tv News 4 New York at 530 NBC August 18, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT
right now on news 4 new york, an i-team exclusive. when is a death not a death? it's a surprising question with surprising answer a joi cnbc found medical companies classifying thousands of patient fatalities and injuries. >> the food and drug administration says that is perfectly okay. the companies are referring to death by another name but critics say it could mask real health problems. chris glorioso has the i-team exclusive. >> we're still in shock. it's a never-ending nightmare.
he called me and said, nana, my mama has died. >> reporter: she is a mother convinced this medical device played a role in her daughter's death. it's called the vegas nerve stimulator or vns. back in 2010, shelly thought it was the cure for her epileptic seizures. it is supposed to block seizure, but four months after surgery she started feeling abnormally painful feel anything. >> she said it shocked her really bad and almost dropped her to her knees. >> she planned to call the doctor on monday. >> she never made it to monday. she died on sunday. >> reporter: her daughter found her dead on the bathroom floor, her cause of death cardiac arrest brought on by a suspected seizure. >> i don't think we'll ever get over it. >> shelly wasn't the only one complaining about the nerve
problems with the device. some of those reports had a startling discrepancy. >> i had to do a double take. there are a lot of reports in there that made me question the integrity of the reporters. >> reporter: a former fda consultant runs a company that offers simplified ways to search fda data. she scoured through thousands of patient deaths reported as injuries or malfunctions. they include five patients who developed fatal pneumonia, but the deaths were labeled as four injuries and one malfunction. in another example, a vns battery depleted with zero years remaining. the patient died but the event was called an injury. >> reporter: when you saw a report that was categorized as
>> reporter: did you find that deceptive? >> yes. >> reporter: medical device makers are supposed to report any event that reasonably suggests a device may have caused or contributed to a death or serious injury. checking the death box is not an admission of fault, despite that companies sometimes downgrade patient deaths arguing fatalities are unrelated to the product. that can throw regulators off >> the way the fda reviews the report is order of importance by the classification checked on the form. if it's an injury or malfunction, it could take weeks to months to get to reading them. >> reporter: the company that makes the nerve stimulator said three of those preponderance deaths were properly reported. the other two reports were human errors. the company conducted an internal review, finding a total of 108 misclassified deaths,
they said there have not been any significant misclassifications. the vegas nerve stimulator is only one device we found with patients deaths listed as something less serious. we looked at five years of fda safety reports and found more than 4,000 patient fatalities listed as injuries or simple malfunctions. a knee injection patient developed a septic infection died. it was listed as an injury. another fell from a safety bed and died on the floor. that was called malfunction. a stent was implanted damaged and stretched. a few hours later the patient died. it was listed as malfunction. we asked the fda about all those reports and more a spokesperson said the reports were likely classified correctly. >> the fda says this is not a problem. what do you say? >> i think when you have a lot of patients being injured and a
it's always a problem. >> reporter: the fda stressed companies are allowed to classify patient fatalities as injuries if there is insufficient information to establish the device caused or contributed to the death, but shelly's family believes the fda's policy favors the companies over the consumers. >> my daughter would not have had that in if she thought she would die it from. who would? >> i blame the fda. i feel like they are supposed to be the >> reporter: the fda says it has analytical tools to spot deaths even if not labeled as deaths. it says it does not prioritize safety reports solely on the basis of the death, injury or malfunction category but labels do matter. in 2010, an inspector general report found only 10% of malfunction reports are assigned
more investigations mean more answers. if you have something you think new york's biggest i-team should look into, call us. a new twist in the battle between hulk hogan and a popular website. a local company is joining the fight to stop the zika v janice is here with more on our exciting announcement. >> today we are unveiling a state-of-the-art storm tracking tool like you've never seen before. dave price is standing by with storm ranger 4. >> i'll bet you've never seen a vehicle quite like this before. this is storm ranger 4. allowing us to track the weather wherever it is in detail like we've never seen it before. in a couple of minutes, i'm
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celebrate something really special this summer at blinds to go's annual storewide sale going on now. buy one, get one at half price. hundreds of styles and colors. every item through the store. buy one get one at half price. ds for life. in new jersey tonight, 40 men including a former teacher and school custodian facing child pornography charges. they're arrested as part of the operation statewide sting. ranging in age from 20 to 72, also include accountants,
construction workers, reportedly one the father of young children. the six-month investigation involves scanning internet traffic to determine who was sharing and downloading the files. >> it doesn't matter where you live, whether you think you can hide your crimes by viewing these vile images in the dark seclusion of your home. we are monitoring you on the internet. and we will track you down and arrest you. >> there is a five-year mandor sentence for anyone convicted of distributing 25 or more images. >>. >> right now testing for zika involves lab work and the results could take weeks to come in, but the company says it's much quicker returning results in 20 minutes which could help those infected to take measures to help the virus' spread. travel alerts now for 26 island nations.
