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What is central cord syndrome?

Some Pennsylvania residents may suffer from impaired movement due to an incomplete spinal cord injury. The most common form of this type of injury is called central cord syndrome, and it typically affects the use of the arms and hands. Central cord syndrome is frequently caused by trauma such as an automobile accident or a contact sports injury. However, some sufferers developed the condition as their vertebrae weakened over time.

The amount of impairment caused by this type spinal cord injury varies, and it depends largely on the amount of trauma experienced by the neck and back. Symptoms of central cord syndrome range from a partial loss of sensation in the fingers and arms and impaired fine control to a complete loss of movement. Other symptoms include burning, tingling and a persistent ache.

What is Hypoxia?

Someone in Pennsylvania might experience hypoxia for multiple reasons, and injuries to the brain or other areas can occur due to this condition. When a concentration of oxygen in the blood is insufficient, hypoxia takes place as tissues are not adequately oxygenated. This can severely damage many cells in the body.

Hypoxia does not entail a complete lack of oxygen and may occur in one part of the body. To compensate for a shortage of oxygen, the heart pumps blood faster to speed the circulation of oxygenated blood to an area. Blood is also conserved for vital organs, which may cause peripheral tissue to receive less blood and gain a bluish tint.

2 elderly women killed in rear-end collision

A rear-end collision in Pennsylvania resulted in the death of two elderly women on Oct. 13. The fatal car accident took place in Stroud Township while the two victims were seated in the backseat of a car that was traveling southbound along Route 209. When the victims' car reached the intersection of Schafer's School House Road, a tractor-trailer struck it from behind.

One of the deceased victims, a 76-year-old woman, was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:10 a.m. The other victim, a 78-year-old woman, was rushed to Lehigh Valley Hospital where she was later pronounced dead at 3:18 p.m. Before their death, the two victims had been on an outing to an alpaca farm with two other women.

The impact of fatal car accidents on Pennsylvania residents

Tens of thousands of individuals in Pennsylvania and across the nation die in car accidents every year. Fatal car accidents often include other non-fatal injuries and can result in the requirement of extensive or long-term care.

The Polk Company's National Vehicle Population Profile and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System have kept extensive data on crashes that occurred between 1975 and 2012. During that time, the number of deaths involving passenger cars declined by 49 percent. However, accidents involving SUVs resulted in nine times more deaths than accidents involving smaller passenger cars. The number of deaths resulting from pickup truck accidents rose by 18 percent and was still higher in 2012 than fatalities resulting from smaller car accidents.

What is a spinal cord injury?

Pennsylvania residents may be interested to know that an estimated 200,000 Americans live with a spinal cord injury. Furthermore, it is estimated that 12,000 to 20,000 new spinal cord injuries occur annually. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves located within the spinal column that is responsible for sending signals between the brain and the rest of the body. When these nerves are damaged, neurological problems can occur.

Research indicates that spinal cord injuries can cost as much as $30,000 per year. Over a lifetime, the cost of a spinal cord injury is therefore substantial. While alcohol plays a role in a quarter of all spinal injuries, 46 percent of injuries are caused in a car accident. Statistics indicate that 12 percent of spinal cord injuries are caused by playing sports while another 22 percent occur in falls.

Lawsuits, minors and incapacitated persons

The Pennsylvania Code sets forth specific parameters for wrongful-death lawsuits. If a juvenile or an incapacitated person is involved in the lawsuit, the case cannot legally be dismissed unless and until the court resolves the matter or permits the dismissal. Once a final amount is determined through a verdict or settlement, the court will rule on how the monies will be divided by the parties. In the case of the juvenile or incapacitated individual, the court will grant the guardian of the estate to receive the monies, which could be set up through a structured settlement.

The court can appoint a guardian or agency for a juvenile or incapacitated individual and award a payment of up to $25,000 to them for handling the matter. Monies received from the lawsuit shall be deposited in an appropriate and insured financial institution so that the funds are protected. If the funds are higher than the insured amount, they must be deposited in another insured financial institution. Withdrawals cannot be made from said accounts, except according to a court order, until the juvenile matures or the incapacitated person is judged to be competent.

Woman detained for fatal March accident

On Sept. 24, state police announced the arrest of a 37-year-old Pennsylvania woman on charges of homicide by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault while DUI, possession of drugs, involuntary manslaughter and various traffic offenses. The fatal accident, which occurred on March 29, resulted in a long investigation.

According to authorities, the woman was driving under the influence around 12:30 a.m. when she struck a 41-year-old male pedestrian, causing minor injuries. Instead of stopping her vehicle, the woman allegedly continued driving and then lost control of her 1997 Chevrolet C/K 1500. Police allege she then crossed the centerline of Route 54, striking a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier head-on. The driver of the car, a 62-year-old man, died of his injuries suffered in the collision.

Maitaining a good distance between cars when driving

According to statistics, Pennsylvania is among the top five states that tailgate dangerously. Drivers who follow another vehicle too closely can be seen as engaging in aggressive behavior. Moreover, the odds of a rear-end collision also increase when a driver tailgates another car. In order to reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident, drivers should consider adopting the three-second rule, which allows motorists to maintain a good following distance.

During clear weather on dry roads, a driver may observe the three-second rule. A driver picks a fixed object on the road and then counts to three. If the driver gets to the object in less than three seconds after the car in front of it passes that object, a driver is following too closely.

1 killed, 3 injured in Pennsylvania hit-and-run

One person was killed and three others were injured in a hit-and-run accident in Philadelphia on Sept. 26. The East Mt. Airy crash happened at about 8:30 p.m.

According to authorities, the car accident occurred on the intersection of East Gorgas Lane and Ardleigh Street, just after an 83-year-old man picked up his 13-year-old grandson from football practice. The individuals were inside a red sedan when the vehicle was hit by a green SUV. The 21-year-old driver and the 27-year-old passenger of the SUV left the scene on foot after the collision. Police later located the driver and the passenger of the SUV at different locations.

Pennsylvania wrongful death trial

A Pennsylvania wrongful death trial began in Franklin County on Sept. 15. The family of a 65-year-old woman says she died in Chambersburg Hospital on May 9, 2009, as a result of medical professional negligence. They are suing for more than $50,000 to cover medical expenses, lost earnings and pain and suffering. They are also seeking more than $50,000 for wrongful death.

The woman suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which was exacerbated shortly before her death. She was admitted to the hospital after falling on April 14, 2009. She was then given Keflex to treat a possible bacterial infection. Her cause of death is documented as severe sepsis, toxigenic clostridium difficile enteritis, metabolic acidosis and diarrhea.

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