Early Warning Device for Traumatic Brain Injury in Car Accidents

A teenager recently developed a system for a science fair that would calculate the possibility and intensity of traumatic brain injury in the aftermath of a car accident.

In the International Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, Arizona, 16-year-old Justin Krell who lives in Plankinton, South Dakota, presented the prototype for a system that would track a person’s head movement at the time of a car accident. This would enable the calculation of the possibility of concussion. The system is called HardHit, and uses an accelerometer, infrared proximity sensor and microcontroller which together provide the data to measure the forces that impinged on a car passenger at the time of impact.

The system is based on the Arduino system which stores the information in a MicroSD card. The data can be used by medical care professionals to help in the diagnosis of possible traumatic brain injury such as concussion. HardHit is an in-vehicle device which is currently placed directly behind where the driver’s head would be. The system is still being improved to make the information available to first responders as well as for compatibility with other onboard systems such as OnStar from General Motors.

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Medical Errors that Lead to Neonatal Brain Injuries

Few people understand how easy it is to make medical errors that can lead to serious brain injuries. It can be a case of too much, too little, too soon, or too late for many cases and may be due to negligence, miscommunication or fatigue. Costs often go beyond hospitalization and critical care; in most cases, lifetime special care is required.

Health care professionals are human beings with the same physical and mental limitations of ordinary people, but this realization does not absolve them from the duty of care towards their patients that is expected of them. According to the website of Jeff Sampson, breaching this duty can render them liable for personal injury lawsuits. Specifically, medical malpractice lawsuits. These suits involve accusations that are often difficult to prove, but also offer generally high settlements, since they’re the result of egregious failures of a medical institution’s duty of care.

One of the most common reasons for brain injury in both adults and children which is not traumatic i.e. physical blow in nature is hypoxia and anoxia. Hypoxia is depletion of oxygen in tissue; anoxia is the complete absence of oxygen. If the brain receives too little oxygen, this is called cerebral hypoxia. If no oxygen is getting to the brain at all, it is cerebral anoxia. When a medical procedure or treatment inadvertently causes the oxygen flow to the brain to decrease or cease over a certain period of time, brain cells die, causing brain damage. Even if the oxygen flow is brought back to normal, the brain injury and consequent effects are usually permanent.

The most vulnerable to this type of injury are newborns. Medical errors that lead to brain injuries in neonates include delayed removal of airway obstructions and failure to provide necessary medical attention to pre-term babies with underdeveloped lungs. Adults suffering from a stroke may have more extensive brain injuries than they should have if they had been diagnosed and treated promptly.

It is possible to injure the brain in other ways, such as the use of too much labor-inducing Pitocin, or too much anesthesia during surgery. While there is no intent to harm, the health care professional is still liable for any damages that may accrue to the victim in a personal injury lawsuit. If someone close to you has suffered brain injuries due to medical errors, consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area for advice and assistance.

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