Posts Tagged ‘safety’

Hospital alarms, going off around the clock

“Maria Cvach, an alarm expert and director of policy management and integration for Johns Hopkins Health System, found that on one step-down unit (a level below intensive care) in the hospital in 2006, an average of 350 alarms went off per patient per day—from the cardiac monitor alone….

“Bed alarms have proliferated since 2008 when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services declared hospital falls should ‘never’ happen and stopped paying for injuries related to those falls. After that policy change, the odds of nurses using a bed alarm increased 2.3 times, according to a study led by Dr. Ronald Shorr, director of the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla. The alarms have become a standard feature in new hospital beds.” Meanwhile, in 2017 the same federal agency “began discouraging their widespread use in nursing homes, arguing that audible bed or chair alarms may be considered a ‘restraint’ if the resident ‘is afraid to move to avoid setting off the alarm.'” [Melissa Bailey, Kaiser Health News via Virginia Postrel; earlier here, here, and here]

“Scooter Accidents Leading to Big Ticket Claims at Disney Parks”

Scooters at Disney parks “have brought on a rise of civil lawsuits filed by people complaining about being run over or drivers saying they were injured.” However, because of ADA considerations — they’re an assistive mobility device — the park cannot ban them, and even attempts at lesser restrictions, such as speed limits, would quickly run into legal constraints: “any rule would likely require the U.S. Department of Justice’s approval,” according to a disability rights attorney. [Gabrielle Russon, Insurance Journal]

“Consumers are misled by some mass tort drug injury ads: new academic study”

Tort reform groups have warned for a while that trial lawyer ads hyping side effects from commonly prescribed drugs might lead some patients to go off prescribed medication regimens. Now “a new paper co-authored by University of Oregon law professor Elizabeth Tippett, a key witness at last year’s congressional hearing [raising the issue], offers some empirical evidence that drug injury ads by trial lawyers and legal marketing firms do, in fact, mislead some consumers. And when those ads are deceptively framed as health warnings, Tippett and her co-author found, patients are less likely to refill or renew prescriptions.” [Alison Frankel, Reuters]

“Vehicle Safety Inspections Don’t Increase Safety”

When New Jersey repealed its requirement for periodic auto safety inspections, there was no statistically meaningful rise in the frequency of accidents due to car failure, or to road fatalities whether linked to car failures or not. Alex Tabarrok: “It’s time to ditch the annual safety inspection and either move to no inspection system at all or like Maryland move to a system that requires safety inspections only at transfer. I’m not convinced that is necessary either, since at transfer is precisely when the buyer will run an inspection anyway, but at least that system would reduce the number of inspections significantly.” [Marginal Revolution, New York Post editorial; Alex Hoagland and Trevor Woolley]

Florida shooter had been chronic disciplinary problem. “Could school system have done more?”

Amid horrendous misbehavior attributed to his emotional and behavioral disabilities, the future shooter was shuttled among various Broward County schools, including an episode being “mainstreamed” at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, scene of his later atrocity. Under the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which has been intensively litigated over the years, “school districts are required to provide kids with physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities a free education in the ‘least restrictive’ setting, and to accommodate the needs of such students.” [Carol Marbin Miller and Kyra Gurney, Miami Herald] He “was well-known to school and mental health authorities and was entrenched in the process for getting students help rather than referring them to law enforcement….Beginning in 2013, Broward stopped referring students to police for about a dozen infractions ranging from alcohol and drug use to bullying, harassment and assault,” under influence of national campaign against “school-to-prison pipeline.” [Tim Craig, Emma Brown, Sarah Larimer and Moriah Balingit, Washington Post]

“The Dangerous Toys of Christmas: Debunked!”

Lenore Skenazy, Paul Detrick & Alexis Garcia video and commentary on the annual alarmism of WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm)(earlier), which this year is out against fidget spinners as well as other popular playthings:

Also on this year’s list is the Wonder Woman Battle Action Sword, which, the WATCH team says, encourages young children “to bear arms”—as if you get a Wonder Woman toy and immediately deploy to Yemen. They also say that the “rigid plastic sword blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries.” Yeah…and so does a fork. In fact, so does a candy cane, if you suck it to a sharp point.

Eclipse risk management

Reader R.T. writes: “Don’t know if anyone has commented but my son’s middle school is keeping all students inside from 1-4. My law partner’s kid’s school is releasing them all at 11. Guarantee it is because they don’t want to get sued for scorched corneas.”

Environment roundup

  • California law requires cities, counties to generate elaborate plans for new housing. No need to grant permits though [Liam Dillon, L.A. Times]
  • Strenuous campaigns to block fossil fuel infrastructure have helped saddle Rhode Island with some of the highest electric rates in the land [Douglas Gablinske, Providence Journal]
  • Ronald Bailey reviews Getting Risk Right: Understanding the Science of Elusive Health Risks, by Geoffrey Kabat [Reason last winter]
  • Update: judge strikes down Montgomery County, Md. ban on common lawn pesticides [my Free State Notes post]
  • Short video with Prof. Eric Claeys (George Mason/Scalia) on Penn Central v. City of New York (1978), the leading case in regulatory takings law [Federalist Society]
  • Scientist leading WHO review of Roundup chemical knew of but omitted recent study finding no cancer risk; California went ahead and listed glyphosate anyway [Reuters Investigates, Karl Plume/Reuters on California action, Kiera Butler/Mother Jones]

U.K.: 2013 nastygram to Grenfell Action Group

“Grenfell Tower tenants repeatedly complained about safety concerns; their landlord hired a lawyer who threatened to sue them for libel.” [Bruce E.H. Johnson on Twitter] A fast-spreading fire at the North Kensington high-rise public housing tower resulted in more than 70 fatalities earlier this month.