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Articles Posted in Traumatic Brain Injury

In the summer months there are an increased number of motorcycles on the road and with this, the number of injuries and fatalities among riders increases. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 40% of motorcyclist deaths in 2008 occurred during June-August, compared to only 9% during December-February. They also reported that helmets are about 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67% effective in preventing brain injuries.

Brain injuries can be life altering and severe. Even if you suffer a minor brain injury such as a concussion, it can render you inoperative for some time. According to Dr. Angela F. Gardner in The New York Times, “Every concussion increases the likelihood that you will have an injury to the brain if another concussion occurs.” In addition, “You don’t have to be going fast to hurt your brain.”

Many states, including Illinois, do not require riders or passengers to wear helmets. However, your chance of survival in a motorcycle accident begins with wearing one. The Illinois Department of Transportation offers additional safety tips on their website. These tips include staying out of trucks blind spots, driving defensively and cautiously, wearing high visibility clothing and performing proper maintenance and safety checks on your motorcycle.

Reuters reports that a University of Illinois researcher has helped create a new brain implant made of silk and tiny electrodes and helped conduct studies assessing its effectiveness. Because the silk is biodegradable and water-soluble, it dissolves on the brain, leaving the electrodes in place and allowing the device to record brain signals more accurately than other brain implants and minimize damage to the brain. The silk brain implant also could have application to people suffering from serious brain traumaor a neurological disorder such as epilepsy or a spinal cord injury.

The Chicago brain injury lawyersat Levin & Perconti think these new findings are of particular interest to clients who have suffered spinal cord injuries as a result of the negligence of others. These injuries can occur from motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents, and workplace accidents, or because of mistakes by health care providers, such as by failure to relieve spinal cord compression. As The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke explains, spinal cord injuries often begin with sudden, serious blows to the spine that fracture or dislocate vertebrae. This can compress the spine. Spinal cord injuries destroy the nerve cell extensions that carry signals between the brain and body, and when a person suffers a severe spinal cord injury, they can become completely paralyzed. However, people that suffer from less severe spinal cord injuries still retain some ability to convey messages from their brain to their body.

The silk brain implant can help both categories of people affected by a spinal cord injury. As Reuters reports, the silk brain implant has the potential to reroute signals from the brain to prosthetic devices, enabling people with spinal cord injuries to move independently once again.

The Chicago City Council approved a $3 million settlement on behalf of a woman seriously injured when the car she was riding in was hit by a stolen vehicle during an unauthorized police chase, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The stolen vehicle was driven in excess of more than twice the speed limit when it slammed into the woman’s vehicle, and the collision was so strong that her body was thrown from the car and landed on the ground forty feet away. Doctors had to place the Chicago woman in an induced coma for two days and she was in the hospital for over two weeks. The woman suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the crash.

Mayo Clinic reports that half of all traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of car, motorcycle and bicycle collisions. When the head is struck too strongly, such as can occur in a collision, the brain can slam against the inside of the skull and cause bruising of the brain, bleeding, and torn nerve fibers. Sudden braking or stopping as a result of a car collision can also cause this to happen. A traumatic brain injury can be fatal. When serious brain injuries are not fatal, the consequences can still be severe. Traumatic brain injury can cause cognitive impairment, affecting a person’s thinking and reasoning skills, memory, and multitasking ability.

To help prevent against serious brain trauma, always wear a seatbelt while driving in a car. Motor vehicle collisions are sometimes unpreventable, but by taking the extra precaution of wearing something as simple as a seatbelt or child booster seat, lives can be saved and people can take steps toward recovery, whether by medical intervention, lawsuits, or both.

An eighteen month old girl is now in a persistent vegetative state after becoming trapped in a trunk marketed as a toy chest after the lid slammed shut on her. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the girl’s parents filed a products liability lawsuit because the store sold the trunk knowing the trunk was dangerous for children because the trunk’s lid could suddenly collapse. The girl’s head and neck became trapped in the trunk after the lid suddenly fell, causing her to suffer an anoxic brain injury. Anoxic brain injury occurs when there is an absence of oxygen in the brain, such as by prolonged suffocation, and the lack of oxygen causes brain cells to die. This serious brain injury can result in spastic quadriplegia, mental retardation and loss of speaking skills.

