March 2010

Over 37,000 North Carolina Brain Injury Patients a Year Require Emergency Room Care

March 24, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Newsobserver.com reports that 37,000 emergency room patients are treated for North Carolina brain injuries each year. The Brain Injury Association of North Carolina calls TBIs a “silent epidemic,” with more people suffering from brain injuries than there are patients diagnosed with breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS combined. In the state of North Carolina alone, there are 180,000 brain injury patients—equal to Fayetteville’s entire population.

Many people don’t really understand what a TBI is or how serious the injury can become in certain cases if medical attention isn’t immediately sought. Also, with car crashes and fall accidents as two of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries, many victims sustained their injuries because another party was negligent. Please do not hesitate to contact our Charlotte, North Carolina brain injury law firm to explore your legal options.

March has been designated Brain Injury Awareness month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its latest report on TBI’s called “Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Death.” Among its latest statistics:

• There are approximately 52,000 TBI deaths in the US every year.
• 1.7 million hospital visits are traumatic brain injury-related.
• 75% of brain injuries are considered mild TBIs.
• Older people, above the age of 65, kids, younger than 5, and teens, 15-19, are most at risk of suffering from a TBI.
• Adults, 75 and older, had the highest TBI death and hospitalization rates.
• The leading known causes of TBI’s are falls, motor vehicle crashes, getting struck by or striking an object, and assaults.

Sustaining a serious TBI can prove catastrophic and not to mention devastating for the victim and loved ones. The costs of living with one can be astronomical.

When you look at the most common causes of TBI’s, it is no surprise that many traumatic brain injuries could have been prevented. Contact our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm to discuss your TBI case.

CDC Study Examines Rising Incidence of TBI, Medpage Today, March 19, 2010

Brain injury alters her life, Newsobserver.com, March 23, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Brain Injury Association of America

Living with a TBI, Brain and Spinal Cord.org

North Carolina Products Liability: CPSC Attempts to Prevent Injuries to Children with Graco High Chair Recall and Baby Sling Warning

March 21, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Manufacturers are obligated to make products that are not a danger to consumers—especially when kids are involved. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and child injuries and deaths caused by hazardous or defective products are not uncommon. This is where an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina products liability law firm that handles injuries to children cases can step in.

Earlier this month, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission warned consumers to be careful when using an infant sling to carry infants younger than 4-months. The slings, although easy to wear and convenient for breastfeeding and bonding, can pose a suffocation hazard that in the last 20 years have resulted in at least 14 deaths.

The trendy sling-style carriers can be dangerous in two ways: Its fabric can end up covering the baby’s mouth and nose, which can quickly cause suffocation, or, in the event that the baby folds his/her chin toward the chest, breathing can get obstructed and slow suffocation may occur.

Some of the infants that died while in baby slings either had breathing difficulties, were preemies, or were the low birth weight twin. Although the CPSC is not urging parents and guardians to stop using the baby slings, it is warning them to make sure that the baby is in a position that allows him/her to breath and that the fabric doesn’t end up over the infant’s face.

The CPSC, however, is asking consumers to stop using any of the 1.2 million Graco high chairs that are a potential fall hazard to kids until they get their free repair kit from the manufacturer. At least 24 injuries have been linked to the Graco Harmony™ High Chairs. Many of the injuries were head injuries. Graco has also received 464 reports citing incidents involving brackets and screws that got lose, causing the chair to become unstable and topple over.

Infant Deaths Prompt CPSC Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies, CPSC, March 12, 2010

Graco high chair recall: What you need to know, Christian Science Monitor, March 18, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Unsafe Baby Slings, The New York Times, March 12, 2010

Safe Kids USA

North Carolina Police Brutality?: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Cop Accused of Multiple Sexual Assaults

March 9, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

There are now five women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Marcus Jackson. The 25-year-old police officer, who was fired from his last week, is currently in jail on charges of sexual battery, kidnapping, extortion, second-degree sex offense, indecent exposure, and felonious restraint.

One alleged victim, a 17-year-old girl, says that Jackson made her pull over and get into his car. He then allegedly drove off and committed sexual acts on her. Another woman, 21, claims that she was a victim of a similar sexual police brutality crime involving Jackson.

A third victims says that Jackson fondled her twice. The first time was during an unlawful search on November 2, 2009. She says that on December 29, he stopped her and fondled her again. The man she was with tried to call 911 for help but Jackson unlawfully arrested him for delaying and obstructing a cop. The charges against her companion, who was thrown in jail, have been dropped.

Two other women say that Jackson stopped them for speeding on the night of December 28, 2009. They claim he asked them to get out of the car and obtained their consent to search them. The women say the searches were improperly conducted. Now, the District Attorney’s Office wants to file additional sexual battery charges against Jackson for the improper searches.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Rodney Monroe says that oversights in the hiring process led to Jackson’s hiring. He says the CMPD was not aware that before Jackson joined the police a restraining order had been issued against him. The CMPD’s hiring process was revamped two months after Jackson was hired.

North Carolina Police Brutality
Sexual assault is a crime. When a cop sexually assaults someone while “doing his/her job,” not only is the act a crime but it also police brutality and a violation of the victim’s civil rights. Police are never allowed to use excessive force of any kind. Unfortunately, many victims are too scared to report police violence or they may not even be aware that what happened to them was wrong.

2 more women say police officer assaulted them, Charlotte Observer, January 8, 2010

CMPD Chief: Mistakes Made Hiring Accused Officer, WSOCTV.com, January 5, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Police Brutality, Human Rights Watch

Chapel Hill Nursing Home Abuse?: Cary Nurse Indicted in Murder of Alzheimer’s Patient

March 4, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Angela Almore, a registered nurse from Cary, is charged with six counts of felony patient abuse and second-degree murder in the death of 84-year-old Rachel Holliday on February 16. The 84-year-old Alzheimer’s patient was a resident at Britthaven of Chapel Hill when she died.

According to officials, last February, nine of the patients in the Alzheimer’s unit of the Chapel Hill nursing home tested positive for opiates, which are often used to manage pain. Six of them, including Halliday, had to be hospitalized.

According to a medical examiner that looked at the elderly woman’s records, she died from pneumonia-related asphyxiation with morphine toxicity as a contributing factor to her death. Tests conducted prior to her passing found that her morphine level was over 50,000 nanograms per milliliter of urine. Holliday and some of the other patients who tested positive for opiates weren’t supposed to be taking any pain medication.

After her death, the Chapel Hill nursing home tested its staffers at the Alzheimer’s unit for drugs. Their results came back negative.

North Carolina Elder Abuse
Mistreating, neglecting, or depriving a nursing home resident of the proper care in any way is a violation of his/her rights, against the law, and can be grounds for a North Carolina nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuit against the assisted living facility and the nursing home worker responsible for inflicting the abuse or neglect.

Overmedicating, administering the wrong medication, using drugs as a form of chemical restraint, or not giving a patient all of his/her medication is North Carolina nursing home negligence and can cause a resident to become seriously ill or die.

Murder charge filed in nursing home death, WRAL.com, June 7, 2010

Nurse indicted in patient’s death, NewsObserver, June 7, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Britthaven of Chapel Hill

NC Division of Health Service Regulation

 
 

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