Articles Posted in Auto Accident Injury

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The state of West Virginia is seeking a federal Medicaid waiver so it can offer a program that will help people with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) remain in their homes, rather than forcing them into nursing homes or other facilities.

Earlier last month, the West Virginia state Supreme Court upheld a County Circuit Court ruling that issued a requirement that the Department of Health and Human Resources had to seek the waiver from the federal entity and that they had to get funding for the program.

A DHHR spokesman told a Lawyer that the program will begin when the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approves the waiver. Though the agency can’t pinpoint when the waiver will be approved, they did say it plans to provide services to 75 people in the first year, 100 in the second year, and 125 at the third year of the program.

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A report issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in Long Island now states that if an appropriate dose of nutritional supplements is administered soon after an injury occurs, service members wounded on the battlefield have a much better outlook at recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Nutrition apparently plays an even bigger role than previously though.

Commissioned by the Department of Defense (DoD), the report urges the military to make infusions, which contain calories and protein, a standard part of care in the immediate aftermath of a brain injury.

Accordingly, these findings also have implications in the civilian sector. “The investment the military makes will cross over into the civilian population for injuries suffered by those in car accidents, in motorbike accidents, by kids on soccer fields,” says the IOM panel chairman, professor emeritus of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois.

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At the climax of last year’s fighting season, more than 300 U.S. troops received mild traumatic brain injuriesor concussions every month. Often those injuries resulted from exposure to a blast. Troops not killed or gravely wounded by blasts were often left stunned or even momentarily unconscious.

Concerned that many soldiers were suffering mild traumatic brain injuries or concussions, the military put new treatment procedures in place last year. Regulations now require that any soldier or Marine caught near a blast has to be pulled from active combat for at least 24 hours, and they must be examined for signs of concussion. Those displaying symptoms – such as dizziness, headaches or vomiting – remain on rest duty until the symptoms disappear. This can take up to a week or two.

The concern that led to this change revolved around the thought that troops need time to recover, and that exposure to a second blast before a brain has healed, could cause permanent damage. Manhattan and Long Island doctors remark that it is pivotal that military officials are attempting to provide combat operation manuals that incorporate the wellbeing of soldiers.

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U.S. service members injured in the line of duty have long been eligible to receive the Purple Heart Medal. This has held true for the signature wounds of the current wars, including mild traumatic brain injuries and concussions.

Recently, the criterion for awarding the medal was refined. “More clarity now exists for how medical criteria for the award are applied,” Defense Department officials reported.

“The criteria for the Purple Heart award state that the injury must have been caused by enemy action or in action against the enemy and has to be of a degree requiring treatment by a medical officer.”

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A man worked for a Greek restaurant as a dishwasher and as a deliveryman for food ordered for delivery. The Greek restaurant in Staten Island gave the deliveryman a bicycle to use for delivering its food products. On August 5, 2006, the deliveryman was en route to making the last of the fifteen deliveries he had to make during his shift. He was on Pershing Street and was turning left on Manton Street in Briarwood, New York when a car struck him.

The Queens deliveryman was knocked off his bike and he hit his head. He was not wearing a helmet. He his skull and suffered bruising in his brain. His brainwas swollen and so he filed a complaint in damages against the lady driver and owner of the car that struck him on the road. The deliveryman based his claim on the negligence of the lady driver on the road.

The lady driver and owner of the car also filed a complaint against the Greek restaurant, the employer of the bike deliveryman. The lady driver wants the Greek restaurant to indemnify her or at least contribute to the payment of damages claimed by the deliveryman.

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A man working as a janitor for a small private university was performing his usual tasks when he hit the back of his head on a metal pipe that overhung from the low ceiling of the basement of one of the buildings of the university. After hitting the back of his head against the metal pipe, he suddenly felt dizzy and his vision became fuzzy. He dropped to the floor and felt as though the entire left side of his body sagged. He was taken to a hospital immediately and was seen by a doctor’s assistant in the emergency room. He was immediately discharged when the doctor’s assistant noted that his symptoms had abated.

Dissatisfied with the diagnosis, man went to another hospital where he was diagnosed to have a brain injury: the area of his brain nearest the brain stem that leads to the spinal cord was bleeding. He stayed in the hospital for about thirty days. The Manhattan neurologist who treated him at the second hospital he went to gave a report that he believed that the brain injury sustained by the janitor was a direct result of the accident because the bleeding in the brain was in the same site as the area of his head that hit the metal pipe.

He later filed a complaint for damages under the Workmen’s Compensation Board. The doctor who treated him at the second hospital gave an opinion of his medical findings that the brain injury he sustained was a direct result of hitting his head against a metal pipe.

