Monthly Archives: October 2015

4 killed and many injured when car runs into crowd at parade

As California residents celebrate homecoming festivities at schools and colleges across the state, a homecoming parade in another state was the scene of a fatal accident. On Oct. 24, an alleged drunk driver crashed into a crowd of spectators at Oklahoma State University’s homecoming parade. At least four people were killed in the crash. The driver of the car was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence. She is being held on $1 million bond.

The crowd that gathered for the Saturday morning parade was viewing the parade’s final stages when a vehicle that was not involved in the parade hit several people. A local reporter at the scene who live tweeted the incident said that the car was speeding and did not appear to brake. This comment was based on the lack of the sound of screeching tires, according to the reporter.

Early Saturday afternoon there were official reports of three fatalities from the accident. Local media reports that a motorcycle rider was also injured. Nearly 30 people received injuries and were taken from the scene of the accident by helicopters to area hospitals. The death toll later rose to four, including a 2-year-old child. The 25-year-old woman who was driving the car was taken to jail on Saturday afternoon. According to court documents, she stated that she was suicidal when she drove her car into the parade crowd. Her attorney stated that she has been hospitalized in the past for mental health issues.

Pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries. The high costs of medical care after someone has been injured in such an accident could be more than an insurer will offer. Injured victims may thus want to have the assistance of an attorney in seeking appropriate compensation for their losses.

Source: Fox News, “Driver in deadly Oklahoma State homecoming crash said she was suicidal, court document says”, Oct. 27, 2015

New treatment may be ahead for severe burns

A California biotechnology firm is involved in the development of a new treatment that could significantly alter the treatment and prognosis of people who have been badly burned. Engineered skin substitute, also known as ESS, uses both collagen-producing cells and a patient’s own skin to regrow the layers. Skin grafts using a patient’s own skin have been in use for years, but they do not promote the type of large-scale healing that ESS may provide. Previous treatments have only ever been able to regrow a single skin layer, but with ESS, it is possible to regrow both the dermis and the epidermis.

Researchers from Rutgers University and the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research in Texas are also involved in the study. The USAISR Burn Unit treats both civilians and military personnel, and it will conduct a Phase 2 study of ESS involving a dozen people who have burns over 50 percent of their bodies. Around 500 to 2,000 people annually sustain burns this severe, and many of them die from infection or organ failure.

If ESS is successful, it could also be important in soft tissue repair following a burn. Research into other techniques and products is also underway including a system in which an individual’s stem cells are used to produce new tissue.

Injuries from a burn may be life-changing. Recovery may be painful, expensive and lengthy, and people may be permanently disfigured or disabled. If the injuries were caused by the negligence of another party, such as a manufacturer of a defective electric blanket that caused a fire, a personal injury attorney can assist the victim in seeking compensation for the losses that have been incurred.

Brain injuries in California

A seemingly countless number of patients are seen in California emergency rooms and trauma centers each year after suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Whether the accidents occur on the football field or during a car crash, people often experience long-term problems related to brain swelling and blunt-force impact. Researchers have found that some enduring effects may be treatable with medications and other therapies.

After the initial healing period, the residual effects of brain injury are caused by persistent inflammation of the tissues. Lingering, mild swelling has been associated with chronic brain damage resulting in cognitive impairment and psychiatric abberations. Additionally, people who endure repeated injuries while the brain is still recovering from the initial trauma are at higher risk for permanent cognitive deterioration. Where long-term problems have formerly been attributed to the initial injury, the issues are now being connected with continual irritation in the brain.

Studies have shown that patients who are treated early on in the recovery phase may be able to halt or reverse the damages caused by chronic brain tissue inflammation. Experimental medications have been shown to reduce the amount of swelling to the cerebrum after injury, and specific exercises can be performed to help keep irritation to a minimum.

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the primary causes of traumatic brain injuries. Victims of such an accident may face long and expensive medical care and treatment, and in some cases their financial situation is made worse by being unable to return to work for prolonged periods. In the event that the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, the injured victim may want to meet with a personal injury attorney to determine how to seek compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

New tests may help California TBI patients

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries account for 30 percent of accident-related deaths each year around the country. The agency has asserted that those deaths cost the United States $75.6 million annually. While there is no cure for TBIs, researchers believe that they may be able to stop an injury from getting worse after it occurs. It is thought that there is a two- or three-day window in which cell death can be prevented after a blow to the head.

To study the effects of a blow to the head, scientists use slices of rat brain tissue. They can simulate the impact of a tackle during a football game, the impact of a car crash or the effect that an explosion may have on brain matter. The tests aim to discover how much tissue can bend before it breaks and how many cells die immediately following such a scenario.

Although many in the scientific community applaud the work, there is more research that needs to be done. For instance, some have suggested doing experiments outside of a lab’s controlled environment. For now, the best advice may be to wear a seat belt and take other precautions to prevent a TBI from occurring.

Those who have received a brain injury as the result of another party’s negligence may wish to talk to an attorney about their legal options. It may be possible to win compensation to pay for medical bills, long-term care costs and other expenses related to the injury through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. It may also be possible to win compensation for lost wages if the victim was forced to miss work.

Teens’ consumption of energy drinks linked to brain injuries

California teenagers who love energy drinks should be aware that they may be more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury. One study found that teens who suffered a brain injury were seven times more likely to have consumed five or more energy drinks within one week of suffering the serious injury.

Energy drinks are popular among many student athletes as they can give them a boost of energy. Additionally, energy drinks are often sponsored by popular athletes. Other students may also drink the energy drinks to improve their mood and increase alertness. In addition to being associated with traumatic brain injuries, the energy drinks were also linked to a change in teenagers’ behaviors.

A neurosurgeon who worksat St. Michael’s Hospital stated that brain injuries that occur in adolescents can be particularly damaging because their brains are still growing. The energy drinks, which are full of caffeine, can make recovery slower. However, the report did not indicate if the energy drinks were thought to be associated with the cause of the injuries or just the delay in recovering from the injuries.

Brain injuries can be caused by sudden impacts that may occur through falls or motor vehicle accidents. They can also be the result of a surgical error. While some brain injuries are temporary, others could cause permanent physical damages that may include cognition difficulties and loss of mobility. They can also cause mental changes, such as anxiety and depression. If the brain injury was caused by the negligent act of another person, the victim may want to meet with an attorney to determine whether there is any recourse for seeking compensation for the injuries that have been sustained.

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