Friday, September 28, 2012

Helmet Laws For Motocyclists and Bicyclists?

If we want to get serious about decreasing the rate of head injury from traffic accidents, one way is to review the laws that could prevent many of them.  Although the National Transportation Safety Board strongly recommends the use of helmets and  "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to riders and 41 percent effective for motorcycle passengers" there still are many places where helmets are not required by law.  

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, three states (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire) do not have a motorcycle helmet law at all and 28 states require helmets only for some motorcycle riders. Further 21 States have a helmet law for bicyclists below a certain age, generally about 16.  An incredible 29 states have no bicycle helmet law at all.

What are your thoughts? Should helmets be required by law?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hollywood Celebrities On Mobility Scooters

Mobility Scooters are becoming more and more popular. But now Hollywood Celebrities are taking to mobility scooters. This will make more people see mobility scooters as less as disability equipment and more like transportation. So, who are the rich and famous recently seen on mobility scooters? Halle Berry took a tour of Disneyland with her children on a mobility scooter: A pregnant Snooki was recently seen riding around on a mobility scooter. Hugh Hefner was spotted riding around on a mobility scooter in the company of some of his bunnies. So, if mobility scooters are becoming so fashionable that celebrities are riding them, will mobility scooters become more accepted for the rest of us? Read more about Mobility Scooters.

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Wheelchair Gloves For Children

A new leather wheelchair glove has been developed for children. These kids wheelchair gloves have the advantage of being able to fit a wide range of sizes and to grow with the child's hands. These have a textured palm which helps children to grip the wheelchair push rim.

Read more about these wheelchair gloves for kids.

Monday, September 10, 2012

US Paralympian Punished For Doping

We have all heard about Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban and disqualifications for doping by the US Anti-doping agency. But did you know that these meanies also have the authority to sanction Paralympians? In August 2012 the USADA punished US Paralympic Cyclist Monica Bascio of Evergreen Colorado. Why? She took an over-the-counter drug containing Tuaminoheptane. What is Tuaminoheptane? It is a nasal decongestant and a stimulant which is on the 2011 list of prohibited substances published by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

I am not able to find any US manufactured products which use Tuaminoheptane. I did find that an Italian company, named Zambon, manufacturers a drug called Rinofluimucin which contains Tuaminoheptane. According to Bascio's website:

I used a nasal spray while in Italy to treat the symptoms of a head cold from which I was suffering, and was unaware that the spray contained a stimulant on the WADA list of specified substances. As a result, I unintentionally committed an anti-doping rule violation.
Hmmm....I would think that most athletes would know that many over the counter drugs contain stimulants and their use is banned, and that they would be EXTREMELY careful about what drugs they are taking.  I had a look at the list of WADA banned substances and tuaminoheptane is specifically mentioned there on page 7 under "specified stimulants". Bascio is not the first athlete to be found guilty and punished for taking Tuaminoheptane. As an example, in 2008, a french rugby player Rabah Slimani, was found guilty of taking Tuaminoheptane for a cold. In Slimani's case it was given to him by a team physician and apparently had no label on it. If this is true, frankly, I have more sympathy for Slimani than Bascio

Bottom line, if you are an athlete, you MUST be aware of what you are taking. I hope that from now on Bascio and other Paralympians are keeping a copy of the WADA list of banned substances where ever they go. If your nose is plugged try rinsing it with salt water.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Claire Lomas: NOT The First Person To Own An Exoskeleton

Claire Lomas, is an amazing person. She walked the London Marathon distance in an exoskeleton. She helped to raise thousands of pounds for Spinal ReSearch. She also worked with "Riders Revealed" to create a calendar of nearly naked riders to help raise money to buy an exoskeleton. But Claire Lomas is NOT the first person to own an exoskeleton. That honor most likely goes to Dave MacCalman of New Zealand. According to a recent press release:
Exoskeleton technology leader, ARGO Medical Technologies, along with mobility solutions provider, Cyclone Technologies, announced today that Claire Lomas has become the first person to take home an exoskeleton system for personal use. The new technology, which is manufactured by Argo Medical Technologies and supplied exclusively in the UK by East Yorkshire-based mobility solutions provider, Cyclone Technologies, has seen Claire become the first person in the world to utilise exoskeleton technology at home, and in her everyday life.
Claire is probably the first person from the UK to own an exoskeleton. But as reported in this blog on 2 May 2011, Rex Bionics sold its first exoskeleton to Dave MacCalman, a New Zealand Paralympian over one year earlier. In fact, according to this article
About 30 people worldwide already use the (Rex Exoskeleton)
When contacted for comment, John Frijters from Argo, the company which manufactures ReWalk said, "Our intent was not to discredit the work of any other exoskeleton unit. We are excited to release this new device that users can take home and incorporate into their daily lives. The ReWalk technology is unique in its design and we are launching a new phase in the UK and Europe now that the new unit will be available for personal use." I agree which Mr Frijters that it is indeed an exciting milestone that exoskeletons are now more widely available for personal use. I am certain that what is most important to Claire Lomas is that she is now walking whenever she wants, and it is less important if she is the first or indeed only one of the first wheelchair users to do so.