Cherry picker topples over in Philadelphia, injuring one

Cherry pickers, a slang term for construction lifts, are usually used to trim trees or aid workers in repairing building facades. A worker using a cherry picker at a church in Philadelphia sustained serious injuries recently after the lift toppled over onto the street approximately 50 feet below.

The construction accident happened at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at Race and 18th Streets in Philadelphia earlier this month. According to NBC Philadelphia‘s website, the Archdiocese says that a worker was in the basket of the cherry picker doing work on the rectory of the cathedral.

It’s not clear at this point why the lift toppled over, although investigators were looking into whether it could have been caused by uneven pavement, wind or both factors. It’s lucky no passersby were hurt; one man says he was driving on the street and stopped just before the lift toppled over into the road. Pictures on NBC Philadelphia’s website show the blue construction lift with its wheels dangling in the air.

The crane blocked almost the entire street, causing traffic to back up. It apparently took hours to remove the equipment.

The 33-year-old worker, meanwhile, was in stable condition after being transported to Hahnemann Hospital. He had been aided by fellow workers and emergency crews at the scene. Sources say he suffered a broken femur when the cherry picker fell. It’s lucky his injuries were not worse.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was expected to investigate as well.

People with spinal cord injuries could gain from dog studies

About 265,000 people in the U.S. suffer from spinal cord injuries. Researchers are planning to try out new experimental treatments for spinal cord injuries on dogs with the hope that these therapies will not only help the animals, but also supply valuable information which will also ultimately aid people with catastrophic injuries. The tests will involve pet beagles, corgis, and dachshunds.

The drug treatment being utilized was previously shown to be effective on injured mice. These results led to the U.S. Defense Department agreeing to provide $750,000 in research funds to try it out on dogs over a three-year study. The federal government hopes that soldiers and others suffering spinal cord injuries will ultimately benefit from the results.

Unfortunately, there currently is no known therapy which appears to make small dogs suffering from spinal cord injuries better, often leaving them in a permanently paralyzed state. The condition is frequently caused by disc ruptures, occurring on a spontaneous basis, which can tear or bruise their spinal cords, according to the Sun Times.

The experimental treatment to be tried involves a series of shots. The medicine injected has the effect of barring the path of a protein released in the body after a disc ruptures. The protein, without the injections, results in inflammation in the spinal cord tissue and can cause growing damage.

It is anticipated that the therapy may be ineffective in improving the lot of dogs already paralyzed a number of weeks or years ago. The drugs in the injections cannot re-grow nerve pathways already damaged or destroyed, but it may prove beneficial for those with recent injuries.