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file0001887367985IKEA is a popular retailer for San Diego residents who are seeking affordable but stylish furniture for their homes. Are IKEA product defects, particularly those implicated in child injuries, a reason to stay away from the store? According to a recent article from Consumerist, IKEA is re-recalling (in other words, recalling for a second time) one of its crib mattresses. What is the problem with the crib mattress? Based on the recall issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the recall is due to the alleged flammability of the mattresses. In previous recalls, the same mattresses posed a risk of entrapment to young children. News of this recall comes on the heels of two other serious IKEA recalls, begging the question: Are IKEA products safe for your kids?

Details of the Mattress Recall

What do you need to know about the product defect identified in a specific group of IKEA mattresses? First, the name of the product is the VYSSA SPELEVINK crib mattress, and the CPSC identified the following hazard in this consumer item: “The crib mattresses fail to meet the federal open flame standard for mattresses, posing a fire hazard.” The mattresses were sold at IKEA stores throughout the country, including the San Diego area, between October of 2010 and May of 2014.

If you purchased one of these mattresses, you should immediately stop using it and return it to an IKEA store. Consumers were previously urged to return this same model due to the serious child injury risks it posed. Specifically, a recall issued by the CPSC detailed how the crib mattresses were constructed in such a way that they “could create a gap between the mattress and crib ends larger than allowed by federal regulations.” Those federal regulations are in place to prevent infants from getting trapped and suffocating.

Yet the crib mattress is not the only consumer issue that IKEA currently faces. The brand has been linked to other products that could pose unreasonable risks to children.

Child Injuries and Consumer Products

In addition to the crib mattresses identified in the recent recall, Consumer Affairs recently reported on a recall of IKEA nightlights due to the risk of electrical shock to kids. The PATRULL nightlights, which were designed in multiple different colors to be used in children’s rooms, were made with a plastic covering that could easily become detached. Once that cover detaches, the electrical components of the nightlight are exposed. One child already suffered an electrical shock injury. Although no other known incidents were reported, it is extremely important for parents to stop using these nightlights.

Shortly before news of the nightlight recall, headlines reported on the defective IKEA “Malm” dressers, which posed an unacceptable tipping risk. Two children died because of the product defect. In all, IKEA recalled 27 million dressers and chest, according to an article in Huffington Post.

When we buy products for use in our homes, we deserve to expect that they will not cause harm to our children. However, injuries caused by defective products do happen. If your child suffers an injury from a defective product, you should discuss your case with a San Diego product liability lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about our services.

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file0002028422702Injuries to older adults can happen in many places and they can have numerous causes. In some cases, intentional bad acts from elder abuse can result in serious personal injuries to California seniors. At the same time, as the body ages it becomes more fragile and prone to slip and fall injuries. Given the frailty of many elderly persons, another party’s negligence can quickly become deadly. In some cases, it is in the very homes of older adults in California that injuries occur. How can you ensure that your home is safe? If an elderly loved one lives at home, how can you be certain that your loved one is not at risk of preventable injuries? These are questions that were posed recently in an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Identifying Potential Hazards in Your House

About 90% of older adults in America say that they want to remain in their own homes—they do not want to have to move to an assisted-living facility or nursing home. However, hidden dangers may be lurking in their houses that would not pose a threat to a younger resident but could lead to a serious accident for someone of retirement age.

Many common features of Southern California homes could lead to a serious fall that results in broken bones—or worse. Some of the typical features of a house to which the article points include:

  • Upstairs bedrooms;
  • Bathtub that requires you to climb into it;
  • Cabinets up high; and
  • Appliances in low cupboards.

As one retired San Diego architect explained, “most San Diego homes are an injury minefield” for seniors who cannot get around as easily. He went on to emphasize, “We’re dealing with an enormous segment of our society and what concerns me is that people are not safe on their own.” The irony is that San Diego prides itself on being a welcoming community with many opportunities for outdoor activities, regardless of age, year-round. Yet for many San Diego residents who enjoy the outdoors, the indoor parts of their lives could end up being the most hazardous.

