HealthWise at 5 From 4.16 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/16/03

HealthWise at 5 From 4.16

  • Alcohol and Car Crashes

If you ever thought alcohol might relax you and thereby protect you in a crash, new research says the opposite is true. Not only will drinking and driving increase the chance of a wreck, but even if you're just riding in the car and have been drinking, you are at increased risk that your injury will be more severe if you are in a crash. The study is in the April issue of the journal Alcoholism. It reviewed more than 1300 car crashes and found that drivers and passengers who had any level of alcohol in their system were more than one and a half times as likely to suffer a serious injury, compared to accident victims who had not been drinking. The researchers suggest that alcohol does something to the body that increases its vulnerability to injury. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes killed more than 17,440 people in 2001, and injured 300,000 more,costing $45 billion. The new results will be published in the april issue of the journal alcoholism: clinical & experimental research by a team from the U.M. Health System and the U.M.Transportation Research Institute. This study represents the most in-depth clinical study to date demonstrating the connection between alcohol use and the severity of injury.

  • Ceramic Sockets

The FDA has given its blessing on a new artificial hip-joint. And it's not polyethaline or steel but ceramic! And for some patients, this might be the only hip joint replacement they'll ever need.

"Ceramic is the newest one that has just been approved by the FDA - which is showing extremely small amounts of wear - if you can even measure the wear over millions of cycles. So this is very encouraging to us," says Dr. Kent Samuelson, an orthopedist.

Once bodily fluids come in contact with the joint, as demonstrated here with water, it holds on tight. But though secure in its socket, the ball moves smoothly - which should give patients a new range of mobility he's never had before. The new ceramic does have some disadvantages though. It only comes in limited sizes and surgeons can not make adjustments in the socket like they could with polyethaline. So if you're not the right size, ceramic is not an option. The new ceramic joint was developed by a medical research group called Wright Medical.

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