Study Reveals Increased Risk of Operating Room Errors
A recent study indicates technology and equipment problems are the cause of one-fourth of operating room errors and cited as a cause in 15% of malpractice claims. The study — a comprehensive review of 28 published studies based on operating room errors — concludes that preoperative surgical checklists could reduce that error rate by half.
The studies reviewed varied as to type of equipment and the nature of the surgery. The results show an average of approximately 15 errors occurred during a typical operation, with equipment failure accounting for 24% of these errors. Overall, it was found that the rates of error were higher the more heavily a surgery relied on technology. Despite these findings, technological advances have improved the quality of surgery available and increased patients’ chances of survival. The authors of the study note, however, that technology raises the complexity of surgeries and therefore may cause an increased risk of error due to equipment failure.
Infant Sling Deaths Trigger Warnings and Recalls
Infantino, LLC, a maker of baby and infant products, has agreed to a settlement of $8 million to the mother of a child who died in one of its shoulder-sling infant carriers. The lawsuit stemmed from Anthoinette Medley’s allegation that the SlingRider’s flawed design caused her infant son to suffocate. Other infant sling deaths have been reported.
In 2009, Medley carried her twin sons, then seven-and-a-half-weeks-old, in separate SlingRiders while traveling to appointments. When she was unable to awaken her son Nelsir, she performed CPR and contacted emergency medical help. After being pronounced dead at the hospital, an autopsy was performed on the infant but his cause of death remained “undetermined.”
Vigilant Parents Are the Best Defense Against a Defective Child Car Seat
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), auto accidents are the most common cause of death for children under the age of 13. One of the best ways to protect child passengers is by using a correctly installed, age appropriate child car seat. In fact, all 50 states require the use of child passenger safety restraints for infants and children up to the age of 3 according to specific criteria. Older children, upon reaching state-specific age, height and weight requirements, may move up to booster seats. New laws regarding child safety seats went into effect in California in January 2012. A useful FAQ can be found on the California Highway Patrol website.
Unfortunately, numerous child safety seat options, and the shifting requirements as children grow, can cause many parents and caregivers to make mistakes with respect to the proper use and installation of car seats. One common mistake is installing used or secondhand car seats without knowing much about their history. These seats are often missing parts or instruction manuals vital to proper installation. Additionally, unseen damage from a previous auto accident can compromise the seat’s ability to safeguard your child.
Preventing Household Accidents – A Few Home Safety Tips
Even the most safety-conscious parents may be unaware of the danger presented by the furniture in their homes. Most furniture is made with adults in mind with little thought given to the threat it may pose to children in the household. Even when parents think to secure furniture, often only the tallest furniture is addressed when smaller pieces can pose as much of threat, if not more. We’ve collected a few home safety tips to help you avoid some dangerous household accidents.
Almost 300 fatalities between 2000 and 2010 were caused by falling appliances, furniture and televisions according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Children under the age of 8 made up 84% of those deaths; 65% of those were between the ages of one and 3 ½. In 2010 alone, unstable furniture caused approximately 23,600 emergency room visits, the majority of which are caused by TVs placed on unstable furniture not intended to support them.
Buying Drugs on the Web – The Dangers of Online Pharmacies
Purchasing prescription drugs online is often a cheap and easy alternative to making trips to the pharmacy. What many people may not know is that, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), 97% of pharmacy websites do not follow standard pharmacy laws and practice standards. The dangers of online pharmacies have been a matter of concern to the FDA and other U.S. Government agencies since their inception several years ago.
Compared to the ease of obtaining prescription drugs online it is often quite difficult to determine the source of these drugs. Rogue sites often sell drugs not approved by the FDA and/or without any medical oversight, drugs containing the wrong active ingredient, or sometimes none at all, or drugs containing dangerous ingredients, such as arsenic or rat poison. For example, the FDA obtained and analyzed several drugs claiming to be Tamiflu (oseltamivir). One order of unlabeled, white tablets arrived with a postmark from India and contained talc and acetaminophen, without any trace of the active ingredient oseltamivir.
What You Should Know About the Potential Dangers of Nutritional Supplements
Vitamins and nutritional supplements make up a huge multi-billion dollar industry. Taking vitamins or other nutritional supplements is a great way to bridge the gap between your nutritional needs and the nutrition you actually get from what you eat. Few of us get the right balance of vitamins and nutrients from our diets, so supplements might be the next best thing to improving the quality and quantity of what we eat. The problem is, if taken improperly, vitamins and dietary supplements may cause more harm than good. Most people are unaware of the potential dangers of nutritional supplements.
One major problem with supplements is overuse. Many vitamin sellers and retail outlets recommend “mega” vitamins that have a much higher concentration than the body actually needs. It may seem that if 100% of the recommended daily allowance of a vitamin is a good thing, then 2000% must be better. Unfortunately, that’s usually not true.
Massive Airbag Recall Affects Most Japanese Auto Makers
A massive recall announced at the beginning of April has been attributed to a Japanese seatbelt and airbag system manufacturing company that is blaming a component in an airbag currently installed in millions of cars throughout the world. This recall includes some 3.9 million vehicles and involves some of the most well-known Japanese automakers including Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Nissan.
It has been confirmed by Toyota that the faulty airbags were manufactured by Takata Corporation, a Tokyo based seat belt and air bag supplier. The defect is known to be in the air bag inflator in the front passenger air bag. The faulty inflators are causing the air bags to erupt with too much pressure. This defect presents a risk of abnormal deployment of the airbag should an accident occur, and this abnormal deployment carries a risk of injury to the passenger.
What Is The Consumer Expectation Test?
When consumers purchase a product, they expect to hand over their money in exchange for a safe, working item that functions as advertised. Unfortunately, as any product liability lawyer can confirm, that isn’t always the case. Some products can be defective when manufactured, resulting in a failure of the product and sometimes injury to the consumer. In order to gauge defective products that result in legal disputes, product liability lawyers use a consumer expectation test.
This test is used for two purposes. First, to determine if a product was defective at the time of manufacture, and two, to determine whether or not the warning included with the product was sufficient.
Seek Legal Advice Early for a Defective Product Injury
Consumers are injured by defective products every day. While these events are unfortunate, they’re often made even worse when the injured party does not notify the manufacturer of the defect in a timely manner. This not only jeopardizes the validity of any claim you may have against the manufacturer and other responsible parties, but it has the additional downside of allowing the unreported defect to potentially injure other unsuspecting individuals. This is why it is critical that a defective product be brought to the attention of the manufacturer as quickly as possible.
A product liability action may be brought against a product manufacturer and/or reseller for a number of reasons. They can include, but are not limited to, the following:
An Antiquated System in Need of an Update
When you’re injured in an accident for which someone else is at fault, you have the right to try to recover the medical costs associated with that accident. But how much are you entitled to recover? In 1975, there were guidelines included as part of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). These guidelines were used to establish limits on the amount that could be recovered in a personal injury claim. While these limits were initially intended to reduce the costs of malpractice insurance being incurred by hospitals and doctors, it has grown into an economic threat for accident victims.
The problem? Inflation. When claim limits were capped back in 1975 at $250,000, the value of these claims were considered to be sufficient for the times. But in today’s economy, where the value of $250,000 has dwindled to the 1975 equivalent of only $75,000, these limits are no longer adequate to cover medical expenses for many serious injuries. As health care costs continue to rise at an astronomical rate, this will continue to put an even more severe economic burden on accident victims.