How to Prevent Accidents

As the San Diego population continues to age, we need to think more carefully about the safety of our homes and social spaces. Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, to be sure, but they do not have to happen in domestic spaces. Although simply asking an older adult to climb the stairs or to step into a bathtub may not be considered negligence under the law, it is important to remember that we do have a duty to keep our properties free of hazards to those we invite inside.

In other words, if an entryway is wet from a rainstorm, it is the responsibility of the property owner to clean it up before someone gets hurt in a slip and fall accident. In terms of the structure and design of homes, elder advocates in the San Diego area have proposed a number of new living developments that would cater to elderly residents by providing some of the following:

  • Single-story models;
  • Lower cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom; and
  • Carpeted, rather than slick tiled, floors.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in older adults, according to a fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you or an elderly loved one recently suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to file a claim for financial compensation. An experienced San Diego slip and fall lawyer can discuss your case with you today. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about our services.

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Most of us know that riding a motorcycle comes with the serious risk of being involved in a life-altering motorcycle accident. Indeed, a recent article from the San Diego Union-Tribune reminded readers about a San Diego City College student who recently lost a limb in a motorcycle collision after being struck by an automobile. Even the most careful riders can become victims of a debilitating crash. What can motorcyclists do to stay safe on the roads? According to a fact sheet from, an online portal that provides research tools to help consumers as they consider a motorcycle purchase, many of the most common motorcycle accidents are avoidable. All riders in the San Diego area should pay attention to these tips for motorcycle accident prevention.7737975658_eedb81ca82

What to Do When a Car Turns Left in Front of You

Cars turning left abruptly in front of motorcyclists are among the most common causes of a severe or fatal motorcycle accident. Automobile drivers often have difficulty determining the speed of a motorcyclist, and in some cases, those drivers simply do not see bikers at all. How can you avoid being involved in such a collision?

The key to avoiding a “left turn” accident is to pay attention. If you can see an accident coming and can predict that a car or SUV will turn in front of you, you can adjust your speed and direction in order to avoid a crash. Some signs that a driver might turn in front of you include but are not limited to:

  •      Car at an intersection waiting to turn left; and
  •      Gap in traffic around an intersection or a parking lot.

If you can see the potential for an accident to happen, you can apply both brakes and give yourself an opportunity to avoid a serious injury. As the fact sheet emphasizes, “even if you only have time to lose 10 or 20 mph, that could be the difference between going home with bruises and going home at all.”

What to Do When You Hit an Unexpected Rough Patch in the Road

For motorcyclists, the risk of a rough or uneven area of road is a well-known danger. To be sure, if you attempt to round a corner and hit a patch of gravel, leaves, sand, or ice, you can risk wiping out and being thrown from your motorcycle.

How can you avoid this kind of accident? In short, it is essential to approach curves in the road slowly. If you can see a rough patch of highway, you can avoid it. And even if you do not notice a patch of sand or a bump in the road (normally, highway signs will alert you to a bump or uneven area), riding slowly and abiding by the speed limit can help to prevent an accident.

What to Do if a Car Cuts You Off in Your Lane

When cars unexpectedly change lanes and do not put on their turn signals, they can cause severe motorcycle accidents. You can help to prevent such an accident by always paying attention to drivers’ blind spots and avoiding them as much as possible. If you are able to see a driver in her mirror, then it is most likely that she can see you, too. And if you notice a car’s turn signal come on or see the vehicle veering toward another lane, slow down and ensure that you remain outside the driver’s blind spot.

Most importantly, motorcycle riders should always complete a basic safety course and should wear protective gear. You might feel as though you are invincible while you are on your bike, but a distracted automobile driver can unexpectedly cause a deadly collision. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, you should learn more about your options from an experienced San Diego motorcycle accident attorney. Do not hesitate to contact the Walton Law Firm to discuss your case.

