Stressful Life Events Increase Risk of Fall Accidents among Seniors

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Older males are much more likely to suffer a fall accident after they've experienced a stressful life situation like the death of a spouse. According to new research which involved 5,000 men above the age of 65 across the United States, a stressful life experience like the death of a spouse or financial problems can increase the risk of a slip and fall accident among senior males.

The men in the study were asked if they had experienced stressful events over the past year. These experiences included serious illness, accident or death of a spouse, death of a close relative, separation from a child, loss of a pet, financial problems, change of residence, or being forced to give up hobbies and interests.

In the year after they were surveyed, approximately 27.7% of the senior males suffered a fall. Another 14.7% of the males suffered multiple fall accidents. In fact, fall accidents were reported by nearly 30% of the males in the study who had suffered at least one stressful event. Approximately 35.5% of the males who had suffered at least two stressful events suffered a fall accident. In the category of males who had suffered at least three or more stressful events, approximately 40% suffered a fall accident in the year after the survey.

Overall, the researchers estimate that a stressful life event was linked with a 41% higher risk of suffering a fall accident. It was also linked to a twofold increased risk of multiple fall accidents in the year after the life event. However, stressful events were not necessarily linked to a higher risk of fractures.

Study Finds High Rates of Binge Drinking among American Teens

Monday, September 23, 2013

As many as one in five American high school seniors binge drinks frequently, and some of them actually have more 15 alcohol beverages in a single session. A new study clearly indicates that binge drinking is widely prevalent in the teen population.

The study, which was published in the Journal of JAMA Pediatrics Journal, finds that approximately 20% of high school seniors reported binge drinking or drinking five or more alcohol beverages in a single session over the past two weeks. Approximately 10.5% admitted having 10 or more drinks during a session, while nearly 6% admitted to having 15 or more alcoholic beverages.

Males, not surprisingly, were much more likely than female teens to report binge drinking, and whites were also much more likely to binge drink compared to blacks. The researchers also found it interesting that students who have college-educated parents, were at a greater risk of drinking excessively. However, having parents with a college background seemed to reduce the risks of drinking extreme binge drinking, or drinking 15 or more alcoholic beverages in a single session.

The researchers analyzed data involving approximately 16,000 high school seniors, including a fairly 50/50 division of males and females. The researchers have concluded that binge drinking is widely prevalent among American teenagers, and that the current strategies that are in place to reduce the rates of excessive drinking among this segment of the population are simply not working enough.

They are calling for the development of more effective strategies to reduce the risk of excessive drinking among teenagers. Excessive drinking is linked to driving under the influence of alcohol and alcohol-related accidents among other consequences.

Research Provides New Clues about Causes of DUI Accidents

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

According to a new study conducted at the University of Missouri, people who otherwise are against driving under the influence of alcohol, find that their attitudes undergo a change once they have drunk a moderate amount of alcohol.
The researchers analyzed 82 adults, and measured their attitudes toward driving under the influence of alcohol, both while sober and after they had consumed some amount of alcohol. They found that there was a staggering difference between attitudes towards intoxicated driving when the subjects were sober, and after they had consumed a certain amount of alcohol.

When sober, these adults were stringently against driving under the influence of alcohol. However, they did not believe that it was such a dangerous practice, once they had consumed a few drinks.

This is a classic example of the manner in which alcohol can impair a person’s judgment. After a certain number of drinks, a person may not be able to make the right kind of judgment calls, and one of the first things to fly out the window after a few drinks, is the person's distaste for driving under the influence of alcohol. As a result, the person may drive or operate a motor vehicle, believing that there is nothing wrong in doing so.

Every year, alcohol kills more people than any other motor vehicle accident factor, excluding speeding. Thousands of people are killed annually, and even more people are severely injured in alcohol-related accidents across the country. Many of those accidents are caused by people, who normally would never have driven while intoxicated, but decided that they would do so, just one time.

In order to stay safe when you're out drinking, make sure that you have a designated driver for the evening that is entrusted with the responsibility of driving you home.

Spinal Injury Increases Heart Attack Stroke Risk

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A spinal injury could increase the risks of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, substantially for patients. That information comes from a new study that was conducted by Canadian researchers.

According to the research, patients who have a spinal cord injury are much more likely to suffer cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. These persons have an up to 3 times higher risk of suffering cardiac disease, and a four -times higher risk of suffering a stroke. The results of the study were published recently in the journal Neurology.

