According to an article in The New York Times, the university disagrees:
Liz Medcalf, a spokeswoman for Frostburg State, said Sheely had been participating in “regular drills” with his teammates Aug. 22 when he began feeling woozy. He was being helped off the field when he collapsed.
Every year, two to five high school football players died as a result of on-field brain injuries. According to research by the University of North Carolina National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, teenagers are more susceptible to brain injury from multiple hits to the head—a condition known as second impact syndrome. That’s because their teenaged brains are still developing. In a young man of Derek Sheely’s age, second impact syndrome is quite rare, which is why the university doesn’t believe that the cause of death was head trauma. According to The New York Times:
Sheely was first taken to the emergency room at Western Maryland Regional Medical Center in nearby Cumberland and was later transferred to the shock trauma center in Baltimore when the severity of the injury was recognized. He was listed in critical but stable condition last Wednesday after multiple operations, according to hospital officials. But the pressure in his brain from swelling could not be alleviated.
Derek’s father says that he needs to find the cause of his son’s death…not to find a place to lay blame, but to make sure that other young men don’t have to die.
“We’re not blaming anybody; that isn’t our mission right now. But hopefully, somebody does make sure that if there’s a lesson to be learned and it can help protect somebody else, then that should be done. I wouldn’t want my son to just die in vain, and if something can be made better, through education or equipment or whatever it is, that would be helpful.”
August 25, 2011
The earthquake that sent tremors up and down the east coast earlier this week, combined with Hurricane Irene bearing down on the Outer Banks, has many people wondering what to do with lifesaving medications, such as insulin, in the case of an emergency such as a flood or power outage. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a statement on how to handle medications in emergency situations.
It is vital for citizens to know when to properly dispose of drugs that have been exposed or not properly stored. The FDA has said unless the drug is lifesaving, throw it out if contamination is the least bit suspected. However, in the event of an emergency situation and the contaminated supply is all a patient has access to, the story could change.
If a container of vital medication has been exposed to contaminated flood water and it is the only supply available, the FDA says open the container, if the pills are dry it is okay until new medication can be obtained. If they are wet, throw it out.
In the event of a power outage, medication that must be refrigerated could be affected. Insulin, for instance, has a shorter shelf life if unrefrigerated. If an outage occurs, keep the storage area closed and cold as long as possible. The FDA says use the drug until a new supply can be obtained to replace the old drug.
Today, Governor Bev Perdue declared a state of emergency for the counties east of Interstate 95. According to an article in the News & Observer, there is now a mandatory visitor and coastal residents in place, and shelters have opened inland in advance of Saturday, when forecasters predict Irene will make landfall.
“There will be an impact on Eastern North Carolina,” Bill Read, the National Hurricane Center director, told reporters in a teleconference this morning. “The storm will maintain hurricane force winds of 115 mph as it approaches the coast of North Carolina Saturday morning.”
PREPARE FOR IRENE…AND OTHER HURRICANES
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 6 Administrator Tony Russell: “Everyone should put together an emergency kit, create a family plan and stay informed.”
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. According to FEMA, recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply kit include:
Additional items that may be necessary or helpful:
HAVE A PLAN
Those in hurricane-prone areas are urged to prepare now for what you will do during and after a hurricane:
HURRICANE CATEGORIES AND THEIR DANGERS
Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on their wind speed, central pressure, and damage potential. Category Three and higher hurricanes are considered major hurricanes, though Categories One and Two are still extremely dangerous and warrant your full attention. From FEMA:
|Scale Number (Category)||Sustained Winds (MPH)||Damage|
|1||74-95||Very dangerous winds will produce some damage
|2||96-110||Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage
|3||111-130||Devastating damage will occur
|4||131-155||Catastrophic damage will occur
|5||More than 155||Catastrophic damage will occur
Once you are prepared for the worst of the hurricane season, you can sit back and enjoy the rest of this summer season!
To read more about how to prepare, plan, and stay informed, check out all the information available on www.Ready.gov.
To read the full article in the News & Observer, click here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/08/25/1435519/dare-county-residents-issued-mandatory.html#ixzz1W4ftzE7q
Given the window regulations that have been in place for decades, and the sophistication of parents when it comes to keeping their children safe, it seems astounding that more than 5,000 children are hurt from falls from windows each year. (And these numbers don’t include children treated by their family physicians or those who died at the scene.)