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Is there a connection between the drought in California and the number of drowning accidents that have occurred this summer? Thinking logically, it might seem that a drought would result in lower water levels and fewer water-related accidental deaths. However, according to a recent article from CBS San Francisco, the drought might actually be to blame for the higher-than-average drowning death toll in our state.2722297910_712a0df438

Drought Makes Swimming Conditions Hazardous

It is often more dangerous to swim in lakes and rivers during a drought—such as the one that Californians have been facing for nearly three years—than in drought-free conditions. Indeed, in rivers such as the American River or Sacramento River in Northern California, drought conditions mean that the shorelines have been pulled back, particularly at the site where the two rivers in the area come together. When shorelines are pulled back, swimmers can “get caught in strong currents where the water suddenly deepens,” the article explains.

Researchers have been looking into the connections between droughts and drownings, especially given that California has witnessed a rise in the number of drowning deaths over the past few years. For instance, whereas Sacramento County typically has only one or two deaths connected to accidental drowning, it has already reported six drowning deaths this year alone. To be sure, the a report from the coroner’s office indicated that “drownings on the American River are two times higher than average in the last decade.”

In addition to stronger currents, a report from ABC News also emphasized that drought conditions can push debris, trees, and rocks closer to the surface of rivers and lakes. As such, both swimmers and boaters can be at greater risk of an accident in the water.

Accidental Drowning Statistics: What You Need to Know

What should you know about unintentional drownings? According to a fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10 people die each day in an accidental drowning, and about 20 percent of those victims are kids under the age of 15. In other words, the number of drowning deaths in the country is higher than many people might think. It is actually the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury death in America.

The CDC provides some important statistics concerning risk factors for drowning, as well as tips for preventing an accidental death:

  • More males die from unintentional drownings than do females (about 80 percent of all reported drowning deaths are males).
  • Children between the ages of 1 and 4 are at greatest risk of being injured in an accidental drowning. Indeed, among children in this age group who suffered fatal injuries in an unintentional accident, about one-third died by drowning.
  • A majority of drowning accidents occur at home, but a drowning can happen anywhere.
  • Knowing how to swim can greatly reduce the risk of an unintentional drowning among children.
  • Putting up a barrier to a home swimming pool, including gates and pool fencing, is one of the most important ways to prevent a child from drowning. And the type of fence matters, too. The CDC reports that “a four-sided isolated fence . . . reduces a child’s risk of drowning 83 percent compared to three-sided property-line fencing.”
  • Failing to wear a life jacket, both in the pool and out in the river or the ocean, is one of the primary causes of drowning accidents in older kids and adults.
  • Alcohol use greatly increases the risk of an unintentional drowning. The CDC reports that alcohol use was cited in about 70 percent of water-related deaths.

If a family member suffered an accidental drowning, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. You should discuss your case with a San Diego accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to find out more about how we can assist you.

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Each year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sees hundreds of applications for new medications. In many cases, the FDA will reject the drug due to, among other reasons, product safety concerns. According to a recent article in Fierce Biotech, the FDA recently put its seal of approval on flibanserin, “a first-of-its-kind pill designed to boost women’s sexual desire, but not without sticking a black-box safety warning on the twice-rejected drug.” In other words, the FDA previously rejected flibanserin upon two separate applications, and it has now only approved the drug with significant safety warnings attached.6556949031_fc30e025eb

First Drug of Its Kind Comes with Significant Side Effects

The recently approved drug, flibanserin, was manufactured by Sprout Pharmaceuticals and will be sold under the brand name Addyi. It’s designed to “help premenopausal women diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) regain their sex drives by boosting dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain.” When the FDA previously rejected the drug, it emphasized that some serious safety issues existed with the medication. Taking note, Sprout Pharmaceuticals conducted more studies and has now seen the drug approved for consumer use.

Yet the drug does come with some serious side effects, including the risk of “severe low blood pressure and fainting spells.” And drinking alcohol substantially intensifies this problem. Indeed, the FDA has insisted that healthcare professionals who prescribe Addyi should “assess the likelihood of the patient reasonably abstaining from alcohol” before actually prescribing the medication. Physicians who could end up prescribing Addyi will be required to complete a training program, the article reported.

