Spinal Cord Injuries: Numbers You Should Know

Spine Injury

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can start with a blow to the back, but anything that impacts or twists the spine has the potential to create an injury. While many types of accidents can cause SCIs, vehicular crashes are the most frequent reason people suffer from a spinal cord injury. Because SCIs can cause severe and costly bodily damage, we have facts and figures to share that you might want to know. Spinal Cord Injuries Explained Our central nervous system, which controls all our movement and sensation, is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. The latter is a nerve bundle encased by the bony vertebrae, both of which make up the spinal column. Spinal cord injuries generally have an effect on motion, sensation, and reflexes below the injury site. Generally, the higher on the spinal cord that damage occurs, the more severe the injury is. SCIs can be complete or incomplete. An incomplete SCI means that some sensation and movement below the injury site is still evident. Incomplete SCIs, which occur in 40.8 percent of cases, often have a faster and more widespread recovery. The most commonly occurring spinal cord injury is incomplete tetraplegia (quadriplegia). Incomplete paraplegia is the[…..]

A New Weapon for Fighting Sepsis

Elderly Care

The problem of sepsis among already-sick patients is not a new one, but it is a big one: sepsis is the ninth most common cause of death in our country. In the ICU, it’s the number one reason for infection-related deaths. Sepsis is responsible for more than 250,000 fatalities and 1.3 million hospitalizations each year in the U.S. If you’ve ever watched a loved one battle sepsis, or if you are concerned about the problem because someone you love is in a nursing home, you owe it to yourself to learn more about this deadly medical syndrome. However, there is help for doctors in the battle against sepsis: a new iPhone app that assists them in better treating their septic patients. An Overview of Sepsis Sepsis always develops from an infection, generally severe and often untreated, from which you already suffer. When the infection initiates the body’s chain reaction of certain chemicals and inflammation as it attempts to fight the infection, the body can be damaged to the point of death. In the last stages, blood pressure drops too low to sustain life. Three bacteria are the most frequent triggers of septic reactions: Staph bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) coli (Escherichia coli)[…..]

The Costs of Treating Burns

Maryland Burn Injury Attorney

The pain and suffering from a burn injury is terrible—no question. The financial costs, however, can also cause you and your family pain. Part of the reason is that serious burn injuries require a lot of care, often in a hospital, and these days the care does not come cheap. Recent numbers that lay out the costs of burn injuries can be difficult to find. The lack of studies at a time when we need information about healthcare costs more than ever is a bit baffling. What we do know is that the annual costs of burn injuries in 2010 dollars are approximately $10.4 billion, with burn hospitalizations representing around 1 percent of all U.S. injuries. Complications of injuries can rapidly escalate costs; a severe burn with many complications can cost more than $10 million to treat effectively. Hospital stays for burns average 8.1 days, compared to 4.5 days for non-burn hospital stays. On average, hospital stays for burns are often twice the length and more than twice the cost of non-burn-related hospital stays. Something that illustrates how long a hospital stay can be for a burn patient is related to the percentage of the body that was burned. The[…..]

Occupational Hazard: Beryllium in the Workplace

MD Beryllium Injury Lawyer

Beryllium is a substance that probably doesn’t appear in your everyday conversation, unless you are studying chemistry or you work in certain industries. But repeated exposure to beryllium can cause a number of health problems and serious diseases. After four decades, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finally issued a safety exposure rule for beryllium in January, 2017. However, in June of 2017, the new administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) argued for changes to the agreement that was so long in the making. What is Beryllium? A metallic element found in nature, beryllium has many commercial uses. Some businesses that use or expose their workers to beryllium include: Aerospace and aircraft manufacturing and maintenance Computer manufacturers Construction workers in certain industries Dental laboratories Foundries and metals reclamation/recycling Shipyard workers Telecommunications industries. Risk arises from repeated exposure in situations where beryllium is mined, processed, or converted into metallic alloys or other substances, or from living near an uncontrolled hazardous waste site containing beryllium. Exposure to Beryllium: When is it a Problem? We all experience low levels of beryllium in the course of our lives—it’s in our air, water, and food—and these low levels pose no risk. However, persons employed[…..]

The Sobering Truth about Blackout Wednesday

Maryland Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

The holiday season is a time of joy and festivity. People get together to share good conversation, a home-cooked meal, and, oftentimes, an alcoholic beverage or two. From champagne to eggnog, alcohol is a favorite beverage at all types of holiday celebrations. But only one day has gained notoriety for a tradition of consuming it in large quantities – Blackout Wednesday. What is Blackout Wednesday? Blackout Wednesday is an unofficial holiday recognized as the day people drink the heaviest. It falls on the fourth Wednesday in November (the day before Thanksgiving). The name has significance for two reasons: Blackout Wednesday is a play on the name of another unofficial holiday, Black Friday. The latter refers to the day after Thanksgiving and is noted for being the busiest shopping day of the year. The two holidays mirror each other because they fall on either side of Thanksgiving Day and because they both celebrate excessive behavior. The term “blackout” refers to memory loss from alcohol intoxication. A person who drinks too much can lapse into a semi-conscious state. Then, after the intoxication subsides, the person is unable to remember what transpired. It is not unusual for someone experiencing a blackout to move[…..]