The study (which will be published in the September issue of the journal Pediatrics) examined window falls from 1990 through 2008. The researchers concluded that while many parents know that windows can be a hazard for their child, they may not be aware just how often things can take a turn for the worse.
Some of the injuries seemed to occur due to the ingenuity of children. For example, nearly 200 children fell from windows each year after climbing on furniture placed near windows. Also, many children pushed out window screens before falling. According to Dr. Gary A. Smith, lead researcher of the study and professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine:
“Screens just pop right out, and that’s not enough to keep a child in,’’ said Dr. Smith.
Another bit of surprising information revealed by the study: Falls from first- or second-floor windows accounted for 94 percent of falls. This may explain why parents weren’t fully aware of the risk—most of us associate window falls with high, multi-story apartment buildings.
According to an article in The New York Times:
Risk for falling out a window peaks between the ages of 1 and 2. About two-thirds of the window falls involved children under 5.
“That’s the age group that are exploring,’’ said Dr. Smith. “They see the open window and don’t see the danger, and out they go.’’
According to the U.S. News & World Report, younger children need to be protected from their own curiosity by installing window guards and moving furniture away from windows. Older children, on the other hand, need to be protected from their fearlessness:
Older children… can figure out how to remove window guards, so they need to be educated about risky behavior that can result in falls.
Tips on Preventing Window Falls
The Center for Injury Research and Policy is a great source of information about preventing childhood injuries, including injuries from window falls. They offer these tips:
To visit the Center for Injury Research and Policy website (which includes a safety video), click here: Window Falls
To read the full article in The New York Times, click here: Window Falls Remain a Childhood Hazard
To read the full article in U.S. News and World Report, click here: Falls from Windows Claiming Too Many Children’s Lives
Ahh… you know summer is almost over when the Labor Day festivities begin. And today, the “festivity” in question is the annual Booze It & Lose It campaign by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP).
From today, Friday, August 19 through Monday, September 5, the state will see checkpoints and stepped-up patrols in an effort to remove impaired drivers from the roads. How much of a force will be rallied? Well, in 2010, the Labor Day Booze It & Lose It campaign conducted more than 11,000 patrols and checkpoints.
“As summer comes to an end, law enforcement officers across the state will be removing impaired drivers from our roads,” North Carolina’s Transportation Secretary Gene Conti said. “Celebrating responsibly is simple; plan ahead and always designate a sober driver.”
According to the GHSP, in 2010, there were 500 alcohol-related crashes in North Carolina during the Labor Day campaign, resulting in 20 fatalities and 395 injuries. In addition, officers charged more than 3,200 North Carolina motorists with driving while impaired.
Enjoy summer, but please don’t drink and drive… you risk the loss of your license, at the very least.
August 18, 2011
Although it is known that the urban myth about menthol cigarettes containing fiberglass in order to cause small cuts in smokers’ mouth and throat so that more nicotine and menthol can be ingested is false, new studies are showing the minty smokes may be harder to quit, especially among minorities. A news release issued Monday by the Cancer Institute of New Jersey announced the findings of the organization’s study.
The study focused on the likelihood of quitting among smokers of menthol cigarettes versus non-menthol cigarettes throughout different ethnicities, and the findings were shocking.
Smoking menthols was much more common among African-Americans, with almost 72% of black smokers choosing menthols, than among Hispanics (28.1%) or whites (21%). The study was also one of the first to break the Hispanic population down into sub categories of ethnicity and found Puerto Ricans (62%) were more likely to smoke menthols than other Hispanic groups, such as Mexicans (19.9%).
Races with higher probabilities of smoking menthols also had a harder time quitting. Puerto Ricans who smoked menthols were 43% less likely to quit than those non-menthol smokers. African-Americans also had lower rates for quitting among menthol smokers, with a 19% success rate versus non-menthol smokers.
The Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyers with HensonFuerst would like to encourage all smokers to try to put the pack down. The medical benefits could save you tens of thousands of dollars and many headaches arguing with insurance for coverage of associated medical costs.
A new North Carolina law that goes into effect on October 1, 2011, changes the rules for teen drivers and how they can progress from having a learner’s permit to a provisional license. And according to an article in the News & Observer, a quirk in the language of the law could keep about 110,000 teens from getting their provisional licenses when expected. According to the N&O:
The law’s most sweeping change affects teens who want to trade up from a learner’s permit, which requires Mom or Dad in the front seat, to a provisional driver’s license, which carries fewer restrictions. They’ll have to produce logs – signed by parents – to show they drove with front-seat supervision for 60 hours. The logs must be spread over at least six weeks, including some night driving.
