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Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog

Personal Injury Attorneys - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and the Bronx

New NY Public Health Law Tightens Oversight Over Office-Based Surgeries

Posted On Jan 19, 2008 @ 10:55 AM by SEO Admin

A new public health law that took effect on January 14, 2008, is tightening oversight over outpatient medical facilities that provide office-based surgeries. Office-based surgery refers to any invasive process outside of a hospital where moderate or severe sedation or general anesthesia is used. Experts have found that more than half of medical procedures, including surgeries, endoscopies, colonoscopies, rhinoplasty, and breast augmentation/reductionoccur in offices and clinics, many of which are not accredited. This has resulted in many improper surgeries andnegligent medical care. Many patients have suffered accordingly from this mistreatment. The new law requires all ambulatory surgery centers that use moderate or heavy sedation to be accredited by one of three national groups or the doctor will lose his license. Facilities have until July 14, 2009 to become accredited. All centers must also report "adverse events, " including death and unplanned transf

Construction Workers Fatal 42 Story Fall Latest Problem for Bovis Lend Lease

Posted On Jan 16, 2008 @ 08:33 AM by SEO Admin

A construction worker who was pouring concrete at Trump SoHo, a condominium hotel in SoHo, fell 42 floors to his death on the afternoon of January 14, 2008, when a wooden mold used to set the concrete collapsed. Another worker was thrown from the 42nd floor, but was caught in a safety net that extends outward from the 40th floor, fire officials said. He was brought to safety in a construction bucket and hospitalized for injuries that the authorities said were not life threatening. Two other workers were treated for minor injuries. The cause of the collapse was unclear. Officials said their initial analysis indicated that the project's crane was not involved in the accident, but several people who said they witnessed the accident from the street described the crane as swaying dangerously and crashing into the side of the upper two floors. Trump SoHo is a sleek gray tower that is to rise 45 stories at the northwest corner of Spring Street and Varick Street, near Avenue of

Technology Being Introduced to Cut Risk of Surgical Sponges Being Left in Patients

Posted On Jan 13, 2008 @ 12:57 PM by SEO Admin

Last month's $10 million settlement of a suit brought by a woman who underwent surgery for diverticulitis of the colon wherin a surgical sponge was left behind is a reminder of how frequent this complication occurs and of how potentially dangerous it can be. A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that sponges and other foreign objects were left behind after abdominal surgeries at a rate of 1 for every 1,000 to 1,500 such operations. Several medical-products companies say sponges are the most common foreign objects left behind in surgeries. Sponges are made of gauze and are used to soak up blood and protect organs during surgery, but if left inside the body they can cause potentially deadly infections. Retrieving a sponge in a further surgery can cost $50,000 or more. In the case of the woman, she was on a ventilator and had signs of abdominal poisoning. Although she underwent a second surgery to remove the sponge, her kidneys failed. Over the next s

Drug Makers Fail To Disclose Zetia's Serious Health Risks

Posted On Jan 8, 2008 @ 10:22 AM by SEO Admin

Drug makers Merck and Schering-Plough never published the results of studies regarding Zetia, an anti-hyperlipidemic drug often prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. The studies raise issues about Zetias effect on the liver. Enhance, one research study of Zetia, was completed in April of 2006. The results of Enhance have recently been discovered. The study contains information about Zetias risks on the liver. Some patients showed elevated liver enzymes and were dropped from the study. Merck and Schering-Plough who have been criticized for not releasing the results of the Enhance study, are said to probably earn around $5 billion from Zetia sales this year. Doctors have claimed that Merck and Schering-Ploughs failure to disclose the results of their research promptly could have left the public with a view of Zetia that is misleading and more favorable in terms of its benefits and safety. The studies were conducted from 2000 to 2003 and were not posted on

F.B.I. Investigating Purported Failure to Test More than 200,000 Used Football Helmets At a Time When More College Players are Sustaining Concussions

Posted On Dec 23, 2007 @ 11:53 AM by SEO Admin

The F.B.I. is investigating how it was that more than 200,000 amateur football players in the United States wore used helmets this fall that were returned to the field without proper testing. The investigation concerns the purported failure of Circle System Inc., of Easton, Pa., in an apparent effort to save on labor and insurance costs, to perform a formal drop-testing procedure in which helmets are subjected to strong forces in different locations on about 2 percent of the helmets they handle as part of a safety protocol mandated by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (Nocsae). The helmets in question were used by football players ranging from 8-year-olds to Division I collegians. Helmets that crack or otherwise fail this test are supposed to be destroyed because they could leave the player susceptible to a fractured skull or brain hemorrhage. Although about 5 to 10 youngsters a year sustain such injuries, helmets have been cons

Lead Paint on Toys, Magnets that Perforate Intestines, Beads that Turn into "Date Rape Drug", and Now Asbestos: What's Next for Our Children?

