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Trauma Patients Benefit from Blood Transfusions

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Persons, who have suffered severe injuries and receive blood transfusions on the way to the hospital either through medical helicopter or via ground ambulance, have a much higher chance of surviving their injuries.

A recent study focused on 97 patients who suffered trauma in accidents, and who received blood transfusions or plasma transfusions either in a medical helicopter or ground ambulance on their way to the hospital.

When the researchers compared the recovery rates of the patients with patients who did not receive any transfusions on the way to the hospital, they found that the patients who received blood transfusions were approximately 8% less likely to die within six hours of arriving at the hospital. In comparison, the patients in the group that did not receive blood transfusions while on their way to the hospital had a lower chance of surviving their injuries. Persons who received blood transfusions were also 13% more likely to survive until they were discharged from the hospital.

En- route blood transfusion seems to be an effective way of intervening early in the patient's medical condition, thereby increasing his chances of surviving his injuries. Such intervention can save lives, because early intervention is key when a person has suffered severe traumatic injuries, like the kind that occur during a serious auto accident or truck accident.

Severe trauma in auto accidents can be reduced by wearing seat belts, and travelling in a car that comes with side airbag systems, frontal airbags, and other gadgets that reduce the risk of severe injuries. You can also reduce your risk of suffering serious head injuries in an accident by always wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle or bicycle.

Teen Driver Safety Bill Vetoed by Governor

Monday, November 11, 2013

A California bill that would have included stricter licensing requirements for teenage motorists and stronger curfews for novice drivers has been vetoed by the Governor.

Gov Brown recently vetoed the bill that had been introduced by Assemblyman Jim Frazier D-Oakley. Under the bill, teenage drivers would be required to maintain a learner's permit for nine months instead of the current six months. The bill would also have stricter driving restrictions for teenage drivers. The bill would ban teenage drivers from driving between 10 PM and 5 AM. These are the hours that see the highest number of accidents involving teenage drivers, and the bill would ensure fewer teenage motorists on the road during these dangerous hours.

According to the Governor, while he does agree with the need for reducing the number of accidents involving teenage drivers, it is more important now to focus on strengthening teenage driver training programs, than enacting new laws. He plans to direct agencies like the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish a stronger driver training program for teenage motorists.

In California, drivers between the age of 16 and 19 are approximately 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident, compared to other motorists. The California Department of Motor Vehicles released a report in March, which also indicated that drivers between the between the age of 16 and 19 also have the highest average annual traffic citation rate.

California has attempted to address the problem of teen motorist safety, and has some of the strongest teen driver safety laws in the country. These laws are included in the state’s Graduated Driver Licensing Program which was implemented in 1998. However, there are certain provisions in the GDL program that could be modified and enhanced, and this could help prevent more teenage car accidents.

Study Finds Post-Spinal Injury Scarring Could Benefit Patients

Monday, November 04, 2013

According to the results of a study that was published recently in the scientific journal Science, the formation of scar tissue after a spinal cord injury at the site of the injury, could actually prevent the expansion of the injury, and help boost recovery of the patient. That flies in the face of established scientific literature that has held that scar formation at the site of the injury impedes recovery efforts. The new study finds that this is not necessarily so.

The study was conducted by scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and according to their studies, scar tissue that is formed at a spinal injury site by stem cells after an injury does not impair recovery, and could actually help limit the amount of damage that is caused after the injury. For many years now, studies have indicated to Thousand Oaks spinal injury lawyers that recovery after a spinal injury is impeded due to the formation of scar tissue. According to earlier studies, the scar tissue that is formed at the site of the injury blocks the regeneration of new nerve cells, and therefore, functional impairment after an injury tends to be permanent.

However, in the new research, the scientists focused on spinal cord stem cells, which are mainly responsible for the formation of scar tissue around the spinal cord injury. They found that when the scar formation was blocked by preventing the stem cells from generating new cells, the injury ultimately began to expand, and resulted in damage to more numbers of nerve fibers. However, when the mice had continued stem cell function after the injury, scar formation continued normally. Spinal cord stem cells were actually greater in number in these mice.

Younger Truckers More Prone to Substance Abuse

Friday, October 25, 2013

Alcohol and drug abuse by truck drivers is a serious problem that increases the risk of accidents, and endangers the safety of motorists and truckers. Drugs like alcohol and marijuana slow down driver reflexes, increasing the risk of a truck accident.

Amphetamines can have a severe effect on a driver’s health, increasing his chances of suffering a medical condition at the wheel.A new study into the incidence of substance abuse among truck drivers finds that younger truckers may be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

The study, which was based on a review of existing studies, was conducted by Brazilian researchers who analyzed the conclusions of 36 studies from across the world. Most of the studies were based on surveys of truck drivers.

The review finds that the drug that truck drivers most frequently abuse, is alcohol. This is followed by amphetamines, marijuana and cocaine. However, there seemed to be plenty of variation in the results. The rate of drinking alcohol on the job ranged from 1% of truckers to 91%. The rate of amphetamine use ranged from .2% to 82.5% , and the use of marijuana ranged from .2% to 30%.

Some categories of truckers seemed to be at a much higher risk of abusing drugs and alcohol on the job. For instance, younger truckers showed a much greater susceptibility to drinking on the job, while truck drivers who drove for longer trips as part of their jobs were also more likely to drink or take drugs.

Besides these categories, truck drivers who drove more at night, drank alcohol, got fewer hours of rest, were paid below the union-recommended wages or were paid based on their job performance, were also much more likely to be impaired on the job.

Texting Increases Teen Drowsy Driving Accident Risks

Friday, October 18, 2013

Teenagers, and especially college students, may already be at a much higher risk of fatigue, sleepiness and drowsiness, because of an overall lower quantity of sleep. That sleep-deprived state may worsen considerably, because of excessive texting.

According to a new study, college students may have a much harder time falling asleep, if they are texting. In fact, according to the researchers, college students who want to sleep better must consider avoiding texting just before they hit the pillow.

The research found that college students who were experiencing stress, or texting more often, were more likely to have trouble falling asleep. Not only were these people struggling with insomnia, they were also taking a much longer time to fall asleep, and also sleeping less overall, compared to persons who did not text a lot before falling asleep. These students were also likely to spend less time sleeping while they were in bed, and feel lethargic and fatigued throughout the next day increasing their risk of a car accident.

College students who were already stressed seemed to be at an especially high risk of sleep-related troubles due to texting. The problem is that many college students have the habit of texting on their cell phones well into the late hours of the night, even after they are in bed. In other words, these people do not prioritize going to sleep as soon as they hit the bed. They spend many minutes texting on their cell phones, before they finally doze off. That affects the quality of their sleep, and ensures that they get much less sleep than they require. Often, students feel pressured to answer incoming texts, no matter how sleepy they are.

In order to improve the quality of your sleep, and reduce the risk of drowsy driving, switch off your cell phones and text alerts as soon as you hit the pillow.



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