Monthly Archives: June 2014

CPSC Reports Increase in Fireworks-Related Deaths and Injuries in 2013

Release Date: June 26, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to celebrate safely. A new CPSC study issued today highlights an increase in the number of fireworks-related deaths and injuries. Device malfunction and improper use are associated with the most injuries.

In 2013, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers who sustained injuries related to fireworks. This is an increase from 8,700 injuries in 2012. Sixty-five percent, or 7,400, of the injuries in 2013 occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4, 2013. CPSC staff reviewed fireworks incident reports from hospital emergency rooms, death certificate files, news clippings and other sources to estimate deaths, injuries and incident scenarios. Injuries were frequently the result of the user playing with lit fireworks or igniting fireworks while holding the device. Consumers also reported injuries related to devices that malfunctioned or devices that did not work as expected, including injuries due to errant flight paths, devices that tipped over and blowouts.

“CPSC works year-round to help prevent deaths and injuries from legal and illegal fireworks,” said Acting Chairman Bob Adler.  “We engage the fireworks industry, monitor incoming fireworks shipments at the ports, and enforce federal safety rules, so that all Americans have a safe Fourth of July.”

Last year, children younger than age 5 experienced a higher estimated per capita injury rate than any other age group. Past reports indicate that consumers sometimes feel comfortable handing off to children fireworks devices perceived to be less powerful, such as sparklers and bottle rockets. In 2013, sparklers and rockets accounted for more than 40 percent of all estimated injuries.

According to the report, fireworks incidents become deadly when banned, professional and home-manufactured devices are involved. In each of the eight fireworks-related deaths recorded in 2013, the victim was manipulating (or was a bystander to someone who was handling) a banned, professional or home-manufactured device.

CPSC enforces the mandatory fireworks requirements in the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) and the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) , by working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Department of Justice.  Together, these agencies monitor products entering the country, stop illegal use and distribution of fireworks and prosecute violators of the federal requirements.

CPSC and CBP staff sampled and tested a select number of imported fireworks in 2013. Of those tested, 33 percent were noncompliant with federal regulations. Violations most often involved overloaded report composition and failure to meet fuse burn-time requirements. These violative devices never reached the shelves of American stores or fireworks stands.

Consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks are urged to take the following safety steps:

  • Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees─hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Always have an adult close by to supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, which is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
  • ATF encourages the public to report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks to your local law enforcement agencies or to the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.  Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

Courtesy of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – News Release 

2014’s Best and Worst States for Teen Drivers

by John S Kiernan,


In American culture, getting a driver’s license at 16 is considered a rite of passage. But lately, it has grown from an exciting stage of growth to a death sentence for thousands of teens every year. Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 19 — they have the highest crash rate of any age group.

In addition, the financial implications of those statistics are staggering. Although young people aged 15 to 24 represent only 14 percent of the population, they account for about 30 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. That’s not counting auto maintenance, high insurance premiums, possible traffic citations and other vehicular incidents that can rack up expensive costs over time.

Looking ahead at the summer season, it is prudent to reflect on the fact that more teens will be obtaining their licenses during this time, when an average of 260 teens are killed in car accidents each month. More than ever, it is imperative to take precautionary measures to ensure teens’ safety behind the wheel.

Using 16 key metrics, WalletHub has identified the Best & Worst States for Teen Drivers. We took a close examination of various elements — ranging from the average cost of car repairs and the number of teen drivers in each state to impaired-driving laws and teen driver fatalities. By doing so, we aim to equip parents and other concerned adults with facts that will help them safeguard against unforeseeable events when their teens are on the road. After all, parents are the ones to shoulder both the emotional and financial burdens of their children’s actions. Check out the Methodology section below for more detailed information on how we ranked each state.

Courtesy of 

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Dr. Burke and Joe B participated in a training exercise on field amputation at the Massachusetts Task Force 1 (MA-TF 1)

Peter Burke, MD, FACS and Joe Blansfield, NP participated in a training exercise on the considerations involved in performing a field amputation on entrapped victims in a rubble pile at the Massachusetts Task Force 1 (MA-TF 1) Urban Search and Rescue Team (US&R) in Beverly, Massachusetts. The US&R teams are comprised of Police, Fire, EMS and Civilians and respond to major disasters under a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Medics from the Massachusetts National Guard were present as well.  This was a valuable training exercise providing hands-on experience delivered by experts in the field. 






Congratulations to Patricia Harrison, NP for being recently awarded a Boston Medical Center “Be Exceptional Award”!


Patty Harrison, NP volunteering at the 2013 Health Expo.

Congratulations to Patricia Harrison, NP in the Trauma Surgery Department for being nominated by her colleagues for the Be Exceptional Award, which recognize outstanding BMC staff who demonstrate exceptional performance and dedication to fulfilling BMC’s mission and four QUEST goals: QUality, Efficiency, Satisfaction and Total Revenue.

Patty is a Nurse Practitioner in Trauma Surgery and she has such a contagious enthusiasm for medicine that she inspires her colleagues and patients alike. Many of her patients are victims of violence and she uses it as a springboard to encourage them to think about their future and make a positive change in their lives. When her patients show an interest in health care, she hangs lesson plans on their wall and brings in medical books for them to consider a career in medicine. From empowering patients and family members to providing education and counseling on care management, Patty always prepares for a safe, expeditious, and thoughtful discharge for even the most challenging patients. She also goes the extra mile with her colleagues, organizing care packages for sick coworkers and cards for special occasions. Outside of BMC, Patty enjoys traveling with her family and friends, sailing in the British Virgin Islands and vacationing in Europe.


Call 911 if you see a child alone in a car.

By Kate Carr – Safe Kids 

May 21st, 2014

Have you ever wondered if your actions can really make a difference? Last summer in Houston, Jason Nordman was walking in the parking lot outside an office building and spotted a baby crying in a car seat alone in a car. The windows were cracked a few inches and the doors were locked.

Fortunately for the baby and his family, Mr. Nordman decided to get involved. Working together with another bystander, Marcela Orozco, they notified security and called the police. The baby was rushed by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital and a life was saved.

Would you do the same? This same situation faces more people than you think. According to a national online survey, almost 2 out of every 5 parents surveyed said they had seen a young child left alone in a parked car in the last year.

Some reported that they took action. Others reported that they did nothing.

Why is making that call to 911 so important? Many people are shocked to learn that the inside of a car can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes and keeps getting hotter with each passing minute. And cracking the window doesn’t help.

Heatstroke sets in when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough. Young children are particularly at risk as their bodies heat up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s. Children simply can’t cool their bodies fast enough to handle the extreme heat. And when a child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child is at risk of death. 

Since 1998, at least 610 children across the United States have died in cars from heatstroke – that’s one child every 10 days. Five children have already died this summer and the days are only getting longer, the temperature even warmer.   

Once again Safe Kids is joining with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the General Motors Foundation and other partners to spread the word about the dangers of heatstroke. We want parents, caregivers and bystanders to join in our effort to eliminate heatstroke deaths by remembering to ACT.

Click here to read full article 
Courtesy of