ending operations next week. that coming two days after june vision purchased gawker media for 135 million in bankruptcy court. four months ago they lost an invasion of privacy suit filed by pro wrestler hulk hogan awarded a $140 million judgment. june vision will run six other blogs. online college courses growing in popularity. what happens if you can't access the class? >> better g info that can spare you headaches. it's a situation we hope our kids will never find themselves in. these morris county students are training to be prepared for a mass shooting. we'll take you along. and storm ranger 4 arrived. the one of a kind vehicle we
fios is not cable. we're wired differently, which means we can fix things differently. thanks for calling fios. this is ryan. you can't tell me this cord isn't in. i know it's in. it's in, but it's not working. i'm sending you a link to the my fios app that going to let me see what you're seeing. really? yes, mr. mcenroe... see that cord? just plug it into the connector on the right. so you can clearly see what's in and what's out? oh absolutely. i like that. tech support that lets your technician
storm team 4 is getting an upgrade like nothing the tri-state has ever seen before. live pictures right now of storm ranger 4. >> it's outfitted with it can bring you the information you need to keep your family safe. >> dave price is at jacob riis park in queens with a closer look. >> reporter: it's a remarkable piece of technology. that in and of itself doesn't say much, but it is so useful to all of us around the tri-state area. as i said before, i bet you never laid eyes on a vehicle like this before. it's a mobile radar. it's dispatched within moments.
before it sets itself up, raises the radar picture up 20 feet. if you come around this way, it gives us a picture of incoming weather like we've never seen before. what we have is the ability to take our weather center and bring it where it needs to go to report the threat of weather at a moment's notice right to you. that's important. we went out on a final inspection the other day. i thought you might want to take a look at see whae why we are so impressed with our vehicle. >> we can move it wherever we need to whenever we need to, to give you the latest information where a storm is and where it's headed. let's take you inside the dome to see the mobile radar. it's smaller than most. that means we can get to places where stationary radars simply can't go. let me take you inside the back
it's here that the brains of our computer system are. with a couple of buttons and toggling, we can begin to focus that radar into the center of a storm or right into your neighborhood, letting you know what's coming your way. whether it's rain, hail or snow. we can get detail like we could never before. look on top of storm ranger 4. that's our weather station. that's transmitting information on changes in wind direction, and air temperature. so now you know how storm ranger 4 works, moving with the weather, helping you stay prepared. and providing an enhanced radar picture like we've never seen before. storm ranger 4 is the new force behind storm team 4. of course nbc 4 built this in conjunction with telemundo.
engineers and partners who helped put this together and get it out on the road. i have to add, technology for technology's sake doesn't do much, but when you put it together with a real viewer benefit, it's going to help us, especially as we give people more significant warning and more significant detail about impending storms. we'll send it back to you. >> she looks beautiful. we are showing you the location in jacob riis park. there are no thunderstorms within its 75-mile range. we can drive it anywhere and pick up details on big storms coming our way. we do have a few isolated showers farther to the north outside the 75 mile-an-hour range. right now the conventional stand-alone radar are picking those up over parts of sullivan and pike. they are not severe and will probably die out right where
this evening. not to worry about those. downpours coming down. 75 in monticello. 87 in poughkeepsie. morristown 84. 83 in the city. humidity is creeping up. belmar's dew point at 70 which is within that sticky to tropical range. that is what we are going to feel the next several days. even in the 70s feels like the 80s. bridgewater feels close tropical storm fiona is about 2500 miles away. it stays over the ocean through the weekend. we'll keep tracking it for you. our shorecast looks good for tomorrow. low risk of rip currents. keep an eye to the sky for maybe a shower in the afternoon. mid to upper 80s this weekend. humidity is back. a storm or two mainly sunday night. then a big refreshing relief
low to mid 80s. >> thank you. to a consumer alert. football helmets at risk of cracking in the middle of a game. zenith is recalling zenith epic varsity x2e varsity. we have the full list of products affected on nbc 4 app. search helmet. there are more college courses taken online than ever befo the course after you paid for it? better get baquero. >> reporter: kimberly townsend is excited to start her senior year in college. her family is encouraging her to pursue her dream of one day becoming an ear, nose and throat doctor. >> i had ear issues my whole life and i can't hear in this one. it's fascinated me. >> reporter: her science courses are challenging. to make up for a grade she didn't think was her best,
classes this summer in organic chemistry. >> this particular one has a lab portion. i needed to get an access code for the text book and lab and homework assignments. >> reporter: kimberly paid $2,000 to ocean county college for the classes and $120 for the access code. >> you had to install this program for the lab to work. >> reporter: she checked the course requirements before opening the access code. >> when i signed up, the course description says you do you need a digital camera. which i have. >> reporter: when kimberly argued the course description didn't specify the online product is for pc systems only and not compatible with apple products, she got a partial refund of $1,000. >> they gave me half the tuition back. the book store said it's not their fault and that the access code, no matter what, can't be refunded.
