Call us Today: (877) 840-3491
Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Many families of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) victims are beginning to recognize that their doctors do not typically offer alternative treatment options, even though they may provide the most benefit to the injured person. So families are seeking out natural medicine and alternative therapies that they believe will be more effective. Although little research exists to prove the effectiveness of many alternative treatments, the same can be said for traditional TBI medicine.
Standard TBI Treatments Not Proven Effective
A report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies indicates that cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CRT), the primary method of treatment given to TBI patients, is not as effective as doctors would like to believe. According to the report, “The committee concludes that current evidence provides limited support for the efficacy of CRT interventions.” The report goes on to explain that every brain, every patient and every injury is different from every other. For this reason, every patient requires a customized approach.
Some treatments, such as keeping a diary to improve memory, have shown universal effectiveness. Social and memory centered treatments are also helpful for most patients, but no specific treatment proved itself more successful than any other. Families that do not consider alternate treatments may wonder why their loved ones take so long to recover. For this reason, considering all available treatments is important.
The New York Times reported on this issue as well, explaining why so few treatments have been proven effective. When reporters spoke to Weill Cornell Medical College neuroscientist Dr. Nicholas Schiff, he told them, “Because there’s no infrastructure, no organized plan of attack for what happens after a brain injury, at all stages, you’re simply not going to find many large, well-designed studies,” he said.
Potential Alternative Therapies for TBI
In a group study by the New York University School of Medicine, The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation, and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, researchers addressed the problem, noting, “Despite the enormity of the problem, few data exist regarding effective treatments beyond the very acute period.” Their report describes alternative therapies that should be studied as potentially helpful treatments, including: (more…)
Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Victims of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) struggle to get through life. Even the simplest of tasks such as getting dressed can be arduous. Many TBI victims are forced to rely on others to provide for their daily needs. Most spend several hours in physical or occupational therapy each week. While traditional therapy serves a purpose, the discovery of equestrian therapy is providing new hope for TBI victims and their families.
Traumatic Brain Injury a Serious Concern
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 1.7 million Americans visit the hospitals each year with a TBI. In fact, TBIs are a factor in 30 percent of all deaths related to injury. A staggering 17 percent of TBI-related injuries are caused by vehicular accidents. Over 35 percent of brain injuries are caused by falls such as slipping on a wet surface. Any serious jolt or shaking of the head can also cause a TBI.
Millions of people each year will slip and fall. Whether they are at home or at a public place, falling can cause serious injuries. However, many people will not seek medical attention. Most will brush off the injuries as too minor to waste the time going to the emergency room or visiting a doctor. It is unfortunate that the average person does not realize how serious a bump on the head can be. The CDC considers TBI to be a public health issue that warrants serious concern.
Those who struggle with brain injury often have difficulty with maintaining proper balance. Even in mild forms of TBI, victims risk further injury due to their inability to maintain balance or control physical movements. However, horse therapy has helped countless TBI victims to overcome many challenges of this devastating injury.
Equestrian Therapy for TBI Victims
A Michigan newspaper, the Grand Traverse Insider, details the great benefits available through equestrian therapy. (more…)
Friday, October 14th, 2011
Burnout is usually something we associate with our regular jobs. Working long hours under stressful conditions can wear a person down. Burnout can affect caregivers too, people who sometimes must work full time jobs and then go home to care for a disabled loved one.
If someone in your family has experienced a traumatic brain injury, the demands placed on you can be overwhelming. Although you may feel like you have little or no control over the situation, there are steps you can take to avoid burnout and still provide proper care.
Warning Signs of Burnout
Many caregivers fail to recognize burnout. Symptoms include
Some caregivers report that when they tend to a loved one’s needs every day, the work has lost its meaning. It becomes a chore, rather than an expression of love for an ailing family member.
The Mayo Clinic has several recommendations for avoiding caregiver burnout. (more…)
Thursday, October 13th, 2011
Pregnant individuals who work in factories may be exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis. These chemicals can damage an unborn child. Such was the case for Julie Anderson, a woman who worked at a plant that manufactured paint. Seattle’s online daily newspaper, SeattlePI, reports that Anderson only discovered the damage done to her child years after he was born.
Anderson’s son showed signs of birth defects in his toddler years. Genetic tests later showed that the damage likely came from exposure to solvents during his time in her womb. According to the March of Dimes, “Women who were exposed to solvents on the job during their first trimester of pregnancy were 13 times more likely than unexposed women to have a baby with a major birth defect.”
Anderson filed suit against her employer, AkzoNobel, submitting medical evidence to back up her claim. The court ruled that her evidence was insufficient to pursue her case and dismissed the lawsuit. On appeal, however, the Washington State Supreme Court overturned that dismissal, stating the jury should have a chance to review the evidence, not just a judge.
Changing Rules of Evidence
Previously, courts relied on the “Frye Test,” which required medical opinions to be in keeping with accepted principles within the expert community. Therefore, any opinions contrary to the established belief would be disallowed. The new ruling allows medical testimony as long as the reporting physicians use “scientifically sound” research and evidence. This evidence can oppose the accepted view in the medical community.
AkzoNobel argues that the ruling invites “junk science” into the courtroom because the state has not yet sorted out new guidelines for what constitutes “scientifically sound” evidence. (more…)
Monday, October 10th, 2011
Many in Wisconsin are upset over tort reform bills in consideration under a special legislative session that is intended to focus on jobs creation. Why Governor Scott Walker included these bills under jobs creation is difficult to understand. The bills do not create jobs or help the public in any way.
According to the JSOnline, the online publication from Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel, Sen. Rich Zipperer (R-City of Pewaukee) submitted the bills in question. He proposes that pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies involved in marketing defective medical devices and drugs should be immune from lawsuits as long as the FDA approved the medical products. He also wishes to put a cap on attorney fees.
Those who support the bills, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), say consumers can file lawsuits against doctors, drug companies and medical device manufacturers too easily. Opponents see the tort reform bill for what it is – another way for big corporations and insurance companies to evade justice when they injure patients.
Bills Favor Drug and Medical Device Companies, Put Consumers at Risk
One bill includes a proposal that would grant manufacturers of drugs and medical devices immunity from lawsuits when the drug or device in question was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The opposition points to the numerous FDA-approved products that have injured and killed patients. Such a law would be recklessly unfair to injured patients, barring them from compensation.
The FDA’s bias towards approving devices and drugs under manufacturer pressure is well documented. The law would remove the only fallback available for patients who suffer from weaknesses in the FDA approval system. (more…)
You are currently browsing the Virginia Brain Injury Lawyer, Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Lawyer – Stephen M. Smith – Brain Injury Law Center blog archives for October, 2011.