Personal Injury: Whiplash

There are different kinds of injuries that individuals, who get involved in car accidents, may sustain. These can range from the least minor bruises to the more serious bone fracture, neck and spinal cord injury, traumatic head injury, injury to the face, internal injuries, paralysis, and whiplash, which the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) believes may be the most common car crash injury sustained by victims.

Whiplash is characterized by an abrupt, violent blow to one’s head, causing it to jolt back and forth. It can damage muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues in the neck area. Though a car accident may be its usual cause, a whiplash can also result from a fall, an injury sustained in sports, or an assault. When sustained through a motor vehicle accident, it would be due to the car being hit hard from behind or at the side, causing the neck to jerk with force to one side and then back.

One major drawback concerning whiplash injuries is that these are often neither easily nor immediately noticeable until some (or many) hours after the accident. X-rays can prove useless too as the injury does not necessarily show fractured bones on the neck. There are symptoms, though, that may hint its existence, like a sense of needles and pins in the arms, dizziness, lack of energy, nausea, neck swelling, back pain, pain on the shoulder and arms, headaches blurred vision, difficulty swallowing, and muscle spasms.

Though being rear-ended by an speeding vehicle can definitely result to a serious whiplash injury, it can be a surprise for many to know that most whiplash injuries are caused by vehicles running only between five and ten miles per hour. The best advice given to all drivers to avoid this type of injury despite an accident is by making sure that one is properly restrained, which means making sure that one is wearing or is secured by a seatbelt.

Rear-ending another vehicle can be due either to tailgating or inattentive/distracted driving. The driver at fault will surely need to comply with the stipulations of the law and compensate his/her victim for the damages the victim will suffer from (due to the injury).

On the part of the victim, it will be very wise to seek the services of a highly-competent personal injury lawyer, who will explain to him/her the best legal options that may enable him/her to receive compensation from the liable party – a right of the victim that the law upholds.

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Medical Devices – Morcellators

The National Institutes of Health says one in every three American women will undergo a hysterectomy.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, after Caesarian section, which is the number one surgical procedure that doctors perform on women in the US, hysterectomy comes next. Doctors consider hysterectomy, a surgical procedure aimed at removing a woman’s uterus, safe and very effective in eliminating or reducing uncontrollable vaginal bleeding and chronic pelvic pain, and in treating certain types of infections and cancer (such as cancer of the uterus, ovarian cancer or cervical cancer). Furthermore, hysterectomy is performed due to various needs and reasons, including

  • Removal of (uterine) fibroids, which are benign tumors that develop in the uterus
  • Treatment of:
    • Pelvic inflammatory disease (an infection of the female reproductive organs)
    • adenomyosis (a condition wherein the uterus’ inner linings protrudes through the muscle wall of the uterus)
    • uterine prolapse (a condition in which the uterus, or womb, slips out of the cervix, dropping halfway into the vagina (or birth canal)
    • endometriosis (a source of pain and bleeding due to the growth of the inner lining of the uterus in the abdomen)

There are different ways of removing or treating the uterus, through: Abdominal Hysterectomy (where a vertical or horizontal cut is made in the abdomen); Laparoscopic Hysterectomy (multiple minimal incisions are made, one for the laparoscope, or small camera, to see inside the body as the uterus is cut and removed in small pieces); Vaginal Hysterectomy (wherein a cut is made inside the vagina instead of in the abdomen); and, Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy or LAVH (a procedure that uses a laparoscope to guide the removal of the uterus, ovaries and/or fallopian tubes through the birth canal.

In laparoscopic surgeries an instrument, called a morcellator, is used to mince large masses of tissues (can be the uterus or uterine fibroids) for easy extraction. A morcellator is usually used in supracervical hysterectomy, which leaves the cervix untouched. When used in hysterectomy or myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroid), however, a morcellator can cause the spreading of uterine sarcoma, a cancerous tissue that is very hard to detect. Due to this risk, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert that discourages the use of morcellators in the said surgical procedures.

Despite the fact that hysterectomy and myomectomy, wherein morcellators are used, are much faster and safer to perform, require shorter recovery time and greatly reduce any possibility of infection compared to vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy and myomectomy, these do not outweigh the harm (cancer) that patients can be made to suffer from.

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