Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

April 16, 2014

To reduce the risk of hospital acquired infections, a recent sudy demonstrates that it is usually safer for patients to administer a blood transfusion after the hemoglobin falls bellow 7 or 8 g/dL rather than below 10g/dL

Blood%20transfusion.jpgHospital-associated infection can be medical malpractice. 5% of hospital inpatients develop an infection during their stay. As a result patients who develop an infection usually have to extend their stay in the hospital. Hospital acquired infection if not diagnosed and treated properly can also lead to the death of the patient. .

Blood transfusion is a very common hospital procedure during which the patient has a risk of developing an infection.

Hospitals have different strategies as to when a blood transfusion is required. Some have a liberal strategy which means that they will administer red blood cells to a patient when the patient's hemoglobin level falls below 10 g/dL and some have a more restrictive strategy and will give a blood transfusion to the patient once the level of hemoglobin is below 8 or 7 g/dL.

A recent study "Blood Transfusion and Risk of Infection, New Convincing Evidence" led by Drs. Mary Rogers and Jeffrey Rohde of the University of Michigan and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at the association between transfusion strategies and health care-associated infections. The results show that the absolute rates of hospital-associated infection were 16.9% in the liberal transfusion group and 11.8% in the restrictive transfusion group.

Read more about it in JAMA

April 16, 2014

Adequate tire pressure is essential in preventing motor vehicle accidents but many drivers are not familiar with the Tire Pressure Warning icon

tire%20pressure%20warning%20icon.jpgTo prevent vehicle accidents related to inadequate tire pressure, since 2008 all vehicles in the US are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). If the icon on the left is appearing on a car dash board it means that the pressure in the tires has reached a dangerous level and action is required by the driver. Unfortunately according to a recent consumer study 42% of drivers don't know what this icon means, additionally 10% of drivers ignore the warning and continue to drive.

Learn more about regulations related to tire pressure in the below video from the NHTSA

April 10, 2014

New York Construction Accident Lawyer Anthony Gair: State of NY Labor Law Section 240(1) in 2014

Our partner, New York Construction Accident Attorney Anthony Gair was recently invited by the New York State Bar Association to speak about New York Labor Law Section 240 also commonly known as the scaffolding law. Here is his presentation.
To learn more about Construction Accident Law in New York visit our website

April 9, 2014

Simple measures that could significantly reduce personal injury and wrongful death related to tractor-trailer truck accidents

To reduce personal injury and deaths related to tractor-trailer truck accidents the National Transportation Safety Board sent a letter last week to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urging the agency to take the following actions:

Address Blind Spots

Blind spots are a major cause of accidents between large trucks and other motor vehicles as well as more vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. The rate of fatal accidents is particularly high among vulnerable road users. Research from the NTSB show that 16% of pedestrians and bicyclists involved in a truck accident will die. This ratio is of 12% for motorcyclists, 1% for passenger vehicle occupants and 0,2% for the tractor-trailer occupants.
Blind spots for large trucks are much bigger than blind spots for regular cars and exist in the front, in the back and on both sides of the truck. According to the study “Prioritizing Improvements to Truck Driver Vision” by Matthew P. Reed, Daniel Blower and Michael J. Flannagan from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute , the blind spot on the right of the cab of the truck is the most dangerous. During a lane change, most collisions with another motor vehicle happen in this spot. It is also the spot where most pedestrians and bicyclists are struck during start-up and right turn crashes.

Countermeasures to mitigate blind spots include enhanced mirror systems as well as more advanced technologies such as sensors to detect vehicles and vulnerable road users in blind spots.

Continue reading " Simple measures that could significantly reduce personal injury and wrongful death related to tractor-trailer truck accidents" »

April 8, 2014

The recent GM massive recall demonstrates how personal injury lawyers play an important role in protecting consumers from defective products and safety hazards

When a Personal Injury Lawyer is representing a plaintiff in a Product Liability case he usually works with a team of experts including engineers who will have to demonstrate that the injuries or the death of the plaintiff were the result of a defective design in the product or a flaw in the manufacturing of the defective product.

In a perfect world manufacturers supervised by regulatory agencies would be making sure that the products they sell are not in any way defective or dangerous to consumers. In reality manufacturers tend to put profits before safety and underfunded regulatory agencies are often too weak to assume their mandate of protecting the consumer.

29 year old Brooke Melton was driving a 2005 General Motors Chevrolet Cobalt when the engine suddenly shut off causing an accident that resulted in her death.

Lance Cooper, the personal injury attorney representing the Melton family hired an engineer, Mark Hood, who made a crucial discovery. Hood compared the original ignition switch of the 2005 Cobalt with a replacement switch that he bought for $30 at a local GM dealership and discovered that even though the new switch had the same identification number it was very different. A tiny metal plunger in the switch was longer in the replacement part, the switch’s spring was more compressed and the force needed to turn the ignition on and off was greater.

