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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/12/2001 10:24:04 AM EST
I just received news that my 14 year old nephew was seriously injured while riding an ATV. He apparently crashed into a tree and fractured the 5th and 6th vertebrae in his spine. He is currently being airlifted to Harborview hospital in Seattle from a ranch in Oregon. He reportedly has no feeling from the chest down and is apparently paralyzed. The doctor has told my in-laws that it could go either way as to whether or not he is pemanently paralyzed and that at this point it is in God's hands. I'm be leaving shortly to drive them to the hospital as the are obviously incredibly stressed out. My question is: I recall reading an article about an experimental medicine that can substantially help people with spinal injuries recover and avoid paralysis. The hitch is that it has to be administered within 72 hours of the injury. I'll definitely be asking the treating physician about it, but there are no garuantees that he'll even know what I am talking about. It seems like I read about this in Reader's Digest a while back. Does anyone else remember this or know anything about it? Please? Thanks, Greg
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 10:29:50 AM EST
Boomer, I have no idea about the drug, but Best Wishes to your nephew, you, and your family. -Chimborazo
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 10:31:47 AM EST
Greg, I forwarded this to Ed Sr. Being in the medical profession, he might know something. I'll try to see what I can find out for you too.
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 10:34:16 AM EST
Boomer, I have no idea what the medicine is either but it is out there. I remember seeing something about it on television. Push the docs to find out. You might try a search on hospitols and clinics that deal with that and/or do a search for Christopher Reeves. I'm sure they have discussed every possibility with him and what could have been done. Best of luck to you and your nephew.
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 10:36:11 AM EST
Good luck. Our prayers are with him, you and the family. Semper Fidelis Jarhead out.
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 11:15:44 AM EST
Boomer, Sometimes in spinal injuries there is substantial swelling that will temporarily paralyze from the fracture point down. As long as the vertebrae weren't crushed or fragmented this is a possibility. That swelling can take anywhere from days to weeks and longer to subside (depending on several factors). Hopefully the docs will have a good handle on things soon for your nephew. Keep the faith, my friend. My prayers to you and your family. -SARguy
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 11:18:18 AM EST
Good luck and your nephew is in our prayers. Ice
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 11:21:08 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 11:30:39 AM EST
Boomer, SARguy described it right, as you said yourself it could go anywhere. He's in my thoughts and are hoping for a recovery. Hang in there, this must be tough. Kuiper
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 11:37:09 AM EST
Best wishes to your family. No Idea on the pill though. good luck
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 11:38:20 AM EST
I found this: [url]http://emedicine.com/EMERG/topic553.htm[/url]
Drug Category: Glucocorticoids - High-dose steroids are thought to reduce the secondary effects of acute SCI. Studies have shown limited but significant improvement in the neurological outcome of patients treated within 8 h of injury. Drug Name: Methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol)- Used to reduce the secondary effects of acute SCI.
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We will keep your nephew in our prayers. Please keep us posted. AR in the woods.
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 11:52:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/12/2001 12:03:46 PM EST by juslearnin]
The NATIONAL ACUTE SPINAL CORD INJURY STUDY (NASCIS) showed that high dose METHYLPREDNISOLONE (a steroid) administered early in the course improved both motor and sensory function in patients with complete and incomplete neurologic damage- although it does not promise complete recovery. It is believed that it merely decreases the damage done by the inflamation associated with the injury. The treatment recommendation is to give the first dose within 8 hours of the injury at 30 mg/kg, followed by an infusion over the next 24 hours. It is likely if the patient is going to a trauma center the emergency room physician will be very familiar with this medicine. There are some situations where it may not be appropriate to adminster, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to ask the doctors caring for him if he had been started on steroids, and if not, why they are contraindicated.