Dangerous Bacteria Threatening Babies at Local Hospital

Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer

As of this writing, Prince George’s Hospital Center’s NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) remains closed because of Pseudomonas bacteria in the water pipes. On August 9, 2016, the discovery of Pseudomonas resulted in the transfer of nine NICU babies to another hospital as a precaution. The deaths of seven NICU babies since the beginning of 2016 are being investigated by an infectious disease expert in order to determine whether the deaths are linked to the Pseudomonas outbreak. The bacteria were found in six sinks, including four NICU sinks, at the hospital. The sinks have since been removed and treated for Pseudomonas. Additionally, a water filtration system is now in place, and bottled water is being used to bathe any infants still in the hospital. Interestingly enough, Pseudomonas is not usually found in NICU units. What is Pseudomonas aeruginosa? Pseudomonas, also known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa or P. aeruginosa, is normally ubiquitous in hospitals, especially in damp or watery environments. The bacterium is not rare or unusual, and is not normally a problem for healthy individuals. At most, it leads to a mild infection or a skin rash. Pseudomonas ear infections are common, because it is often found in bodies of water.[…..]

Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2015

Going over checklist

One of the federal organizations that helps ensure safe working conditions for all of us is the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA wants to make sure you are protected from egregious hazards, because most workplace injuries and deaths are preventable. Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with worker safety. Every year, OSHA puts out a list of top 10 violations that arise from their inspections of worksites all over our nation. The ten largest fines added up to over $10 million in 2015 alone. And working in an industrial, factory, or construction setting makes you especially vulnerable to harm. Here are the 10 standards most often cited for violations by OSHA: Fall protection (a standard for construction jobs), which outlines the circumstances for when protection is needed and what kinds of protective systems are appropriate. Over 7,400 citations were given out, with 4,079 of them in residential construction. One of the ten largest fines was handed down to DNRB Inc. dba Fastrack Erectors in Pacific, MO. They were penalized $511,000 after the over 30-foot fall of a 22-year-old worker. Hazard communication, which covers communications about hazardous chemical environments and the chemicals themselves; 2015 saw 5,681[…..]

Hit By a Delivery Truck? What to Do if UPS, FedEx or USPS Hits You

Delivery truck drivers for parcel delivery companies such as UPS, FedEx and USPS log millions of miles a year, especailly during the traditional holiday season, and often under conditions of extreme time pressure. Although these drivers are trained before they are sent out on the road, delivery truck accidents are all too common nevertheless. If you were injured in a delivery truck accident, an understanding of how the legal system works will help you respond appropriately.   Preparing Your Claim The more support you have for your claim, the more likely you are to be successful. At a minimum, you should collect the following evidence: The delivery truck driver’s contact information, vehicle plate number and insurance documentation Contact information for the driver’s employer The driver’s log book A copy of the police report Contact information for eyewitnesses (whose statements can be used as evidence) Photographs of your damaged vehicle, if you were driving at the time of the accident Photographs of the scene of the accident (taken at a later time if necessary) Your medical records (including medical bills). The foregoing items are not necessarily all you will need to establish your claim. Personal injury claims can be complex, and[…..]

Knock Me Out at the Ball Game?

Baseball Rule

Over 2.4 million people attended Orioles games at Camden Yards in 2014. It’s clear we love our Orioles. I know I do. Few of us think about any hazards associated with attending a game—indeed, we might not be aware that there are hazards—even though a disclaimer may be printed right on our ticket stating we attend these games at our own risk. What is that risk? Sometimes things go horribly, freakishly wrong, resulting in serious personal injury. On June 5 at Fenway Park, Boston, Tonya Carpenter was hit in the head with part of a shattered, rock-hard maple baseball bat. She started to bleed heavily and required immediate emergency transportation out of Fenway Park with what seemed to be life-threatening injuries. A week later, thankfully, her condition was listed as “good,” and subsequently she was released from the hospital into rehabilitative care. Her recovery so far has been characterized as “excellent.” Ms. Carpenter’s long-term prognosis is uncertain at this time. What happened was a tragic accident, to be sure. But if you or one of your loved ones were seriously injured at an Orioles game, would you be able to recover damages? You might be surprised to find out that[…..]

Highway Deaths Caused By Cocaine

Pile of Cocaine

You may have heard or read the recent news reports about the Baltimore man who thought he was in Chicago when he caused a car crash in Darlington, Maryland. The 69-year-old man was driving his Cadillac south on Route 1 when he crossed the center line and collided with another vehicle. When the Maryland State Police responded to the scene, they found the Cadillac in the middle of the road, blocking traffic, and its driver covered with a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine. The man was disoriented, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. Also found in the Caddy were two bottles of a clear liquid which the driver described as “holy water.” He was charged with possessing a drug other than marijuana, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol, driving while so impaired that the vehicle cannot be driven safely, failing to obey designated lane directions, driving while impaired by drugs, failing to control vehicle speed and failing to obey traffic control devices. As this instance clearly shows, cocaine can have a serious impact on a person’s ability to safely drive a vehicle. According to Narconon International: Drivers using cocaine[…..]