Health Highlights: June 5, 2018

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

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.