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 11:56:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/12/2001 1:29:40 PM EST by juslearnin]
There may be another experimental medicine which I am unfamiliar with, but methylprednisolone is the standard of care. A neurologist/neurosurgeon would probably be familiar with the latest new drugs available, as well as any available experimental drugs. In my experience, a lot of spinal cord injury recovery is a very long process, and there are no silver bullets. Will send off a prayer.
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 12:09:53 PM EST
This link is broken but here are some more experimental medicines:
Research Strategies to find New Treatments for SCI--Experimental Drugs Reviews current treatment goals using drug treatments in acute SCI. Includes use of methylprednisolone, tirilazad mesylate, YM14673, nalmefene, CNQX and mianserin.
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Link Posted: 7/12/2001 12:13:13 PM EST
[url]http://www.spinalcord.org/resource/Factsheets/factsheet5.html[/url] Drug Treatments For New Injuries NOTE: It is important to realize these drugs are not a cure for chronic (long-term) spinal cord injuries. It is heart-ening to note, however, that treatments finally are available to lessen the severity of some acute injuries. Research has shown that all damage in SCI does not occur instantaneously. Mechanical disruption of nerves and nerve fibers occurs at the time of injury. Within 30 minutes, hemorrhaging is observed in the damaged area of the spinal cord and this may expand over the next few hours. By several hours, inflammatory cells enter the area of spinal cord injury and their secretions cause chemical changes that can further damage nervous tissue. Cellular content of nerve cells killed by the injury contribute to this harmful chemical environment. This process may go on for days or even weeks. Hope lies, therefore, in treatments that could prevent these stages of progressive damage. Drugs that protect nerve cells following injury are now available to lessen the severity of some injuries. Other drugs and combinations of drugs are currently being tested in both animal and clinical trials. Methylprednisolone Few treatment approaches have raised as much hope as the announcement by the National Institute of Health that the steroid, methylprednisolone, reduces the degree of paralysis if administered shortly after spinal cord injury. In clinical trials, an extremely high dosage of methylprednisolone was used in a double-blind study (neither patients nor doctors knew who was getting the exper-i-mental drug). The improvement in some patients was so remark-able that the National Institutes of Health felt it was important to "break the code" (i.e., determine who was getting the drug and who was not) so more patients could potentially be helped. Overall, the trial showed that while the methylprednisolone treated group retained significantly more function than the placebo group, subjects in both groups experienced chronic loss of function due to their injuries. Methylprednisolone is effective only if used in high doses within eight hours of acute injury. It is hypothesized that this drug reduces damage caused by the inflammation of the injured spinal cord and the bursting open of the damaged cells. The contents of the damaged cells are believed to adversely affect adjacent cells. High doses of methylprednisolone can lead to side effects, such as suppression of the immune system, but no serious problems have been reported when it is used over a short term as in this study. Because the success of the methylprednisolone trial had changed the "standard of care" in the United States, subsequent drug trials are now testing the effectiveness of other drugs in combination with methylprednisolone administration. Thus, to demonstrate significant effectiveness, new treatments will have to surpass the functional sparing effects seen with methylprednisolone alone. Simultaneously, researchers are cooperating to conduct a large multi-center animal study to test the effect of other drugs with or without methylprednisolone. (continued below)
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 12:13:57 PM EST
(continued) Tirilizade Similar positive results to those of methylprednisolone have been achieved in animal studies using another steroid, tirilizade mesylate (Freedox®). This drug, which acts like methylprednisolone, also appears to be effective only if administered within a few hours after injury. From initial animal studies, it appears that this drug may cause less side effects than methylprednisolone. Clinical trials are ongoing. A large clinical trial with humans is currently underway comparing 48 hour treatment of methylprednisolone with or without added tirilizade. Study results are anticipated to be available in late 1995. GM-1 Ganglioside Once again, the announcement of a new treatment approach has raised interest and hope in the SCI community. In a small study, the experimental drug Sygen®, or GM-1 Ganglioside, was given within 72 hours of injury and then continued for up to 32 days. Neurological assessments were conducted up to one year after the treatment. Individuals who received Sygen®showed significantly more functional recovery than those who received a placebo. Currently, a large scale multi-center clinical trial of GM-1 is ongoing with a targeted completion date of 1996-1997. In the current study, all patients receive the "standard" does of methylprednisolone. In earlier studies, a standard dose of methylprednisolone was not given. There are two theories about how GM-1 Ganglioside may act on spinal cord tissue. The first is that it performs some type of damage control by reducing the toxicity of amino acids released after spinal cord tissue is injured. The "excitatory" amino acids cause cells to die and increase the damage caused by the initial injury. The second theory suggests there may be a neurotrophic effect, somehow encouraging the growth of injured neurons. Neither of these theories have been scientifically proven yet. Sygen®has not yet been approved for clinical use in this country by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has only been used in a limited number of experiments. Sygen®was provided recently to injured football player Dennis Byrd and approximately 65 other patients through an open-label protocol. Although this protocol is no longer in effect, the large double-blind, multi-center trial in acute SCI mentioned above is well underway.
