Monthly Archives: March 2015

Musician David Crosby hits pedestrian in California

Iconic musician David Crosby struck and injured a jogger in Santa Ynez Valley on March 21. Authorities said the incident took place on Baseline Avenue near Mora Street, which is close to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s home.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a 46-year-old man was jogging westbound on the roadway with his son when Crosby’s black 2015 Tesla hit him. The victim was pushed forward and fell to the ground, suffering multiple lacerations, abrasions and fractures. He was transported to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara with injuries that were believed to be non-life-threatening. His son was not injured.

Crosby was reportedly driving at 55 mph at the time of the crash, which is the legal speed limit. He told investigators he was momentarily blinded by the sun and did not see the jogger. He immediately pulled over and offered assistance to the victim. Authorities said he was not driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Residents of the area said that portion of the roadway is known for sun glare at this time of year. A representative of the CHP said joggers and pedestrians should face oncoming traffic in order to avoid danger.

A pedestrian hit by a car could potentially face weeks or months of difficult recovery time. Some injuries, such as to the brain or spine, could even leave a victim permanently disabled. Anyone hurt in such an accident may file a civil lawsuit against the driver that hit them even if police choose not to file charges in the case. With the aid of an attorney, a victim could attempt to prove that the driver’s negligence was responsible for their injuries. A successful claim could bring needed financial compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: KEYT, “Musician David Crosby Injures Jogger in Santa Ynez Valley Vehicle Accident,” John Palminteri, March 25, 2015

Handling head injuries in young athletes

Parents of young athletes in California may be interested to learn about updated guidelines released by the American Academy of Neurology for managing head injuries. These guidelines received the update in 2013 but had not been changed since they were established in 1997.

According to the new protocols, the AAN suggests that the care and treatment of student athlete head injuries should be more conservative because these younger players may be subjected to prolonged symptoms and decreased neurocognitive performance. Because of this, athletes who suffer a concussion must be removed from play immediately. However, evidence does not suggest that absolute rest is necessary after the injury occurs.

In addition, they may not be allowed back into the game unless a professional has assessed their condition. In many cases, the Standardized Assessment of Concussion, a symptom checklist and other methods might help diagnoses and manage the injuries, but they should not be used exclusively for diagnosis. In addition, licensed health professionals should also provide assistance by monitoring the ongoing symptoms and reviewing the patient’s history of concussions.

While taking steps to prevent additional damage after a concussion can be important, the initial damage of the injury may still present a number of difficulties for the victim and their family. Serious injuries might require extended hospital treatment and ongoing specialized care, and these types of services may represent a heavy burden on a family’s finances. However, in cases where the injury was caused due to the negligence of another party, a family might try to recover those financial damages in court. By filing an action against the allegedly liable party, plaintiffs could receive compensation for losses stemming from the injury.

Simple safety measures can dramatically reduce birth injuries

Birth injuries that occur in California hospitals can have fatal outcomes or cause devastating lifelong consequences. However, a recent report by Public Citizen has demonstrated how simple procedural changes can be used to dramatically reduce negative outcomes in hospital births. The report detailed what happened over the course of 15 years when four medical organizations implemented a birth safety initiative.

The medical organizations that were studied were Ascension Health, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Premier Inc. and Hospital Corporation of America. All four of the organizations made changes that included more communications training for delivery room staff, simulations to practice responses to emergency delivery situations and the use of more caution before going forward with a cesarean section delivery.

After the birth safety initiative was implemented in the 43 hospitals operated by Ascension Health, neonatal fatality rates dropped by almost 50 percent. Before this dramatic improvement, Acension Health reportedly already ranked 62 percent below the national average for neonatal fatalities. Premier Inc. saw a 74-percent reduction in birth trauma for full term infants across its 16 hospitals, and maternal fatalities from pulmonary embolisms went down by 86 percent at Hospital Corporation of America. New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center was able to significantly reduce the incidence of brain injuries from lack of oxygen.

Parents are sometimes unaware of the exact reasons as to why their baby was injured during delivery until after an investigation is completed. If parents suspect that there might have been negligence in the delivery room, they might want to get in contact with an attorney. An attorney may be able to help parents determine who was liable for their baby’s injury and pursue an appropriate award for damages.

California surgeon, hospital sued for malpractice

A family is suing a surgeon and Benioff Children’s Hospital for malpractice as well as wrongful death, if it is eventually proven that their daughter died in December 2013. The lawsuit follows the family fighting to continue life support for the girl and move her to a New Jersey-based long-term care facility after doctors declared her brain dead.

The then 13-year-old girl had surgery to cure sleep apnea, but the family says the surgeon did not adhere to care standards, opting to do invasive surgery to remove her uvula, adenoids, tonsils and soft pallet. The medical malpractice suit states that the surgeon noted that the girl could have a misshapen carotid artery near the surgical area, putting her at risk of hemorrhaging, but he did not alert the nurses following the surgery.

The girl was hacking up blood when her parents saw her after the procedure, according to the lawsuit, and her mother requested a doctor’s presence when the nurses could not agree on how to treat her daughter. When he arrived after several hours, the teen’s heart rate and oxygen levels were in decline and she went into cardiac arrest. It took more than two hours for them to revive her. While they pumped around two liters of blood from her lungs, according to the suit, they never performed a tracheotomy. Afterward, hospital staff told the girl’s parents that she suffered substantial brain damage and were making preparations to remove the life support. The parents were never given an explanation as to how this occurred, according to the pleadings.

Patients and parents of minor patients who believe they have suffered from the negligence of doctors or nurses have the right to file medical malpractice lawsuits. Doing so could earn them compensation to pay for past, present and future medical costs.

Source: ABC News, “Family of California Teen Declared Brain Dead Sues Hospital for Malpractice“, Sydney Lupkin, March 3, 2015

Head trauma in young children

As many California parents may know, head injury in the pediatric population may be associated with car crashes, falls and other accidents. The type of head injury relates to the intensity of trauma.

When a child with a head injury goes to the doctor, he or she should be examined for lacerations, swelling or bruises of the cranium. Scalp wounds often bleed profusely and might indicate additional issues such as a fracture. Because of the pediatric patient’s size, scalp wounds are capable of inducing hypotension and leading to shock.

Skull fractures in children are generally linear and are easy to see in an X-ray. When a child suffers a blow to the posterior skull, a basilar fracture may result. Such fractures show multiple symptoms including seizures, loss of consciousness and confusion. The child may exhibit nausea and vomiting. Battle’s sign, a bruised area behind the ear, may be present along with darkening around the eyes. Cerebrospinal fluid may be seen draining from the ears and nose. All of these symptoms are diagnostic of a cranial fracture and usually involve brain trauma.

Concussions are usually diagnosed some time after the trauma. On occasion, younger children might have seizures and other symptoms. The presentation of symptoms may be delayed in younger patients.

When a child suffers head trauma such as might happen from an amusement park injury, it is common for some symptoms to have a certain latency period before they are seen. Since head trauma might lead to serious problems that interfere with the patient’s mental capacity, speaking with an attorney after the accident may be beneficial.

The attorneys may review the circumstances of the accident and determine if it was the result of negligence. The attorney may help the parents file a personal injury suit, if need be, to cover financial loss due to hospital bills and medical care.

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