The Food and Drug Administrations is warning people to stop using the ShoulderFlex Massager after reports of life threatening injuries. The massager, distributed by King International, is being blamed for one death and one near strangulation. According to the FDA warning, hair, clothing and jewelry can get caught in the rotating bar of the massager and lead to strangulation or other serious injuries. Consumers and health care providers are being urged to discontinue the use of this product. The FDA is also requesting that consumers separate the parts of the massager by removing the massage fingers and the power supply and discard them separately to prevent it from being reassembled.
On August 31, 2011, King International announced a recall of its ShoulderFlex Massager. The press release notifying the public of the recall is available on the FDA website.
According to the National Consumer League (NCL), table saw injuries have risen to 40,000 per year, an increase of 10,000 over the past decade. Approximately 10 percent of these injuries result in finger amputation. The NCL has been pushing the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to pass improved safety standards to help prevent saw-related injuries.
According to Sally Greenburg, the Executive Director of the NCL, the tool industry is opposed to efforts to implement new safeguards. Most table saws are equipped with plastic guards to prevent injury. However, these guards are simple to remove in order to make the tool easier to use. The NCL is encouraging manufactures to adopt a new technology sold by a company called SawStop. “That technology uses sensors to detect the electrical impulse in a finger or other body part—distinguishing flesh from a piece of wood, for example—and drops the blade down in a fraction of a second below the saw to keep it from injuring the user.” (NCL June 2011 press release) The technology increases the cost of table saws by about $100. Other table saw manufacturers are reluctant to incorporate this technology because of the increased cost to the consumer.
The CPSC’s 2011 Operating Plan includes the preparation of a briefing package addressing proposed safety standards aimed at reducing the risk of table saw injuries. (See page 31 of the 2011 Operating Plan)
Crestor, sometimes referred to as a “super statin”, is the strongest drug available for the treatment of high cholesterol. A condition called rhaddomyolysis is a possible side effect of most statins. This occurs when muscle tissue breaks down and myoglobin is released into the bloodstream, sometimes resulting in kidney failure. Research suggests that the risk of developing rhaddomyolysis increases with higher doses of statins. Studies also show that the following patients are at a greater risk for this condition: Asian-Americans, people taking immune suppressing drugs, and people with severe kidney disease. In 2005 the FDA issued a health advisory addressing both the risks and benefits associated with the use of Crestor. The manufacturer was required to revise the prescription label to include all the possible risks and recommended doses for patients most susceptible to developing these serious side effects.