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The toll that concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have on battlefields and sports’ fields is raising awareness and stirring up new ideas. TBIs affect more than 1 million Americans annually.

The single greatest challenge with a TBI case is the actual diagnosis. Many of the symptoms – dizziness, nausea, lack of focus – are also caused by other conditions. This makes it difficult for athletic trainers and medics to accurately take the step toward a proper diagnosis and treatment. Even brain-images taken after a concussion may not reveal mild brain damage, especially if there is no earlier image for the doctor to make a comparison with.

To help in that area, a team of doctors and engineers at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a “blast badge.” The patch-like item changes color within a set spectrum, and that color reflects the intensity of an explosion or impact.

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A Towanda resident, the vice president of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Coalition, has spearheaded efforts at the Pennsylvania state Capitol in an effort to bring about increased awareness concerning brain injuries. His intention is to use the raised awareness to fight for legislation intended to prevent injuries and offer better medical treatment to those affected. 

A witness on the scene said, “As part of Tuesday’s rally and press conference, I had the great pleasure of meeting with the vice president and the Brain Injury Coalition and hearing about their ongoing efforts to prevent traumatic brain injuries and to seek better medical treatment. An advocacy effort of this kind takes a great deal of planning and forethought, [this man] did an admirable job in educating policymakers in both the House and the Senate of the need for brain injury legislation.”

The coalition is a proponent of the Safety in Sports Act, which is a continuation of previous years’ funding for community and home-based programs, a state level advisory board, and the inclusion of brain injury screenings for persons in state programs or facilities.

In Pennsylvania every year, there are roughly 156,000 concussions reported. A reporter can cite a recent study that found “15 percent of all high school football players reported concussion symptoms but only 47 percent of those players reported them to school or team officials.”

 Brain injuries in The Bronx and Broolkyn kill brain cells and disrupt neural pathways which affect the way a person thinks, feels, and acts. It is the leading cause of disability and death through the age of 40. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) as the name suggests are more severe and should be treated immediately.

Facts on brain injuries:

– 10 million Americans live with an acquired brain injury.

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40-year-old U.S. Representative Gabrielle “Gabby” Gifford’s announced plans to travel to Cape Canaveral to watch her NASA astronaut-husband Mark Kelly launch into space on the next Space Shuttle flight.

The Congresswoman is improving, but she is still recovering from a bullet wound to her left-cerebral hemisphere. She was shot in the head at point-blank range by 22-year-old community college student. The young man also killed six other people in the incident.

Her Suffolk doctor said, “Medically, there is no reason she could not travel safely to Florida to participate in this incredible event with her husband.”

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In 1960, a Nassau man was found dead by his own hand. He left behind a suicide note that stated that he could not stand the pain of his injuries any longer. This man had suffered from a back injury on his job that left him in constant pain and unable to function as he had before he was injured. His wife filed a wrongful death suit against the Workmen’s Compensation Board. Her contention is that her husband suffered from two debilitating industrial accidents. One of the work related accidents that he suffered occurred in 1945. He was working for a theatre as an usher when he attempted to break up a fight in the men’s room. His head was slammed against the marble wall of the men’s room and he suffered from a brain injuryas a result. Following this injury, the man was plagued by headaches, blackouts, and incidents of blindness. His wife stated that he would have moments of blindness that would last a few seconds at least once or twice each day. These incidents were followed by excruciating headaches. She stated that following the second injury, it was too much for him to handle. She proposes that there was a direct causal link between her husband’s industrial accidents and his suicide.

New York law states that where the symptoms of an injury that occurs on the job continue until the suicide of that person, a direct causal relationship may be inferred. That means that death benefits are awarded if the injury results naturally in disease and the disease is the cause of death. The courts have ruled that if the injury causes insanity and the insanity cause the suicide, it is the proximate cause of the death. However, if the insanity is not a result of the injury, but rather from some other cause such as melancholy or discouragement, then the injury is not considered to be the proximate cause of death.

The Worker’s Compensation Board contends that the brain injury was not the proximate cause of the decedent committing suicide. They contend that the decedent had a long history of mental illness dating back to early childhood. They produced evidence that he had committed himself to a mental institution before his first injury. His complaint at that time was severe anxiety and headaches accompanied with bouts of blindness. They stated that following this incident and only one year before his death, he checked himself into the hospital for renal colic and was in treatment for one month. They brought forth evidence of the decedent’s many medical issues and even ventured into his relationship with his mother. His mother was crippled at an early age. She was raped and the result of the rape was the decedent. He grew up in foster care. The Worker’s Compensation Board contends that the decedent had numerous health and psychiatric problems his entire life and that it was these problems and not his back injury that caused him to take his own life.

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