Articles Posted in Injuries and Treatment

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People who suffer from cardiovascular disease may be at a higher risk of suffering from slip and fall accidents that expose them to serious personal injury.

According to a new study whose results were published in the journal Circulation:  Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes,  more research is needed to understand the causes of increased fall risks in people suffering from cardiovascular disease.   An earlier study from 2018 found that as many as 60% of people who suffer from cardiovascular disease had a moderate to high risk of suffering a slip and fall accident.

There are several risk factors that might expose a person who suffers from  cardiovascular conditions to have an elevated fall risk.   Hypertension or a spike in blood pressure may cause dizziness or a sudden loss of consciousness which could directly lead to a fall hazard.  A  person recovering from a stroke may continue to suffer from dizziness, while one who suffers from diabetes may suffer from neuropathy in the foot that could affect balance and, therefore, slip and fall accident risks.

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The Governor’s Highway Safety Association has released a new report that provides recommendations to state highway offices on steps that they can take to reduce the incidence of distracted driving. A significant number of car accidents are caused by drivers who are distracted due to their use of telephones, radios, eating and other activities in their car.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association released the report titled Directing Drivers’ Attention: State Highway Safety Office Roadmap for Combating Distracted Driving.  In the report, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association presents a number of recommendations that states can use in order to reduce the risk of drivers causing auto accidents while distracted. These types of car accidents are a significant cause of personal injuries that occur in accidents.

The recommendations are broad- ranging, and include everything from enforcement and law making to infrastructure and education. One of the more important topics that the Governor’s Highway Safety Association addresses in its report is the role of distracted driving laws.  The Governor’s Highway Safety Association is recommending that states amend their Graduated Driver’s Licensing laws to restrict the number of passengers that teen drivers can have in their car.  Teen passengers can be a major source of distraction for novice drivers. Fortunately, Georgia has already adopted this measure. New teen drivers in Georgia cannot have a passenger who is not a family member during the first 6 months of driving and then is gradually, over time, allowed to have passengers who are not relatives.

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Slip and/or fall accidents can cause serious injuries and result in long-term disability to a person’s life.  Spinal injuries are often the result of fall accidents.  A fall does not have to occur from an elevation for the person to suffer a spinal injury. Even a fall from a low height, like a few stairs, can result in an injury that is serious enough to result in lifelong consequences.

Reduced bowel function is just one of the many consequences of a spinal injury. New studies find that physical interventions that include walking with the help of exoskeleton devices can actually enhance bowel function in these patients.

An exoskeleton is an external device, that is worn by a spinal injury patient who has limited mobility as a result of his injury. The device works like a scaffolding of sorts to hold the patient up. It can help the person walk and stand independently without support. Exoskeleton devices have been found to be of great help to spinal injury patients who are suffering from some degree of paralysis and cannot walk or stand without support.

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If you are injured in an accident, oftentimes the last thing that may be on your mind is starting a lawsuit.  However, your injuries may be severely impacting your ability to work, to interact with your family and to live your daily life.  And, more often than not, if your injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence, your attempts to recover compensation from the other party’s insurance company may not be as successful as you would like.  That’s the time when you may have to consider filing a lawsuit to recover for your injuries.

When it comes to filing a lawsuit, timing is critical.  All states have a time limit for when a lawsuit must be filed.  This is called the statute of limitations which defines the time limits in which an individual may file a civil claim. This time limit ensures that claims are filed while evidence is still available, and it also prevents a party from threatening to sue long after a conflict has been resolved.

In Georgia, the statute of limitations varies significantly according to the type of claim. There is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injuries and fraud, while the state enforces a four-year statute of limitations for trespassing, debt collection, and injuries to personal property. A civil suit alleging libel or slander must be filed within one year, and medical or other professional malpractice claims must be made within two years or a maximum of five years after the act.

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The explosion of social media has unfortunately meant more ways for unprofessional staff members at nursing homes to abuse vulnerable residents. A shocking exposé by ProPublica documents evidence of instances in which nursing home staff uploaded embarrassing, humiliating or degrading images or videos of vulnerable elderly residents in their care.

Many of these images were uploaded on social media networks like SnapChat, which displays pictures posted on it for a few seconds before deleting them. The ProPublica exposé investigated such instances, and found a total of 35 episodes that have occurred since 2012 alone. In all of these instances, staff members at nursing homes took pictures of residents in some of their most vulnerable states, and shared them on social media. Sixteen of the pictures or images were uploaded on SnapChat.

In some of these pictures and videos, residents were either totally or partially naked. In one instance recorded in 2014, a worker at a Washington-based nursing care facility uploaded a video of a resident sitting on a portable toilet. In yet another horrifying video, one worker can be seen slapping the face of an elderly resident using a nylon strap, to which the woman protests. In the background, other employees can be heard laughing.

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A practice called “balance billing” has patients with full medical coverage paying exorbitant out-of-pocket costs, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. It’s a controversial and sometimes illegal practice that occurs when a patient’s health plan pays less than what the doctor or institution wants to be paid, and it has healthcare providers going after patients for money they may not even owe.

