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September 2011 Archives

How parents worry about teen drivers and car accidents

No matter how old parents are, they always seem to worry about their children. One of the most stressful time periods for parents is when their children approach age 16 and are on the cusp of gaining their driver's license and their first steps of freedom. A recent survey conducted by insurance company Allstate reveals what parents think about their teen drivers and the risk of car accidents. It turns out that moms and dads have slightly different worries.

Police say New York texting and driving law successful

The executive director for the New York Police Chiefs Association said the state's new texting and driving ban is, "a great success story." Multiple serious car accidents in New York were caused by texting and driving, but police could not pull drivers over unless they were doing something else illegal. The New York texting and driving ban was signed into law on July 12 and since that time the number of tickets issued for the offense has skyrocketed.

Smartphone apps may help prevent distracted driving car accidents

How often do you see drivers texting or using their cellphones while in traffic throughout Albany and the Capital District? You probably see drivers distracted by their phones more often than you are comfortable with. For drivers who want to take the temptation of distraction out of their hands, they may be able to use two smartphone applications that aim to prevent car accidents caused by distracted driving.

Graduated driver's licensing laws produce mixed results on preventing car accidents

New York like practically every other state has graduated driver's licensing laws. Though the laws vary from state to state the point of the laws is to require teenage drivers under the age of 18 to build a depth of experience on the road before they are given an unrestrained license. Graduated driver's licensing laws have been heralded for preventing fatal car accidents among teenagers, but a recent study shows the effect of the law varies when broken down according to age group.

FDA warns Brazilian Blowout to straighten up

A potentially dangerous product that hair salons use to straighten curly hair is reportedly sickening salon workers and customers. The Food and Drug Administration has warned makers of the Brazilian Blowout straightening treatment that their defective product contains liquid formaldehyde, a known carcinogen also known as methylene glycol. Formaldehyde helps bind keratin to hair, allowing stylists to permanently straighten it.

Neck massager blamed for woman's death

On Christmas Eve of last year, a woman died under mysterious circumstances. Unsure of what happened, the local sheriff's office enlisted the help of federal product safety officials to investigate the death of the 37-year-old radiologist. Their findings concluded that the woman died as a result of using a ShoulderFlex Deep Kneading Shiatsu massager, a machine that massages the deep tissues of the neck while an individual lies down.

Foreign Objects Left in Patients a Problem for Hospitals

A recent study by a Buffalo-based not for profit group found that foreign objects left inside patients after surgical procedures continues to be a medical malpractice problem in New York.  The study discovered 95 cases of foreign bodies found in patients in 2009 alone, which included left-behind wires, sponges, and medical instruments.  Local Capital Region hospitals including Albany Medical Center, St. Peter's, and Ellis Hospital were are cited as having had such incidents occur in 2009.  For example, at Albany Med, a wire was left inside a woman after an emergency cesarian section was performed.  Apparently, hospital staff recognized the wire was missing but didn't believe it was left inside the woman when the C-section was closed.  At Ellis Hospital, a piece of tubing was left inside a patient during laparoscopic surgery.  The Times Union recently published an article on the study which can be found here.

Cat and dog bites can seriously injure people

Americans own about 60 million dogs and about 57 million cats. Whether they are dog people or cat people, Albany residents value their pets for good reason. Dogs and cats offer us companionship at home and on walks to the park. However, pet owners must be cautious regarding their pets. If an animal attacks and injures a person, the injury victim is legally entitled to seek compensation from the owner of that animal.

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