch." The 49ers went on to win the Super Bowl that year.
"The San Francisco 49ers family has suffered a tremendous loss today with the passing of Dwight Clark," the team said in a statement, ESPN reported.
"Dwight's personality and his sense of humor endeared him to everyone he came into contact with, even during his most trying times. The strength, perseverance and grace with which he battled ALS will long serve as an inspiration to so many. Dwight will always carry a special place in our hearts and his legacy will live on as we continue to battle this terrible disease," the team said.
Opioid Antidote Naloxone Recalled
A recall of the opioid overdose antidote Naloxone was announced Monday.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the recall was triggered by the possibility of "loose particulate matter on the syringe plunger" that could pose a number of health risks, CNN reported.
Those risks include "local irritation, allergic reactions," and a range of cardiovascular issues, including blood clots, according to the FDA.
The agency has not received any reports of patient harm from the recalled Naloxone, made by Hospira.
The recall covers single use sterile cartridge units with lot numbers 72680LL and 76510LL in 0.4 mg/ml, 1 mL in, and 2.5 mL strengths that were distributed to wholesalers, distributors and hospitals in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Guam between February 2017 and February 2018, CNN reported.
Hospira said distributors and retailers should not use or distribute the recalled Naloxone and should alert stores, pharmacies and hospitals and others who have received it.
Veterans Face Long Wait Times Under VA Private Health Care Program
U.S. veteran are facing long wait times under a Veterans Affairs program that enables them to see private doctors, according to a report released Monday by the Government Accountability Office.
The Veterans Choice program promises to provide care within 30 days, but veterans often have to wait 51 to 64 days to see private doctors, the Associated Press reported.
Reasons for the long waits include poor record keeping and faulty data, the GAO said.
"We found numerous operational and oversight weaknesses with VHA's management of scheduling veterans' medical appointments through the Choice program," the GAO investigators wrote.
They warned that there will be problems as the VA attempts to expand the program, something that's expected to be signed into law Wednesday by President Donald Trump, who claims that expansion of the program will help reduce long wait times at VA medical centers.
The VA said in a written response that it's trying to improve communication with private doctors and to modify the Choice program, but said the "practical reality" is that veterans will not always get appointments within 30 days, the AP reported.
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