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Import Surveillance Division Established to Inspect Toys and Other Products for Potential Safety Hazards and Liabilities

Posted On Mar 12, 2008 @ 02:28 PM by SEO Admin

29 million toys were recalled in 2007. This unfortunate and scary trend has continued in 2008. Since the beginning of this year, at least 19 products manufactured overseas have been voluntarily recalled by manufacturers in conjunction with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) due to high lead levels, choking and aspiration problems in infants and children, magnets potentially causing fatal intestinal perforations, and smoke and fire hazards. Although many of the recalled toys were manufactured in countries which have far less quality controls than in the United States. U.S. companies that sell and distribute such imported goods could be held legally liable under various legal theories of product liability. In an attempt to combat this problem, the CPSC, in conjunction with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has established what it described as an Import Surveillance Division, which will be

Bill Introduced in Senate Requires Nursing Homes to Provide Clearer Information About Their Ownership and Accountability

Posted On Mar 10, 2008 @ 07:32 AM by SEO Admin

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl have introduced the Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act of 2008 which seeks to force nursing homes to provide clearer information about ownership and accountability. Confusion regarding ownership has made it difficult for regulators to identify parties responsible for poor care and shields owners from potential lawsuits. Additionally, a primary goal is to make it easier for the public to compare nursing homes.The legislation would trigger the largest reform of nursing home care in 21 years. The law would force nursing homes to file paperwork clearly stating ownership to enable the residents and the government to know who actually owns the nursing home. The troublesome trend in care rendered by nursing homes owned by corporate conglomerates was outlined in an article that concluded that care declined at

Amid Privacy Concerns, Google Announces "Google Health", an On-Line Health-Records Management System

Posted On Mar 6, 2008 @ 02:23 PM by SEO Admin

Google has announced a pilot project called Google Health in which it will begin storing the medical records of 1,500 to 10,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic who agreed to an electronic transfer of their personal health records so they can be retrieved through Google's service, which will not be open to the general public. Each health profile, including information about prescriptions, allergies and medical histories, will be protected by a password. Last year Microsoft introduced a similar service, HealthVault, and AOL co-founder Steve Case founded Revolution Health, which also offers online tools for managing personal health histories. The project concerns privacy watchdogs who think Google already knows too much about the interests and habits of its users as its computers log their search requests and store their e-mail discussions. For example, Google, through Google Analytics, Google Checkout, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, and Google Books, knows what we l

NYC Expands Pilot Pedestrian "Countdown Signals" Program to Try to Reduce Auto Accidents

Posted On Mar 3, 2008 @ 11:06 AM by SEO Admin

The New York City Department of Transportation has announced an expansion of the pilot program which analyzes the impacts on motorist and pedestrian behavior of "countdown signals," which display the number of seconds pedestrians have to cross the street before the opposing vehicle traffic is given the right of way. The expanded study will be conducted along busy corridors in all five boroughs. If successful in reducing injuries from motor vehicle accidents, the pilot program will no doubt be expanded. There are currently about 90,000 pedestrian signals citywide. This study will convert about 164 of these signals, at 24 intersections, to those that include the countdown timer. During this evaluation period the City's consultant will use visual and video-tape analysis to better understand if the countdown feature encourages safer behavior by both pedestrians and motorists. They will also collect data on vehicular

17 More Deaths and More Recalls Associated with Heparin

Posted On Feb 29, 2008 @ 04:33 PM by SEO Admin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the number of deaths possibly associated with the drug heparin, made from pig intestines, had risen to 21 from 4. The reported number of those suffering adverse reactions increased from approximately 350 to 455. Both increases have been reported within just a 2 week time period. But the F.D.A. cautioned that many of those patients were already seriously ill and that the drug might not have caused their deaths. Officials described the linkage of heparin to the additional 17 deaths as more tenuous than the 4 initially reported. Federal drug regulators said yesterday that they had found "potential deficiencies" at a Chinese plant that supplied much of the active ingredient for the drug. The F.D.A. emphasized that it had yet to identify the root cause of the problem, and that it had not concluded that the Chinese plant was responsible. The agency also said it was inve

Study of Artificial Spinal Disk "Prodisc" - Guided by Physicians' Finances or Concern for Patients?

