By Andrea Potter
For children like Mia Bartram, who was born with congenital (at-birth) ventricular septal defect (VSD) or ‘a hole in the heart,’ ground-breaking research into bio-inspired surgical glue shows promise as a better option for heart repair than medications and open-heart surgery.
A ventricular septal defect can occur in a fetus during pregnancy if the wall or septum that forms between the child’s two lower heart ventricles or chambers does not fully develop, leaving a hole in the septum.
Mia was born in 2005 with moderate VSD, which causes her serious medical complications, the full extent and consequences of which are yet unknown.
Complications from VSD can include:
There is no single known cause of heart defects. But it has been proven that medications such as anti-depressants, painkillers, and seizure medication taken by women during pregnancy can increase the risk of congenital VSD. This was the case for Faith Gibson, Mia’s mother, who was taking the anti-depressant drug Paxil while pregnant. Paxil has been associated with increased, adverse cardiovascular complications when taken in the first-trimester of pregnancy. Babies of mothers taking Paxil can be born with the inability to breathe properly due to constricted blood vessels, which cut off oxygen to the blood and cause organ damage.
“The inspiration came from observing animals that can stick to wet surfaces, such as insects that secrete water-repellent substances from their feet or the sandcastle worm that builds underwater tunnels by excreting glue from its head.”
A team of researchers has recently published data demonstrating the potential of bio-inspired, biodegradable surgical glue to repair defects of the heart and blood vessels. This bio-compatible glue was developed and inspired by nature. The inspiration came from observing animals that can stick to wet surfaces, such as insects that secrete water-repellent substances from their feet or the sandcastle worm that builds underwater tunnels by excreting glue from its head.
The glue being tested becomes a strong adhesive as it hardens over time and becomes a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid.
It works well in contracting tissues such as the heart and those involved in the blood flow process. The glue’s properties are such that it can be employed in a minimally invasive way, with precise control over the wound closure, permitting precise application. The glue is then activated by ultraviolet light (UV) to form a strong, leak-proof but flexible seal.
The glue’s researchers are currently testing the substance with pigs and have seen promising results. A French medical device company–Gecko Biomedical–is funding and developing the surgical glue and planning clinical trials. Christophe Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Gecko Biomedical, has proclaimed, “The science and research supporting the development of Gecko’s liquid film adhesive and patch technologies is of the highest quality. What has been achieved so far is very exciting and we are focused on undertaking the further, necessary steps to get these innovative products into the hands of surgeons within the next few years, for the benefit of patients.”
“What I love about my job is the ability to help our clients by relieving their stress of dealing with ICBC while giving them the sole purpose of recovering from their pain to get back to a quality of life that they are used to.”
If you are injured in a car accident, the first thing you’ll likely find yourself thinking about is how you’re going to recover from the injuries you’ve sustained in the crash. One of the first and most important things to do as a motor vehicle accident victim, however, is ensure that the details of your accident are documented. This is one of the key reasons to hire a law firm—to ensure you have all the critical accident information you need to successfully negotiate your claim with ICBC.
As a law firm in business for over 20 years dealing in motor vehicle accidents claims, Klein Lawyers brings extensive expertise, experience, and resources to ICBC negotiations. As a crucial first step, for each car accident client, Klein Lawyers assembles a dedicated team of experts to ensure the accident is thoroughly investigated and that every detail regarding the crash scene, witnesses, and injuries are well-documented, always keeping the end goal in mind–to attain appropriate compensation for any damages and injuries sustained.
Every car accident and injury is different. After assessing the specific circumstances of an accident, Klein Lawyers’ car accident lawyers will quickly bring together the best-qualified team to investigate the unique details of the accident. As soon as you contact Klein Lawyers, our team moves immediately to action. Our investigators ensure interviews with injured parties and witnesses are conducted within 24 hours or as soon as possible. If required they will visit the crash scene, digitally document crash scenes, injuries and damages.
Rosie Kandola and Steve Chambers are two of Klein Lawyers’ accident investigators responsible for probing car crash details.
Rosie has a background in insurance investigation and is very well-versed in asking the right questions and ensuring no detail is missed. She is up-to-date on the Motor Vehicle Act and understands the issues of liability related to car accidents. Rosie maintains very good working relationships with police officers, lawyers, and ICBC adjustors. She will be on your side when it comes to an accident investigation.
“I enjoy meeting new people and doing my part to ensure our clients get the compensation they deserve.”
Years of training as a loss prevention investigator provide Steve with a strong advantage in car accident research. Steve has conducted countless interviews–with compassion yet tenacity–to get to the truth of a situation. His ability to flesh out the details in a car accident case makes him a vital team player. Steve also has experience presenting reports to Crown Council and he knows what is going to be important when negotiating with ICBC for a fair settlement for injured car accident victims.
Employing top-notch accident investigators is just one of the ways Klein Lawyers expertly serves motor vehicle accident clients. If you have been injured in a car accident due to the fault of another driver, contact us for a free consultation. You owe it to yourself to know—and fight for–your rights.