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 12:28:15 PM EST
I hope your nephew is alright. My prayers are with him.
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 2:49:41 PM EST
Well, here I sit in the downtown Seattle Public Library. I walked over here from the emergency center to use their computers and see what else I could find. AR in the woods, that third link had exactly what I was looking for. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, along with every one else who has either contributed and/or offered their support. I'm hoping this kid pulls through. I know it's a cliche by now, but my nephew is such a good kid. I can't believe this has happened. This really sucks. It certainly makes one more aware of just how precious and fragile life really is. Thank you again, people. I can't expres that enough. Greg
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 3:03:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/12/2001 3:01:44 PM EST by juslearnin]
Just a word of caution when reading medical literature. When it says there was a "significant improvement" this means that the author of the study was able to statistically prove a difference between people who received the treatment and those who did not. It is a statistical term, it doesn't tell anything about what that improvement was. Often with spinal cord injuries the difference means having function in one more finger, or feeling several inches further down the chest. Make sure the Dr.s involved talk with at least one member of the family each day to discuss improvement and prognosis, and run any questions you come up with in your research by them.
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 3:41:10 PM EST
I'm very sorry to hear about your nephew. It sounds like you may have many family members there to help each other along. You sound like a strong-willed person, he'll likely need that. I hope your nephew and family pull through this alright.
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 3:44:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/12/2001 3:42:19 PM EST by Steel_Rat]
Maybe Boomer is thinking of the experimental treatment where they inject embyronic stem cells into the injured area and it helps the nerves regenerate. "48 Hours" on CBS had a secment on it about a month ago: [url]http://www.cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,296526-412,00.shtml[/url]
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 3:47:36 PM EST
sorry for all you and the family is going through. hope everything works out all right. he will be in my thoughts for whats its worth. -jay
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 3:48:34 PM EST
The use of anti inflammatory steroids is pretty much in wide spread use at this time for spinal injuries and has shown good results. These Steroids stop swelling not the same kind use by body builders. I work in a hospital and I see the effects of them. Six
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 4:09:29 PM EST
Pray hard, and DO NOT take the doctor's words of paralysis to heart! In 93 I was in a critical rock climbing accident, life flighted to Pittsburgh, told I was paralyzed, told by case workers/shrinks that my entire life would be different from that moment forward, etc... [b]I refused to listen, and walked out of the Neurological ICU unit on my own two feet just 3 days later![/b] In retrospect they were right, and my life hasn't been the same since... I now have a very strong belief in God's healing powers, and very little in man's! Did I mention that I also refused surgery..? What I'm trying to say is, that the words they speak could set the tone for everything that takes place with your nephews recovery. [b]Pray with everything you've got! Please know that your on-line family will come together and pray for everyone involved as well.[/b]
Link Posted: 7/13/2001 5:29:45 AM EST
Any updates..?
