If it is broke, fix it

Most people don’t like needles, let alone a small camera inserted into their hearts.  But in the case of heart catheters, that long needle allows doctors to see inside a patient’s heart and diagnose, and even prevent, dangerous heart conditions.

Aim right here.

Boston Scientific, maker of the heart catheter called the iCross, has issued a recall.  During surgery, the tip of the catheter can break off and remain lodged in the heart.  This foreign body left inside can cause an embolism, heart attack, or even death.  You can learn more about the recall on the FDA‘s website – here.

What does this mean to you:

As our parents, grandparents and friends continue to age, we will become increasingly dependent on – and at the mercy of – medical devices such as the iCross and DePuy hip implants, that can and do fail.  For these reasons, it is important to know the make and model of any medical device used in case of future recall or problems.

A better mousetrap

Whenever time allows, I try to get into the workshop for some quality time woodworking.

This is a stand-up desk I built. I now use it in my office at work.

Half the fun or working on projects are the tools you get to use.  But to say that these tools can be dangerous is an understatement, and few tools are more dangerous than the table saw.  Every year, more than 3,500 people lose a finger on a traditional table saw.

This saw does not have SawStop, much less a guard.

But there is a technology that can prevent virtually all finger amputations from table saws.  Its called SawStop.  It works by sensing the electrical  current in a finger and immediately stops the blade from spinning.  However, none of the major manufacturers of table saws have incorporated this technology into their saws.  The companies, through their trade group – The Power Tool Institute, are even fighting making this technology mandatory for all table saws.

What does this mean to you:

Does everyone know that table saws are dangerous?  Sure.  But does everyone know that the manufacturers could make their table saws safer and avoid the horror of amputations, but have chosen not to?  Methinks not. Even when a product does not malfunction, it may still be defective based on the design choices made by the manufacturer.

On the road again…

Road rage, aggressive driving, asleep at the wheel.  These traits are bad enough when it’s the driver of another car doing it.  When it is the driver of a massive semi, its even worse.

Git 'er done.

Even though the safety benefits of trucks slowing down are well-know, crashes with semi’s continue to account for more that 4,000 fatalities per year.  That’s 10 people every day for a year.  Every year.  As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has begun cracking down on dangerous trucking companies.

What does it mean to you:

What may seem like mere rude behavior can have an huge impact when a case it brought by a lawyer.  The behavior of a truck driver or trucking company can often dramatically affect the value of personal injury or wrongful death claim, positively or negatively.

It’s powered by lasers

If you end up collecting and storing business cards, and if you have an iPhone (though there really should be no “if” about it), you have to check out the app WorldCard Mobile.  Take photo of a business card, and it extracts the data from the card and puts it into your contacts.  I find I am using it more and more these days in my business.  No more Rolodex, no more stacks of cards.

And on the topic of iPhone, rumors abound about the next generation of the Jesus Phone, but, as always with Apple, there are more questions than answers at this point.  Will it be unveiled in June or October?  Will it move up to a 4 in screen?  Will it look like one of these gorgeous concepts?  Will it be called iPhone 5 with 4G, or avoid the naming controversy like with “the new iPad?”  Stay tuned.

What does this mean to you:

Buy WorldCard Mobile now.  Wait until later this year to buy the new iPhone, whatever it ends up being called.

The two guarantees in life

Everyone’s heard the old adage – the only guarantees in life are death and taxes.  I would think that both happening simultaneously would probably ruin your day.

What goes here?

CNN reports there is actually an increased likelihood of deaths from car crashes on tax day, probably caused by increased stress and driver inattention, which has become a huge problem.

In Ohio over the last 2 years, distracted driving accounted for more than 31,000 wrecks, 7,800 injuries, and 70 deaths.  Though lawmakers debated a statewide texting while driving law earlier this year,  Ohio is one of only 8 states that does not have a specific ban.  Of course, Ohio law does require all drivers to be in control of their cars at all times as a general rule.

What does this mean to you:

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month.  Any distraction from the primary goal of driving creates unnecessary risk to your passengers and other drivers on the road.

Take a minute, slow down, and be safe out there.

Peel back the layers of the union

Union membership has dropped off dramatically, both in Ohio and around the country.  But, a recent piece in the TImes suggests, not only that middle-class prosperity is directly tied to union membership, but also that there should be a constitutional right to unionize.  After all, fictitious persons called corporations band together all the time to advance their own interests.  Shouldn’t actual people be able to do the same?

Fight the power.

Contrast this view with the so-called “right to work” movement in Ohio, or as some have referred to it, and as it will heretofore be known as on FSBD, the “right to work for nothing.”

But, “geez,” you say (because that is how you talk).  “It’s the RIGHT to work.  They’re giving you a right – they’re not taking anything away!  How could anyone be against the right to work?  I want to have the right to work.”  First of all, as we’ve already established, it’s the right to work for nothing.  Let’s get that straight.  Second, this is nothing more than framing an issue at its finest.  In political framing, black is white, cats are dogs, and the right to work for nothing counts as a right to work.

What does this mean to you:

Like SB5 before it, “right to work for nothing” is a transparent attempt to strip union membership even further and de-fund the labor movement.  Union members and union supporters should have a short memory when this issue eventually surfaces in Ohio.

We don’t know what we – I mean, you – are talking about

Baby Boomers appear to be here to stay.  I mean, they even have their own Association now, so you know they’re going to stick around and ask for stuff.  Stuff like hip implants that don’t fail after being implanted, causing pain, swelling, and metal on metal friction to throw off chromium and cobalt ions in to their blood streams.  Some people!  For what it’s worth, the medical research surrounding metal ions is ongoing, but as far as I know, no doctors have started prescribing chromium and cobalt ions to be taken once daily by mouth along with your Flintstones.


But, the maker of many hip implants, a company called DePuy (pronounced “Dapew”) who is owned by Johnson & Johnson, knew for quite a while that its ASR hip implants were failing.  It was recently learned that, rather than tell the FDA of the product’s defects, or make a change to its design, or immediately recall the device, DePuy opted merely to not make any more ASR hips, but continue to sell the problematic hips it had remaining.

What does this meant to you:

Many times, patients may not know the brand or model of the particular implant they have.  That is, a person may have a DePuy ASR and not even know it.  If you’re having problems, its important to check with your doctor to see which type you have, and if need be, discuss it with a lawyer.