Monthly Archives: September 2015

Traumatic brain injury damage reduced by a hypertension drug

Many California residents have sustained a traumatic brain injury after an accident. Inflammation of the brain immediately occurs and continues to cause damage well after the impact. The treatment for this kind of injury has been supportive care and rehabilitation because there was no known way to slow the inflammation. A new study done on mice, however, has discovered that a high blood pressure medicine reduces the inflammatory response of the body.

The study was done at the Georgetown University Medical Center, and it was found that a protein produced in the liver after a traumatic brain injury causes major inflammation in the brain. A hypertension drug called telmisartan blocked the production of a molecule necessary to produce the protein responsible for the brain inflammation in mice. Candesartan, another high blood pressure medicine, was also found to be beneficial hours after the injury.

Brain injury leads to reduced blood flow and nerve cell death. After an accident, it could take a while for a patient to get treatment in the emergency room. It is helpful for clinicians to know that hours after the brain injury, these drugs still decrease brain inflammation, which reduces the damage that would otherwise occur.

A person who has received a traumatic brain injury as a result of the negligence of another, such as an impaired or distracted motorist, may want to consult with an attorney in order to determine the available methods of receiving compensation. In some cases, it may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver that would seek damages for medical expenses and other losses that have been incurred by the victim.

Source: Medical News Today, “Hypertension drug reduces inflammation from traumatic brain injury”, MNT, Sept. 21, 2015

Some crosswalks may get new hybrid system

California pedestrians might see a new type of crosswalk coming to their roads known as the pedestrian hybrid crosswalk. Because 70 percent of accidents that kill pedestrians occur at midblock crossings, these may significantly reduce fatal accidents.

The mechanism is pedestrian-activated, and it begins by briefly flashing a yellow indicator that then becomes steady. Next, it shows a walk indication to the pedestrian and a steady red light to drivers. A flashing orange hand warns pedestrians that their indicator is about to be turned off, and motorists get a flashing red light before the system goes dark again.

Several factors make the pedestrian hybrid crosswalk both necessary and successful. They should only be used where there is a marked crosswalk and a high volume of traffic. Since most pedestrian fatalities occur when cars are going more than 40 miles per hour, they also contribute to safer roads where speeds are high. They have also been shown to potentially reduce traffic accidents by almost 30 percent and pedestrian accidents by almost 70 percent. Pedestrian hybrid crosswalks are useful near school and transit locations, and drivers and pedestrians may need to be educated on their use.

A pedestrian may be badly injured in an accident with a motor vehicle. If the accident occurs in a crosswalk or this type of hybrid crosswalk, the pedestrian may not be at fault. While the responsible driver’s insurance company may sometimes cover the pedestrian’s expenses, in some cases, the driver is uninsured or underinsured. In other cases, insurance offers insufficient coverage. In these circumstances, the injured pedestrian may wish to consult an attorney to seek further legal advice. An attorney may be helpful in negotiations with insurance companies. The pedestrian might also choose to file a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties.

Treating electrical burns in California

Although an electrical burn may appear to only impact the skin, it can do damage to underlying tissue as well as vital organs. Therefore, it may be a good idea to seek treatment from a medical professional as soon as it is safe to do so. Those who encounter someone who has sustained an electrical injury should generally not attempt to touch or move that person.

Instead, the best option is to call 911 and allow trained professionals to treat the victim. This is because the victim could still be near or in contact with live wires or in the vicinity of ongoing lightning. For those who suffer a minor electrical burn, it is possible that the wound can be treated much like other burn wounds would be treated. However, those who are experiencing confusion, muscle contraction or seizures should be treated in an emergency room as soon as possible.

If it is safe to help an injured victim, the first step may be to cut off the source of the electricity. When treating a burn, it is important to use a cloth as opposed to a towel because the towel may stick to the affected skin. Alternatively, a sterile bandage or gauze may be used to cover the wound until it can be treated by a doctor.

Those who suffer a burn injury may decide to take legal action. For instance, the manufacturer of a defective space heater could be liable if it caused the fire that led to a victim’s injuries. A lawyer might be able to help win compensation for medical bills and other costs related to treating the injury. Lost wages may also be recouped as part of a settlement or jury award.

California workers may be at risk for acid burns

A report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a chemical called hydrofluoric acid could be harmful to workers. Between 2001 and 2013, it was revealed that 48 car wash workers in the state of Washington suffered burns after coming into contact with the substance. A 38-year-old Washington man died after ingesting the acid, but it isn’t clear if he took it intentionally. The substance is often used in car washes as a way to break down grime and brighten aluminum.

In some of the cases, the workers were injured because they had holes in their gloves or were not wearing any at the time they were burned. Typically, these workplace injuries occurred around the eyes, head and hands, and seven workers had to be hospitalized for serious burns. Of those hospitalized, two needed skin graft surgery.

The reason why some of the injuries may have been so severe is because of a delay in seeking treatment. At low concentrations, the workers may not have felt the substance make contact with their skin. Therefore, they did not seek treatment right away, and one man was covered in the acid for almost 90 minutes before he realized he had been burned. Although he survived, he had chronic numbness in his foot and received partial disability payments.

A person who suffers a burn injury as a result of a defective product or through the negligence of another individual may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine the most efficacious way of obtaining compensation. In some cases it may be advisable to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible party.

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