lot. my mom says maybe we should go. >> reporter: she did go to us. we went to ocean county college. then problem solved. the school told us kim has been made 100% whole and her request for tuition refund was granted. they added ocean county college is committed to excellent student service and corrected that course description after we brought it to their attention. >> thank you so much for the better get me get my money back. >> we are happy to report she has all other hin money back now. life-saving training for teens so they know how to survive a mass shooting. the skills they are learning. a look at what's new at 6:00. the unseen danger in our skies. news 4 investigates, finds a major shortage of air traffic controllers.
my son has meningitis b. but how did we end up here? his mom thought he had the flu and that he was covered by the meningococcal meningitis vaccine he had received. until 2014 there were no vaccines for meningitis b in the u.s. now there are. lead to death within 24 hours. trumenba is a vaccine for 10 through 25 year olds to help prevent group b meningococcal disease. trumenba should not be given if you had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose. most common side effects were injection-site pain, fatigue... headache, muscle pain, and chills. ask your doctor or pharmacist about all the risks and benefits of trumenba and tell them if you've received any other meningitis b vaccines.
county, new jersey, got hands-on training that could save their lives or someone else's. new tonight, news 4's pat battle shows how it works. >> reporter: from columbine to newtown, history taught us how vulnerable our schools are to someone bent on destruction. these morris county students are getting a lesson how to respond to what unfortunately has become an ever-present threat in their lives. be it shooting with mass casualties, these high school students spent the week at the morris county public safety youth academy learning how to react. even if they come in direct contact with an active shooter. >> this does not change any protocols in their school our change their procedures. this makes them better equipped if they happen to be someplace where that worst case happens and they are neigh a position to make a difference. they do not have to stay in one
survive. >> empowered to help others. >> reporter: reaction time is key. it takes only three minutes for someone to bleed to death. >> you have to think fast. they can bleed out. it was nerve racking. had my partners to help me out. it was fine. it went well. >> reporter: we are trying to combine what law enforcement really is, what ems really is and what fire is so these kids get an opportunity to see all those worlds, put all those pieces together and see police work, the care, the support. >> reporter: when these kids go back to school in the fall, they are going to have one of these in their back packs, a trauma kit. a tourniquet, bandage and chest seal to treat an open wound. >> i'm well prepared. >> reporter: pat battle, news 4 new york. we have to think about that now. that does it for us. >> stay with us as the news continues.
son. the shocking crime that has cold spring harbor on edge. >> the angry family of a man accused of killing a queen's imam comes to his defense in court. >> the park's department unusual response to a statue of a naked donald trump. >> we begin with a horrifying story of mental illness and murder. >> a 23-year-old man is accused of dragging her into the swimming pool of their cold spring harbor home and drowning her. they got into a fight over his refusal to take his psychiatric medication. >> reporter: dennis cullin jr was formally charged with second degree murder. prosecutors say after he killed his mother he came here to the train station for a trip to manhattan where he told his
the revelations were all part of the videotaped confession, prosecutors say, cullin jr gave police over several hours. one prosecutor says dennis cullin jr's confession holds back little, telling police in vivid detail how he drowned his 63-year-old mother in the backyard pool of their lloyd harbor home. >> mrs. cullin was one of the nicest ladies i ever enun the whole thing is a tragedy. >> reporter: two family friends say cullin jr had a long history of mental illness. when he stopped taking his medication, prosecutors say, his mom confronted him on wednesday, prompting the alleged attack. >> he put her in a head lock, walked from the shallow end of the pool with her in a head lock to the deep end all the time while she was struggling. >> reporter: the prosecutor says that water struggle was violent.
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