June 2013 archive

Helmets Save Lives

helmet safety

To some people, helmets might seem like a hassle. But if you enjoy bike riding, own a motorcycle or play certain sports like football and skateboarding, you should know that a helmet is crucial in preventing brain or spinal cord injuries. Studies have shown that helmets worn properly reduce the risk of severe, lifelong injuries.

If You Cycle, Wear A Helmet

In a recent Cyclist Safety Report by the city of Boston, MA, it was cited that helmets have reduced the risk of head injury of up to 85% and reduce the risk of brain injury by up to 88%. In the study, it was found that men between the ages of 25 and 35 are more likely to be involved in a bicycle crash. Ten percent of crashes ended with the cyclist going to the hospital.

What Are Helmet Laws?

Many states have laws that require motorcyclists and cyclists to wear helmets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities and injuries decline when helmet laws are enacted. Consequently, when helmet laws are repealed, fatalities increase. Not all states have laws that require riders to wear helmets. None of the fifty states require everyone to wear helmets while riding a bicycle (21 states require riders under a certain age to wear helmets), according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Nineteen states require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, while Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire have no helmet laws for motorcyclists at all.

What Are The Best Helmets To Buy?

According to the New York State Department of Health, effective helmets should be made of polystyrene, a sturdy material that absorbs the impact of a fall or collision. Foam pads will not effectively prevent brain injury like polystyrene can. Make sure the helmet fits your head snugly, and can be adjusted with straps to prevent it from moving around. Bicycle helmets are required by law to meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards for safety (they should have a CPSC sticker to show that they meet these requirements).

Chiropractic Danger: Neck Manipulation and Strokes

chiropractic danger

One of the biggest moneymakers for chiropractors is spinal manipulation. This usually involves twisting and turning the neck in specific ways that are intended to alleviate pain. Unfortunately, some patients have found out that chiropractic danger exists when a practitioner manipulates the neck in this fashion. This sort of neck manipulation may be done over and over again, sometimes for years on end, as patients go back to the chiropractor seeking treatments for pain. There is nowhere near universal consensus that this particular treatment, nor chiropractic medicine in general, has any value whatsoever. Some medical practitioners consider chiropractic medicine to be quackery but, quackery or not, the potential for injury is there.


According to one report released by Science Based Medicine, a 37 year-old woman suffered a stroke during a neck adjustment; one of many that she had received over the course of a period of years. The chiropractor failed to notice the symptoms of stroke after working on her neck which, conceivably, would be cause to investigate into whether chiropractic malpractice played a part in her injuries. While strokes maim and kill many people every year, they are not always obvious right after they occur.

The same source relates a story of a 63-year-old man who suffered an ischemic stroke that was believed to have been caused by chiropractic treatment. The original publishers of that story, the Journal of Neuroimaging, recommend against neck manipulations for patients suffering from certain conditions.

What to Do?

While chiropractic medicine may not be acknowledged by all scientific doctors as a real form of medicine, it is most certainly licensed and practiced as if it were actual medicine in most places. Chiropractic malpractice is something that patients can definitely sue over, just as they can sue a regular physician if that physician delivers care that falls below the standards required.

In some cases, patients may allege chiropractic malpractice when they were given a treatment that should not have been given to them, given another condition that they had. They may also sue for chiropractic malpractice if they have reason to suspect that a chiropractic treatment was the proximate cause of an injury that they suffered and if that injury caused them serious harm.

The best way to deal with situations involving injuries caused by chiropractors is to talk to a personal injury attorney about the matter. Because they can be sued for malpractice, personal injury attorneys can help you determine whether or not it would be worth your while to go after a chiropractor by filing a lawsuit against them. If you believe that they have injured you, it’s best to talk to an attorney as soon as possible to determine your options.

Medical Malpractice: Cosmetic Surgeries and Anesthesia Dangers

cosmetic surgery

Anesthesia comes in several different varieties. Some of the worst medical mistakes involve anesthesia and, if you’ve been the victim of such a mistake, you may want to consider speaking with a medical malpractice attorney. Where cosmetic procedures are concerned, you may be given any one of the four major types of anesthesia. Anesthesia dangers are issues in any such situation and you should be informed of these dangers before the procedure is undertaken.

The Four Types of Anesthesia

The four most common types of anesthesia are listed below, from the NIH.

Local Anesthesia

This is the least intensive form of anesthesia. You may have had this used when you’ve had minor procedures done that may not have been terribly involved but which may have been very painful without this procedure. Local anesthesia leaves you awake and fully alert and aware of your surroundings. It merely numbs the area being operated on. This type of anesthesia is used by dentists, doctors and other professionals who may perform procedures that would otherwise be horribly uncomfortable.

Intravenous Sedation, IV Sedation

This type of anesthesia combines a sedative and an analgesic to kill the pain. You’ll generally be awake after having this type of anesthesia. Sedation dentistry oftentimes utilizes this type of anesthesia to make long and painful procedures bearable. It is also used for some cosmetic procedures, provided the pain involved is not likely to be too extreme.

Regional Anesthesia

This type of anesthesia blocks out all the pain signals from a specific area of the body. Women going through labor oftentimes have this done so that they don’t have to deal with the pain. This procedure may be used on limbs or other areas of the body. Cosmetic procedures may be done under this type of anesthesia to avoid some of the dangers that go along with general anesthesia.

General Anesthesia

This is the most extreme form of anesthesia. It involves bringing you to the point where you are unconscious and where you feel nothing at all. You will have no memory of what happened when you awake from this type of anesthesia. It is also the most dangerous form of anesthesia and takes a great deal of training to perform. This type of anesthesia is used in many cosmetic procedures and carries with it great risks.

Anesthesia mistakes involve everything from not giving enough medication and leaving patients fully aware and feeling a procedure, but unable to move. It can involve accidental death and other outcomes, as well.