As Deaths Mounted, the FDA Dithered in its Probe of Dallas' USPlab's Diet Supplement

Categories: Healthcare

If you want nice arm muscles like this man, you should probably just do some old-fashioned exercise.
It was over four years ago when agents from the Food and Drug Administration began hearing disturbing complaints about USPLabs, the corporation headquartered in Dallas that sells "nutrition" powder, dietary supplements and other products to bros trying to beef up their builds.

Customers complaining of bad reactions included a 16-year-old who had to go to the emergency room after feeling numb and dizzy. So the FDA did what any powerful government agency would do: They showed up to the company's lab on Manana Drive and investigated, er, "inspected" it, according to an FDA search warrant. (Already not a good sign -- inspections are the friendlier, less hostile cousin of investigations).

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University General Hospital, Touted in Dallas' GrowSouth Plan, Is on Life Support

Categories: Healthcare

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University General Hospital
Oak Cliff's University General Hospital, touted as one of Mayor Mike Rawlings' GrowSouth success stories, is on life support -- or maybe in an induced coma -- while its owners try to sell the 111-bed facility.

Houston-based University General Health Systems Inc., which purchased the former South Hampton Community Hospital two years ago, announced last week that the hospital is up for sale. In the meantime, it has scaled back operations to the minimum required to maintain its license and recently acquired Joint Commission accreditation. The emergency room is still functioning, but not much else. A hundred employees -- the number of new jobs touted on the GrowSouth website -- have been laid off.

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Dallas Woman Pleads Guilty to Faking Being a Nurse at Eight Dallas Hospices

Categories: Crime, Healthcare

Wiki Commons User Stethoscopes
>Wearing one of these does not make you a nurse.
Jada Antoine has quite the resume for a hospice nurse. From January 2009 to April 2012, she cared for more than 100 patients while employed by eight Dallas hospice companies.

The thing is, Antoine isn't a nurse. She isn't licensed as any kind of healthcare provider. Antoine didn't let that stop her. She found a woman who was a nurse and took her driver's license and Social Security card was employed by the hospices as a registered nurse.

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Presby Would Like the Media to Please Stop Rehashing Its Ebola Crisis

Categories: Healthcare

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Emily Mathis
When Texas Health Presbyterian was still in the middle of its Ebola public relations fallout, hospital officials had an ever-shifting series of explanations for why Thomas Eric Duncan was initially misdiagnosed and sent home.

The hospital had at first made a subtle suggestion that the misdiagnosis was a nurse's fault. Though a nurse who saw Duncan in his first visit to Presby was aware that he had traveled to Africa, "regretfully that information was not fully communicated" to the rest of the medical team, Presby said at the time. Shortly after releasing that nurse diss however, the hospital clarified that it was actually the computer's fault. The electronic record system apparently had a "flaw" that caused the doctor to miss a nurse's note that did in fact indicate Duncan had traveled from Africa.

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Bentley the Ebola Dog's Monitoring Cost $27,000

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Dallas Animal Services
He's an expensive little bugger.
Of the just more than $155,000 the city of Dallas spent responding to Ebola, almost $27,000 -- just more than 17 percent of the total -- went to caring for Bentley, Nina Pham's King Charles Spaniel. The majority of the Bentley cash, $17,057.46, was spent on getting Grand Prairie Armed Forces Reserve Complex ready for the dog's stay and providing security at the former Naval Air Station.

The single biggest item on the full list, which you can check out below, was the $58,000-plus Dallas Fire and Rescue spent on hazmat response. It cost $18,824 to pay the paramedics subjected to 21-day quarantines after contact with the first diagnosed U.S. Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan.

The city won't bear the full brunt of the bill. It is seeking reimbursement of some costs from the state and about $19,000 of Bentley's burden will be covered by grants and donations.

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Dallas City Employees Are Fat, Some Are Fatter Than Others

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Dwaine Caraway (via Facebook)
Council member Dwaine Caraway doing his part to support A.C.'s initiative.
As we've mentioned before, City Manager A.C. Gonzalez's presentations at the end of City Council briefings are frequently excruciating and uninformative. Tuesday, though, there was an interesting tidbit in the midst of Gonzalez's promotion of the city's wellness initiative for city employees.

After singling out City Council member Dwaine Caraway's eager adoption of the wellness program, Gonzalez revealed that a full 20 percent of the city's employees are morbidly obese and 80 percent are at least somewhat overweight.

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Thomas Eric Duncan's Family Settles With Texas Health Presbyterian

Categories: Healthcare

It was something that was inevitable once Thomas Eric Duncan was sent home from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital with antibiotics on September 26. There would be legal action against the hospital for its treatment of Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the United States. Wednesday morning, Duncan's family and its lawyer, Dallas personal injury attorney Les Weisbrod, announced that they have reached a settlement with the hospital.

"We want to raise awareness of the epidemic of preventable medical errors," Weisbrod said.

The care Duncan received upon his return to the hospital after his initial release was excellent, the attorney said, but the initial misdiagnosis likely changed the final outcome of Duncan's treatment.

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Dallas' Finest Orthopedist Says Tony Romo Can Play Sunday If He's Tough Enough

Categories: Healthcare, Sports

The Loomis Agency via YouTube
Dr. Jerry specializes in pizza, rapping and back injuries.
Jerry Jones, who's served as the Dallas Cowboys' team physician since 1989, told KRLD 105.3 Wednesday morning that the team's quarterback, Tony Romo, will be medically able to play Sunday against the 6-1 Arizona Cardinals.

Romo, who had two back surgeries in 2013 -- one before the season to remove a cyst and one after the season to repair structural damage -- took a vicious Keenan Robinson knee to the back during the third quarter of the Cowboys' Monday night game with Washington.

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Nurse Amber Vinson Is Headed Home, Free from Ebola

Categories: Healthcare

KXAS via Twitter
Amber Vinson hugs her doctor at the close of her press conference at Emory.
Amber Vinson, the second Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to contract Ebola during treatment of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, is being released from Emory University Hospital near Atlanta.

"I'm so grateful to be well," she said. "While this is a day of celebration and gratitude, I'd like to request that we don't lose focus on the thousands of families still being affected by the disease in West Africa."

During her stay at Emory, Vinson received blood plasma from Dr. Kent Brantly and Dr. Nancy Writebol, both of whom were also received successful Ebola treatment at Emory.

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Some Patients Complain That Parkland Is Filing Exorbitant Hospital Liens For Medical Bills

Categories: Healthcare

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A little-known perk of being a Texas hospital is that if a broke accident victim visits you for emergency treatment, you get to lay claim to any money the victim wins through the courts later. It's officially called a "hospital lien," legal through a state statute that's been on the books since the 1930s. The point is to give hospitals first dibs on the money their patients get from personal injury lawsuits. If a person whose life you saved for free just got a fat settlement check, shouldn't that check go straight to you?

But since October of last year, five people have filed suits against Parkland Hospital in Dallas County, accusing it of abusing its lien privilege.

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