Mark Hood's discovery demonstrated that GM knew about the problem and had actually discretely changed the ignition switch making it less likely that an unsuspecting driver could bump the ignition key and cause the car to cut off engine power and deactivate its air bags. This discovery will be critical in determining if the manufacturer intentionally concealed a safety defect.(see NY Times article An Engineer’s Eureka Moment With a G.M. Flaw)

With the help of media spreading stories about frivolous lawsuits and giving a bad name to our profession, big corporations and insurers have been lobbying hard for a tort reform. However this case once again demonstrates that Personal Injury Lawyers play a significant role in protecting consumers from health and safety hazards. Nearly all of the safety devices incorporated in product design in the last 30 years have been the result of the work of dedicated plaintiff's product liability lawyers. When is the last time any one saw a power lawnmower case? The list is endless.

Mark Hood was the expert engineer hired by Personal Injury Lawyer Lance Copper in Melton v. GM

April 7, 2014

Preventing Medical Malpractice by involving patients and families

Engaging patients and their families can prevent medical errors and reduce harm to patients. In their latest report "Safety Is Personal: Partnering with Patients and Families for the Safest Care" the National Patient Safety Foundation’s Lucian Leape Institute is advocating for the inclusion of patients and families in clinical activities, health care design and delivery as well as policy development.

The report points out that the actual health system makes it difficult for patients and families to partner with care providers in order to improve patient safety. Lack of access to health records, intimidation or fear of retribution promoted by a generally paternalistic professional culture as well as a lack of easy to understand tools and checklists are among the many barriers that prevent a positive collaboration between the medical staff and the patient's family.

The report calls for targeted education and training for health care clinicians and staff to give them skills to better engage patients in decisions and management of health problems and to redesign processes and systems to facilitate patient and family partnerships.

While firmly placing the responsibility for patient safety on health care providers and organizations, the report also urges patients, families, and the public to view themselves as full and active members of the health care team.

Here are a few recommendations for patients and their families:

• Ask questions about the risks and benefits of recommendations until you understand the answers.
• Don’t go alone to the hospital or to doctor visits.
• Always know why and how you take your medications, and their names.
• Be very sure you understand the plan of action for your care.
• Say back to clinicians in your own words what you think they have told you.
• Arrange to get any recommended lab tests done before a visit.
• Determine who is in charge of your care.

April 4, 2014

Several Pedestrians suffer Personal Injury in an accident between a Van and a MTA bus in Manhattan

Several pedestrians were injured in an accident during which a van crashed into an MTA bus sending both vehicles into a group of a dozen pedestrians at a bus stop and ending their course in a pizza parlor. The bus accident happened in NYC in Washington Heights, on Broadway and 155th Street.

Both the bus - which had no passengers - and the van were heading north when the van side-swiped the bus causing it to lose control and plowing through about a dozen people waiting at an M4 stop, city officials said.

Read more in DNA Info New York


April 3, 2014

Dräger, a medical device manfacturer, is recalling a defective battery power supply unit used with Evita V500 and Babylog VN500 ventilators

Babylog%20VN500.jpg The optional PS500 Power Supply Unit used with the Evita V500 and Babylog VN500 ventilators is defective and is being recalled by Dräger. The defective device may not indicate a low battery charge until the battery is totally depleted. When the battery is depleted, mechanical ventilation will stop and manual ventilation will be required until the device is connected to the main power. The company investigated the defective product after it received complaints that found that the batteries installed in the PS500 depleted much earlier than expected, although the battery indicator showed a significantly charged battery. No patient injuries have been reported so far.

For more info read the FDA press release and visit our product liability and defective products page

April 3, 2014

To reduce the number of drug overdose deaths, the FDA approved Today a new hand-held auto-injector to reverse opioid overdose

Poisoning, driven largely by prescription drug overdose deaths, is now the leading cause of unintentional injury related deaths in the United States – surpassing motor vehicle accidents.

In order to fight this tourbling trend, The FDA just approved a hand held auto injector device to deliver a single dose of Naloxone, a drug that can rapidly reverse the effect of opioids in case of overdose. Evzio (naloxone hydrochloride injection) can be injected into the muscle or under the skin. It is designed to be used by family members and caregivers.

Read more in the FDA press release
Read the Statement of FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg on Prescription Opioid Abuse


April 2, 2014

The first Queens' Vision Zero project will adress the dangerous Northern Blvd and 61st Intersection where a 6 year old pedestrian was killed in a truck accident

A dangerous Queens intersection where a young boy was killed in the crosswalk by an unlicensed truck driver making a left turn will be the first Vision Zero project in Queens. The site of the truck accident was visited by Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Bratton and DOT Commissioner Trottenberg as well as Queens officials and shortly after additional crossing guards were added.
Last Friday, Dalila Hall, Queens Borugh Commissioner for the DOT announced in a letter to local elected officials and community boards that the agency wants to start to redesign the intersection to make it safer. The redesign includes the addition of concrete pedestrian islands and the elimination of left turns from westbound Northern Boulevard to southbound 61st Street. It will also adjust signals to increase crossing time for pedestrians and feature new school zone crosswalk markings and signage. DOT has already restricted some on-street parking to “daylight” the intersection’s northeast corner and improve visibility for pedestrians and drivers. Construction is set to begin this month and wrap up within weeks.

Read more in New York Streetblog

Visit our NYC pedestrian accident page
Visit our NYC truck accident page

Photo source:DOT