Due to its problematic interaction with alcohol, the FDA has also required the drug’s manufacturer to “conduct three post-marketing studies to shed light on how the drug is interacting with alcohol in real-world settings.” Sprout Pharmaceuticals also has agreed to wait for eighteen months before advertising Addyi.

Controversy Over Addyi’s Approval

The drug actually was invented a number of years ago and received its first rejection from the FDA in 2010. Before its rejection, it had undergone two Phase III trials, and it “did chart a statistically significant improvement in desire as measured by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI).” However, when patients in the study tracked their sexual desire in a daily electronic diary, Addyi failed to “significantly beat out placebo.”

A second rejection followed the first, even after Sprout Pharmaceuticals noted modest effects of the drug. The FDA cited “skepticism about FSFI and a bevy of safety issues” when Addyi received its second rejection. Last year, however, Sprout ran Phase I trials that were “designed to address concerns about Addyi’s interaction with other drugs and its effect on patients’ ability to drive the morning after use.” This time, the FDA voted in favor of approving the drug.

Some commentators argue that the drug’s previous rejections may have had less to do with harmful side effects and more to do with social stigma and issues of gender equality. As one advocacy group pointed out, “the FDA has approved more than 20 drugs for erectile dysfunction but never [before] cleared a treatment for female sexual desire disorder.” Janet Woodcock, the FDA drug approval chief, emphasized that the FDA is thinking deeply about women’s health issues and is “committed to supporting the development of safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction.”

Addyi won’t go on the market until October. Will the potentially hazardous side effects of the drug result in patient injuries and a safety recall, or will those possible side effects remain present in only a small percentage of women who take the medication? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, if you or someone you love suffered an injury after taking a medication, you should discuss your case with a dedicated San Diego product liability lawyer.

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A recent article in The New York Times asked whether a ban on heading in kids’ soccer games might prevent traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) altogether. While parents across the country would like to see changes to the sport that make it safer for children and teens, a heading ban might not be the answer to the problem. Although some advocates argue that “ridding youth soccer of heading . . . would virtually rid the sport of severe head injuries,” medical experts suggest this likely isn’t the case at all.578570787_d8b82bef46

Relationship Between Heading and Head Trauma

In response to safety advocates’ arguments that youth soccer should ban heading, Dawn Comstock, an associate professor of public health at the University of Colorado, decided to undertake a study on the relationship between heading and head trauma. They ultimately published their findings in JAMA Pediatrics, but their research began with the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study. This is an online database that Dr. Comstock administers, and it collects reports from across the country.

The database primarily contains information supplied by athletic trainers, who “enter information about how and when an injury occurs, during a practice or a game, for instance; what symptoms the athlete experiences; and how long it takes him or her to return to place.” Injuries from nearly all varsity sports, both for boys and girls, are covered by the database. As such, soccer injuries make up a significant portion of the information. Comstock pulled data for soccer-related injuries that occurred between 2005 and 2014 for a total of about three million samples.

Before the researchers could begin exploring the links between head injuries and the practice of heading the ball, another statistic jumped out: “concussions related to soccer are clearly on the rise.” Comstock and her colleagues determined that “the rate of head injuries among male and female high school players increased substantially throughout the years in question.” Yet heading was not the primary cause of those TBIs reported.

Dangers of Player-to-Player Contact

Instead of learning that heading the ball caused serious concussions among soccer players, the researchers found instead that “the overwhelming majority of concussions resulted from player-to-player contact, especially among boys.” Indeed, about 70 percent of reported concussions in boys’ soccer resulted from player collisions. When it comes to girls’ soccer, 51 percent of head injuries occurred because players collided.

It’s not that heading doesn’t play a role in soccer injuries. The data showed that heading was involved in a little more than 30 percent of boys’ soccer concussions and about 25 percent of girls’ soccer head traumas. But in general, heading wasn’t cited as the sole cause of the injury. Rather, those injuries in which heading was a factor also involved player collisions, “and it was the contact that typically caused the concussion . . . not the heading,” according to the researchers.

