Atlanta suffers from vast numbers of reckless drivers. To save a few minutes of their commute times, they take turns that result in indirect consequences. Not only them but their families, and often innocents, are also affected.
Recently, the case of Cameron Herring grappled the social media. Those who are unaware of this case know that it revolves around a teenager who killed a mother and daughter.
All happens while street racing on the streets of Florida. He now faces 24 years of jail time, only one year short of a life sentence. This is one example of the many cases that have taken the lives of so many people. Accidents like these can result in chronic injuries, amputations, or in worst cases, death.
When the cost of lives isn’t enough, we also see the enormous cost of repairing that follows such accidents. A minor repair of any car starting from an average of 30$ prices – for further maintenance, the charge is only expected to rise from that tag. Not considering the highly critical cases in which the whole car is totaled, the owner is devastated. Vehicles have only one place to go, and that is the compound yard. Luckily, departments run by the government have created guidelines to minimize these accidents
Unfortunately, thrill-seekers often ignore the guidelines laid down by government offices. And in their pursuit of fun, the benefits they lose are unfathomable. What aches the human heart more is the expensive healthcare. Reports have shown that the average cost of ambulances is higher than 2.5 thousand dollars. This means that before the treatment starts, the victim sees a considerable reduction in their bank balance. Reports of people driving themselves to hospitals come in now and then.
These car accidents can result in countless injuries. Yet, one injury that we would like to highlight is the whiplash caused by car accidents.
Whiplash or neck spraining is a neck injury that happens due to erratic movement of the head backward and forwards. It is the most common injury claim, and many misconceptions plus stereotypes, and stigmas exist around it. It is often misunderstood as a fleeting bout of soreness when in reality, it is not. Yet, it is an actual medical condition and exists in variations of its severity.
What is whiplash?
When doctors writing in medical journals describe the effects of whiplash, they tend to use terminology like “cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD),” “whiplash-associated disorders (WAD),” or chronic whiplash syndrome. All these terms refer to the traumatic impact that whiplash has on the anatomy of the neck and surrounding areas and the inflammatory responses that some people’s bodies have to the initial injury. We can also translate this as an injury to the neck caused by the neck’s rapid back and forth movement, like cracking a whip.
Causes of whiplash
Although rear-end crashes are the most common causes of whiplash, some more causes of whiplash are Roller coasters and other amusement park rides. Moreover, it includes Sking accidents, Contact-sport injuries (e.g., boxing, football, extreme sports, karate, etc.), Physical abuse/assault, battery, Horseback riding, Slip and fall accidents, and Bicycle accidents.
Short term effects of whiplash
Victims experience these effects either right away or hours after the accident/incident. But the full effects of whiplash can take days or weeks to develop. These effects include back pain, pain and aching in the neck region, headaches, restricted motion of the neck, or ringing sound in the ear (tinnitus). In accidents where whiplash is severe, the effects could produce negative cognitive symptoms, such as difficulty in concentrating or being distracted. The number and severity of these short-term symptoms determine how cruel and likely the victim is to experience long-term effects.
Long term effects of whiplash
If immediate medical attention to the victim, there might be no long-term effects, and even the short-term effects might only last for a few weeks. In cases where the patient is not so lucky, the impact of this injury can go on for a lifetime. These long-term effects may include jaw pain, chronic and severe headaches, difficulty sleeping, blurry vision, recurring or permanent ringing in the ears, or even memory problems. As unfortunate as it may be, the long-term effects of whiplash are pretty common. A study conducted in 2005 concluded that 71% of the victims of whiplash experience at least one severe effect even after seven years of the accident.
Treatment for Whiplash
When treating whiplash effects, the main goal is to control the excruciating pain in your neck, restore full range of motion in your neck and finally, allow you to get back to your normal activities. These points are achievable by physical therapy and foam collars.
Doctors recommend physical therapy often as it allows the prevention of further injury. Even enabling faster recovery. Physical therapy also includes resting and sleeping, eating, sitting in specific positions that bring max relief to your neck. Some cases may even need transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS for short. For this treatment, we apply a mild electric shock to the skin of the patient. This stimulates the nerves and allows them to function. Limited researches have shown us that it can temporarily diminish neck pain and strengthen muscles.
Another treatment is to use foam collars. Although the use of foam collars has been treating whiplash effects for quite a long time, recent studies say otherwise. Studies have concluded that immobilizing the neck and the head may soothe any pain. Still, it can also decrease the strength of the muscle. But, foam collars can help patients to sleep and diminish neck pain in the worst moments. The duration of use of foam collars depends on the severity of whiplash and the advice of doctors. In some cases, doctors may recommend using the collar two to three hours per day for few weeks or 72 hours in total.
As mentioned before, no country, county, or city is safe from car accidents. The same goes for Atlanta. As large as the city may be, it is prone to traffic accidents. Between 2014 and 2018, the average number of accidents per month was 4593; for comparison, around only 1000 accidents occurred in Brooklyn, NY. Considering how common whiplash is, it is safe to assume that at least 50% of those accidents ended in victims experiencing the effects of whiplash.
Many healthcare institutes experienced whiplash car accident cases last year. These doctors allow for quick and long-lasting recovery from the impact. Not only this, but they also help in filing documentation required to take off from work.
Injuries may not always occur due to other cars hitting each other or the driver sleeping while driving; these accidents might also happen due to the malfunction of any feature of the vehicle. For example, faulty airbags may pop up in the calmest and casual situations. The airbag hitting your face at such high speeds can deal some damage to your neck. As discussed earlier, these damages can leave long-lasting effects on the human body, and thus victims of such accidents should seek immediate care through accident doctors in Atlanta.
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