An automobile accident is a shocking, disorienting experience, often leaving those involved confused about how to proceed. For this reason, the Better Business Bureau offers several tips to motorists who have been involved in an accident to help them repair the damage and return their lives to a state of normalcy. The bureau recommends that motorists involved in an accident contact their auto insurance companies from the scene of the collision. If a tow truck arrives on the scene, the bureau recommends, check his or her credentials, and do not allow an unsolicited truck driver to remove your vehicle from the accident scene. Motorists in need of a tow truck should also double check to ensure that the truck’s marking match those of the company originally contacted, and never provide a tow truck operator with personal lien holder information. When choosing a repair shop, the bureau recommends double checking the garage’s complaint records at the Better Business Bureau website to determine the company’s history of resolving disputes. Motorists in search of a reputable repair shop should also seek out mechanics with experience repairing the same model of vehicle, preferably at a repair shop with special certifications in the areas of repair required by the affected vehicle, the bureau advises. The bureau strongly discourages motorists from paying the full price for any repair job before it has been completed.
Metal-on-metal artificial hip implants, intended to ease the discomfort caused to patients by their diseased or damaged hip joints, may be poisoning their recipients, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. The federal safety watchdog, with the cooperation of 21 replacement hip joint manufacturers, has launched a research study to determine the cause of illnesses that medical experts have linked to these metal on metal hip implants. These metal on metal hip joints may be shedding metal particles with friction caused by routine use, and many medical professionals are finding evidence that these metal ions are seeping into patients’ bloodstreams, potentially causing severe pain and organ damage. Until questions about the health concerns related to metal on metal hip joints began to surface, approximately one hip replacement surgery out of three (in the United States, this surgery is performed approximately 250,000 times each year) culminated in the installation of a metal on metal implant. Symptoms of metal contaminants in the blood and internal organs include numbness, weakness, shortness of breath, and severe pain, which one metal on metal implant patient compared to a fire burning inside of his body. Many of the patients fitted with metal implants have already had them removed through corrective surgery. Approximately six percent of metal on metal prosthetic hip joints require replacement surgery within five years of their initial installation.
Laundry pods linked to increase in poisoned children Comments Off
Medical centers are treating an increasing number of children for laundry detergent poisoning due to the rising popularity of laundry detergent pods, or small packs of concentrated detergent solution in packaging that some safety experts say looks like candy to small children. According to data reported by the California Poison Control System, nine toddlers, less than two years of age on average, were poisoned within a recent 72 hour period. In 2012, more than 80 accidental laundry detergent poisonings were reported before June in the state of California and at least 250 cases have been reported to poison control centers across the country so far this year, the majority of them after the concentrated detergent pods began appearing on supermarket shelves. Many of these children required hospitalization and some required ventilator treatment, but so far no deaths related to this issue have been reported to authorities. Symptoms of accidental detergent poisoning include respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting, and related eye injuries incurred by the detergent pack exploding when bitten. These symptoms can last for several days. The brightly colored product packaging and pleasant smell emanating from the laundry detergent pods makes some children believe they are edible, safety experts speculate, and parents of small children are encouraged to keep the pods stored in locking childproof cabinets or discontinue using the pods in favor of the less appealing traditional powder based laundry detergent.
Servpro has issued a recall of 24,000 Notus air movers and blowers due to the potential for their internal electrical capacitors to overheat or fail, creating a possible fire hazard. This recall has been announced on a voluntary basis in cooperation with a request made by the United States Consumer Product safety Commission due to several reported incidences that caused significant property damage including a San Diego House Fire. Notus air blowers are manufactured in the United States by EDIC, headquartered in Los Angeles, California. These products are used to dry furniture, walls, and flooring in buildings and residences. The air movers/blowers included in this recall are housed in green plastic casings with dimensions measuring about 1.5 feet by 1.5 feet by 1.5 feet, and they are powered by a 25 foot yellow cord. They were sold nationwide at Servpro outlets from April of 2004 to August of 2010 for an estimated average price between $200 and $230. Users of these products are requested to cease using the product, according to the official recall notice posted on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website, and consumers in possession of affected air blowers can contact Servpro to get a free repair kit. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently soliciting customer reports regarding this potential safety hazard, or any other issues related to this product. Selling or reselling a product being recalled due to safety concerns is prohibited under United States law.