How often is heading to blame for a concussion? Dr. Comstock determined that, in boys’ soccer, heading causes less than 17 percent of all reported concussions. In girls’ soccer, less than one-third of all reported TBIs result from heading. Thus, Dr. Comstock concluded that banning heading in youth soccer “would reduce the number of concussions . . .but not nearly as much as people think it would.”

If your child suffered a concussion or other head injury while playing soccer, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Diego brain injury attorney. An advocate at the Walton Law Firm can answer your questions today.

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California is known for having a booming tech industry, and new ideas often extend to automobiles and motorcycles. To be sure, connected cars and motorcycles used to be fictions of the future, but they’re slowly becoming a reality on streets throughout the state. When it comes to motorcycles, the California-based company Zero Motorcycles, according to a recent report from Information Week, was the first to create a prototype for a connected motorcycle (back in 2006). Now, the company is thinking more carefully about motorcycle safety and the ways in which the Internet of Things (IoT) might be able to help prevent deadly motorcycle accidents.17381329995_608d618937

Connecting Riders to Improve Safety

As the article emphasizes, “connected motorcycles may sound cool, but researchers are delving into more serious aspects of them.” For instance, dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) applications might be able to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur in motorcycle accidents. If connected motorcycles become the norm, riders who have been involved in an accident can quickly reach out for assistance. And some applications might even be able to connect riders involved in collisions immediately with emergency medical responders.

Up until recently, connected motorcycles weren’t common like connected cars. In 2013, however, Zero Motorcycles produced a mobile app that allowed riders to communicate via Bluetooth, and it also allowed the company to diagnose mechanical problems with a bike while being hundreds—or even thousands—of miles away. This kind of connectivity has recently been added to Zero’s lightweight electric bikes. As a result, according to the director of consumer experience at the company, “our bikes’ owners can communicate with us from anywhere in the world using our mobile application and its connection.”

And what does such connectivity produce? When it comes to traffic collisions, “the result is a 50% faster response than before for emergency service.” Zero and other motorcycles companies also hope to add vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology to bikes in the near future, allowing riders’ bikes to communicate with one another. The goal of V2V, ultimately, is “to prevent accidents,” and such technology could be mandatory as early as 2017.

New Age of Smart Helmets

In addition to connected vehicles, technology is also improving the safety of motorcycle helmets. The smart helmet entered into its first stages of development in 2013, and the owners of the Skully AR-1 smart helmet expect to delivery the first batch of orders by December of this year. What is a smart helmet?

Smart helmets provide riders with “full situational awareness with GPS navigation, a blind-spot camera view, and transparent heads-up display (HUD)” With these tools, the helmets deliver essential information to motorcyclists without causing distractions. And as many of us know, distracted driving (or, in this case riding) can quickly lead to a deadly auto accident. In addition to preventing crashes, smart helmets can also be synced with the bike’s fuel tank, for instance, to alert the rider that she or he needs to stop for gas.

Although connected motorcycles and smart helmets aren’t yet the norm, Californians who are in the process of developing these products hope that they’ll ultimately lead to a drastic reduction in the number of motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities on our roads each year. In the meantime, if you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you should contact an experienced San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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Single-load laundry detergent pods became available to consumers in 2012, but a news release from Consumer Reports emphasizes that this product can pose serious child injury risks. It’s true that the laundry pods are convenient, but they’re “a serious health hazard for young children,” the magazine explained. Manufacturers have a duty to provide products that aren’t unreasonably safe for use.2075433092_a2dbf94911

While companies who make detergent pods have attempted to make these hazardous products safer for households with young kids, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) continues to receive reports about severe child injuries. As such, Consumer Reports recently decided not to include laundry detergent pods on its list of recommended products, and the magazine even went so far as to “strongly urge households where children younger than 6 are ever present to skip them altogether.”

