Articles Posted in Traumatic Illnesses

Epidemiology of Trauma

According to the principles of medicine, trauma is a “disease” rather than an injury and, as such, is no different from malaria, heart disease, or cancer. It has degrees of severity and morbidity/mortality statistics just like other diseases. It is important to understand the epidemiology of trauma as it applies to different populations of people.

There is descriptive epidemiology, which looks at the distribution of the disease over time, place, and over different subgroups of people. There is also analytical epidemiology, which looks at the causation of the trauma/disease. The environment can be a physical one or a sociocultural one. How these factors interact determines the epidemiology of trauma. Knowing these things can help public policy and laws designed to protect people from injury secondary to trauma.

car accidentHip fractures most often occur in front end impacts. There are several types of hip fractures. Some fractures near the femur bone and joints may affect the pelvis. Besides fractures, there can also be extensive bruising and/or dislocation of the hip joints.

Every hip fracture is painful. Treatment may be surgical or non-surgical.

If the fracture is surgical, the surgery is usually performed within 48 hours followed by around 5-6 days in a hospital. After that, there may be 4-6 weeks of subacute care in a rehabilitation facility followed by another month of rehabilitation.

A blunt spleen injury is one of the most commonly injured organs after an auto accident. It’s caused by a forceful blow to the abdomen.

The spleen is the organ that filters poorly functioning or damaged red blood cells. It also removes bacteria from the body and produces antibodies.

When a trauma patient is taken to the emergency room, he is assessed by examining the airway, breathing and circulation. The patient is classified as either Hemodynamically stable on unstable based on their blood pressure and heart rate. If there’s a high heart rate or low blood pressure , the trauma surgeon must find out the reason. If there is internal bleeding, the location must be found.

As a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer, over the years I’ve been asked what the difference is between different types of trauma center.

There are  different levels of trauma centers: Level I, II, III, IV, and V. These refer to the types and kinds of resources available at the facility and the number of trauma patients admitted each year.

The categorization is different for adult and pediatric facilities. Category requirements are different from state to state and are outlined by legislation

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney since 1982. Many people over the years have asked me what a “personal injury” actually is.

Legally, a personal injury lawsuit is a suit filed in a court by someone who has been emotionally or physically injured by the act of another.

Some of the common types of personal injury are injuries arising from auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and trucking accidents.

As a Sacramento personal injury lawyer, I have had occasion to represent many minority members in auto and trucking accidents since 1982.  Over the years, I’ve noticed that, in general, different people and different cultures experience pain differently. I recently came across an article entitled Hispanic Inpatient Pain intensity.

The gist of that article summarized is that non English speaking Hispanic  patients in hospitals tend to underreport pain by some 30 percent compared to  English speaking Hispanic patients.

May times, in personal injury lawsuits, the insurance companies focus on complaints of pain showing up in the medical records. They imply that if there was no pain indicated in the medical records, the patient must not have been in pain. Its important to the serious personal injury lawyer to be familiar with the medical literature to explain why those complaints may not have been voiced. And that not being voiced, is not the same as not being experienced.

A severely injured client with  a forthcoming surgery came in to see me the other day to find out how he should best proceed in moving his case forward. He wondered if it was worthwhile to retain a personal injury lawyer  if the at fault parties insurance was limited in amount.

That was a good question, and I’m writing today to explain how this Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney goes about finding the insurance the other driver has.

EdwardSmith
The first thing, I do is to send a letter to the other party’s insurance asking the amount of insurance coverage is effect. The other party’s insurance cannot reveal the sum of insurance that was in effect without the consent of their insured.  The insurance company is supposed to write their client asking permission to revel policy limits. If the client consents and if the other driver, doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the injury, I will encourage the potential  client to contact the other insurance directly,  request a Dec Sheet showing policy limits and to settle the case for such policy limits themselves. It’s not fair to take a fee on cases that the insurance company will clearly pay without a lawyers involvement.

As a holistic personal injury lawyer, I see literally hundreds of people each month suffering from the physical and emotional after-effects of trauma.

Bessel van der Kolk MD, is a psychiatrist who has treated traumatic injuries for decades and is a well known author of several very readable books on PTSD and the effect of severe trauma on the injured person and their families.

I’m very pleased to recommend Dr. van der Kolk’s newly published book entitled:

Post traumatic arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis ( wearing away of cartilage in the joint) that is caused or aggravated by trauma.

It is estimated that 12 percent of all cases of osteoarthritis are post-traumatic in origin.

Post-traumatic arthritis can be caused by auto accidents, falls, athletic injuries or other forms of physical trauma.

Neuropsychologists are scientists with advanced training in detecting injuries to the brain and how such injuries affect an injured person.

While most people believe neurologists are the experts of choice in dealing with brain injury, this is seldom the case. Neurologists are helpful in detecting and treating some serious brain injuries, and CT-Scans and MRI’s can also be useful, but most of the time the neuropsychologist does the heavy lifting in brain injury cases.

A personal injury lawyer will usually work with a neuropsychologist who will do a neuropsychological assessment.

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