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With the Fourth of July holiday quickly approaching, this is a good opportunity to discuss fireworks safety. Despite the fact fireworks are illegal in many areas of Massachusetts without a professional license and municipal permit, many people will illegally launch amateur fireworks purchased in other states. Even those who are not personally shooting off any illegal fireworks are likely to be attending a party or barbeque where someone else will be holding their own fireworks display. Continue reading

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With warmer weather, everyone is taking to the water whenever they get a chance. For Boston, that may mean learning to sail at the Community Boating, Inc. on the Charles River Esplanade. Or for those interested in getting a workout, traveling up the Charles to Community Rowing. Some will rent or go out on a friend’s powerboat docked around the greater Boston Area.

motorboat-868147-m.jpgWhile boating can be a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous. According to a recent news report from My Fox Boston, a woman suffered a serious personal injury in a boating accident in Boston Harbor and suffered amputation of her arm.

Witnesses say the female victim fell overboard and landed in the water. Her arm hit the propeller, which was spinning at the time she fell into the water, and it cut off her arm. The victim was 19-years-old. The accident occurred just before 8 p.m.
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According to a recent news report from the Calgary Herald, a man was operating his string trimmer (commonly called a “weed eater” or weed whacker”) when it picked up a stray nail and threw it into his eye.

eye-macro-1189098-m.jpgThe 27-year-old landscaper could have suffered a fate much worse when the three-inch nail penetrated his eye and traveled into his brain. A neurosurgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) who treated victim said when you looked at him, all you could see was the head of the nail sticking out of his right eye.

This medical case history made into the New England Medical Journal as doctors used a new type of CT scanner to get detailed imaging of his eye and brain, as they were unable to determine the length or path of the nail from an external examination. One radiologist who helped perform the scan said the nail was very deep and had almost punctured victim’s other eye.
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Whenever anyone talks about lawsuits and big verdicts, they quite often think of the woman who sued McDonald’s when she was burned by hot coffee in her car. People often use that story as an example of how lawsuits are out of control in this country.

coffee1.jpgIn reality, most people have very little idea as to what actually happened in that case. The victim had a hot cup of coffee in a car but was not driving. She was a passenger. The coffee was not just hot, but was around 210 degrees, because the company chose to hold their coffee just below boiling. The company had received nearly a thousand reports of customers being burned by their coffee – including children and elderly – and still refused to lower the temperature. Another fact most people don’t know is the woman suffered third degree full thickness burns to her crotch and legs, as it actually burned through her pants, and, despite that extreme pain, she offered to settle the case for less than $15,000, but the company refused.
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Recently, there has been more attention paid by the media to daycare accidents and injuries to young children. While some claim this is just the media’s latest fascination, it seems that these often preventable injuries and illnesses are finally getting the attention they deserve, so parents can make more informed decisions about choosing a daycare provider to care for their young children.

convenient-1081209-m.jpgAccording to a recent news report from the Chicago Tribune, there is one major safety concern often overlooked by safety inspectors at a number of daycare facilities. This problem involves the water temperate in dishwashers at the centers.
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This spring and summer, many people will fire up the patio or backyard grill after work or on the weekends. While there is nothing like grilling up a burger or steak on your own grill, one Massachusetts fire marshal wants to remind everyone to follow all recommended safety practices, and do whatever you can reasonably due to prevent fires and burn injuries.

grilled-sausage-links-1422472-m.jpgAccording to a recent public safety announcement from Wicked Local East Bridgewater, the town fire marshal recommends everyone take the time to inspect their propane and natural gas grills for any leaks and cracks prior to using them, as this can help prevent serious personal injury. He also urges parents to teach their young children to stay at least three feet away from a lit grill at all times, as children are at a particular risk for accidental burn injuries.
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A traumatic brain injury or “TBI” can have serious effects on victims that can last the rest of their lives if they are fortunate to survive the initial trauma. Those who suffer a traumatic brain injury may have difficulty with both long- and short-term memory, performing tasks requiring use of motor skills, automatic bodily functions, and concentration and cognitive abilities.

brainscan.jpgSome of this damage will never go away, while some of the symptoms can improve though hard work, determination and a very lengthy rehabilitation process. That process is too often not only extensive, but extremely expensive. It is costly not only in terms of medicals bills, but in the financial hardship associated with not being able to work.

To help traumatic brain injury patients, scientists are working on new techniques in the operating room and during the rehabilitation process. While they are making daily progress, many researchers rely on grants to fund their expensive research. According to a recent news article from NJBIZ, $6.3 million in new grants have been awarded to help with their ongoing efforts.
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Many people choose to own pets. When we are talking about a cat or a nonviolent breed of dog, or a fish, this typically doesn’t cause any problems, and people derive a great deal of enjoyment from their animals.

Thumbnail image for 269548_emergency.jpgHowever, some people choose to keep more exotic species of animals as pets, and some pose a safety risk to others. Some of these exotic animals are even illegal to keep as pets in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

You may recall the report in recent years regarding a neighbor who was attacked by a neighbor’s pet chimpanzee or another harmed by a pet snake. While these incidents may be reported as crazy occurrences, the fact is, these kind of injuries happen on a regular basis.

According to a recent report from Bangor Daily News, we are experiencing an increase in the frequency of dangerous animal attacks throughout the New England area.

Of course, the article discusses the 2011 case of a Boston woman who was attacked by her employer’s pet chimpanzee. In that incident, the 200-pound chimpanzee attacked her, causing her to lose her nose, lips, hands and eyelids, and, later, a disease from the animal caused doctors to have to remove her eyes. She required a full face transplant and suffered extreme disfigurement which will never heal and unimaginable emotional distress.
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Over the past week, we have seen a lot of news coverage on the Amtrak train derailment that resulted in eight dead and many more injured. As this investigation is still very much ongoing, it is expected new details will come out on a daily basis. First, we learned the train was allegedly going 106 mph around a sharp curve where the maximum safe top speed was set at 50 mph. Then we learned the driver supposedly did not attempt to slow the train going into the curve.

Train Sign.jpgNow, according to a breaking news report from CNN, a train conductor told the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) the train might have been hit by something prior to the horrific derailment accident.

The NTSB and FBI are conducting a joint investigation, and during the course of their investigation, there is speculation the locomotive and possibly two other trains were hit by some unknown objects just prior to the crash in Philadelphia. While much of the damage is obviously a result of the derailment and subsequent crash, based upon these tips, investigators have become concerned with damage to the lower portion of the locomotive, which may have been caused by whatever these objects were.
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Teens and college kids in Massachusetts love to have bonfires. While a bonfire can be a lot of fun, it is not hard to imagine how a giant tower of burning, unstable wood could result in serious personal injury.

firewood-on-fire-1-1199452-m.jpgOne of the more famous bonfire accidents occurred in 1999 at Texas A&M University during an annual event known as the Aggie Bonfire. During that horrific incident, which featured a world-record sized bonfire, the logs collapsed while lit and resulted in 12 deaths and more than 20 other serious personal injuries.

While this event got a great deal of national media attention, there are still bonfire accidents happening each year that do not manage to capture national attention but still result in serious personal injury. According to a recent news article from the Westwood, Massachusetts Patch, the Westwood Police Department was called to respond to a teen bonfire after it was reported a girl had been injured.
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