Say, for example, a young man with full medical coverage is involved in a car accident and has to be airlifted to a hospital five minutes away. He recovers, but his pocket takes a decided hit when he opens his mail to find a $20,000 bill for the helicopter ride, and his insurer only pays $8,000 – a price they find much more reasonable. Georgia State Rep. Rusty Kidd found himself in a similar situation last year when he was being carried in his wheelchair down a flight of steps and one of the steps suddenly broke. A broken neck required he be transported to an Atlanta-area facility by air ambulance.

Although the bill was $27,000, his insurer would only pay a fraction of the cost, leaving Kidd to cover the rest. “Without a set contract, insurers often pay only what they determine is a reasonable price for the service,” writes AJC reporter Carrie Teegardin. The real problem often arises when patients who are part of H.M.O.’s, P.P.O.’s and other network health care plans choose to use an out-of-network provider. In emergency situations like Kidd’s, the patient may not even have any choice in the matter.
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For most Atlanta residents planning a vacation this summer, access to emergency trauma care in their vacation destination is not really at the top of the priority list. In fact, most people on vacation don’t give a second thought to whether their holiday destination has easy and quick access to trauma care in the event of an accident with serious injuries, or other emergency. A new interactive map released by the American Society shows that some of the country’s most frequented holiday spots have pitiful access to trauma care.

Last week, the American Trauma Society released a map which allows users to check the availability of trauma care across the country. Splatters of purple cover those areas that have good access to trauma care. Atlanta car accident lawyers were not surprised to find that in Georgia, the only areas that have good access to trauma care are located in the metro Atlanta region. The rest of the state, especially rural areas, have poor access to trauma care facilities.

Across the rest of the country, you’ll find that some of the biggest tourist magnets have no access to trauma care. If you’re headed to Martha’s Vineyard, Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone, or the Key West, be warned – these areas are some of the worst positioned in the country when it comes to emergency critical care,. If you are in these areas, and are involved in a car accident or any other type of emergency that requires emergency trauma care, you could be in serious trouble.

Critical care is important because it is often the only factor deciding whether a person survives a serious accident. If an accident victim can be rushed to a trauma care facility within the first sixty minutes of being involved in a serious accident, his chances of surviving with minimal damage increase substantially. If, on the other hand, he has been unfortunate enough to be injured in an accident on a rural road, with the nearest trauma care facility miles away, then his chances of surviving the accident begin to drop. In Georgia, most fatal accidents occur in rural areas that are located far away from the nearest trauma facility. In south Georgia, there are almost no trauma care hospitals to speak of. That is a horrible situation, and places people in these areas at a high risk of death if they are involved in accidents.
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“72 degrees and sunny is no way to die. Never leave your child alone in a car.” This was the warning being distributed by Safe Kids USA along with the news that the 500th child has died from heat stroke – a record that is not to be celebrated. According to Safe Kids, an average of 38 heat-related deaths occurs every year. Sometimes parents and caretakers find it convenient to leave small children unattended in vehicles while they run into the store. Other times, leaving a sleeping child behind is purely an accident, and the fault of a distracted, but otherwise caring parent. But it is an oversight that can prove to be fatal during the hot summer months when a car with its windows rolled up becomes a steaming deathtrap and children’s tiny bodies overload with heat.

Atlanta area personal injury attorneys recently learned of a tragic death close to home which resulted when a slumbering two year old was inadvertently left behind while daycare workers took other students on a field trip. The prolonged exposure to excessive heat overwhelmed her body and her body temperature climbed uncontrollably. It was two hours before anyone notice she was missing, but by then it was too late. Hers was the second such death in the metro Atlanta area in less than a month. On May 25, a five-month-old baby died after being left in a car outside of a Kennesaw daycare center.

Heatstroke occurs when a person’s temperature exceeds 104 degrees F and their thermoregulatory mechanism is overwhelmed, says Safekids’ Web site. A child’s core body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s, making them more susceptible to heat stroke – even on a day with mild temperatures.

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New research, published in The Journal of Physiology, may have provided a definitive answer to the question of whether a key molecule, ‘KCC2’ facilitates brain cell death after an injury or prevents it. The answer, which apparently indicates prevention, has prompted scientists to explore artificial production of the compound which could provide ‘neuroprotection’ to those who have suffered a brain injury, thereby preventing further injury to brain cells after an auto accident. All Atlanta personal injury attorneys welcome this development and the efforts of researches that may help hundreds of thousands of accident victims.

According to Dr. Igor Medina of the Université de la Méditerranée, “Neuron damage can result from acute events such as stroke, epilepsy or head injury or by chronic degeneration found in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. When brain tissue is damaged, cells often continue to die after the initial stimulus has stopped. So it is important to find a way of stopping this cascade of cell death.”

Furthermore, says Dr. Medina “Neuroprotective agents that may stem from this research would benefit the victims of car crashes, stroke[s], and those suffering with epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s – it is a major focus for further studies,” said Dr Medina.”
Auto accidents can cause severe, debilitating and permanent injuries, including injuries similar to those described above. Atlanta car accident attorney support the research of KCC2, as it provides them with more and better methods to help clients maneuver through the issues that often arise after an accident.

KCC2 is a ‘neuronal membrane transporter’ that helps to regulate brain cell growth. Research has shown that levels of KCC2 drops dramatically after brain injury, and now it appears that this drop actually can help decrease the damage done to the cells. It was discovered that damaged cells perished when the molecule was removed altogether. Conversely, when levels of KCC2 were artificially increased in the brain, the damaged cells were protected from further damage, and even death.
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