Articles Posted in Coma

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DAVENPORT – The mother and father of a young woman who was killed in a truck accident on U.S. 27 earlier this year were among the more than 30 Polk County residents, law enforcement officials, state highway planners and county leaders who met to form a task force that will focus on making US 27 safer.

“I would gladly give everything I have not to be here,” Russell Hurd told the group Tuesday night at Polk Outpost 27, a visitors’ center just south of Interstate 4 on US 27, the road some locals refer to as “Bloody 27.”

26 year old Heather Hurd lost her life when an inattentive (or sleeping) tractor-trailer driver rear ended several cars and another truck that were stopped at a red light at U.S. 27 and Sand Mine Road.

Two people were killed and several others were injured in the accident.

“I don’t want any family to feel what my wife and I feel,” Hurd said. “I want them to fix what’s wrong with those 15 miles of the highway.”

Hurd was referring to the heavily traveled section of US 27 between Haines City and the Polk/Lake county line to the north.

The meeting was hosted by the Polk Transportation Planning Organization and the Florida Department of Transportation and was intended to be the organizational meeting for a task force of residents and officials created to identify immediate or short-term solutions to the highway’s problems.

While long-range plans are already on the table, they are not expected to be in place for several years.
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Miami, Florida – Cerebral anoxia and hypoxia are terms used to refer to a deprivation of oxygen supply to the brain. Cerebral anoxia refers to a complete absence of oxygen while cerebral hypoxia refers to a dangerous diminution of oxygen supply to this vital organ. Either can can lead to severe, irreversible brain damage characterized by the terms “anoxic brain damage” or “hypoxic brain damage.” Either condition can be the result of medical malpractice.

There are numerous causes of cerebral anoxia or hypoxia. Some examples include:

1). Injuries during birth/delivery (medical malpractice),
2). Compression of the trachea (sometimes the result of medical malpractice),
3). Complications of general anesthesia (often the result of medical malpractice),
4). Drug overdose (often the result of pharmacy negligence or medical malpractice),
5). Asphyxiation caused by ventilator/respirator failure or misuse (sometimes the result of
medical malpractice),
6). Inadequate perfusion on heart/lung machine during coronary artery bypass graft
surgery (CABG) (usually the result of negligence or medical malpractice),
7). Surgical errors,
8). Failure to monitor and treat severe hypotension (very low blood pressure) (usually the
result of medical malpractice),
9). Accidental Drowning or near drowning,
10). Asphyxiation caused by smoke inhalation,
11). Strangulation,
12). Cardiac arrest (when the heart stops pumping),
13). Carbon monoxide poisoning,
14). High altitudes,
15). Choking, and;
16). Diseases that paralyze the respiratory muscles

The cells that make up the human brain are extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation. Some brain cells actually start to die within the first 5 minutes after their oxygen supply is interrupted. As a result, brain anoxia/hypoxia can lead to death or severe brain damage very quickly.

Brain hypoxia and anoxia are medical emergencies and must be treated immediately. The sooner medical attention is received and the oxygen supply to the brain restored, the better the chances of avoiding severe brain damage or death.

Hypoxia can be mild or severe (anoxia). In mild cases, inattentiveness, poor judgment, and uncoordinated movement may result. In severe cases, the results can include seizures, coma and brain death.

In cases where the brain is deprived of oxygen for only a short time and a coma results, it may be completely or partially reversible, depending on the extent of injury.

Cerebral anoxia/hypoxia is treated in different ways depending on what caused it. In every instance, basic life-support must be ensured.

The outlook or prognosis depends on the extent of the brain injury which, in turn, depends on how long the period of oxygen deprivation lasted. The patients who experience the best recoveries will have been deprived of oxygen for a short period of time.

Conversely, the prognosis is usually poor for those persons who were oxygen deprived for a longer period of time. Even a few minutes is considered a long time for the brain to be without oxygen.

When cerebral anoxia/hypoxia occurs as the result of medical malpractice, the patient or her family members are often not aware that oxygen loss to the brain has occurred. Symptoms to look out for include behavioral changes, cognitive or physical impairment, inattentiveness, poor judgment, memory loss, and a decrease in motor coordination among other warning signs.

