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Chicago, IL Personal Injury Law Firm Blog

CPSC is urged to place more restrictions on kids products

Sometimes it takes government agencies an extraordinarily long time to act on legal mandates. There are a number of reasons why this situation is simply reality, but these reasons do not always make agency-related delays less frustrating. After all, many Congressional mandates are constructed because a public health and safety risk exists which needs to be addressed. Whether this safety risk is quiet cars which pose an accident risk for pedestrians or a lack of patient safety reporting among hospitals, such mandates often serve urgent purposes. Delays in addressing these purposes can cause devastating consequences.

Consider the products liability issue that Congress addressed in section 108 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. More than five years ago, Congress insisted that the Consumer Product Safety Commission convene a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel in order to study the impacts that phthalates and phthalate alternatives have on children when they are used in children’s products. A panel was convened, but the process took so long that the CPSC is only now beginning to review the panel’s report and recommendations.

NHTSA has proposed a new motorcoach roof crush standard

Imagine that you are traveling in a motorcoach. Perhaps you are on your way to a corporate function, a celebration or a tourist destination. Suddenly, your bus is either struck or strikes something and begins to tip. As the bus rolls either onto its side or completely over, you wonder if you will be crushed or whether you will have room to survive.

In an attempt to ensure that more motorcoach passengers survive potentially deadly rollover crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently proposed a new rule aimed at improving roof crush integrity in motorcoaches driven nationwide. Specifically, the rule requires manufacturers of new motorcoach buses to comply with a strict safety test designed to ensure that “a sufficient level of survival space” is granted to passengers trapped after bus accidents have occurred.

Overheating cellphone batteries spark important conversation

A Fox News station recently broadcast a story on potentially dangerous cellphone batteries. The story specifically focused on the experience of one 13-year-old, who slept with her cellphone on her pillow, as many teens and adults are prone to do. As the girl slept, her cellphone battery became swollen and started to smolder. Hundreds of viewers reached out to the station in the wake of the story to report having similar experiences. Defective cellphone batteries like these are truly dangerous consumer products. So why have they not been recalled?

The answer to this question is complex. Many dangerous products are not recalled until either the manufacturer of the product or the government receives a certain number of complaints and investigates the issue at hand. While this process is taking place, other consumers remain at risk of being harmed by those potentially defective products which are still on the market.

Thinking about swimming safety during the summer season

On the hottest days of summer, few activities are more inviting than jumping into a cool, clean swimming pool. However, few ordinary activities are as dangerous as jumping into a swimming pool if you or your young loved ones are ill-prepared to deal with the safety hazards which accompany swimming in the summertime.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the population of Americans most likely to suffer swimming pool drowning tragedies is children between the ages of one and four. These toddlers and tikes are curious, energetic and practically fearless. In addition, most of them cannot swim with any kind of proficiency. As a result, they are likely to toddle curiously into pools if they are unattended even for a moment or two.

FDA is considering safety of off-label drug use marketing

When pharmaceutical manufacturers seek approval to market their products from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they seek approval for very specific uses of those products. For example, the manufacturer of the drug Topamax sought approval to market this drug for use in preventing migraine headaches and treating seizures. These approved uses are printed on the drug’s label and may legally be referenced in marketing campaigns aimed at both physicians and the general public.

However, it seems that Topamax may have another useful function. Professional analysis conducted several years ago strongly suggests that Topamax may aid addicted individuals in battling their dependence on alcohol. This use of Topamax is not explicitly approved by the FDA, therefore it cannot be marketed to the public. However, physicians can prescribe Topamax for this so-called “off-label” use to patients they believe could benefit from the drug.

Improving patient safety through health-related IT

We are living in an age of interconnected electronic technology. Americans increasingly rely on a host of electronic devices to not only connect them with other people but also to be compatible with other devices. The fact that one can tap a few words into a phone and have those words connect to other phones, tablets, computers and devices is one of the factors driving connectivity.

However, some of the devices that Americans count on the most to be compatible with other devices are lagging behind the electronic compatibility trend. In particular, certain medical devices and other health-related IT remains incompatible with other devices in such ways that this disconnect is affecting patient care.

FDA embraces EHR monitoring in the name of safety

Several years ago when the Affordable Care Act was first passed, one of the provisions in the legislation called for more widespread use of electronic health records. As a result, hospitals and other care facilities around the country have been working diligently to switch from paper-based records systems to EHRs. This transition period has not been free of snags or errors, but many see this as a necessary cost of growth.

The Food and Drug Administration has noted that the switch to EHRs could improve healthcare in at least two ways. First, EHRs could prevent dangerous drug interactions in individual patients. Second, EHR data could be collected anonymously and in aggregate in order to more quickly identify dangerous drugs that need to be taken off the market.

Chicago bicyclist killed after being hit by CTA train at crossing

Even if you’ve lived in Chicago for years, the streets can still be surprising and dangerous at times. City drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians are often compelled to contend with Chicago Transit Authority buses and other vehicles and countless train crossings.

Unfortunately, safety at these intersections can never be taken for granted. That lesson was repeated last week when a bicyclist was killed by a CTA Brown Line train at a ground-level crossing. The 31-year-old victim was no stranger to getting around in Chicago, having lived and worked in the area for the past 11 years.

10 percent of population unaware of their heart attack risk

It is well known that heart attacks are a leading cause of death across the nation and will push its way to the leading cause worldwide by 2020 as was reported by The Heart Foundation. Detecting the signs of a myocardial infarction early on can make all the difference, and the opposite is also true. Is there a failure to diagnose actually occurring much earlier that is contributing to the problem of heart disease?

The American Heart Association determined that cardiovascular disease causes the death of approximately two thirds of those who have been diagnosed with diabetes. This means that out of the 25.8 million Americans that have already been diagnosed with diabetes, approximately 17.2 are at risk for suffering a fatal heart attack. Understanding this risk can help patients and doctors take the necessary steps to prevent cardiovascular disease.

What about those with diabetes that are at an increased risk and don’t know it?

Who said working in an office isn't dangerous?

Michael Scott, the comedic lead character from the show “The Office,” made an episode about workplace safety particularly funny. Scott became jealous of the warehouse crew’s ability to discuss the proper use of very dangerous equipment and led his own safety seminar about preventing carpal tunnel syndrome.

While working in an office may not lead to crushing injuries from a compacting machine, injuries suffered in a fall are still ones that can have a negative impact on an individual’s life. According to a recall, a particular office chair has been the cause of 25 fall injuries suffered by individuals across the nation.