According to the researchers, the heightened risk among these patients brings their risk of cardiovascular disease on par with patients who already suffer from other possible risk factors, like smoking, diabetes and obesity. The researchers found that the heightened risk of cardiovascular disease among persons of spinal cord injury was very similar to the amplified risk among persons who smoke heavily, are obese or suffer from diabetes.

The data came from an analysis 60,000 people, who participated in the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey. Out of these, the researchers identified 355 persons who had suffered spinal injury and also suffered a stroke. They also found 356 people who had suffered a spinal cord injury and also reported cardiovascular disease. The researchers believe that having a spinal cord injury can increase the risk factors for cardiovascular disease that include lack of exercise, hypertension and chronic inflammation.

Past research has also found an association between spinal injury and cardiovascular disease. For instance, a report by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center that was released recently found that high blood pressure or hypertension and heart disease are the third-leading cause of mortality among persons who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

Woman Loses Arm Leg after Dog Bite-Related Infection

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Most of the serious injuries related to dog bites that Los Angeles dog bite lawyers come across involve facial injuries, ripped skin, scalp wounds another injuries. A Canadian woman recently suffered a devastating bacterial infection after she was bitten by a dog. The infection led to a limb amputation.

The woman was playing with her dog, a three-year-old Shih Tzu, when the dog bit one of her knuckles. The woman's three other dogs came over and licked her wound. The woman did not think too much of it then, but just days later, she was in a coma. When she came to, the doctors informed her that they would have to amputate her arm and leg because a deadly infection had spread throughout her body.

The Capnocytophaga canimorsus bacteria that are normally found in dog saliva caused the Infection. However, the organism is rarely linked to infections in human beings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is a very rare condition, and can cause septicemia or infections of the bloodstream, and meningitis. In rare cases, the person may even suffer from endocarditis, and ocular infections. These infections can be very hard to diagnose.

These infections are rare, but they have been recorded inside this country as well. Earlier this year in fact, a Texas woman suffered a dangerous infection caused by the very same organism that led to the Canadian women's amputation.

In this case, the woman, a young mother, suffered a life-threatening infection after a dog bite that she sustained while she was trying to break up a quarrel between her dogs. She developed an infection, and had to undergo an amputation of her leg and fingers.

Treadmill Training Improves Recovery after Spinal Injury

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A study that was conducted in mice recently found that mice that have suffered a spinal cord injury and suffered from a paralysis showed significant signs of improvement, when they were put through treadmill training. However, the researchers also found that inflammation needed to be contained for the treadmill training to be beneficial.

The mice were administered the treadmill training just a few days after they suffered the injury. Those mice that received the treadmill training during a period when they suffered from severe inflammation saw no significant benefits, while those mice that were administered the treadmill training when the inflammation was minimal, showed significant recovery. These mice were able to use their hind legs to walk around within a few days after receiving the treadmill therapy, and were also able to retain the benefits of the therapy for up to 42 days.

According to the researchers, this study proves very conclusively that spinal inflammation needs to be controlled for the training to be effective.

The study also confirm that spinal cord injuries can contribute to impairments, even several segments away from the site of the trauma. The researchers specifically focused on the signs of inflammation in the lumbar region of the spine, at least 10 segments below the injury.

The good news is that stronger drugs to help reduce this inflammation may be available soon. The inflammation in spinal injury patients is believed to be caused by an enzyme called MMP-9, and previous studies have also linked this enzyme to cancer. Experimental drugs to inhibit this enzyme are already in various stages of research.

More Widespread Use of Blackbox Recorders in Accident Investigations

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Over the next couple of years, Los Angeles car accident lawyers expect to see a massive increase in the use of event data recorders or black box recorders in traffic accident investigations. Such use of data recorders has existed for a while now, but the use of black box recorders was bound to become more high-profile after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began pushing for mandated black box recorders in all automobiles. The agency is pushing for all automobiles manufactured after September 2014 to come with event data recorders.

Critics say that there are many privacy issues that have not yet been ironed out, and these need to be dealt with before event data recorders become a standard feature in all automobiles. However, currently as many as 96% of cars that are manufactured in the United States come with an event data recorder. These data recorders are also currently being used in accident investigations as well as criminal investigations.

Event data recorders are of different types, and some recorders can record the speed of the car at the time of the accident, the crash force at the time of impact, as well as other information, that could easily help investigators who are trying to find out what exactly happened in the seconds before the crash. In other words, event data recorders allow investigators significantly in accident reconstruction.

