Illustrated Medicine: Case Study

Trucking Accident Triggers Stroke

This 53-year-old driver was hit by a truck twice – his car first spun and was then pinned against the concrete median – subjecting him to rotational, acceleration and deceleration forces. 

Purpose of illustration 
Designed to show how injury to his vertebral artery caused stroke damage to areas of his brain, this panel included details of: anatomy (arterial and cranial); physiology (bloodflow and thrombus formation); and pathology (ischemic damage). 

Rationale for litigation visual 
This illustration exhibit was required to allow litigation participants to connect the initial physical injury to the artery in Mr. Doe’s neck, with the resultant ischemic (stroke) damage in his brain – complex factors for most non-medically trained people to understand. 

Due to instability in his upper cervical spine, he was prone to recurring transient ischemia, reducing the blood supply to his brain, causing him neurological problems. 

Other visuals demonstrated 
Additional illustrations showed other trauma issues of: exacerbation of pre-exisiting findings; double-crush syndrome in his upper limbs; cervical radiculopathy; rotator cuff syndrome; chronic pain, including neck, back, shoulder and leg pain; and possible future spinal surgery. 

The case settled very successfully as trial was about to begin.