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Spinal  Cord  Injuries
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Spinal cord injury


Spinal Cord Injuries

Better Recovery for Spinal Cord Injuries

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -October 5, 2004- Patients with spinal cord injuries could benefit from early magnetic resonance imaging, according to the findings of a new study.

Canadian neuroscientists discovered that MRI technology could determine if performing surgery would benefit patients. They found trauma-induced spinal cord compression on MRIs predict a poorer neurological recovery.

Surgery can relieve spinal cord compression. However, unless surgeons are fairly certain the procedure will benefit the patient, they are generally reluctant to operate because of the risks. Researchers say this study should remove that uncertainty.

Researchers evaluated the records of 22 patients who were admitted to the hospital with spinal cord injury and who were assessed with both MRI and computed tomography at admission and at a follow-up examination about 10 months later. They examined whether there is an association between the degree of spinal cord injury compression in the period just after traumatic injury and clinical neurological outcome. They found evidence of spinal cord compression on MRI, but not CT, predicted a poorer recovery.

Researchers conclude, "It is our view MRI should be done whenever feasible in all patients with an acute spinal cord injury to evaluate the extent of spinal cord compression. It is our practice to undertake urgent and thorough decompression of the spinal cord with the view of trying to maximize the extent of neurological recovery."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: Presented at the 129th annual meeting of the American Neurological Association in Toronto, Oct. 4, 2004

2 hospitalized after SUV flips in desert

By Emily Morris

The Daily Sentinel - March 28, 2005 - Two people were taken by CareFlight to St. Mary’s Hospital on Sunday evening, one of them a child with life-threatening injuries, after the sport utility vehicle they were in flipped over.

The 3-year-old reportedly fell out of a sunroof when the Toyota Land Cruiser flipped backwards while trying to climb a steep hill, said Steven Hall, spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management.

The accident occurred on BLM land near 29 Road in the desert. Emergency personnel had a difficult time reaching the accident because it was about 112 miles off the paved road.

The child was taken by CareFlight first, then the driver followed with a possible spinal injury, according to the central dispatch.

Alcohol may have been involved, according to dispatch communications.

DRIVER CHARGED IN ROLLOVER: The driver of a sport utility vehicle that overturned on an I-495 exit ramp near Claymont on Monday has been charged in the single-vehicle crash. State police spokesman Lt. Joseph P. Aviola Jr. said James Walmsley, 22, of Wilmington, was driving a 2001 Ford Explorer on the Philadelphia Pike off-ramp from I-495 north just before 5 a.m. when the vehicle rolled onto the median. Walmsley was treated for a shoulder injury at Christiana Hospital and released, Aviola said. The crash closed the ramp for about 15 minutes. Walmsley was charged with driving while his license is revoked, careless driving and failure to use a seat belt.

Not So Fast
Reckless marketing: Advertising that sells cars with a seductive aura of raw speed, power and sex appeal is an irresponsible enticement to dangerous driving

January 22, 2006 - By SHEREEN F. EDELSON A national study recently concluded that teenagers and young adults exposed to liquor advertisements in print media, store displays, concession stands and television are likely to imbibe more frequently than their peers who have less or no exposure to the ads.

"We found that if there was more advertising in a market there was more youth drinking," said Leslie B. Snyder, lead author of the study and director of the Center for Health Communication and Marketing at the University of Connecticut.

In contemplating the powerful role such advertising plays in influencing human behavior, I can not help but wonder about the effects on teens and young adults of the way automobiles are marketed in magazines and on television.

"Sometimes, fast isn't fast enough," reads the copy in an Acura ad. Purchase a Toyota Tacoma truck with 245 horsepower and, according to the photograph of mud-covered young adults crowded in and around the truck, you'll experience "hooting, hollering, white knuckles, spine tingling, increased heart rate and sweet girlfriend."

Get behind the wheel of a 425-horsepower Dodge Magnum "with the latest in street and racing technology" and you'll be in "warped speed." Want to annoy a trucker? According to one Toyota Camry magazine ad, pass the tractor-trailer in a Camry loaded with a 225-horsepower, VVT-I 3.3 liter V6 engine. This Camry is "the fastest way to earn respect on a long haul."

"Bullet up my tailpipe," radios a scowling trucker, peering in his side-view mirror at the fast-approaching car.

The most egregious ad: "Two roads diverged in a wood - And I took the one less traveled by state troopers," boasts the driver in a magazine ad for a Honda Accord.

Researchers such as those involved in the liquor advertising study need to focus on the effect of such automobile marketing on young people. These car and truck advertisements appear in such widely read and readily available magazines as Sports Illustrated and Time.

Automobile commercials on television are even more graphic and enticing. Attractive, glamorous, sexy men and women in sleek, shiny new vehicles zoom along serpentine roads, fly over rocky terrain, execute daredevil maneuvers, and barrel down the highway, leaving other cars, trucks and the police in a cloud of dust. The message to young people couldn't be clearer: Buy this vehicle, drive like this, and you, too, will be cool, popular, sophisticated, desirable. What impressionable teenage boy or girl doesn't crave that image?

Tragically, we know too well the real consequences of driving the way cars are driven in commercials. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (www.nhtsa.dot.gov), more than 68,000 teens have died in car crashes in the past decade. Excessive speed is implicated in thousands of these deaths. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers.

In addition, thousands of teens and young adults suffer serious injuries and permanent disabilities from motor vehicle accidents. These numbers are of catastrophic proportion.

Who are the people who create and approve these irresponsible ads? Do they not read newspapers and watch news accounts of the daily slaughter on the highways? Do they have no children? Have they no social conscience?

To defend themselves, automobile manufacturers may point to cautionary statements sometimes printed on the bottom of magazine ads or flashed across the screen in commercials. Get yourself a high-powered magnifying glass and maybe you can decipher the tiny print: "Professional driver." "Closed course." "Do not try this at home."

What the warnings should proclaim is, "Drive this way and you could end up dead."

Car, truck, and SUV advertising that displays and encourages dangerous and illegal behavior should be loudly condemned and rejected by automobile dealers, government officials, print and broadcast owners and the buying public. Every print and television motor vehicle ad should contain a very visible warning that unsafe use of the vehicle can result in injury or death. It is the least we can do to protect our children.

Shereen F. Edelson of Plainville is a freelance writer and editor.


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