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Friday, February 15, 2008

Central America News - Panama

This case again demonstrates how interconnected all of us are - and how fragile is the system of checks and balances in place for health care.
clipped from news.yahoo.com

Panama relatives say hundreds poisoned

Panama's government has vastly underestimated the number of people who died from taking medications tainted with a chemical commonly found in antifreeze and brake fluid, family members and a lawyer for the victims said Thursday.

Pascual, who estimates that more than 300 people died from poisoning and more than 100 survived, contends the official investigation was fraught with contradictions. In some cases, investigators initially recognized that a victim had taken the tainted medicine but later said the cases were inconclusive.

By JUAN ZAMORANO, Associated Press Writer

In mid-2006, people in Panama began dying after using cough syrup, antihistamine tablets, calamine lotion and rash ointment made at a government laboratory. Investigations found that the medicines were contaminated with diethylene glycol, commonly used in brake fluid and antifreeze.

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I live on the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica. My adult children live in the United States. I have a Masters Degree in Gerontology but have worked as a migrant laborer, chicken egg collector, radio broadcaster, secretary, social worker, research director, bureaucrat, writer, editor, political organizer, publicist, telephone operator, and more. My hobby of photography has garnered some awards.

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