Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf 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.
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Complications during or after surgery are happening too often at New York City, St Luke’s Hospital. The Hospital scored a low overall surgery rating on the new Consumer Reports surgery safety rating. The safest hospitals in the city to have surgery are Mount Sinai, NYU Langone Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Consumer Reports looked at medicare claims data from 2009 through 2011 for patients undergoing 27 categories of common scheduled surgeries. For each hospital, the results for all procedures are combined into an overall surgery rating.The global ranking is based on who died in the hospital or stayed longer than expected for their procedure. More detail by type of surgery as well as a hospital ranking by state can be found on the Consumer Reports website.

Most common surgery complications are bad reaction to anesthesia, heart problems or surgeon nicking a blood vessel, leaving an instrument inside, or even operating on the wrong body part. Complications can also happen after the surgery. Nationally, 30 percent of patients suffer infections, heart attacks, strokes, or other complications after surgery and sometimes even die as a result.

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car_seat_safety.jpgLATCH stands for “Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children”. They became mandatory in vehicles in 2002 to help parents better secure the baby seat in the car and eliminate seat belt incompatibility. Pursuant to the actual law the lower anchors are designed to support a maximum weight of 65 lbs. Most parents are not aware that this weight includes the child and the child seat. When the total weight exceeds 65 lbs the child seat must be secured with the car seatbelt.

In order to make this information clear to parents the new LATCH law effective in February 2014, will require child seat manufacturers to modify their label to make sure parents understand that their child weight determines how long they can use the lower anchors.

This legislation was heavily pushed by automakers in order to protect themselves from product liability lawsuits as baby seats these days are heavier than those manufactured in 2002 and are putting increased strain on the lower anchors.

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Last April the explosion at a fertilizer plant in West Texas was of the magnitude of a small earthquake. It killed 15, destroyed houses, businesses and municipal buildings, and left a 93-foot crater. To avoid such a tragedy in the future, President Obama last week signed an executive order directing Federal agencies to work with stakeholders to improve chemical safety and security.

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17000 women and 9000 men get cancer linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) every year. For women the most common is cervical cancer and for men the most common are cancers of the back of the throat, tongue and tonsils.

A recent study shows that since it was introduced in the US in late 2006 , the HPV vaccination has reduced HPV infection rates in teen girls by half. More than 57 million doses have been distributed in the US in the last seven years and all studies show that the HPV vaccine is safe.

To learn more about the HPV Vaccine, check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Newborn%20screening.pngNewborn screening prevents 12,000 babies per year from death or lifetimes of intellectual or physical disability. It started in the US 50 years ago. New York started infants screening in 1965 for phenylketonuria (PKU) and today babies are screened for 45 disorders.

New York was the first state to test for sickle cell anemia in 1975 and the first to introduce universal screening for HIV exposure in 1997. In 2006, New York was also the first state to screen all babies for Krabbe disease. Screenings are also conducted for cystic fibrosis, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, primary congenital hypothyroidism, and severe combined immunodeficiency. In December 2013 New York will also be the first state to screen for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a rare genetic condition, which affects the nervous system.

Yesterday New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah M.D., M.P.H was at the Wadsworth Center to visit a national exhibit designed to raise awareness of the importance of newborn screening. the Wadsworth Center screen 250,000 infants every year.

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Excessive bleeding caused by Warfarin can lead to wrongful death if not addressed promptly. This anti coagulant medication is commonly prescribed to address blood clots but it has a very serious side effects that leave patients at risk of very heavy bleeding. In the US when emergency room doctors are faced with warfarin anticoagulation they commonly use fresh frozen plasma to reverse the bleeding.

Frozen Plasma therapy is slow and unpredictable and most emergency room doctors around the world have been replacing it with Prothrombin complex concentrates (PCCs), a therapy that can reverse Warfarin anticoagulation in minutes according to an article from the American College of Emergency Physician based on a study by Kenneth Frumkin, PhD, MD of the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va. published in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Hopefully the use of these life-saving products will increase in the US since the Food and Drug Administration accepted a form of PCC specifically intended for warfarin reversal last April.

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One passenger died, five passengers suffered severe injury and 10 including the bus driver suffered minor injuries in this horrible collision between a school bus and a truck that happened near Chesterfield in New Jersey in February 2012. Last week the National Transportation safety Board released a synopsis from the Safety Board’s report that shows negligence by the school bus driver, the commercial license medical examiner, the truck driver, the truck company and the truck manufacturer.

According to the report the crash was due to the school bus driver failing to see the truck approaching the intersection. The bus driver was suffering from sleep deprivation because of a medical condition and alcohol use. He also was using prescription medication with a sedative effect. The school bus driver lied about his medical history when getting his commercial drivers license and the medical examiner did not thoroughly evaluate the school bus driver for medical conditions that could have disqualified him from becoming a school bus driver.

The truck was overloaded, had a deficient braking system and the truck driver was speeding.

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In this medical malpractice case the plaintiff was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in her right breast. She underwent a right breast mastectomy. She had a family history of breast cancer. Seven years later in 2007 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The plaintiffs alleged that, given the plaintiff’s own medical history and that of her paternal family, as well as her father’s Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity, defendant’s failure to recommend, prior to November 2007, “BRCA” genetic testing or prophylactic surgery removing her ovaries, which could have prevented the onset of her ovarian cancer, constituted medical malpractice. In reversing the Court below and reinstating the complaint the Court held:

“Here, the allegations in the bills of particulars concerning the period from March 2001 through November 2007, when the patient was under defendant’s care, were that defendant departed from the accepted medical practices of that time by failing to recommend “BRCA” genetic testing and “prophylactic oophorectomy or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy” to the patient, given her personal and family medical history. Since the respondents’ expert failed to provide any information as to what the accepted medical practices were during the period at issue with regard to BRCA genetic testing, and did not refute or even address (see Berkey v Emman, 291 AD2d at 518) the specific allegations regarding the failure to recommend prophylactic oophorectomy or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, the respondents did not meet their prima facie burden on the issue of whether there was a departure from accepted medical practices.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have denied the respondents’ motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against them.” See: Mancuso v. Friscia, et al., 2013 NY Slip Op 05515.

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truck%20inspection.jpgTo prevent truck accidents and protect public safety, truck drivers are required by law to conduct pre and post trip inspections and to file a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) after each inspection whether or not an issue requiring repairs is identified. The US Department of Transportation wants to change this rule and have truck drivers required to file a DVIR only if a defect or issue is found during the inspection.

DVIRs are daily lengthy paperwork for truck drivers and only 5% of them are reporting an issue. The Obama administration believes that a defect-only reporting system may lead to $1.7 billion in savings annually while not adversely impacting safety.

What do you think? Would truck drivers continue to diligently inspect their truck before and after a trip if they wouldn’t have to file a report or would this new proposal open the door to negligent behavior and increase truck accidents?

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Exposure to 1-Bromopropane (1-BP) can cause serious injury to the nervous system such as headaches, dizziness, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, confusion, difficulty walking, muscle twitching, and/or loss of feeling in arms and legs. The symptoms can persist even when the worker is not exposed anymore.

1-BP is a solvent that is used mainly in degreasing operations, furniture manufacturing and dry cleaning. Its usage has been growing for the last 20 years as it replaced other solvents. Some case studies in furniture manufacturing such as “Majersik JJ, et al” associated severe neurotoxicity with exposure to 1-bromopropane.

So far only California OSHA has specific exposure standards for 1-BP however “federal” OSHA is reminding employers that they are required by law to protect their employees from this recognized hazard.