The problem is that teens who already have their learner’s permits and hoped to get their provisional licenses after October 1 will have to have driving logs…even though the logs hadn’t been required when their permits were issued. In fact, the blank forms haven’t even been distributed.
Sixty hours of front-seat time is a huge time commitment for teens, and even worse for parents. Can you imagine trying to find an extra 10 hours each week to go driving with your child?
Fortunately, the N&O has offered a solution: Start keeping your own logs. When the official log forms are distributed, you can simply transfer the information from your own logs to the proper forms required by law.
Today’s N&O offers downloadable copies of a sample driving log you can print out and use until an official form becomes available, the Teen “Driving to Live” Contract, and a Skills Mastery Checklist. We’ve also provided the links to the forms here (click for a pdf link):
To read the full article describing the new law from the News & Observer, click here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/08/16/1415694/obstacle-to-teen-license-under.html#ixzz1VDjU92rZ
No one wants to think about the possibility of someday becoming so sick, frail, or disabled that we can no longer take care of ourselves. But if that should ever happen — and it happens for about 20% of people over age 65, and about 55% of people over age 85 — long-term care insurance may help defray costs so you can live the best life possible. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about long-term care insurance, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
1. What is long-term care insurance?
Long-term care insurance specifically covers the costs of long-term care services, most of which are not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare.
2. I have decided that I will never go into a nursing home, no matter what. Do I really need long-term care insurance?
Long-term care insurance can be used for a variety of different types of health care, not just nursing homes. In fact, having long-term care insurance may help keep you out of a nursing home. According to an article in TheNewsStar.com, the right kind of long-term care insurance will pay a qualified person (or organization) to provide needed long-term care for you in your home. That could be the difference between your caregiver being able to keep you at home… or having no choice financially, physically, or emotionally but to put you in the only place that can provide the right kind of help — in a nursing home.
3. What does long-term care insurance cover?
There are a wide variety of types and amounts of coverage available. Before you sign on for long-term care insurance, make sure you understand exactly what you will be entitled to receive, what your maximum coverage will be, and what out-of-pocket expenses you will need to take care of yourself. Some options you will be able to choose include:
- A daily benefit – the maximum daily amount of expenses for care the policy will pay. Most policies let you choose from $50/day to as much as $500/day.
- Maximum Lifetime Benefit – the total amount you can get the policy to provide. Policies typically offer a choice of lifetime dollar amounts – for example $100,000 or $300,000. Some insurers also sell “Lifetime” or “Unlimited” coverage that has no dollar limit; you receive benefits as long as you continue to need long-term care and receive covered services.
- Coverage type — may include comprehensive care, which covers a wide range of care settings and services (including care at home, respite care, adult day care centers, and long-term facilities); or facility care only, which covers care in nursing homes or assisted living facilities only. Facility care only policies are quite limited, but also less expensive.
- Available riders — allow you to customize your coverage. For example, an Inflation Protection rider protects you from the rising cost of care over time. Be sure to ask about which types of riders are available so you don’t miss out on something you might want or need to include in your insurance policy.
4. What is NOT covered by long-term care insurance?
There are always exclusions, which are listed in the paperwork that will be part of your policy, so be sure to read everything carefully. Typically, these items are excluded:
- Care or services provided by family member, unless the family member is a regular employee of an organization that is providing the care…provided the organization they work for receives the payment.
- Care or services provided outside the United States. However, a growing number of policies now have an international care benefit.
- Care or services that result from war or act of war.
- Care or services that result from an attempt at suicide, or an intentionally self-inflicted injury.
- Care or services for alcoholism or drug addiction.
- Treatment provided in a government facility (unless otherwise required by law).
- Services for which benefits are available under Medicare or other governmental program (except Medicaid), any state or federal workers’ compensation, employer’s liability or occupational disease law, or any motor vehicle no-fault law.
5. Is everyone eligible for long-term care insurance?
In short, no. While each insurance company has a different standard, it may be difficult or impossible to get coverage if you:
- currently use long-term care services or already need help with Activities of Daily Living (such as dressing or feeding yourself);
- have AIDS or AIDS Related Complex;
- have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease;
- have a progressive neurologic condition, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease;
- have a history of strokes, or had a stroke within the last 24 months;
- have cancer that has spread beyond its site of origin.
