Articles Posted in Product Liability

teddy-1418744-1279x850-300x200When it comes to buying toys as gifts for your loved ones during the holiday season, you want the perfect gift that makes the child excited and happy. However, you need to stop and think about whether the toy you are gifting is entirely safe for the child.

Toy-related injuries are quite common, and in fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016 emergency rooms across the United States reported as many as 174,000 injuries involving toys, including those as seemingly safe as rubber balls and balloons.

Consumer Reports has essential toy safety tips that every gift-giver should keep in mind these holidays. First, make sure the toys you gift are age-appropriate. Fortunately, all toys are now labeled with suggested age ranges that make the age group for which toy is intended quite clear. For example, toys with small parts are not recommended for children below the age of three. Small detachable parts can easily come loose and can pose a serious choking hazard to a child.

baby handParents who are currently using homeopathic teething gels for their infant children must heed a new warning by the Food and Drug Administration. The federal agency recently issued the warning that these homeopathic teething products, including gels and tablets, are possibly linked to a heightened risk of fatality in infants.

The agency is asking all parents to stop using these products for their children, and requests that parents dispose of these immediately.  These homeopathic products were distributed by a number of drugstores, including CVS, and are also available online.

The federal agency is asking parents to look out for symptoms, including shortness of breath, constipation, muscular weakness, flushing of the skin, and urinary difficulties after using the teething gels. If your child shows symptoms of agitation, or suffers seizures, get medical help immediately. If your child is currently teething, ask your doctor for safe teething products that can be used without the threat of side effects.

scope%20picture.jpgSeveral patients have announced an intention to file product liability lawsuits against the manufacturer of a range of duodenoscopes linked to several cases of deadly hospital infections. Even as these lawsuits proceed, there continues to be questions about what can be done to make these devices easier and safer to use. Worse yet, among these unanswered questions, the scopes remain in use, and as a result, putting other patients at risk.

Several hospitals around the country continue to use the device known as duodenoscopes in spite of a flaw in their design that makes them difficult to sterilize and thus safe for patient use. Duodenoscopes are endoscope-like devices that are used in several medical procedures. The risk associated with these devices only recently made headlines after a major outbreak of the CRE infection in UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles. Two patients died as a result of the infection, and several others suffered life-threatening illnesses. Similar outbreaks linked to the devices have also been reported in other facilities around the country, including the cities of Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. At least two patients died in North Carolina after they developed the CRE infection at a hospital.
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broken%20down%200873.jpgThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the main regulatory agency tasked with the safety of motor vehicles. As part of its responsibility, the agency can investigate complaints and request that automakers initiate a recall when it believes a vehicle is defective and poses a serious threat of injuries or fatalities. However, the federal agency is not given the authority to initiate a recall on its own or stop sales of a detective vehicle.

That could soon change. The agency recently completed drafting a $478 billion transportation bill that provides more funding for the federal agency. In addition, the proposal includes several measures designed to expand the agency’s regulatory authority and powers, including the power to stop sales of defective vehicles without having to formally request automakers to announce recall.

As part of the proposal, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would have the authority to immediately block sales of vehicles if it believes that there is a risk of injury or fatality from driving a particular car. It would not need to coordinate with automakers before stopping sales of vehicles as it currently has to do.
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airbag.jpgAt least three Japanese automakers are recalling as many 3.4 million vehicles around the world, because of the possibility that airbag systems in these automobiles could injure passengers.

The automobiles are being recalled by Toyota Motor Corp. Nissan Motor Corp. and Honda. This is believed to be the largest recall involving air bags manufactured by Japanese manufacturer, Takata. This company is one of the largest manufacturers of airbags and seat belts in the world.

According to the companies involved, the recall is linked to possible defects in the airbag for the front passenger seat that may cause the airbag to not inflate properly at the time of an accident. As a result of this failure, there is a serious risk that the airbag may catch fire, causing injuries to passengers. So far, there have been no reports of any injuries or fatalities linked to the defective airbags.
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hospital%20bedds.jpgFederal officials announced an investigation into reports of several nursing home and hospital deaths involving bed rails. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating at least 150 fatalities involving mostly older adults. These occurred between 2003 through May 2012. In all of these cases, the persons died after they became trapped in the bed rails attached to beds in nursing homes and hospitals.

Bed rails are used in hospital and nursing homes in order to prevent an adult patient from falling off the bed, and also to help the patient ambulate. However, as these fatalities indicate, older patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may get confused and become trapped in these bed rails. The patient may get trapped between one of the metal bars and the mattress. This entrapment may be serious enough to cause serious injury, suffocation, or even death.
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Pills%20and%20more.jpgA new review of safety issues involving 3 medications that were recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration finds that the agency likely jumped the gun in approving these medications. That has Indiana product liability attorneys and consumer safety groups asking whether the Food and Drug Administration is speeding up the approval of new medications at the cost of patient safety.

The review has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and focuses on the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of 3 drugs that were approved recently. The drugs in question are Boehringer Iingelheim’s Pradaxa, AstraZeneca’s Caprelsa, and Novartis’ Gilenya.

Pradaxa is a popular blood thinner which was launched in 2010, Gilenya was approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, while Caprelsa was approved for the treatment of cancer.
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a%20window.jpgEven as researchers warn of an ever-increasing risk of lead exposure-related health effects in children, the federal administration has moved ahead to slash funding for an important lead poisoning prevention program.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lead poisoning prevention program channels funds to state health departments in order to conduct lead screening programs. The funds for this lead poisoning prevention program have been cut by approximately 93%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lead poisoning prevention program received $2 million in funding this year. That was a dramatic decline from $29.2 million last year. Most of the money goes for screening programs by state health departments, while the rest of the money goes toward education programs and data collection. These are important activities that help health agencies understand the extent of lead poisoning and exposure hazards in the country.
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mesh.jpgFor millions of Americans, medical devices have meant an improved quality of life. However, many of these people also suffer injuries from medical devices that were not tested adequately before they were implanted in their bodies.

According to a new report by Consumer Reports, there are an increasing number of American patients who live with some kind of medical devices. These devices range all the way from defibrillators to vaginal mesh. Many of these devices are untested. According to Consumer Reports, in many cases, manufacturers are getting their medical devices approved by the Food And Drug Administration by merely filing paperwork.

Getting a simple new medical device approved by the Food and Drug Administration costs just over $4,000. A company only has to pay this user fee to begin selling a medical product that can be inserted in the bodies of millions of Americans.
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006.JPGPharmaceutical companies will soon be required to disclose payments that they make to doctors. The aim is to increase transparency, and ensure that doctors influenced by these payments do not make medical decisions that impact patient safety and increase healthcare costs.

Every year, thousands of doctors across the country receive payments from pharmaceutical drug companies. Doctors are paid for research they conduct, as well as for consulting and speaking engagements. Besides making cash gifts, many companies also pay doctors in the form of dinners and vacations. There are a large number of doctors across the country who receive such payments from pharmaceutical companies. In fact, the pharmaceutical drug industry spends millions of dollars every year on such payments.

Several studies have indicated that doctors can be influenced by the payments that they receive from pharmaceutical companies. These doctors, it has been found, are much more likely to contribute to high costs of medical care by prescribing more expensive drugs, or recommending medical devices even when they are not necessary.
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