New Technology Helps Spinal Injury Patients Move Limbs

Brain and spinal injuries are some of the most devastating injuries impacting persons involved in bicycle accidents. Both of these are catastrophic injuries, and there is no complete cure for these injuries. Therefore, a new announcement by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Battelle provides very encouraging new to California bicycle accident lawyers.

According to researchers, a 22-year-old quadriplegic is now the first patient to use the electronic bypass technology that directly reconnect the brain with muscles. The technology actually helps persons who suffered paralysis as a result of spinal cord injury to voluntarily and functionally control paralyzed limbs. The quadriplegic patient is the first in a group of five participants who have been chosen for a clinical study into the benefits of the device.

According to the researchers, the procedure works very much like a heart bypass surgery to bypass electrical signals. In this procedure, the electrical signals are taken from the brain, and go directly to the muscles, without touching the site of the injury. The technology is based on algorithms that analyze the person’s brain activity, which translate the neuro impulses from the person’s brain and transmit this information to the person’s paralyzed limb. In the case of this patient, his brain signals actually bypassed his injured spinal cord, and moved into his hand, allowing him to move his paralyzed hand. The technology is called NeuroBridge.

During a typical bicycle accident, when a bicyclist is thrown several feet away from the bicycle and lands on concrete with an impact, some of the most serious injuries that can occur involve the spinal cord and head. Fortunately, in recent years, there has been significant progress in developing technologies that help patients who have been paralyzed as a result of the spinal cord injury, move their limbs again.

Failure to Mandate Helmets in Bike Share Programs Linked to Increase in Head Injuries

Cities in California that have kicked off bike- share programs must take the results of a new study very seriously. According to the study, the rate of bicycle accident-related head injuries in cities that have implemented bike-share programs has actually spiked since these programs were introduced. That is being traced to the fact that these bike-share programs don’t mandate that bicyclists who rent bicycles via the program wear helmets.

The study was conducted by a team of Canadian and American researchers who were specifically looking at the effect of bike share programs on a city’s head injury rates. They found that there was a 14% increased likelihood of suffering a head injury, in those cities where these bike-share programs have been implemented. Those injuries were serious enough for the people to require a visit to a trauma center. In control cities, where there was no comparable bike-share program, there was no such increase in bicycle-related head injuries.

The study does not prove conclusively to California bicycle accident lawyers that the bike share programs are linked to an increase in head injuries. For instance, the researchers did not analyze other factors in causing these brain injuries. For instance, the researchers did not analyze individual accidents and head injuries, and also did not know whether the persons who were involved in these accidents, were actually riding rental bicycles at the time of the accident. However, the study’s findings are intriguing, and seem to point to a possible link between the popularity of these bike-share programs, and an increased rate of head injuries.

Bike-share programs must mandate that bicyclists who rent the bicycles wear helmets. Currently, many of the programs only take nominal steps to protect bicyclists – they refer bicyclists to helmet rental facilities.

Risk of Bicycling Accidents Increases During Summer

Summer is when ERs around California work at full capacity, and many of those cases involve bicycle accidents. There are more people out riding during summer, including adults as well as children, and the volume of motor vehicle traffic also increases during this time. That creates ideal conditions for accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles.

Bicyclists must be extra cautious during the summer months, simply because there are more numbers of motorists sharing the roads with them. Be a smart bicyclist, and always wear a helmet while riding.

Be aware of all traffic safety laws, and adhere to these rules stringently.

Ride in bike-only lanes or bike paths, as much as possible and when these are available. Ride in the direction or flow of traffic.

Avoid riding on sidewalks. Sidewalks are meant for pedestrians, and bicyclists only increase the risks of an accident involving a pedestrian when they ride on a sidewalk.

Wear brightly – colored clothing to make yourself visible to motorists around you.

Avoid bicycling at night as much as possible. If you are bicycling at night, wear reflective clothes or stick reflective tape on your bicycle, your clothes, helmet and other gear.

Avoid bicycling on highways.

Be extra cautious when you are nearing a parking lot or driveway. Motorists who are backing out may not bother to look out for you.

Be extra cautious when you’re riding anywhere near an intersection.

Keep sufficient distance between your bicycle and a parked car to avoid having a passenger open the car door right in the path of your bicycle. These are some of the most serious accidents, and end in severe injuries, but many bicyclists fail to appreciate how dangerous these situations can be.