Dangers of Laundry Detergent Pods

Between January and June of 2015, poison control centers across the country have received thousands of reports about laundry detergent pods. Indeed, more than 6,000 reports in six months alone have described “kids 5 and younger ingesting or inhaling pods, or getting pod contents on their skin or in their eyes.” In 2014, the AAPCC reported a total of 11,714 poisonings connected to laundry detergent pods. If the current rates for 2015 stay on pace, the number of incidents this year will surpass those in 2014. And this wouldn’t be an anomaly—the total number of injuries linked to laundry detergent pods has been on the rise since the product was introduced nearly four years ago.

Popular laundry detergent companies such as Tide and Gain produce these pods, and amidst reports of child injuries a number of manufacturers have taken steps to help make them safer in homes with kids. For instance, companies have switched “from clear to opaque plastic for outer containers and, on some, adding child-resistant latches to make it more difficult to get to the pods.” However, children continue to come into contact with these hazardous products.

Why are laundry detergent pods attractive to young children? A fact sheet presented by the AAPCC explains of these packets that, “because they are colorful and squishy . . . they can look like candy or something fun to play with.” But when children swallow the highly concentrated detergent or get it in their eyes, they can sustain serious injuries. To be sure, many kids “have become very ill and have been hospitalized.”

Unknown Variables Affect Kids’ Treatment After Exposure

A recent report from The Wall Street Journal attempted to explore the reasons why these laundry detergent pods are so dangerous. The question is a significant one, as “children have been sampling regular detergent for years without such harm.” But with the pods, emergency department physicians have seen a wide range of outcomes among kids who ingested or were otherwise exposed to the concentrated detergent in these packets. According to Brandon Wills, a toxicologist, “we don’t know why some children get so sick from laundry pods.” As the article explains, “while the contents of the packets are highly concentrated, and the detergent can shoot out with force when the packets are burst, it isn’t clear what substances in them can cause life-threatening injuries.”

Currently, emergency room doctors simply don’t have enough information to best treat these injuries. Knowing precisely why some kids are gravely affected would help tremendously in healing injuries, but “consumer-product manufacturers have closely guarded the details of how they formulated and what kind of testing they did with laundry packets.” Makers of these pods aren’t required to give a full listing of ingredients, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging companies to adopt voluntary safety standards that would make the pods safer.

Researchers continue to explore some of the variables that they believe can result in laundry detergent pods affecting different children in dissimilar ways. If your child suffered an injury from a laundry detergent pod, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Diego product liability lawyer. You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

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If you’re a nurse employed in a Southern California hospital, are you at a particularly high risk of sustaining a workplace injury? Over the last several months, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has been investigating healthcare workplace injuries due to a “sharp uptick” in reported incidents, according to a recent article from Fierce Healthcare. In response to its findings, OSHA has “announced a new initiative to drastically increase scrutiny among hospital nursing staff.” In other words, nurses are at serious risk of sustaining injuries on the job, and OSHA wants to curb these incidents.8116070408_bd74655b13

High Rates of Nonfatal Injuries Among Nursing Staff

According to a news release from OSHA about its new initiative, patient handling plays a significant role in healthcare workplace injuries. What kinds of numbers are we talking about? OSHA articulates that, “on average, U.S. hospitals recorded 6.4 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees in 2013, compared with 3.3. per 100 full-time employees for all U.S. industries combined.”

In the hospital setting, nearly 35 percent of injuries that prevented hospital employees from working were linked to patient interactions. Indeed, more than half of all injuries to nursing assistants were classified as musculoskeletal disorders that may have been avoidable through the implementation of a comprehensive safe patient handling program. How do nurses sustain these injuries?

In general, moving and lifting patients can be hazardous to a nurse’s health. While hospitals encourage nurses to use “body mechanics” strategies to prevent injuries, those tactics simply aren’t sufficient. Special equipment used to lift patients has proven to be the only way to keep hospital staff free of preventable injuries.

Preventing Healthcare Workplace Injuries

How will OSHA help to make a change? OSHA inspectors will look into the devices hospitals are using to lift patients, and they’ll seek to determine whether major hospitals have sufficient supplies for moving and lifting patients. And if they do, are they properly training their nursing staff? The OSHA investigators will get answers to some of these questions by interviewing nurses and hospital managers, as well as through analysis of hospital documents. OSHA will also examine whether hospitals are keeping count of nursing injuries and taking steps to prevent them.

