Washington DC Injury Attorney Blog

Articles Posted in Brain Injury

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Local health officials in Harford County, Maryland are investigating a possible contamination in the running/drinking water of residents in Fallston, Maryland. Residents in Fallston, Maryland may have been exposed to excessive levels of lead in their drinking/running water.

Health officials in Harford County, Maryland are warning residents in Grafton Ridge housing developments to boil their drinking water. The water in those developments had lead levels which exceed the limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and therefore, may be unsafe and cause health risks.

The source of the lead exposure and contamination has not yet been determined, but an investigation is underway. Health officials are not sure how long the lead levels have been over the EPA established limit and are therefore, conducting extensive testing of all area water.

Testing to date has determined that 14 out of 16 homes in the Grafton Ridge housing developments have had high levels of lead in their drinking water. Richmond American Homes, the builder of these homes in the Grafton Ridge Development, will be replacing the brass parts with stainless steel ones to see if that improved the water lead levels.

Residents in Saddle View, Watervale Farm, Deer Hollow and Martin Meadows should be careful as well, as they too are part of the Grafton Ridge communities.

The elevated lead levels could pose a risk of lead poisoning, which may result in nervous system injuries, brain damage, seizures, convulsions, growth or mental retardation, coma and even death in children. If you are a resident in the Grafton Ridge Developments and experience any health problems, please see your physician immediately. Go to your nearest emergency room and call the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Segway Scooters are self-balancing personal transporters. The scooter runs on two wheels and has a battery operated electric motor. It also comes with specialized software that provides the self balancing aspect. The operator of the scooter controls the speed by standing upright and leaning forward and the direction by tilting the handles to the left or the right. The maximum speed for the scooter is 12.5 miles per hour. The Segway Scooter was first introduced in the US in December 2001 and are currently being used both for leisure and professional use. They are used by sightseeing tours, police departments, airport security, the military, and even emergency response officials.
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The problem with the Segway Scooter is that they are not considered motor vehicles in the District of Columbia. Local regulations state that they are allowed to be operated on bicycle lanes and/or sidewalks and an operator is not required to wear a helmet. It is because of these regulations that traumatic head injuries are occurring.

A study conducted at the George Washington University Hospital Emergency Department in the District of Columbia included cases from April 1, 2005 through November 30, 2009 showed that there were 44 hospital visits that involved Segway Scooter operators. Out of these 44 patients, only 7 were wearing helmets. The cases involved operators who unintentionally struck immobile objects. These objects included park benches, signposts, light poles and trees. The cases increased dramatically over the 3 year study. There were 5 cases reported in 2005, 3 in 2006, 8 in 2007, and 25 in 2008. 10 of the 44 patients were admitted (24.4%). Four patients were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and suffered traumatic brain injuries. The average hospital stay was 2 days, with a 2 to 7 day range. Hospital charges ranged from $25,733 to $69,139 for admitted patients. Other injuries reported were facial, clavicular, rib, tibial and ankle fractures.

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death as well as permanent disabilities world wide. Research shows that 1.4 to 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries each year.

Researchers suggest that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) further investigate injury risks from Segway scooter use.