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January 2013 Archives

Battery Issues Have Plagued Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Safety regulators have grounded all Boeing 787 Dreamliners until issues concerning the lithium-ion batteries and chargers have been addressed. Battery problems forced an emergency landing of a Dreamliner in Japan earlier this month. That incident followed a battery fire after a 787 landed in Boston. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is broadening the scope of its investigation into the electrical problems of the Boeing aircraft.

Obesity Can Increase Car Accident Fatality Risk By 80 Percent

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tracks data on car accidents in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). A recent analysis of fatal accidents between 1996 and 2008 showed a sharp increase in the risk of fatality for obese drivers involved in collisions with other vehicles. The study compared accidents where the vehicles involved were the same size and analyzed the fatality risk of drivers categorized by height and weight. Drivers with a body mass index (BMI) over 30, the accepted definition of "obese", were much more likely to die in their accidents than normal weight people.

Company Knew About High Failure Rate For Hip Implant

More information is coming to light concerning the hip implants recalled by Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthodpaedics division. According to Johnson & Johnson's internal documentation, the metal hip implants known as Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R., fail at a rate of almost 40 percent within the first five years after they are implanted. The company conducted that analysis shortly after it recalled the devices, but it never released the projection publicly. The spate of lawsuits concerning the defective medical product led to the release of this information.

Reports Of Errors In Electronic Health Records

A Pennsylvania study has revealed an increase in the number of errors associated with the use of electronic health records. Between 2004 and 2011, hospitals in that state reported 3,099 total incidents related to faulty electronic health records. Of those, 1,142 occurred in 2011. That was nearly double the total reported for 2010. The data did indicate that the vast majority of the errors did not lead to patient harm.

Batteries And Wiring Analyzed In NTSB Dreamliner Investigation

After a Boeing 787 Dreamliner caught fire at Logan International Airport in Boston last week, the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the incident. Shortly thereafter, the Federal Aviation Administration decided to launch a top-priority review of the Boeing 787 due to repeated issues in its electrical systems. The review is intended to discover the root causes of the incidents with the new aircraft in order to address them before a serious accident occurs.

FAA Launching Top-Priority Review Of Boeing 787 Dreamliner

An electrical fire and fuel leak drew headlines this week as Boeing's 787 Dreamliner continued its inauspicious debut. The issues affecting the plane have prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to launch a top-priority review of the aircraft. According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the review will help the FAA "look at the root causes and do everything we can to safeguard against similar events in the future." The design, manufacture and assembly of all critical systems will be reviewed.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Suffers Electrical Fire

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Japan Airlines suffered an electrical fire shortly after the plane landed and passengers and crew departed on Monday. The plane landed at Logan International Airport in Boston at 10 a.m. with 173 passengers and 11 crewmembers coming in from Tokyo. The passengers and crew departed and cleaning crews were working in the plane when they detected smoke coming from the cabin. Boston Logan Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting crew were called and found a fire in the electronic box and equipment bay near a battery box, according to the National Transportation Safety Board's initial report. The fire was extinguished in less than an hour.

Two Medical Helicopter Crashes Raise Safety Concerns

In 2006, the National Transportation Safety Board began an effort to improve safety in medical aircraft following a spike in the number of accidents nationwide. The progress of that initiative was called into question recently as two medical helicopters crashed on the same day, causing four injuries and three fatalities. Despite the attention of federal safety officials, medical aircraft crashes are still a significant concern.

Car Crashes And Drowsy Driving Study

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System is a telephone survey conducted each year in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey of more than 147,000 people from 2009-2010 included questions to determine how many drivers had nodded off or fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days. The CDC was attempting to gain a clearer understanding of drowsy driving and the behaviors that are connected to drowsy driving accidents. The survey reported that 4.2 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep or nodding off behind the wheel.

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