91px-Galago_spine_Mivart-46x300According to a recent study conducted at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and reported in Digital Journal, certain hospital-acquired infections at San Diego healthcare facilities can have a long-term negative impact on spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. SCI patients who acquire pneumonia and other infections while at the hospital being treated for their catastrophic injuries see a drastic impact on their ability to recover. Specifically, the report indicates that “hospital-acquired pneumonia and wound infections negatively affect the clinic long-term outcome after acute traumatic spinal cord injury.” The study appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Neurology.

Importance of Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infections in California

One of the most significant takeaways from the recent Ohio State study is that hospitals must do more to prevent hospital-acquired infections if they are going to see spinal cord injury patients recover to the best of their abilities. Patient protection demands that hospitals take additional steps to reduce the rate of hospital-acquired infections if they are going to take patient safety seriously. As the report explains, “rates of microbial infections in hospitals, although falling due to improved hygiene, remain problematic.”

800px-Guardian_Interlock_AMS2000_1-300x225There is a new impaired-driving law that will take effect in San Diego in 2019, but right now, the law is already in force in certain counties in California, according to a report from AutoConnectedCar.com. Late last year, California Governor Brown signed SB 1046 into law, a piece of legislation that “establishes a statewide ignition interlock device (IID) program to prevent drunk drivers from re-offending.”

Background Information: SB 1046 and the Ignition Interlock Device Program

Given that impaired driving is a major cause of car accidents in California, it is important to take steps to prevent these crashes from occurring in the first place. Changes to California’s law when it comes to ignition interlock devices could be one such significant step in prevent crashes caused by alcohol-impaired driving. According to David Kelly, the Executive Director of the Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers (CIIM), “this new law is a positive step forward to help slow the revolving door of unlicensed, uninsured drunk drivers who continue driving at the public’s peril.”

Law professor Jane Siegel has spent more than two decades doing the things she loves: teaching law students and lawyers, and riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle. Last June, however, when the retired Marine Corp Colonel was riding to work on the southbound I-15 in Escondido, California, she was clipped by a Volkswagen Beetle car who merged into her lane without looking. Jane and her bike went down hard, and at 60 miles per hour she somersaulted across the concrete freeway before coming to a rest. As one would imagine, the injuries were severe. Jane was alive, but she had numerous broken bones requiring surgery, and spent the next several months in hospitals, rehab facilities, and at home in bed.

When well enough, she knew she needed legal representation, and many lawyers to choose from considering she had over the years trained several hundred San Diego lawyers. When it came time to pick up the phone she called Randy Walton at Walton Law Firm, a lawyer she taught over 20 years ago, and one she had always respected. The feeling was mutual. Randy was honored to take the case of his former professor, someone he always admired.

Here at Walton Law Firm we love happy endings. Jane is healing well and back on her motorcycle, and Randy was able to get Jane a very sizable monetary recovery for the damages she suffered in her motorcycle accident. In her appreciation for the work of Walton Law Firm, Jane sent Randy the following letter:

MYSINGSO-byk-300x116Did you recently purchase a beach chair at the IKEA store in San Diego on Fenton Parkway? While IKEA can be a great option for purchasing reasonably priced furniture, a recent report from the Newport Beach Patch indicates that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a safety recall of a number of the furniture store’s beach chairs due to the risk of a fall-related injury and the risk of fingertip amputation. To be clear, these chairs have a product defect and can pose an unreasonable risk of injury. If you bought a beach chair at IKEA between February 2013 and December 2016, it is extremely important to learn more about this recall and to take steps to avoid sustaining a preventable personal injury.

How Many Products Have Been Impacted By the Recall?

According to the report, thus far around 33,400 IKEA chairs have been recalled due to the risk of injury. The specific chair that is subject to the recall is the IKEA MYSINGÖ beach chair. They came in a variety of colors, but the chairs have a basic structure in common – they are all foldable and they have a wood base. Each has a polyester fabric seat attached. You can identify the recalled chairs based on the article numbers, which are smaller labels that should be present on the wooden frame of the chair, as well as sewn into the fabric. The following models are subject to the recall:

bm0y9zmka1m-sean-brown-300x109What should Carlsbad drivers know about drowsy driving? It is extremely dangerous, and it may result in impaired driving car accidents that are similar to those involving alcohol. According to a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, reported in a CBS News article, the risks of drowsy driving are actually quite comparable to those of drunk driving. Specifically, missing anywhere from two to three hours of sleep per night (or more) can quadruple a driver’s risk of being involved in a crash. What is the ideal amount of sleep for an adult? Adult drivers should sleep for at least seven hours per night. With that figure in mind, losing two to three hours of sleep on any given night means that driving after sleeping for only four or five hours can drastically increase the risk of an accident.