Snake bite costs exchange student $143,000 Comments Off
A foreign exchange student from Norway recently received an American hospital bill high enough to merit international headlines. The student was bit by a rattlesnake in April, an injury that required him to seek treatment from a San Diego medical center, which charged him about $143,000, according to a local TV news report. The antivenin crotalidae fab, two doses at about $64,000, was responsible for the bulk of the treatment costs. According to medical experts employed by the Mayo Clinic, crotalidae fab is an antivenin made from sheep’s blood and used to treat pit viper bites. Reportedly, the $143,000 hospital bill is the most expensive ever received by the exchange student’s insurance company. According to research compiled by a reporter from the publication Business Insider, an average American family of four pays an estimated $8,000 per year in health care expenses.
An experienced attorney can negotiate with medical providers to reduce exorbitant hospital bills, and consumers can take additional steps to avoid overpaying for medical costs.
Financial experts recommend, for example, that consumers double check any bill that seems unusually high for errors before paying, as it can be easier to get a corrected bill from a medical provider than to receive reimbursement for overpayment.
Asking for an itemized bill detailing each individual expense is also recommended, as is staying in constant communication with your medical provider to avoid having the bill turned over to a collection agency.
A recent study conducted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed that 65 percent of all fireworks injuries were reported in the month surrounding Independence Day, July 4th. Consumers should take special safety precautions around fireworks, especially sparklers, firecrackers, and aerial devices, the cause of the majority of fireworks related injuries according to the study. Many preventative measures can be taken to avoid injury, including: keeping children away from fireworks, not looking directly over fireworks while lighting them, and keeping water nearby to put out failed displays. More than half of all fireworks related injuries examined in this study were caused by failure to follow the provided directions or by unexpected ignition of the firework. The most common injuries suffered by fireworks users were burns to head and hands, including the face, eyes, ears and fingers. According to data provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 9,600 people were injured last summer due to the improper use of homemade or professional grade fireworks by untrained amateurs. These injuries, the majority of which required a trip to the emergency room, included severe burns and lost fingers. Four people were killed when illegal fireworks exploded unexpectedly, causing severe head and face trauma, and in one incident, decapitation. The Consumer Product Safety Commission advises consumers to research the legality of any type of fireworks devices in their communities before using them.
A voluntary recall of past-shelf-date bagged salads distributed by Dole was initiated on June 22, 2012 due to concerns of possible contamination by listeria moncytogenes, a bacteria that can cause serious or even life threatening illness in people with weakened or compromised immune systems such as pregnant women, children and the elderly. The recall is limited to a specific group of select Kroger and Walmart labeled salads which are past their sell by date. Retailers are urged to check their inventories and concerned parties are encouraged to contact Dole customer service for more information regarding this recall, which has been issued in cooperation with a request made by the United States Food and Drug Administration after routine random product testing revealed the presence of listeria in a small sample. This recall includes more than 1,000 cases of bagged salads including Kroger Fresh Selections Leafy Romaine coded N158 111B KR11 with Use-by date of June 19 and UPC 11110 91046, Wal Mart Marketside Leafy Romaine coded N158111B with Use-by date of June19 and UPC code 81131 02781, and Kroger Fresh Selections Greener Supreme coded N158 211B 1613 KR04 with Use-by date of June 19 and UPC 11110 91039. Consumers can check the product code and use by date in the upper right hand corner of the salad packaging, and the UPC code is on the back of the bag immediately below the bar code. Symptoms of listeria infection can include: nausea or diarrhea, fever, and muscle aches.
Healthy Choice Island Blends Incorporated, a Los Angeles-based company, is recalling Liquid Gold Carrot Juice. The juice was sold in 16 oz., 32 oz., 64 oz., and 128 oz. clear plastic containers to wholesale distributors throughout California, with a UPC Code of 7 63213 00130. The affected juice is potentially contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, an organism that can cause botulism, a severe type of food poisoning. Customers in possession of carrot juice included in this recall have been instructed to throw out the juice or return it to the store for a full refund of the purchase price. This recall has been issued on a voluntary basis in cooperation with a request made by the United States Food and Drug Administration due to the risk of botulism poisoning, a serious and possibly deadly foodborne illness caused by the ingestion of foods containing the potent neurotoxin formed during growth of the organism. Symptoms of botulism poisoning, which can be contracted from food products containing the Clostridium botulinum organism regardless of whether the foodstuff smells or looks tainted, include: abdominal distension, constipation, muscle fatigue, general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking, breathing and swallowing. Anyone who has consumed this product and experiences any of these symptoms should sske help from a medical professional immediately, according to the recall notice posted on the Food and Drug Administration’s website. More information about this recall campaign can be obtained from the manufacturer’s customer service department.