For brain injury victims, a new treatment offers promise. Championed by hockey legend Gordie Howe, the approach uses adult stem cells in patients who have been diagnosed with moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. The stem cells are taken from bone marrow donated by adult volunteers. The treatment, called the Gordie Howe Initiative, is intended to reduce inflammation while avoiding an immune response trigger.
The treatment is still in the clinical trial stage, but Howe is a strong advocate based on his own improvement. He received stem cells after suffering several strokes that reportedly left him near death. Just two months after receiving the therapy, his recuperation had progressed to the point of enabling him to attend a tribute dinner. Researchers hope this individual success story will be replicated in the clinical trials.
According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, around 1.7 million Americans suffer a TBI each year. Of those, over 50,000 don’t survive their injuries. In two categories of patients, those age 65 and older and those 14 and younger, the TBI was caused by a slip and fall. Of course, motor vehicle accidents also contribute to TBIs, as do assaults from military combat and concussions from athletic activities.
However, the new treatment is costly. The Initiative hopes to raise $32 million for its clinical trial. That figure is an important reminder of the importance of seeking adequate damages after suffering any type of injuries caused by another person’s negligence. Whether the theory of liability involves a hazard on premises or negligent driving, a victim must seek adequate compensation for the cost of medical treatments, lost wages, pain and suffering and any other damages.
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune, “Stemedica, Gordie Howe family team up on brain injuries,” Bradley J. Fikes, May 11, 2016