6. Where can I go for more information?
There are lots of resources available. The best sources of information are provided by organizations that are not affiliated with an insurance company, and which have nothing to benefit from you purchasing insurance (or not).
For general information about long-term care insurance: www.longtermcare.gov
To find out which insurance companies offer long-term care insurance, look up your state’s Department of Insurance: State and local consumer agencies
Be aware that long-term care insurance isn’t for everyone…you need to examine the pros and cons for yourself and your situation. Don’t let anyone pressure you into buying more or less insurance than you think you need. Remember that there are many different insurance companies and insurance brokers–if you don’t feel comfortable dealing with one, find another.
An article on WRAL.com reports that a federal project will be studying the driving behavior of about 3,100 people in six states, including our own. The goal is to discover the underlying causes of crashes and traffic congestion, and eventually to reduce driving fatality rates. The project, called the Second Strategic Highway Research Program’s Naturalistic Driving Study, or SHRP2, is the largest coordinated safety program every undertaken in the United States.
Researchers will install cameras in cars to record drivers’ movements, and radar on the front of the cars to measure the cars’ proximity to other cars and objects.
“We’re actually getting in the car with the driver to see what’s happening prior to the crash,” said Martha Wilaby, Triangle site manager of the Second Strategic Highway Research Program’s Naturalistic Driving Study.
The study is recruiting drivers of all ages, but would like to find more drivers under age 25 and older than age 65. Study participants in North Carolina must live within 50 miles of Morrisville, own or lease a qualifying vehicle, and be willing to complete questionnaires and allow driving data to be collected every 3 to 6 months for the duration of the study, which could last up to about 2 years. (Click here for a link to qualifying vehicles: Eligible Vehicle List)
The study is still recruiting. To be considered for participation, contact Martha Wilaby, at 919-388-3424, or MarthaWilaby@westat.com.
To read the full study on WRAL.com, click here: Study looks at behavior of Triangle drivers
On July 28, 2011, Northwestern Medicine in Chicago hosted a concussion symposium called “Playing It Safe: Changing the Mindset Around Concussion Safety.” And a few top-notch physicians were on hand to talk about the effects of concussion.
Concussions are in the news every week these days. Former pro football players are suing the NFL, claiming that they were never warned of the dangerous, sometimes life-threatening effects of concussion. New helmets are being developed to protect brains better after hard hits. And coaches and players alike are receiving training in how to recognize and treat head injuries.
Concussions can happen anytime there is a blow to the head, causing a jarring or shaking that disturbs brain function.
“The brain is like jello, when jello is impacted it’s going to move within the bowl. The same thing applies for a brain; even if it’s the slightest impact the brain is affected,” said Carrie Jaworski, MD, head team physician for Northwestern University Athletics.
It’s easy to see why prevention and protection are so important—imagine trying to use a helmet to protect a bowl of Jell-O. Even the best helmet won’t keep the Jell-O from getting shaken up. And without a helmet, impacts can do even greater damage. Football players’ heads have at least some protection from those giant helmets; gymnasts’ and cheerleaders’ heads do not.
“Concussions aren’t discriminatory; they affect people of all ages and all activities, even in non-contact sports such as gymnastics or cheerleading,” said Hunt Batjer, MD, chair of the department of neurological surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “In fact, young girls may be at a higher risk than boys when it comes to concussions.”
Tips From the Concussion Symposium
Along with the usual academic discussions, the symposium provided some useful tips, too. Some of the information you may find helpful:
“If an outgoing and boisterous athlete on your team suddenly becomes quiet or withdrawn, this is a cue that the player needs to be taken out and evaluated. The signs can be very subtle, but if you feel like something is wrong, you need to assume it is,” said Adam Bennett, MD, sports medicine physician at Northwestern Memorial and assistant professor of family and community medicine at the Feinberg School.
Also highlighted at the symposium were concussion war stories, such as this one from former football great Dan Hampton, from his years playing professional sports:
“I played during what I call the ‘crash-test for dummies’ period. Players would get hit so hard they wouldn’t even know how to walk off the field,” said Hampton. “I wish these discussions happened back when I played. Today most people are aware of the effects of a concussion, that wasn’t the case when I played.”