The ‘Choking Game’ The Latest Fad For Parents To Lose Sleep Over


Posted on 26th January 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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I spend my entire career trying to get justice for those who have suffered brain damage because of the wrongful conduct of others. How frustrating for me as a lawyer, how scary for me as a parent to read about the latest phenomenon among our young people. The so-called “choking game” has become such a concern that newspapers across the country have been writing about it, including The New York Times and The Star-Ledger of Newark. N.J., last week.

Although the choking game may be a mystery to you, it may not be one to your kids, as The Times points out in its story,;=brain%20damage&st;=cse.

The practice, which can lead to brain damage, is also know as “pass out” or “space monkey,” according to the Ledger’s story,

In the choking game pressure is applied to the neck, by oneself using a belt or scarf, or someone else doing it. The brain’s lack of oxygen leads to a euphoria or “high” for the person being strangled. Some go so far as to seek to become unconscious, because when they come to they get another high.

But it can be a deadly game at the very worse, and cause brain damage at the worse. The “game” has been blamed dozens of adolescent deaths across the country, according to The Times.

A new statewide survey, from Oregon, sparked the recent press coverage of the phenomenon. The rather astounding results published by The Times were that one in three eighth graders in Oregon have heard of the choking game, and 1 in 20 have taken part in it. Youths in rural areas were more likely to have tried it.

The not-so-fun choking game has caused an estimated 82 deaths from 1995 to 2007, according to s survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Times reported. Most of those deaths were of males 11 to 16 years.

Hospital told to pay damages for mistaking babies


Posted on 20th July 2009 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Even under American law, this would be a tough case to determine damages. How does a couple effectively argue that they have been wronged for loving a child for 16 years, even if it is the wrong child? Similar issues have thwarted efforts to get compensation for botched birth control methods as well. But those issues notwithstanding, $55,793 for giving a couple the wrong child, seems a little on the light side.

What happened to the other child? Isn’t that a form of kidnapping?

And what about the other family?

Attorney Gordon Johnson

Date: 7/20/2009 7:08 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean court has ordered a hospital to pay 70 million won ($55,793) in damages to a couple that raised the wrong daughter for 16 years because of a hospital mistake.

Seoul Central District court judge Kim Sung-soo said Monday the court made the ruling earlier this month. He did not give details.

Local media say the couple gave birth to a baby girl at the hospital in 1992. They began suspecting she may not be their daughter because her blood type A did not match theirs.

A DNA test confirmed their suspicions and the hospital acknowledged their mistake last year.

The hospital is refusing to disclose information on their biological daughter citing privacy.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Child Safety: Facts about drowning


Posted on 7th October 2008 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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In 2004, of all children 1-4 years old who died, 26% died from drowning (CDC 2006). Fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years (CDC 2005) – U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It is estimated that for each drowning death, there are 1 to 4 nonfatal submersions serious enough to result in hospitalization. Children who still require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at the time they arrive at the emergency department have a poor prognosis, with at least half of survivors suffering significant neurologic impairment. – American Academy of Pediatrics

19% of drowning deaths involving children occur in public pools with certified lifeguards present. – Drowning Prevention Foundation

A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child age 4 and under. – Orange County California Fire Authority

Children under five and adolescents between the ages of 15-24 have the highest drowning rates. – U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

An estimated 5,000 children ages 14 and under are hospitalized due to unintentional drowning-related incidents each year; 15 percent die in the hospital and as many as 20 percent suffer severe, permanent neurological disability. – National Safety Council

Of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning and 75 percent are missing from sight for five minutes or less. – Orange County, CA, Fire Authority

The majority of children who survive (92 percent) are discovered within two minutes following submersion, and most children who die (86 percent) are found after 10 minutes. Nearly all who require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) die or are left with severe brain injury. – National Safe Kids Campaign

For information on how you can prevent infant drowning, visit
To find out how infants and toddlers can learn to survive in potentially deadly drowning situations, there is an excellent video at: