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Doug Landau
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Plastic Skull Implant Can Protect Injured Brains and Replace Helmets

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The human skull is similar to a soldier’s helmet in that it’s mission is to protect the vulnerable brain inside. Sometimes, however, the very rigidity that give protection can cause harm when there is swelling or movement inside the skull. After injuries to the brain, neurosurgeons sometimes have to contend with bleeding, swelling and fluid build up. For example, after Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords was wounded in a mass shooting that injured 12 people in January, doctors removed a portion of the left side of her skull to prevent her brain from swelling and to halt tissue damage. This month the doctors used a hard plastic implant to repair a hole in Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ skull, according to news reports.

This is the latest milestone in her recovery from an assassination attempt. Experts say the plastic skull implant will improve her quality of life. The neurological specialists had to remove a portion of her skull to relieve pressure on her brain. The implant means Giffords no longer needs the protective helmets, one decorated with an Arizona flag, that she has used since the initial skull-removal procedure. According to USA Today, the Memorial Hermann’s neuroscience institute surgeons intended to attach a computer-modeled artificial implant, not the actual piece of skull removed from Giffords head. The missing piece of Giffords’ skull has been described as a little bigger than the palm of one’s hand.

The reason this news story resonated with everyone at the Herndon law firm of Abrams Landau is because we were visited today by a client who had a piece offer skull removed at Fairfax Hospital after the swelling in her head caused by a slip and fall accident caused pressure on her brain. This health care worker then spent time in the Mount Vernon Bridge Program regaining her ability to speak and perform other activities of daily living. She wore a bicycle helmet until the neurosurgeon could put the piece of her skull, which had been kept in a special refrigerated, sterile unit, back in her head. She has had several operations and has returned to work. We hope that she continues to heal and help others. If you have been sustained an injury to your head or skull, and would like assistance with a legal claim for Social Security Disability, Workers Compensation or a slip and fall or car crash case, please call our Herndon Law Shop today at 703-796-9555 or e-mail us.