By Michèle Pankratz
A unique treatment approach, Redcord Therapy, offers individuals suffering from both acute and chronic car-accident injuries another option for treating ailments ranging from neck, shoulder, arm and hip pain to upper and lower back or leg damage.
Originally developed in Norway more than 20 years ago, Redcord Neurac (neuromuscular activation) Therapy is used by doctors and physiotherapists around the world for rehabilitation and pain treatment.
Redcord Therapy involves use of a specialized suspension system—including slings, bungies, and ropes—to both assess and treat a patient’s injuries. “It looks a little intimidating when you first see a Redcord system,” says Vancouver physiotherapist Andrew Bell, “but it holds a patient’s body in its most optimal, comfortable, pain-free position while the therapist scans for dysfunctions and imbalances and allows us to very specifically isolate the body’s weak links.” Following the assessment, the therapist then uses the Redcord system for treatment, which involves strengthening and repairing the patient’s weak links by stimulating and retraining injured or inactive muscles.
“Studies have shown that, following an injury due to trauma, such as a car accident, the signals between your muscles and your brain become disrupted,” says Andrew. “This disruption can lead to an imbalance of proper muscle activity. Muscles around the injured area begin to shut down or ‘switch off’ due to pain, and therefore other surrounding muscles become strained and overloaded to help the body compensate. This can lead to chronic pain, which often lasts long after the initial injury has healed, because it is very difficult break these compensation strategies once they have developed.”
Studies have shown that, following an injury due to trauma, such as a car accident, the signals between your muscles and your brain become disrupted.
Redcord Neurac Treatment includes targeted exercises on the Redcord workstation, applied vibration, and gradually increased resistance or workload. A key benefit of Redcord Therapy for patients is that it’s a virtually pain-free treatment approach. The Redcord suspension system continually supports your body in its most comfortable position throughout both assessment and treatments. Another plus of Redcord Therapy, says Andrew, is that patients seem to actually enjoy the treatment process, because they take an active, engaged role in their therapy. “Conventional physiotherapy is a passive form of treatment–it involves thetherapist doing the work on your body. With Redcord, the therapist still plays an active, expert role in adjusting the system and guiding the treatment process, but the patient does the work of moving their body in the suspension system according to what they’re experiencing in their body.” The result is heightened patient awareness of the specific effects of their Redcord exercises. In turn, patients are usually a lot more motivated to do their at-home exercises in between sessions, because they’ve directly experienced how their efforts can make a difference. For Andrew, as a therapist, it’s highly rewarding to witness his clients experiencing the results of Redcord Therapy. It’s most rewarding however, for patients, who can experience newfound well-being and quality of life after living so long with the chronic pain and other physical challenges that come from car-accident injuries.
In addition to car-accident injuries, Redcord Neurac Therapy is used to treat a variety of other neuromuscular and musculoskeletal issues, including sports, repetitive stress, postural and other damage. It’s currently offered in the Lower Mainland by Certified Neurac Provider Candace McCurdy at Pivotal Health in North Vancouver and by physiotherapist Andrew Bell at Alliance Wellness Clinic in Vancouver.
If you’ve driven along one of B.C.’s highways, you’ve probably seen any number of vehicles being pulled over for speeding. Even the most cautious drivers can easily become carried away on one of our wide-open highways. For those who have learned firsthand what it’s like to have flashing lights behind you, you likely know that the cost of your speeding ticket isn’t the end of your worries.
In B.C., speeders actually have another price to pay: ICBC penalty points. Each year, ICBC looks at the total number of points a driver has received during the previous 12-month calendar year, referred to as “the assessment period.” Depending on the nature of your driving violation, if you’ve accumulated three or more points during the assessment period, you’ll have to pay an additional fine on top of the cash you’ve already shelled out for your ticket. This is called a Driver Penalty Point Premium and it can range from $175 all the way up to $24,000. To give you an example, two speeding tickets equals six points, which requires you to pay a Driver Penalty Point Premium of at least $576.
The Driver Risk Premium is yet another type of fine issued to people who have had one or more driving-related criminal-code convictions such as excessive speeding and roadside suspensions.
While it may seem that the ICBC premiums are imposed as a means of extracting more cash from drivers, they actually serve to encourage safe driving by ‘hitting people where it hurts the most’–their bank accounts. Victims of careless drivers will attest that ICBC penalty points are important for helping prevent car accidents and painful injuries or death caused by someone who wanted to race to their summer beach home or hop into their car after a night of drinking.
If you have been injured in a car accident by someone who has penalty-point infractions due to speeding, careless driving, or other dangerous driving habits, you may be entitled to compensation. A Vancouver car accident lawyer will be able to help you find out if you’re eligible. That’s why it’s always important to consult with a personal injury lawyer if you’ve been involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, as your injuries deserve a fair settlement–and that’s one point no one can argue with.