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West Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

Old TBIs may cause memory loss, not Alzheimer's

In Iowa and across the U.S., many seniors as well as toddlers experience falls, which lead to traumatic brain injuries. Not a few of these older TBI victims develop memory loss as a result. Unfortunately, many doctors are quick to link memory loss with Alzheimer's disease, so these TBI patients are often misdiagnosed.

The reality, according to the Alzheimer's Association, is that some 40% of dementias are due to other conditions than Alzheimer's. A UCLA study has analyzed 40 TBI patients with memory loss to find a way to distinguish between Alzheimer's cases and TBI cases, and their results may be of interest to doctors because it involves MRIs. No special types of imaging are needed.

Four precautions for safe winter driving

When the weather turns cold and snow begins to fall, messy road conditions become hazardous and winter-related car accidents can happen. Driving in the snow, sleet and slush can be intimidating and dangerous even for the most experienced drivers.

Inclement weather poses unfavorable conditions and can make driving a daunting task. Dangers include decreased visibility, unpredictable road conditions, lane obstruction and reduced pavement friction. Iowa is ranked as the 7th most dangerous state for snow driving. Fortunately, being prepared can go a long way in mitigating the hazards of driving in the snow.

Road deaths fell slightly in 2018

Nearly all of the people who died on the roads in Iowa and around the country in 2018 lost their lives in accidents that could have been prevented according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Figures released by NHTSA on Oct. 22 reveal that motor vehicle accident fatalities in the United States fell by 2.4% in 2018 to 36,560, which the federal watchdog says is largely due to improved automobile safety technology. NHTSA says road deaths are on track to fall by 3.4% in 2019.

However, not all of the news contained in the NHTSA road safety report was positive. Pedestrian fatalities rose by 3.4%, and cyclist deaths increased by 6.3% in 2018 according to NHTSA. The number of road users killed in large truck accidents was also higher. Pedestrian deaths have risen by 53% in the last 20 years, and the 2018 death toll was the highest in almost three decades.

Family pursues wrongful death claim over stuntman's accdent

While many people in Ohio enjoy the popular TV series "The Walking Dead", one stuntman lost his life while filming an episode. His family is pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against AMC, the network that it appears on. The stuntman died in 2017. AMC had sought to dismiss the case, claiming that the stuntman accepted all responsibility for the consequences of performing the stunt. However, the dismissal attempt was denied by the judge hearing the case, which is scheduled to go to trial in December 2019. AMC says that it was a tragic accident.

The man's mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against AMC in 2018. She says that the company's low production budget led to inadequate precautions taken for stunt performers' safety. She claims that the company's filming practices were fundamentally unsafe and led to her son's death on the set. In particular, she says that the network put more pressure on Stalwart Films to cut budgets and safety protections. The man died due to injuries in a fall where the series is filmed in Georgia. The lawsuit also names the director of the episode, an actor involved and the stunt coordinator responsible for the scene.

Birth injuries and cerebral palsy: what parents should know

Parents hope their children have few issues when they’re being born, however, that’s not always the case. One of the most common and long-term delivery injuries an infant can get is cerebral palsy. The condition is classified as a group of disorders that can impact muscle movement, tone and posture. It’s often caused by damage to the baby’s brain during their birth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in children across the United States and nearly half of those who have it have another co-occurring condition.

Fatal crashes linked to aggressive drivers jump 500%

Anyone who commutes regularly in Iowa knows that some drivers behave aggressively. Most people recognize the term "road rage" because it has become so prevalent in society. During the 10-year period of 2006 to 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculated that fatal traffic accidents involving aggressive drivers increased exponentially.

Drivers threatening other motorists with firearms has become more common as well. A nonprofit organization that collects gun violence data reported that 247 incidents of gun violence between drivers happened in 2014. By 2016, the figure went up to 620. A poll conducted by the Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2016 found that 80% of people admitted to feeling road rage at least once a year. A slim majority of poll respondents said that they tailgated people on purpose.

Reducing stress could result in less medical errors

Studying how stress impacts a surgeon's work in the operating room could prevent injuries and deaths related to medical errors. Iowa residents might like to know more about the results of a study from Columbia University that reported that mistakes were 66 percent more common during tense situations.

Operating room mistakes help contribute to the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused every year by medical errors. Stressful moments could improve the chances of making a mistake, and a surgeon might feel stressed due to loud noises or negative thoughts. For this study, a surgeon wore a Hexoskin Smart Shirt when operating. This showed the electrical activity of the surgeon's heart, and laparoscopic video was also used to record the surgeon. Researchers were able to measure heartbeat data and identify moments of high stress. Researchers also watched the video for errors to examine the relationship between short-term stress and surgical mistakes.

Motorcycle crash victims can feel the impact long into the future

Safety officials often talk about the most dangerous time of the year for motorcyclists, the period where crashes and fatalities tend to spike. In Iowa, this happens in the late summer.

One news station’s analysis of Iowa Department of Transportation statistics found one-fifth of all motorcyclist and motorcycle passenger deaths over the past decade occurred in August, making it the most dangerous month of the year. Fatality figures are also generally high in June, July and September, then tend to dip when the weather turns cold. For victims of motorcycle crashes however, this is far from the end of the story.

Misdiagnosis can cause serious harm – and even death

There are many ways in which a doctor can make a mistake. If in making that error the doctor failed to live up to the medical standard of care, and consequently caused harm to the patient, it may result in a medical malpractice claim.

Some mistakes happen more often than others, however, and a recent study offers some compelling insight. That’s because the research identifies the type of medical error that most often causes serious harm to a patient.

Tips to prevent a serious motorcycle accident

There is not another experience quite like riding a motorcycle. Riding on the open road with the wind at your back elicits a feeling that you simply cannot replicate doing anything else. That said, riding a bike is also an extremely dangerous activity. One false move could result in injury or possibly even death.

Every motorcycle accident has the potential to have severe consequences. In fact, more than 80% of all reported motorcycle crashes result in an injury or death to the motorcyclist. Naturally, this incredibly high rate makes motorcycle safety very important. Taking the proper precautions and practicing safe riding habits can literally be the difference between an exciting ride and one that ends in the hospital.

Hixson & Brown, P.C.
160 South 68th Street
Suite 1108
West Des Moines, IA 50266

Toll Free: 800-229-9854
Phone: 515-650-4531
Fax: 515-440-6395
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