Image result for prosthetic virtual realityAmputation victims who use prosthetic or artificial limbs may find it hard to cope with the use of the new limb. Researchers have been experimenting with virtual reality technology to enhance the use of such prosthetics for these persons.

Amputations can result after nearly any type of accident, including car, truck or motorcycle accidents. Amputations can also occur after the person has suffered a crushing injury in a workplace accident, or as the result of a fall. In many such injury cases, surgically amputating the injured limb may be the only medical option available to doctors.

Continue reading

Image result for obesityPatients, who have suffered a brain injury and also struggle with obesity, may find their health problems complicated by medical issues linked to the excessive weight.

In the days after a brain injury, there may be moderate to significant weight loss due to a number of factors, including changes in the metabolic rate. However, after a period of time, weight gain may occur due to medication for the injury, and other reasons. Patients may suffer from physical limitations as a result of their injury, and may be unable to enjoy the kind of exercise and physical activity that is required for optimum health. They may also lack access to easy transportation as a result of their injury, and this can further impede their ability to enjoy physical activities.

Continue reading

Loss of bladder control is extremely common after a spinal injury. A team of UCLA researchers recently announced that they have successfully tried magnetic device therapy to enhance bladder control significantly in patients with a spinal injury.

As many as 80 percent of patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury lose control over their bladder function. This is an embarrassing and inconvenient condition that causes great trauma and anguish to patients, and drastically lowers the quality of life they can expect after an injury.

Continue reading

Image result for driverless carSelf driving cars may be here sooner than you think, and promise to revolutionize the way we travel. However, one thing will continue to remain constant.  Even as humans allow cars to take over driving duties, most auto accidents may continue to be caused by human error.

Driver error is a major factor in car accidents. Drivers who are fatigued or distracted are at a higher risk of causing a car accident that injures themselves and/or other motorists. Self driving auto technology aims to eliminate, in part at least, the role of driver error in causing accidents. Many of these systems are designed to maintain safe speeds, and avoid traffic obstructions or objects in the path of the car.  Many are also designed to warn the driver or activate the brakes in order to avoid an accident.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading