Among various aspects of the medical device industry that the ICIJ-Indian Express “Implant Files” investigation looks into, breast implants have emerged as one of the areas of concern. A study by ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) has found that in reports from several countries submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration, there has been an upsurge in adverse events relating to breast implants in the past two years (The Indian Express, November 27)
Figures compiled by the ICIJ also account for the first half of 2018, owing to the high number of adverse reports. The 2018 count is already higher than that for entire 2017, which itself was over 13 times as high as the 2016 count.
Tip for Reading List | Did ‘Unicorn’ & humans share Earth?
The Siberian unicorn (Elasmotherium sibiricum) is a rhino species, long thought to have gone extinct 2 lakh to 1 lakh years ago. Now, dating of fossils suggests it may have survived until at least 39,000 years ago, which means that the animals would have been sharing Eurasia (its habitat) with both modern humans and Neanderthals. The study, led by researchers from the Natural History Museum, UK, is published in the journal Nature.
This Word Means | Acute Flaccid Myelitis
A little-known polio-like disease in children, it has raised concerns and become the focus of new research
A “polio-like” disease affecting children, about which little was known until recently, has come into public focus. Called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), it is the subject of three new research publications in a special issue in JAMA Pediatrics journal. The concerns emanate from the US, where the Centers for Disease Control has confirmed 116 cases this year (out of 286 under investigation) until November 27, and from Canada, where 48 cases (until November 13) are under investigation. An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal outlines five things:
- AFM is characterised by muscle weakness — weak limbs, pain, absent reflexes
- Enteroviruses are the main cause of the disease in children
- Urgent testing should be performed
- AFM can progress rapidly and should be treated as a medical emergency
- It often results in persistent health deficits 4-6 months after detection; less than 1/5th of children make a full recovery.
These symptoms look much like those of polio, but that disease was eradicated in the US decades ago. “There was no one on the lookout for that kind of weakness. Kids weren’t being examined properly,” Reuters quoted neurologist Dr Riley Bove, author of one of the research papers, as saying. In 2014, when Dr Bove’s family was getting over a respiratory virus, her 4-year-old son suddenly developed scary symptoms — a paralysed arm, neck and shoulder, eventually leading to paralysis from the face down to his toes. After prolonged treatment, the boy was finally able to walk on his own, but still has lingering issues from his experience, Reuters said.