Whether you are driving locally in Carlsbad or are on the I-5 heading to work, it is extremely important to avoid drowsy driving. What else can California drivers learn from the recent AAA study?

Drowsy or Fatigued Driving Can Be More Dangerous Than Other Risky Behaviors

800px-DBrickashaw_Ferguson_shaking_hands-300x196For youth athletes or college football players in San Diego County, it is important to understand the potentially hazardous effects of enduring a hit to the head during practice or play. A sports-related concussion can lead to long-term consequences, and may impact the likelihood of the player developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) later in life. While we know that mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) like concussions can have serious effects, we still do not know precisely how a hit to the head impacts a player’s brain at the time of the hit. However, according to a recent article in The New York Times, a newly developed mouth guard with motion sensors may help to clarify the process of sustaining a concussion.

What Happens to a Brain After a Hit to the Head?

As the article clarifies, the information researchers have used primarily in determining what happens to a brain during a hit to the head has been acquired through helmets that have sensors in them. However, this technique has proven to be somewhat problematic because “the helmet can move independently of the skull.” According to Dr. Robert Cantu, a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Boston University’s School of Medicine, “the forces you’re measuring with those are not really exactly what the brain is seeing.” As such there was an urgent need to develop a new kind of technology that could more accurately record the effects of a hit to the head on a player’s skull.

School_Crossing_Marji_11218998325-300x200In and around San Diego, there are a number of initiatives underway to help prevent accidents and child injuries in 2017. According to a fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 12,000 children between the ages of 0 to 19 sustain fatal injuries each year in accidents. In addition to child fatalities, more than 9.2 million kids in the same age group sustain nonfatal injuries each year that result in treatment in emergency departments. Many of these incidents are preventable if we take safety precautions.

What steps are being taken around San Diego to help lower the number of child accidents and injuries? One recent report from The CW 6 San Diego indicates that new crosswalks have been installed around Point Loma schools, while another report from The CW 6 San Diego notes that a new car seat law in California aims to provide better protections to children under the age of two. What else do you need to know about recent safety steps and car accident precautions in the area?

Point Loma Crosswalk Aims to Prevent Child Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries

OsideAccident-300x171An enlisted Navy man was killed on Saturday while parked on the shoulder of State Route 76 in Oceanside. According to reports, 43-year-old Victor Velez pulled off to the right shoulder on the eastbound side of the road near Foussat Rd. and got out of his car. For reasons currently unknown, an eastbound box truck traveling in the right lane struck the man, killing him.

An investigation into the accident is continuing, and police currently do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the crash. Anyone with any information about the accident is encouraged to contact officer David Paul of the Oceanside Police Department at (760) 435-4431.

Last year, Walton Law Firm represented a man in a similar type of accident. That incident occurred on State Route 78, and involved a tow truck driver who was struck when a large truck veered into the shoulder, striking two people, one of whom died. After an investigation by the law firm, it was established that the negligent driver had the sun in his eyes and may have been reaching for his phone at the time of the accident.

800px-BladeCuisinart-300x198For any San Marcos residents who regularly use a Cuisinart food processor in the kitchen, it is extremely important to be aware of a recent product recall that could impact your family’s safety. In most households, we have come to expect that high-end kitchen appliances are safe for use. In particular, devices made by companies like Kitchenaid, Vitamix, and Cuisinart are supposed to provide decades of use as long as they are properly cared for by their owners. However, according to a recent article from ABC 10 News, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), along with Conair (the maker of Cuisinart kitchen appliances), has issued a recall for millions of Cuisinart food processors.

What is wrong with these small kitchen appliances? They pose a risk of laceration, and dozens of consumers across the country have already reported suffering serious mouth injuries as a result of the product defect.

Defective Riveted Blade in Cuisinart Food Processors Results in Massive Recall

d9xx3cjoh2s-manu-adan-300x200Residents of San Diego County should be aware that dog bite injuries have been on the rise in California this year. According to a report from CBS News, emergency department visits connected to dog bite injuries have risen by 44% over the last decade in the state. Between 2015 and 2016, dog bite injuries requiring emergency treatment have gone up by about 10%, according to an article in the Modesto Bee. Animal attacks can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries, especially to young children. What has caused the recent rise in dog bite injuries in California? Who is liable for dog bites in our state?

Rise in Dog Attacks Leaves Experts Confused

As the Modesto Bee article underscores, local animal services employees simply are not certain what has led to the increase in dog attacks in California, particularly the sharp uptick between 2015-2016. The animals services director of Stanislaus County indicated that she “had contacted fellow animal services directors in the state, who had no observations about the data.” Local residents, according to the CBS News report, believe more dog owners are failing to properly train their dogs, which is resulting in more animal attacks across the state. But is there any data to support that conclusion? Currently, the only data we know for certain is that more dog bite injuries are happening in rural counties in California in comparison with urban counties.

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