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Moultrie Georgia Personal Injury Law Blog

How a spinal cord injury can impact your body clock

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious blow to the human body -- impacting far more than the area directly affected by the injury. It's not unusual for SCI victims to experience suppressed immunity, hormonal changes, body temperature abnormalities and more.

The recently published results of a study for the U.S. Department of Defense indicate that an SCI can also throw off a person's body clock -- at least in the days immediately following the injury. The researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder who worked on the study found that the tissue injury involved in an SCI can throw of circadian rhythms.

Are hands-free phones as risky as handheld ones while driving?

Many newer vehicles have hands-free technology built into their consoles. Even when they don't, there are plenty of ways to rig your phone so that you can comply with Georgia's law that prohibits holding your phone while driving.

People often assume that using hands-free technology to talk on the phone while driving is safe. However, studies have shown that even if your hands are on the steering wheel and your eyes are on the road, if your mind is on your phone call, you're engaging in dangerous distracted driving.

Should medical device sales reps be in the operating room?

If you or a loved one is preparing to undergo surgery, you might assume that the only people in the operating room will be medical professionals. However, if you're having hip or knee replacement surgery or a cardiac procedure that involves implementation of a medical device like a pacemaker or stent, a sales representative from the company that made that device might be there as well.

This isn't a new practice. Device reps have been in operating rooms for a long time. However, as baby boomers are wearing out their joints — not to mention their hearts — and artificial joints and other hardware are becoming more common, the involvement of these sales reps in surgical procedures has gained new scrutiny and criticism.

Study: Drowsy driving is more common than previously reported

We all know that drowsy driving is a problem. Many of us are taking on more than one job, trying to juggle work and school and often raising kids at the same time. It's no wonder that drivers are often sleep-deprived. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over a third of drivers in this country are sleeping less than the minimum seven hours per night recommended.

Research published earlier this year by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drowsy driving was at least one factor in almost 10 percent of all traffic accidents and nearly 11 percent of crashes where there was "significant" damage. Those numbers are considerably higher than those put out by the federal government, which estimated that drowsy drivers were responsible for just 2 percent or fewer of all accidents.

A traumatic brain injury could affect almost every area of life

Suffering a serious injury can have lasting effects on a person's life. In some cases, injuries are catastrophic because of the severe damage caused. If you suffer this type of injury, you may find yourself losing abilities that you once had and having to learn new ways to live your life.

In particular, traumatic brain injuries can cause a number of issues in injury victims' lives. You could suffer a TBI as a result of a car accident or other event in which your head sustains a hit. In some cases, a TBI may not have lasting effects, but if your injury is severe, your life could end up with significant changes.

Lawsuit: Singer's suicide was caused by overprescription of drugs

The widow of the lead vocalist of the group Soundgarden has filed a lawsuit against her husband's doctor for prescribing the drugs that she says led to his suicide last year. Singer/songwriter Chris Cornell took his life in May 2017.

The lawsuit, brought by Vicky Cornell, claims that the doctor "negligently and repeatedly" prescribed Cornell "dangerous mind-altering controlled substances...which impaired [his] cognition, clouded his judgment and caused him to engage in dangerous impulsive behaviors that he was unable to control, costing him his life."

The link between physician burnout and medical errors

Many people suffer job burnout at some point in their careers. However, according to a study published this year in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, over half of the doctors in this country report suffering burnout. The symptoms of burnout can include excessive fatigue, depression and even thoughts of suicide.

Physician burnout can have dangerous consequences for patients because, according to the researchers behind the study, doctors suffering from burnout have more than double the risk of making a medical error. Over 10 percent of the almost 6,700 physicians surveyed reported that they had made at least one significant medical mistake in the past three months. All doctors surveyed were practicing clinical medicine in hospitals or other facilities.

What home modifications will you need after a spinal cord injury?

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury that has caused some degree of paralysis, you'll likely have to make some modifications inside and outside your home. The good news is that these are easier to have done than they once were.

As our population ages and more people are living with mobility issues, designers are increasingly turning their attention to adapted and specialized designs that allow people with all levels of mobility to live together comfortably.

Georgia college freshman killed by alleged drunk driver

Family tragedy often happens when it's least expected. A Georgia family is dealing with the death of a young woman who had just begun her freshman year in college. The 18-year-old young woman had come home from Alabama State University (ASU) to celebrate her mother's birthday earlier this month. She was a passenger in a car that was rear-ended by a driver who has since been charged with DUI and vehicular homicide.

The victim was stopped at a red light not far from her family's home when the car she was in was struck by the alleged drunk driver. It flipped over multiple times and fell down an embankment. The young woman suffered fatal brain injuries as a result.

Why did large truck crash fatalities rise last year?

Recently-released numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that fewer Americans lost their lives in vehicle crashes in 2017 than in the previous year. Overall, fatalities dropped by almost 2 percent. Further, according to an NHTSA official, "Preliminary estimates for the first six months of 2018 appear to show that this downward trend continues."

There was, however, a glaring exception to that good news. Fatalities due to crashes involving large trucks (those with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 10,000 pounds) rose by 16 percent between 2016 and 2017. When broken down by the type of large truck, tractor-trailer fatalities rose by 5.8 percent and those involving straight trucks jumped 18.7 percent.

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