The Courthouse News Service explains that Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) statistics show that at least 45 children had already died or suffered serious brain injuries as a result of the trunk lid falling on their heads or necks or trapping children inside. The CPSC is a government agency that has proposed standards to protect children from dangerous products and prevent these brain injury incidents from occurring. If a product marketed for toy storage does not have lid support, the CPSC states that a label should be placed inside the lid warning of the dangers of suffocation.

Lawsuits are an effective way to tell manufacturers and retailers that their unsafe and unreasonably dangerous products will not be tolerated by consumers. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys encourage families to visit the CPSC website for updates on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from serious injury or death. If you have been a victim of brain injury caused by a defective product, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injury or loss. Fill out our online contact form and one of our experienced lawyers will respond to you soon.

The jury in a medical malpractice trial, recently awarded $12 million for a hospital’s delay in evaluating and transferring an air rifle victim.

According to the Pasadena Star News, twenty-two-year old, Jessica Ramirez, was shot with an air rifle and the pellet entered her brain. Nevertheless, she remained conscious after the shooting and was able to ask for help. She was immediately taken to the hospital, which in turn sent her to another facility for surgery to remove the pellet. However, staff waited 5 hours before transferring her. At trial, the neurosurgeon who removed the pellet testified that, had he been allowed to operate sooner, her outcome would have better. Instead, her injury progressed into a traumatic brain injury that has left her in a persistent vegetative state.

More than $10.6 million of the award was for Jessica’s future medical care.

A young woman was driving down the road in Crystal Lake when she encountered a horrific automobile crash. This crash fractured her spine in three places and she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Many of the doctors thought that she would be paralyzed. However, the victim has a positive outlook and has been passing milestone after milestone. She recently entered Pioneer Center’s Traumatic Brain Injury program, which includes vocational training. She now has to relearn basic tasks which include walking. The victim continues to have some facial paralysis. She has also filed a brain injury lawsuit seeking $50,000. She is looking forward to speaking with children about the importance of safe driving. Hopefully she will in turn prevent brain injuries. To read more about the woman’s struggles, please click the link.

An employee for Horner Electric died after he suffered a traumatic brain injury while at work. According to Justice News Flash, police believe that the man suffered a brain injury that caused him to either fall or become crushed by the moving parts of a machine. The report states that the victim’s coworkers discovered him lying on the ground and called for emergency workers. When EMT workers arrived at the scene of the workplace accident, the victim was pronounced dead. Read the full coverage of this tragic brain injury accident.

Shelley Moore Capito, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, recently introduced legislation that would help veterans suffering from brain injury. The Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury Access to Care Act would allow veterans in rural areas access to better care and treatment for their injuries. Oftentimes, veterans are limited in where they can receive appropriate care, and are forced to travel long distances to select VA hospitals that have the proper technology to treat traumatic brain injury. According to the article on WHSV.com, twenty percent of the injuries to soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars involve some sort of brain injury, making access to proper treatment important to veterans across the country. To view the status of Capito’s bill to protect the victims of traumatic brain injury, follow the hyperlink.

Pathways, a new film by Brandon and Tiffany Verzal, records the trials and tribulations of several patients in their struggle to recover from traumatic brain injuries. The 75-minute documentary sheds light on the extensive and grueling rehabilitation process. It focuses on the lives of four patients of varying ages, including their two year-old daughter, Alexis, who suffered a severe brain injury at a daycare. Her injury is consistent with shaken baby syndrome and authorities believe that Alexis may have been thrown by her day care provider, who begins trial next month.

The film premiers this week and is set to hit the film festival circuit.

Click the following link to the article in the Lincoln Journal Star for more information on Alexis, her family, their struggle to recover from traumatic brain injury, and this enlightening new documentary.

It’s estimated that 20% of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury caused by the impact of improvised explosive devices. The medics in Afghanistan have seen an increase in TBI cases in the past eight months. The aid station is capable of stabilizing patients until they can be transported to a larger base for treatment, but it’s not equipped to treat traumatic brain injury. They can only assess them, treat signs and symptoms because they don’t have a lab. Traumatic brain injury is an “invisible wound” which makes it difficult to diagnose. Medics say the increase in traumatic brain injury cases is a serious problem in Afghanistan. If a soldier is hit by an IED three times, the victim can be taken off patrols in order to avoid brain injury. To read more about the war’s injuries, please click the link.

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