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March 1st, 2010

New Brain, Spine Injury Treatments Give Maritime Injury Victims Hope

As maritime lawyers, we do spend time tracking new developments in the field of traumatic injury treatment. It’s just an extension of what we do, given that we see so many workers left permanently disabled by spine and brain injuries.

This month, we’ve come across at least two new developments in treatment of these injuries that have given us reason to hope that many injured maritime workers may now have access to better treatment. This month, at a research lab in Philadelphia, scientists are continuing trials into a robotic suit that allows a person, left paralyzed by a spine injury, to walk again . The device was featured on Good Morning America, and includes a body harness and leg supports. A paralyzed victim wears the suit, and computerized sensors help the device take steps. The person can facilitate movement by using crutches. To use the device however, a person will need to have the use of his upper limbs.

Wearing the suit can help a person formerly confined to a wheelchair to walk and climb stairs. He may not be able to indulge in physically strenuous activities, but for someone who is looking at the prospect of life on a wheelchair, being able to walk straight and look into a person’s face when they talk, is a gift.

The second fantastic development involves a brain injury therapy . Researchers in Atlanta will begin conducting clinical trials into the benefits of using progesterone hormones in treating a brain injured patient. Progesterone has been found to protect brain cells, and it’s believed that injecting the hormone in the first few hours after an injury can help limit the extent of the injury, by preventing inflammation and further destruction. For the treatment to work, it will have to be injected within the first four hours after an injury, and will have to be repeated over a course of four days.

We will be keeping an eye on the trial, as it promises to result in the first breakthrough of its kind in brain injury treatment in decades. Look for more updates here as the trials progress.

We have represented many clients with traumatic brain injuries, including a case in which we obtained a settlement of over $17 Million for an injured seaman   in a persistent vegetative state and his family.

The maritime lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  represent injured freighter and tanker crews, oil rig and offshore workers, cruise ship workers and other maritime workers in Texas and around the country.

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