Posted On Dec 20, 2007 @ 09:54 AM by SEO Admin

As if it was not enough to learn that there is lead paint on toys, that small magnets can come loose from toys and perforate intestines, and that children's Aqua Dots beads turn into "Date Rape Drug", now asbestos has been found in a variety of consumer products, including one of this season's biggest-selling Christmas toys, the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit. The kit, made in China, is one of several items licensed by CBS after its popular "CSI" science-crime shows. The model has an array of plastic tools, inks and three types of very fine powders -- white, black and glow-in-the-dark. High levels of two types of asbestos were found in the white and the glow powder. Asbestos was also found in two brands of children's play clay, powdered cleanser, roof sealers, duct tapes, window glazing, spackling paste a

NY Consumer Protection Board Finds Toys With Unsafe Lead Levels Remain on Store Shelves

Posted On Dec 17, 2007 @ 11:01 AM by SEO Admin

The state Consumer Protection Board's (CPB) Safe Toys NY Campaign has found that toys with unsafe lead levels remain on store shelves across the state, Governor Eliot Spitzer announced last week. The CPB, with the help of the Departments of Health (DOH) and Agriculture and Markets, conducted sweeps of more than 2,800 stores looking for recalled products and found approximately 620 recalled toy items still on the shelves. The CPB launched Safe Toys NY, a massive public awareness campaign, in November to assist consumers in discerning the safety of toys, to educate consumers, inform toy makers and retailers about safety issues, and ensure that recalled toys were removed from store shelves. The CPB sent letters to retailers, including thrift stores, urging them to be extra-vigilant, evaluate all toys being sold or donated against recall lists, and post recall notices conspicuously in their stores. The CPB also called for auction sites to bar the posting and sale of recall

Mystery Surrounds How One Window Washer But Not Other Survived 47 Floor Plunge From Scaffolding Previously Cited for 10 Violations

Posted On Dec 14, 2007 @ 09:31 PM by SEO Admin

The scaffoldingthat broke last Friday (12/7/07), causing a pair of brother window washers to plunge 47 stories (550 feet) on Manhattan's upper East Side, had been cited for 10 violations in June, including four that were repeat violations, state records show. Inspection records from the New York State Labor Department show that the scaffolding had been inspected twice in the past two years - and 10 violations were issued, but they were not severe enough to warrant a stop-work order. Why one brother died and the other survived is a mystery. Speculation is that while they tried to ride their platform to the ground, as one window washer said he had been trained to do in such an accident, one of the brothers, Edgar Moreno, may have been thrown off of the platform before it hit the ground. His brother, Alcides Moreno, though seriously injured, was conscious and sitting up soon after firefighters arrived. Alcides Moreno's injuries include collapsed lungs, damaged kidn

8,500 More Patients of Dr. Harvey Finkelstein are Advised to Get Tested as Tests Find Additional Hepatitis Cases Among His Patients

Posted On Dec 12, 2007 @ 01:33 PM by SEO Admin

Approximately 8,500 additional patients of Dr. Harvey Finkelstein will be advised to get tested for blood-borne diseases as a probe into his practice expands, a New York State Health Department spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, the Nassau County Health Department has said recent tests found six hepatitis B cases and six hepatitis C cases among Finkelstein's patients, although it is unclear whether the liver infections stemmed from Finkelstein's improper re-use of syringes. Initially this past November, 628 patients of Dr. Finkelstein were advised to get tested for hepatitis B and C and HIV, all blood borne diseases, because they had received epidural injections from Dr. Finkelstein, whoused re-used syringes, from January 1, 2000 to January 15, 200. But as time goes on, the Department of Health continues to receive calls from people who state that they were patients of Dr. Finkelstein and received injections from h

Results of Survey of Practicing Doctors Renew Doubts Regarding the Medical Profession's Ability to Regulate Itself

Posted On Dec 10, 2007 @ 09:05 AM by Ira Slavit

A survey of a national random sample of practicing doctors found that nearly half of all U.S. doctors fail to report incompetent or unethical colleagues, even though they agree that such mistakes should be reported. More specifically, while 96% of respondents said doctors should always report impaired or incompetent colleagues, only 55% of those with direct personal knowledge of such doctors in the past three years said they always did so. And while 93% of respondents said doctors should always alert authorities when they observe serious medical errors, only 54% of those who had such information in the past three years said they always did so. 40 percentof the doctors said they knew of a serious medical error in their hospital group or practice but 31 percent admitted they had done nothing about it at least once. The findings appear in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital mailed a survey, and a $20 incentive

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