Link Posted: 7/13/2001 5:57:47 AM EST
antiUSSA, that's an incredible story! We can all hope Boomer's nephew fares as well or better. WSmac
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 8:23:57 PM EST
Boomer How is your nephew? He and his family are still in our prayers.
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 8:29:18 PM EST
Boomer, Any update on your nephews condition yet?
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 8:48:30 PM EST
Our prayers are with him.
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 9:30:25 PM EST
Our prayers are with him and your family.
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 9:39:34 PM EST
I work in a hospital pharmacy and I have compounded the previously mention high dose Methylprednisolone drip for a football player that came in after injuring his spine. When they say high dose, they aren't kidding. It's amazing just how much Methylprednisolone goes into the drip. They want us to make it as fast as possible, which is understandable. However, Methylprednisolone comes in a dried for which must be reconstituted and it take what seems forever to completely reconstitute. So it's kinda nerve racking playing the waiting game when you know some kid is depending on you to make something that may allow him to walk again. USPC40 ------------------------------------------------- [B][BLUE]NRA Life Member[/BLUE][/B] - [URL]www.nra.org[/URL] [B][BLUE]GOA Life Member[/BLUE][/B] - [URL]www.gunowners.org[/URL] [B][BLUE]SAF Member[/BLUE][/B] - [URL]www.saf.org[/URL] [B][BLUE]SAS Supporter[/BLUE][/B] - [URL]www.sas-aim.org[/URL] [img]www.ar15.com/members/albums/USPC40/alabamaflag.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 7/17/2001 1:26:36 PM EST
Thanks again to everyone who has shown concern and kept my family in your prayers. It truly does mean a lot to me. I apologize for the lack of updates. I have had to contend with this situation on top of having to drive my oldest daughter 800 miles to college over the weekend and dealing with the emotions of her leaving home for the first time. My life seems absolutely frantic and an emotional wreck right now. My nephew has been being administered Methylprednisolone since the first airlift in Oregon, shortly after the accident. He had surgery on Friday morning to stabilize and help repair some of the damage to his spine. He had a steel rod screwed in from the T2 - T9 vertebrae. It turns out that not only were two vertebrae fractured, but dislocated as well. This caused his spinal cord to be compressed approximately 20% on one side, causing his current state of paralysis. Fortunately the spinal cord was not severed, leaving us a small ray of hope for some degree of recovery. The doctors have officially given him about a 1% percent chance of ever walking again. He still has no feeling over movement below his chest, although he did claim to have felt a small sensation in one of his toes. I visited with him for several hours last night and was there while he was fitted with his back brace, which he will have to wear for about 3 months. So far he remains upbeat and has a positive attitude about things. He's a real trooper. He will be transferred to Seattle Children's Hospital sometime this week for a month of therapy and rehabilitation. I am particularly close to this nephew. We hunt, shoot, ride dirt bikes, watch movies, play video games, etc together all the time. He is always over at our house doing stuff with my kids and myself. Words alone just can't describe the grief and sense of loss my family and I feel over this. I can honestly and unashamedly say that it has been a long time since I have wept like this. But whatever the outcome, I will be there for him and support him in any and every way in which I am able. I would like to again thank everyone for the kind words and support. You really have touched my heart. In my humblest opinion, there really is something unique about our community here at AR15.com.
Link Posted: 7/17/2001 1:47:06 PM EST
Boomer, Keep the faith brother. Somehow this will turn out ok. You be sure to let your nephew know that there are many folks pulling (and praying) for him. Do you mind sharing his first name with us? Do not feel you that you owe any of us an apology. AR
Link Posted: 7/17/2001 1:49:47 PM EST
Boomer ,sorry to hear about your nephew. The good thing is that he is young and they tend to be more resistant to permanent damage and recover faster. The drug you were wondering about is GM-1. Its not FDA approved but they will provide some when requested. It does have to be used within 72 hours or it does little. I will try to search for the company for you. Best wishes.
Link Posted: 7/17/2001 1:56:41 PM EST
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