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Monthly Archives: November 2009

CPSC recalls 2.1M Stork Craft cribs after deaths

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc., of British Columbia, Canada, today announced the voluntary recall of more than 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs, including about 147,000 Stork Craft drop-side cribs with the Fisher-Price logo. The recall involves approximately 1,213,000 units distributed in the United States and 968,000 units distributed in Canada.

The cribs’ drop-side plastic hardware can break, deform, or parts can become missing. In addition, the drop-side can be installed upside-down, which can result in broken or disengaged plastic parts. All of these problems can cause the drop-side to detach in one or more corners. When the drop-side detaches, it creates space between the drop-side and the crib mattress. The bodies of infants and toddlers can become entrapped in the space which can lead to suffocation. Complete detachment of drop-sides can lead to falls from the crib.

CPSC, Health Canada, and Stork Craft are aware of 110 incidents of drop-side detachment; 67 incidents occurred in the United States and 43 in Canada. The incidents include 15 entrapments; 12 in the U.S. and three in Canada. Four of the entrapments resulted in suffocation: a 7-month-old in Gouverneur, N.Y.; a 7-month-old in New Iberia, La.; a 6-month-old in Summersville, W.Va.; and a 9-month-old in Bronx, N.Y. Included in these incidents are 20 falls from cribs; 12 in the U.S. and eight in Canada. Fall injuries ranged from concussion to bumps and bruises. The cribs involved in these incidents had plastic drop-side hardware that had broken, missing, or deformed claws, connectors, tracks, or flexible tab stops; loose or missing metal spring clips; stripped screws; and/or drop-sides installed upside-down.

For additional information, contact Stork Craft toll-free at (877) 274-0277 anytime to order the free repair kit, or log on to www.storkcraft.com. You can also find more information on Crib Safety at CPSC’s Crib Information Center. For some additional news reports, see the following:

  • The New York Times reports, “Citing cases of infants being trapped and suffocated, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of more than 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs on Monday, the largest recall ever of cribs.” The agency “said the danger could result from improper installation of the drop side, or from the plastic hardware of the drop side breaking, potentially causing one of the corners to detach. Babies can then get stuck in the space between the side and the mattress.”
  • The Los Angeles Times reported, “The recall includes more than 1.2 million cribs sold in the United States and 968,000 cribs sold in Canada, the commission said in a recall statement. About 147,000 of the recalled drop-side cribs were branded with the Fisher-Price logo.”
  • CNNMoney.com reported, “Safety advocates have urged federal regulators to impose tougher standards on companies that make drop-side cribs and some have called for an outright ban.”

AAJ report debunks med mal myths

The American Association of Justice (AAJ) released a new report entitled, “Five Myths about Medical Negligence” that debunks the myths about medical malpractice reform including:

  • there are too many frivolous suits;
  • medical malpractice lawsuits drive up healthcare costs;
  • doctors are fleeing because of medical malpractice lawsuits;
  • medical malpractice claims drive up premiums; and
  • tort reform will lower insurance rates.

Calls for tort reform in the context of health care reform are an unwelcome distraction. As we have noted in several posts on this topic, in this debate, no one is speaking about the victims. This continuing effort to blame lawsuits for spiraling health costs is puzzling and unwarranted. The focus should shift to efforts on curbing negligent treatment of patients. Indeed, wouldn’t safer practices eliminate lawsuits and lower premiums?

You can view AAJ President Anthony Tarricone’s article on the report by clicking here. You can link directly to the report by clicking here.

Doctor rejects notion of limiting lawsuits

“The doctors’ lobby says capping malpractice suits will make healthcare cheaper. I’m an M.D. and I don’t believe it.” Those are the words of Dr. Rahul K. Parikh, a doctor who believes, like most of us, that lawsuits are not the reason we have a healthcare crisis in this country.

In an op-ed at Salon.com, Dr. Parikh wrote, “Proponents of reform say that defensive medicine, frivolous lawsuits and high premiums are behind the surge in healthcare expenses.” But “there’s nothing ‘sure or quick’ about changing medical liability laws that will improve healthcare or its costs. Defensive medicine adds very little to healthcare’s price tag, and rising malpractice premiums have had very little impact on access to care.” Parikh discusses several studies on the subject, concluding, “Instead of a swamp of frivolous lawsuits, what the data shows is a system that functions.” He argues, “Tort reformers neglect the fact that malpractice reform won’t save one extra life. To make that difference, insurers, doctors and their lobbyists like the AMA need to find ways to improve patient safety.”

You can read the full text of the article by clicking here.