According to David Michaels, the OSHA Assistant Secretary for Labor, the agency has noted the seriousness of nursing injuries based on statistics, but its investigators haven’t examined some of the conditions firsthand. Now, Michaels explained, “it’s time for us to start doing some enforcement to make sure fewer workers are hurt.”

When OSHA inspectors start making hospital visits, they’ll be paying particular attention to ways in which facilities are preventing injuries caused by lifting patients. But they’ll also be examining hospitals’ injury- and illness-prevention methods for risks like tuberculosis or slip and fall accidents. Fines for violations will range anywhere between $7,000 and $70,000, “depending on the extent of the problem and the likelihood that hospital leaders knew about it and took no action.”

If you or someone you love recently suffered a workplace injury, it’s important to learn more about seeking financial compensation. Contact an aggressive San Diego personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case.

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When most of us think about unintentional injuries we’re at risk of sustaining, we rarely think about harms that could come to our eyes. However, according to a recent article in The San Diego Union-Tribune, eye injuries occur more often than you’d think. Indeed, the source of such an injury can “come from anywhere,” and “there’s nearly no limit on the ways that particles, chemicals, foreign objects, or small fragments can enter—or injure—an eye.” Yet as the article points out, there are important ways to prevent eye injuries from taking place, and there are proper ways to handle an eye emergency if it does happen.2579766928_9a5b9063fd

Common Types of Eye Injuries

As the article points out, unintentional eye injuries can result from activities that most of us are unlikely to expect, including but not limited to:

  • Household cleaners;
  • Pool chemicals;
  • Grease from kitchen cooking;
  • Champagne bottle corks;
  • Curling irons;
  • Mascara wands;
  • Tree trimmings; and
  • Construction work debris (for passersby).

The list above is largely incomplete, as San Diego residents are at risk of sustaining a serious eye injury in many everyday activities, from walking near a construction zone to eating dinner at a local restaurant. And in many situations, someone else’s negligence is to blame. For instance, if proper safety measures aren’t taken at a construction area, debris can cause serious injuries to passersby, including eye injuries.

According to Dr. Sandy Felman, the medical director of San Diego’s Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center, eye injuries typically result from one of the following types of objects:

  • Blunt objects (such as fist or a ball);
  • Sharp objects (like a stick); or
  • Liquids (such as a splash from a chemical cleaner).

Each type of object can cause different kinds of harms to the eye, and many of them require treatment in an emergency department.

Preventing Common Eye Injuries

When we look at eye injuries from sports alone, we learn that these preventable injuries occur about 100,000 times every year, and a little less than half of those injuries lead to a visit to the emergency room. Of those injuries, around 13,500 people will go blind. And approximately one-third of all sports-related eye injuries are attributed to kids, typically from “high-risk sports such as baseball, basketball, martial arts, and hockey.”

How can you prevent serious eye injuries? The most important preventive measure is to wear protective eyewear anytime you’re playing a sport or engaging in an activity that could result in harm to your eye. Parents can buy “sports-specific goggles made of polycarbonate lenses,” which help to protect kids’ eyes while they’re on the field. And protective goggles are also extremely important when you’re doing any home cleaning or home improvement projects.

If you do suspect that you or someone you love has sustained an eye injury, you should seek medical attention. Signs of an eye injury commonly include:

  • Pain;
  • Blurry vision;
  • Red eye; and/or
  • Bleeding eye.

In short, if a person with a suspected eye injury has trouble seeing, cannot move her eye, has a pupil that looks misshapen, or has a noticeable foreign object or blood in the eye, see a medical professional. And if a chemical splashes in the eye, wash it immediately and then seek medical care.

Did you recently sustain an eye injury that resulted from another person’s carelessness? You may be able to file a claim for compensation. Contact a San Diego personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case.

Photo Credit: db Photography | Demi-Brooke via Compfight cc

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