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Health Effects of Smoking - Medical Animation

 

This animation may only be used in support of a single legal proceeding and for no other purpose. Read our License Agreement for details. To license this image for other purposes, click here.

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Health Effects of Smoking - Medical Animation
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: Every time you smoke a cigarette, toxic gases pass into your lungs, then into your bloodstream where they spread to every organ in your body. A cigarette is made using the tobacco leaf, which contains nicotine and a variety of other compounds. As the tobacco and compounds burn, they release thousands of dangerous chemicals, including over 40 known to cause cancer. Cigarette smoke contains the poisonous gases carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, as well as trace amounts of cancer-causing radioactive particles. All forms of tobacco are dangerous, including cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco and snuff. Nicotine is an addictive chemical in tobacco. After you inhale tobacco smoke, nicotine flows through the bloodstream to your brain, where it induces a pleasurable feeling. When you repeatedly expose your brain to nicotine, it becomes desensitized, making you crave more and more nicotine just to feel normal. Smoking causes death. People who smoke typically die at an earlier age than nonsmokers. In fact, one of every five deaths in the United States is linked to cigarette smoking. If you smoke, your risk of major health problems increases dramatically, including heart disease, heart attack, stroke, lung cancer, and death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Smoking causes cardiovascular disease. When nicotine flows through your adrenal glands, it stimulates the release of epinephrine, a hormone that raises your blood pressure. In addition, nicotine and carbon monoxide can damage the lining of the inner walls in your arteries. Fatty deposits, called plaque, can build up at these injury sites and become large enough to narrow the arteries and severely reduced blood flow, resulting in a condition called atherosclerosis. In coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis narrows the arteries that supply the heart, which reduces the supply of oxygen to your heart muscle, increasing your risk for a heart attack. Smoking also raises your risk for blood clots, because it causes platelets in your blood to clump together. Smoking increases your risk for peripheral vascular disease, in which atherosclerotic plaques block the large arteries in your arms and legs. Smoking can also cause an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is a swelling or weakening of your aorta, where it runs through your abdomen. Smoking damages two main parts of your lungs. Your airways, also called bronchial tubes, and small air sacs called alveoli. With each breath, air travels down your windpipe, called the trachea, and enters your lungs through your bronchial tubes. Air then moves into thousands of tiny alveoli, where oxygen from the air moves into your bloodstream, and the waste product, carbon dioxide, moves out of your bloodstream. Tiny hair like projections, called cilia, line your bronchial tubes and sweet harmful substances out of your lungs. Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of your bronchial tubes, causing them to swell and make mucus. Cigarette smoke also slows the movement of your cilia, causing some of the smoke and mucus to stay in your lungs. While you are sleeping, some of the cilia recover and start pushing more pollutants and mucous out of your lungs. When you wake up, your body attempts to expel this material by coughing repeatedly, a condition known as smoker's cough. Over time, chronic bronchitis develops. As your cilia stop working, your airways become clogged with scars any mucous, and breathing becomes difficult. Your lungs are now more vulnerable to further disease. Cigarette smoke also damages your alveoli, making it harder for oxygen and carbon dioxide to exchange with your blood. Over time, so little oxygen can reach your blood that you may develop emphysema, a condition in which you must gasp for every breath, and wear an oxygen tube under your nose in order to breath. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are collectively called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. COPD is a gradual loss of the ability to breathe for which there is no cure. Cigarette smoke contains at least 40 cancer causing substances, called carcinogens, including cyanide, formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia. In your body, healthy cells grow, make new cells, then die. Genetic material inside each cell, called DNA, directs this process. If you smoke, toxic chemicals can damage the DNA in your healthy cells. As a result, your damaged cells create new, unhealthy cells, which grow out of control and may spread to other parts of your body. The most common cancer in the world is lung cancer, with over a million new cases diagnosed every year. Harmful chemicals in cigarettes can cause cancer in other parts of your body, such as in the blood and bone marrow, mouth, larynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, and cervix. Smoking can cause infertility in both men and women. If a woman is pregnant and smokes during pregnancy, she exposes her baby to the cigarettes poisonous chemicals, causing a greater risk of low birth weight, miscarriage, preterm delivery, still birth, infant death, and sudden infant death syndrome. Smoking is also dangerous if a mother is breastfeeding. Nicotine passes to the baby through breast milk, and can cause restlessness, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, interrupted sleep, or diarrhea. Other health effects of smoking include low bone density and increased risk for hip fracture among women, gum disease often leading to tooth loss and surgery, immune system dysfunction and delayed wound healing, and sexual impotence in men.

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"Medical illustrations are essential during trial for any medical malpractice case. The people at MLA have the uncanny ability of creating medical illustrations that simplify the most complex of medical concepts and human anatomy to a lay audience. The exhibits of MLA allow experts to easily describe complex concepts and human anatomy in a manner that could not be done otherwise.

In addition, their custom illustrations show in great detail the extent of injuries suffered and the devastating effects they have had on the client's anatomy. These custom illustration can show, side by side, the body before and after a catastrophic injury. The effect of this juxtaposition is unmatched by any testimony that can be adduced at the time of trial.

Even jurors after trial have commented on the ease with which they grasp medical concepts and anatomy once the MLA exhibits were introduced and used by my experts. Even judges who have "seen it all" are thoroughly impressed by the detail and sophistication of the illustrations.

I would not want to try a case without them."

Lambros Y. Lambrou
McHUGH & LAMBROU, LLP
New York, NY

"I thought you might want to know that after we sent a copy of your illustration to the defendants, with a copy to the insurance company, they increased their offer by an additional million dollars and the case was settled for $1,900,000.00.

I appreciate your help!"

O. Fayrell Furr, Jr.
Furr, Henshaw & Ohanesian
Myrtle Beach, SC
www.scmedicalmalpractice.com

"I have a medical illustration created by Medical Legal Art at the beginning of every case to tell the client's story, usually before I depose the defendant doctor. The work product and cost-efficiency are outstanding. It is a situation where, as a trial lawyer, I don't leave home without it."

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Attorney at Law
Austin, TX

"Whether it's demonstrating a rotator cuff tear, neck movement a few milliseconds after rear impact, or a proposed lumbar fusion, the Doe Report represents an instant on-line database of medical illustration for health-care and legal professionals.

Illustrations can be purchased 'as is' or modified within hours and sent either electronically or mounted on posterboard. An illustration is worth a thousand words, as juries perk up and look intently to capture concepts that are otherwise too abstract. Start with good illustrations, a clear and direct voice, a view of the jury as 12 medical students on day one of training, and your expert testimony becomes a pleasure, even on cross examination. An experienced trial lawyer should also emphasize these illustrations at the end of trial, as a means of visually reinforcing key concepts covered.

As a treating physician, I also use these accurate illustrations to educate my own patients about their medical conditions. The Doe Report is an invaluable resource, and its authors at MLA have always been a pleasure to work with."

Richard E. Seroussi M.D., M.Sc.
Diplomate, American Boards of Electrodiagnostic Medicine and PM&R
Seattle Spine & Rehabilitation Medicine
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