Information about whether the occupants of the car were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident, or whether the brakes were activated in the seconds before the crash can be obtained from the event data recorders. This information is likely to be very useful in car accident and auto defect investigations.

Pilot Inexperience Being Investigated As Cause of San Francisco Plane Crash

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Investigations into the plane crash at San Francisco International Airport that killed two passengers of an Asiana Airlines flight have begun. Those investigations are now focusing on the lack of experience of the pilot of the Asian Airlines plane.

The pilot was still in training on the Boeing 777, and had never landed a Boeing 777 at San Francisco Airport before. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate this angle further, but it is not rare for pilots to have varying levels of experience on a new plane. The pilot in this particular case had logged 43 hours flying the 777 jetliner, over a total of nine flights. It takes experience of 60 hours and 10 flights for a pilot to be considered fully qualified for flying the 777 jetliner. However, the pilot had more than 9,700 hours of experience flying a number of other jetliners included the Airbus A320. The co-pilot, in this case, had logged more than 3,000 hours of experience flying the 777.

So far, it seems that the plane clipped a portion of the sea wall, when it descended, and bounced around the runway before finally crashing in a field. At this point, it is also clear that the plane descended significantly lower than the 150 mph targeted speed, and it also appears that the pilot and co-pilot tried to abort the landing just a few seconds before the crash.

Two female passengers, both of them 16 years old were killed in the crash, and it is believed that they were ejected from the plane. Investigators are also probing whether one of the girls was run over by a fire truck that was racing to help the plane, which burst into flames as soon as it crashed landed.

Troubling Increase in Dog Bite Claim Values

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

While the numbers of dog bite claims that have been filed over the years have remained more or less constant with slight fluctuations, the value of these claims has increased substantially.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, over the past decade, the value of dog bite claims has skyrocketed, accounting for $489.7 million in value in 2012 alone. According to the data, which was released to time with National Dog Bite Prevention Week in May, over the past 10 years, the number of dog bite insurance claims has gone from 16,695 in 2011 from 16,459 in 2001. That is hardly a statistically significant difference. However, the picture is markedly different when you consider the value of the claims.

In 2012, the value of dog bite claims accounted for approximately $489.7 million, accounting for more than one third of all homeowner’s liability insurance claims that were paid out in 2012. In contrast, in 2003 the value of dog bite claims was approximately $324.2 million. This is in spite of the fact that in 2003, there were actually a few hundred more dog bite claims than in 2012.

The average claim payout increased from $19,162 in 2003 to a $29,752 in 2012. That is an increase of 55%.

The Insurance Information Institute advises dog owners to be responsible with their dogs to avoid claims. Don’t assume that small dogs don't bite, and may not be involved in a vicious incident, resulting in a claim against you. Even dogs that are normally docile can bite when they are disturbed, when they feel threatened or when they feel hungry. Many owners of dog unfortunately get pets without bothering to understand responsible ownership practices. This often has devastating consequences.

Children Recovering from Injuries in San Bernardino Dog Bite Attack

Friday, May 17, 2013

Two children, who suffered serious injuries after they were attacked by a pit bull in a dog bite attack in San Bernardino, are still recovering from their injuries.

The two children who were attacked were one and two years old. According to police officers, the children and their parents were visiting a friend in San Bernardino. The two children were playing in the backyard of the house, when they were attacked by the friend’s dog.

It was a savage attack, and the pit bull bit one of the children right in the face. The parents rushed to help their child, and when they were trying to save the one-year-old child from the dog’s bites, the pit bull turned right around and attacked the 2-year-old child.

Both of the children suffered injuries, which were fortunately, not life-threatening. The children were transported to the local hospital, and received stitches on their face. According to the San Bernardino City Animal Control, the pit bull has been quarantined with no plans to euthanize it.

This is the 2nd pit bull attack in San Bernardino County that Los Angeles dog bite lawyers have come across recently. Just a few days ago, a 74-year-old woman had been injured in a dog bite attack involving a pit bull. In that incident, officers responding to the scene tried to pull the dog off the woman, but the dog turned on them as well. The officers then shot the dog.

The incidence of dog bites reported from around California is likely to increase over the next few weeks, as summer begins. Summer is typically dog bite season around California because dogs as well as adults and children, who happen to be the biggest victims of dog bites in California, head outdoors.

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