Medications are one of the best tools of modern medicine and can ease pain, cure infectious diseases, and prevent problems from chronic diseases. However, if medicine is not administered, prescribed, or dispensed correctly, the health of an innocent patient may be put in danger. Medication errors such as these cause injuries to more than 1 million people in the U.S. each year, though astonishingly most are preventable. A medication error leads to medications being used inappropriately or it may also cause a harmful reaction in a patient, and examples include prescribing the wrong drug or administering an improper dose of medicine.
A medication error can occur anywhere, including your own home, but they frequently occur in doctor’s offices, hospitals, or pharmacies. But what causes a potentially dangerous medication error? The most common causes include: illegible prescriptions or confusing directions, poor communication between patients and healthcare providers, or similar sounding medication names and medical abbreviations. The best way to prevent a medication error is effective communication, and knowledge is certainly your best defense. Read the rest »
Federal safety regulators are warning U.S. drivers that counterfeit airbags being installed by auto repair shops may explode or not deploy in an auto accident, sending metal shrapnel into the vehicle. The Los Angeles Times reports that the fake airbags look almost identical to the certified original equipment parts, including bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This very dangerous problem affects nearly every major auto brand.
The NHTSA states that only vehicles that have had an airbag replaced within the last three years at a repair shop that is not part of a new car dealership may be counterfeit, which may amount to only a small fraction of vehicles on the road. However, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) secretary Ray LaHood wants consumers to be aware of the problem and review the agency’s safety information to see if their vehicle is in need of inspection. Read the rest »
The crisp fall air and the changing colors of tree leaves mean that October is in full swing, and this month brings one of the most fun holidays for children and adults: Halloween. The Halloween holiday is typically celebrated with candy confections, ornate costumes, and trick-or-treating with friends and family. With the first of the seasonal holidays coming on October 31, the Nebraska personal injury law firm of Cullan & Cullan, LLC would like to remind adults, children, and teens to practice safety on this spooktacular holiday to ensure everyone has fun and arrives home safely after celebrating.
The following are some Halloween safety tips, courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- While out trick-or-treating, practice pedestrian safety! Look both ways before crossing the street, and use established crosswalks if available. In addition, walk on sidewalks whenever possible.
- When deciding which sweet treat to eat, eat only factory wrapped treats and avoid homemade goodies. Also, examine each treat for signs of tampering or choking hazards. Read the rest »
A nine-year-old boy tragically lost his life after losing control of the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) he was riding around his home. According to a Nebraska.TV news report, the young boy, a student at Howard Elementary in Grand Island, was driving an ATV around his Hall County, NE home when he lost control of the recreational vehicle. After the Hall County Sherriff’s Office received the call reporting the ATV accident on the afternoon of October 12, responding law enforcement officers found the ATV resting on top of the nine-year-old and leaning against a parked vehicle that had been knocked off its jack stand.
The young boy was taken to St. Francis Hospital, but shortly after being admitted, he was pronounced dead. The Hall County Sherriff’s Office is currently investigating the accident, and evidence indicates that the boy was not wearing a helmet at the time of the fatal accident. The parents of the nine-year-old were reportedly home when the accident occurred, but did not witness it. Read the rest »
Japanese automaker Toyota has issued its largest recall in its 75-year history due to a faulty power window switch that may cause a fire. As reported by Boston.com, the company has recalled 7.43 million trucks, cars, and SUVs, and the recall affects more than a dozen models produced from 2005 to 2010. This voluntary recall was prompted by a defective power window switch, which is inside the driver’s side door, and Toyota reports that grease was not applied evenly to the switch during production, causing friction and sometimes smoke and fire. Documents filed by U.S. safety regulators show consumers have reported 161 fires and nine injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating the window switch problems in February after noticing a “higher than normal” amount of complaints. Toyota has received more than 200 complaints about the window switches in the U.S., and more from other countries, including 39 in Japan. The NHTSA states the investigation remains open pending a review of recall documents. Read the rest »
As of October 10, a fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a contaminated steroid injection has caused 119 infections and 12 fatalities, spreading to 10 different states. After receiving an injection in their spine of the preservative-free steroid methylprednisolone acetate, which is used for the treatment of pain and inflammation, patients in multiple states contracted a potentially fatal fungal meningitis. The New England Compounding Center (NECC), a Framingham-based specialty pharmacy, has announced a recall for the three lots of the injected steroid, as well as the rest of the products they manufacture as a precaution, though currently there are no signs that other products have been contaminated.
Federal health inspectors investigating an NECC plant found fungus in unopened vials of the steroid on October 1, and the specialty pharmacy has since surrendered its license to operate until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed its investigation into the cause of the contamination. Health officials estimate that 13,000 people may have been exposed to the contaminated steroid, and reportedly 76 medical facilities in 23 states received the tainted steroid injection. The FDA is urging consumers, clinics, and doctors to stop use of any product that came from the NECC. Read the rest »
ARGO Medical Technologies Ltd., a small company founded in Israel in 2001, announced the opening of their U.S. headquarters at the annual conference of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, referred to as AdvaMed. As reported by Telegram.com, the company that created equipment that helps paralysis patients walk is establishing their U.S. headquarters in Marlboro, Massachusetts as the business prepares for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of its ReWalk machine.
The ReWalk is an exoskeleton for individuals with lower limb disabilities that patients wear and use to walk, stand up, or descend stairs. The computer-controlled exoskeleton is a device that the user straps on his or her legs and the person also wears a backpack containing a battery. By punching buttons on a wrist-worn device, the user can tell the components to stand, move forward, or take stairs. Read the rest »