Image result for head injury emotionsThe risk of suicide increases by more than three times in the first six months after a person suffers a head injury. The consistent headaches, dizziness, and cognitive, logical memory problems that very often accompany a traumatic brain injury can lead to depression, exacerbating suicide risks.

In the study, Danish researchers estimated that the risk of suicide not only increases significantly within the first six months after the injury occurs, but also remains at least twice as high as in people with no brain injury, over the next few years. Even as long as seven years after the traumatic brain injury, persons with an injury had a 75% higher risk of committing suicide, compared to persons with no history of brain injury. Out of the more than 34,000 suicides that were studied as part of the research, more than 10% had sought treatment for brain injury.

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Image result for rear facing car seatThe nation’s leading pediatrician group now advises that parents continue to use rear- facing car seats for much longer than previously defined in order to minimize the risk of injuries to their child in the event of an accident.

Up until now, the American Academy of Pediatrics had advised that children be restrained in rear-facing car seats at least until they reach two years of age. However, now the group has changed its recommendation, and advises that children be restrained in rear- facing car safety seats at least until they reach the minimum height and weight that their seat is designed to hold.

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Image result for burned outWorkplace fatigue and burnout is a problem affecting American doctors, and according to a new study, as many as half of all doctors in the country are experiencing symptoms of fatigue that actually increase their risk of medical errors.

The poll was conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, and focused on nearly 6,700 physicians. More than 10% of the doctors in the survey admitted to committing at least one major medical mistake in the three months before the survey. The researchers were also able to confirm that physicians who suffered from symptoms of burnout and fatigue were much more likely to commit serious medical errors.

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Image result for airbag recallOver the past few years, millions of vehicles equipped with Takata airbags have been recalled across the United States as reports of injuries involving defective airbags have snowballed. Now, a government audit stringently criticizes the federal administration’s product recall procedures, specifically pointing out to the Takata airbag scandal as an example of the agency’s inefficiency.

The USDOT’s Office of the Inspector General clearly states that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lacks the kind of processes and oversight that is necessary to make sure that product recalls are completed, and keep consumers safe. The audit report specifically blames the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s monitoring process that is not designed to ensure that remedies are tracked in a timely and efficient manner. The federal agency also does not have a system in place to completely and accurately verify recall completion statistics, even though it is authorized to do so.

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Image result for text and driveParents who use cell phones while driving are also much more at risk for other unsafe driving behaviors like drunk driving or failing to wear seatbelts while driving that place them and their children at risk of an accident.

Those findings and others come from a survey of parents and caregivers conducted by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University Of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.  The survey finds that far too many parents take the risks of distractions while driving, far too lightly. Approximately 760 parents participated in the survey. According to the survey, in the preceding three months:

  • Approximately 50% of the parents admitted to using a cell phone while driving with children between the ages of four and 10
  • Approximately 52% of parents had used a hands-free phone to have a conversation while driving with a young child in the car.
  • 47% had used a hand-held phone to have a conversation while driving with a child in the car.
  • Approximately 33% of parents had read text messages while driving with their children, while 26% had sent text messages.
  • 7% or one in seven of the respondents admitted to using social media while driving with their children.

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Erb’s Palsy is one of the most common birth injury-related disorders, impacting as many as one or two out of every 1,000 births in the United States. The condition affects the muscles in the shoulder and upper arm, and may result in some degree of paralysis and loss of motion in the area.

Erb’s Palsy typically occurs as a result of a birth injury during delivery. The good news is that in approximately 80% of the cases, the impact of the condition may be minimized by a treatment program that includes immobilization of the arm, and physical therapy. Surgery may sometimes be recommended when there has been nerve damage as a result of the injury.  However, in order for the treatment program to be effective, it is important for the injury to be diagnosed as quickly as possible. A diagnosis made within 4 weeks after birth can help minimize the impact of the injury.

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Image result for nursing homeA new report shows that most nursing homes often operate under lower staffing levels than they have reported to the government, placing residents at risk of abuse and neglect.

The report was released by Kaiser Health News, and was based on Medicare data. The agency only recently began collecting such staffing data on more than 14,000 such nursing facilities across the country. The data clearly indicates that there are fluctuations in staffing on a day-to-day basis in most nursing homes. Weekends tend to be critically understaffed, with large percentages of staffing shortages reported over the weekend.

The fact that nursing home staffing levels may not be consistent throughout the year has only now come to light after Medicare recently began collecting this important information. It is a suspicion, however, that Indianapolis nursing home abuse attorneys have had for several years.

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Image result for semi truckSophisticated safety systems, like the ones that currently exist on many models of automobiles, can substantially reduce truck accident risks. However, the trucking industry has remained largely skeptical of the benefits of these systems.

Data indicates that there has been an increase in the number of truck accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, more than 4,300 fatalities involved people in accidents with tractor-trailers or big rigs. That is an increase of 5.4% from the previous year.

There is still more data that reveals that safety systems could help mitigate those risks, and that the trucking industry has resisted using these technologies. For instance, in 2015, only about 15% of commercial truck fleets in the country came equipped with forward collision warning systems or collision mitigation systems. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that as many as 107,000 accidents every year could be prevented if trucks came equipped with technologies that have been proven to help reduce the risk of accidents. These technologies include blind spot warning systems and electronic stability control systems.

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Image result for hearing lossHearing trouble can mean not just difficulty hearing things properly, but also an increased risk of accidents caused because you’re unable to hear auditory accident cues.

Many seniors suffer from hearing loss as they get older. For many of these persons, hearing loss may be a natural part of aging, and may lead to social difficulties and inconvenience, and not much more. However, according to the results of a new study, hearing loss can actually be dangerous because it can impact a senior citizen’s ability to drive safely.

According to the researchers, hearing is a key sense that can help alert an individual to potential dangers in his environment. On a busy road, that could mean an oncoming car that can be heard, but may not be seen in time. For a pedestrian, it could mean being alerted to the sound of an approaching vehicle.  When hearing isn’t fine-tuned and sharp, injury risks increase.

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Image result for bicycle helmetWearing a bicycle helmet substantially reduces your risk of injury in an accident, unless the helmet is designed deficiently and fails to protect your head upon impact. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated bicycle helmets, and found that all helmets do not offer the same level of injury protection. Some helmets seem to do a much better job of protecting the head, compared to others.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety collaborated with the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab to create a bicycle helmet rating system that the two organizations claim is the first such rating system for helmets. The rating system assigned stars to each helmet based on its effectiveness against injuries.

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