Victims of cerebral anoxia/hypoxia, particularly infants and children, can be left with a permanent disability. It is critical for these individuals to receive extensive and continuous support from family, friends and specialists in treating brain damage and in providing neuro-rehabilitation.
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Miami, Florida – The number of child drownings and near drownings in South Florida increases dramatically each year during the Summer. Now that school is almost out, more kids will spend a greater amount of time in and around swimming pools. That makes summer vacation one of the most dangerous times for children.

South Florida has always had one of the highest child drownings rates in the country. ”It’s the No. 1 killer of young kids in South Florida,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Eddy Ballester, speaking about accidental drownings. “We have that dubious distinction of suffering more tragedies than anywhere else in the country.”

Child drownings, however, can be prevented. Most child drownings occur in backyard swimming pools. And most of those accidents can be avoided by following a few important safety tips including:

• Teach kids how to swim or at least survive in the water.

• Use pool fences, pool alarms, self-closing and self-latching gates and alarms on doors to make sure toddlers don’t get into the pool when you aren’t watching.

• Don’t let children play near a pool without adult supervision.

• Parents should tell their kids to take breaks every so often and when they get swimming lessons, they need to practice.

”Just like a designated driver, you need to have a designated pool watcher,” Ballester said.
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Miami, Florida – An 18-wheeler and a car met in a head-on collision Wednesday, shutting down Krome Avenue near SW 88th Street (Kendall Drive). The March 5, 2008 tractor-trailer wreck sent one person to the hospital on air rescue. The rescue helicopter dispatched by the Miami-Dade Fire Department had to land on the street.

Hazmat teams were also sent to the accident scene to clean up the resulting fuel spill.

According to traffic statistics, the injuries sustained in truck accidents, especially those involving huge semi tractor-trailors, are generally more serious in nature than injuries sustained in car accidents. One reason for this is because these big rigs typically weigh as much as 80,000 lbs when fully loaded. That’s several tons heavier than the average passenger car.

Some of the many catastrophic injuries typically resulting from a truck accident include:
traumatic brain injury,
head injuries,
brain damage,
burn injuries,
spinal cord injuries,
– severe orthopedic injuries,
coma, and – death
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Florida residents beware: the nationwide recall on pre-filled heparin flush syringes and viles manufactured by Am2Pat, Inc. d/b/a Sierra Pre-filled and B. Braun Medical, Inc., due to contamination with the Serratia marcescens bacteria, has been expanded. Unfortunately; for many patients using this dangerous and defective drug, the recall was too late. Several reported cases of the infection were in Florida as well as in other states. The Food and drug Administration (FDA) warned that patients and clinicians should immediately stop using these products.

On January 25, 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a class 1 recall of Sierra heparin or saline pre-filled syringes. A class 1 recall is the FDA’s most serious and is reserved for those situations where using the defective product “will cause serious injury or death.”

This FDA recall expanded upon a Dec. 20, 2007 recall by Manufacturer, Am2Pat, Inc. which targeted only one lot of the pre-filled heparin syringes that were contaminated with Serratia marcescens bacteria. The FDA has since broadened the recall after receiving reports of additional infections linked to Sierra’s pre-filled saline syringes as well.

State health departments have been notified by the CDC that Am2Pat intends to extend the recall of its prefilled heparin and saline flush syringes to encompass all distributed lots of these products because of concerns these syringes may be contaminated with the gram-negative bacteria, Serratia marcescens.

These syringes were manufactured by Am2Pat and may be labeled as: Am2Pat, Sierra Pre-filled, or B. Braun. All of these products will bear the National Drug Code or NDC prefix of: 64054.

These products have been distributed to in-patient and out-patient facilities and directly to patients by home-care companies such as Maryland based Caremax Medical resources, LLC.

In a seperate notice, heparin products manufactured by Baxter were also recalled due to contamination.

Anyone having questions regarding the manufacturer of prefilled syringes they are using should call the FDA and should save the packaging to help identify the distributor company that provided the syringes.
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