Posted On Feb 29, 2008 @ 12:31 AM by SEO Admin

When patients are considering treatment options, there is often"blind faith" in the doctor's recommendations, as he is viewed as a concerned, educated and neutral provider. Perhaps, this view is nave. In reality, doctors are often financially motivated in the varying courses of treatment offered. Instead of acting as neutral gatekeepers of potentially harmful drugs and procedures and "neutral scientists "investigating a procedure's safety, at times they are in actuality financially motivated advocates for the same. For instance, Dr. Joseph E. Zigler, a well known spine specialist, and an advocate of Prodisc, an artificial spinal disk for the lower back, has been found to have a financial stake in success of the same.In fact, The New York TImes has reported that doctors at about half the research centers involved in the study of Prodisc had a direct financial interest in the devices success. Lawsuits have been commenced against a multitude of physic

Report Reveals Dramatic Increase in Medication Errors Involving Drugs with Names that Look or Sound Alike

Posted On Feb 25, 2008 @ 07:49 PM by SEO Admin

The 8th annual national MEDMARX(R) Data Report released last month by the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) revealed that more than 1,400 commonly used drugs are involved in errors linked to drug names that look alike or sound alike. USP's review revealed a near doubling since 2004 of the pairs of drug names that look or sound alike, from 1,750 pairs to 3,170 pairs. According to findings in the MEDMARX report, 1.4% of the errors resulted in patient harm, including seven errors that may have caused or contributed to patient deaths. Medication errors are often the bases of medical malpractice cases. The MEDMARX report includes the largest known list of look-alike/sound-alike drugs. The list is the only list based on reported medication errors. Due to widespread underreporting of incidents, and because the database does not include every hospital in the United States, the study's authors b

Victim of Predatory Mortgage Company Fights Back and Wins; Recoverable Damages Includes Attorney's Fees

Posted On Feb 23, 2008 @ 09:22 AM by SEO Admin

In what appears to be the first reported New York decision enforcing anti-predatory lending provisions of section 6-L of the New York Banking Law, a Supreme Court Justice in Staten Island has ordered a hearing to assess damages against a bank following a series of violations of the law. In LaSalle Band v. Shearon, 100255/07, the lender moved for summary judgment in its foreclosure action. But not only did Hon. Joseph J. Maltese deny the motion, he searched the record, found three separate violations of the anti-predatory Banking Law, and granted the borrower summary judgment on his counter claims alleging violations of that law. The case concerned the purchase of a home for the sum of $335,000.00. According to the decision, the purchasers' mortgage broker advised that they would qualify for traditional loan products with fixed interest rates and that he was 'shopping around for the best rates.' The Contract, however, listed a purchase price not of $335,000.00 but

Tagged with: Consumer Issues

Urgent Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Icy Hot Heat Therapy Products For Causing First, Second and Third Degree Burns

Posted On Feb 20, 2008 @ 07:10 PM by SEO Admin

Chattem, Inc. announced February 8, 2008, that it is initiating a voluntary nationwide recall of its Icy Hot Heat Therapy products, including consumer "samples" that were included on a limited promotional basis in cartons of its 3 oz. Aspercreme product. Chattem is recalling these products because it has received some consumer reports of first, second and third degree burns as well as skin irritation resulting from consumer use or possible misuse of these products. Consumers who have the Icy Hot Heat Therapy products under recall should immediately stop using the products, discard them, and/or return them to Chattem. All lots and all sizes of the following Icy Hot Heat Therapy products are affected by this recall: 1. Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat- Back 2.Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat- Arm, Neck, and Leg 3. Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat- Arm, Neck, and Leg single consumer use"sample" included on a limited promotional basis in carton

Tagged with: Dangerous Products

Suspension of Heparin Sales More than a Matter of Products Liability; Described as "a National Security Issue."

Posted On Feb 17, 2008 @ 10:32 AM by SEO Admin

Since Baxter International announced recently that it was suspending sales of its multidose vials of heparin after four patients died and 350 suffered complications including allergic reactions, many of them serious and potentially life-threatening, significant concerns have arisen as to the effectiveness of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's oversight of imported drugs. Baxter bought the active ingredient for heparin, which is derived from an enzyme in pig intestines, from Scientific Protein Laboratories, which produces heparin's active ingredient in its factory in Chagzhou, China. Scientific Protein moved production to China three years ago because the country is the world's largest supplier of pigs. Baxter processes, sterilizes and packages the finished product for distribution in the USA. The Scientific Protein Laboratories in Chagzhou was never checked by drug regulators in China because the plant has no certification from the government to manufacture pha

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