Philadelphia Traffic Safety Campaign

Philadelphia Traffic Safety Campaign

The City of Philadelphia is a month in to its œDrive Right, Ride Right, Walk Right campaign. The campaign, launched in February, features messages on bus shelters, buses and subway cars, reminding commuters to exercise safety. The $125,000 campaign is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

According to Mayor Nutter, a pedestrian is hit by a car every four hours in Philadelphia. œThe economic cost of traffic accidents in Philadelphia exceeds $1 billion a year. The personal costs of traffic tragedies are incalculable, says Nutter. Adds Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler: œWe need to pay special attention to pedestrians because we are all pedestrians. We need to target the most dangerous and annoying behaviors of cyclists. We need to remind drivers that city streets aren’t highways. At the end of the day, this is about making sure everyone gets home safely.

Advertisements are expected to run through the spring. Some of the messages posted throughout the city are œThe sign doesn’t say: sorta stop; œIt’s called a sidewalk not a sideride; and œObjects in mirror only appear when looked at. The campaign was developed by Philadelphia based advertising and public relations firm LevLane.

It is too soon to tell if the campaign has had an effect on roadway and sidewalk safety within the city. Mayor Nutter is absolutely correct about the personal effects of traffic tragedies. Traffic accidents can cause serious and permanent physical injuries as well as extreme financial hardship. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured as a result of driver negligence, you may want to consider contacting a personal injury attorney to explain and protect your rights.

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Z-Pak Drug Linked to Heart Problems

The FDA issued a warning this week that that the popular antibiotic Zithromax (also known as Zmax or Z-Pak) can cause potentially fatal heart rhythms. At this point, there is not talk of recalling the drug, however, doctors and patients are encouraged to address these concerns when contemplating using the drug.

The drug (azithromycin) is a macrolide antibiotic made by Pfizer that is used to fight bacteria in the body. It is commonly prescribed to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, strep throat, acute bacterial sinusitis, pneumonia and tonsillitis. Patients with slow heart rates, low levels of potassium or magnesium, or who are on medication to treat abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias are at an enhanced risk of the heart side effects. For such patients, the risk of sudden death with use of the drug is 1 in 4,000.

The FDA issued the drug safety communication after reviewing a manufacturer study that assessed the potential for azithromycin to cause abnormal changes in the heart’s electrical activity. Experts recommend discussing your family’s heart history with your physician prior to using the drug. Pfizer reports that it is updating Z-Pak labels with the new FDA warning.

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Carbon Monoxide Dangers of Generators

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air and extremely toxic for humans. It is one of the most common types of fatal gas poisonings. The symptoms can be mistaken for a simple headache, nausea, and vomiting until it is too late. Chest pain and loss of consciousness can occur as the brain and heart are starved of oxygen.

Sometimes six or eight weeks after CO exposure a person will get headaches, memory loss, and coordination problems, as well as other significant cognitive problems.

Exposure to 200 parts CO per million parts air (œppm) for as short as thirty minutes can be deadly. Exposure to only 150 ppm CO over eight hours is deadly for most people. These numbers can be even lower if you have compromised health.

Although the dangers of CO poisoning are generally well known, CO poisoning has recently become a more prevalent public health danger. With the recent hurricane causing record numbers of power outages, scores of people have turned to emergency generators to power their houses for days at a time.

Recent deaths from CO poisoning caused by portable generators include two sisters in Trenton, a woman in Upper Merion, and a grandfather in the Lehigh Valley whose family survived. One local emergency room alone saw ten patients related to portable generator related CO poisoning in one day.

It may be obvious that running a gasoline-powered generator in the house is dangerous, but the dangers extend beyond that. People have been injured and killed with generators running outside but near their house or with a generator running inside their attached garage, even with the exterior door open. CO injuries and deaths may result from generators too near a house because the gas can be drawn into a small opening such as a slightly open window. Generators should be placed at least twenty-five feet from your house. Importantly, CO monitors are relatively affordable. They should be placed near the floor because CO is lighter than air.

Portable generators can be a blessing in a power outage. But if proper safety precautions are not followed, dangerous and often deadly results can occur.

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