The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 22, 1996 · Page 10
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 10

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 22, 1996
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Page 10
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AID TUESDAY OCTOBER 22. 1996 V CRIME Drunken driver gets 16 years Driver convicted of intoxication manslaughter in death of baby who was delivered prematurely NATION THE SALINA JOURNAL By The Associated Press CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A drunken driver got 16 years in prison Monday for manslaughter in the death of a baby who was delivered prematurely after an auto accident. The case is one of the first in Texas to test whether a person can be held criminally liable for harming an unborn child. Because it touched* on the question of when life begins, it was closely watched by both sides in the abortion debate. Frank Flores Cuellar, 50, had faced up to 20 years in prison in the death of Krystal Zuniga, who was delivered shortly after a June 15 car accident. Cuellar's blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he drove his truck into a car driven by Jeannie Coronado as she returned from a late-night trip to the grocery store. Coronado, 71/2 months pregnant, gave birth to Krystal by emergency Caesarean section. The baby weighed just 4 pounds and suffered extensive brain damage, and died within two days. The jury took only an hour to convict Cuellar last week of intoxication manslaughter. It took six hours to decide on a sentence Monday. Cuellar — a laborer with no high school education and three previous drunken driving convictions — apologized after the sentence was read, saying: "I didn't intend for any of this to happen." Anti-abortion activists hailed the verdict as a step toward tougher laws against criminals whose actions harm the unborn. Abortion rights supporters warned it could lead to a new determination of when life begins and, eventually, the outlawing of abortion. Cuellar's attorney, Anne Marshall promised to appeal, saying Cuellar should not have been prosecuted because Krystal was not alive at the time of the accident. She repeatedly cited the state's legal definition of a person as an individual "who has been born and is alive." The baby's grandmother, Rebecca Coronado, said: "She wasn't a fetus. She had a heartbeat. We lost her, but I know we won at the "end." Outside court, a female juror said several members of the seven-woman, five-man panel had held out for probation. "Several jurors felt that 20 years was too much and that he needed help," said the juror. V HEALTH The Associated Press Dr. John Sutton analyzes the Injuries that people receive when their cars and trucks collide with a moose. «• DR. MOOSE His advice: If you must hit Bullwinkle, aim for the hindquarters By LISA SINGHANIA The Associated Press T,-r' EBANON, N.H. — Dr. John fi| Sutton brakes for moose. But |'- ( he's fascinated by people „,! -' ~. : who don't. The surgeon at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has carved a niche for himself by analyzing the injuries people receive when their cars and trucks collide with a moose. Sutton's colleagues call him "Dr. Moose." But it's no laughing matter for victims of moose collisions. It took almost a month for doctors to remove all the glass from Audrey Carr's eyes after her car hit a moose last spring in rural Dorchester. Her husband, who was driving, was cut on the arms and chest. The steering wheel was crushed and the windshield shattered. "The moose just about took the roof off the car," said Carr, who was knocked unconscious. "It caused $9,000 worth of damage to the car." In fact, Sutton found that 23 people were hospitalized at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Maine Medical Center and Eastern Maine Medical Center over 4Va years for injuries suffered in moose- vehicle accidents, and two of them died of head injuries. Seventy percent of those who were not killed suffered head or facial injuries, and 26 percent had severe spine injuries. Sutton said most moose-vehicle accidents demolish the car and kill the moose. Moose have no natural predators in northern New England and don't run from a car's headlights. They can also grow nearly 6 feet high and weigh more than 1,200 pounds. Among other things, Sutton found that cars often hit the moose under the belly, lifting it off its feet and onto the passenger cab, which is crushed by the impact. His advice: When a colli- sion with a moose looks inevitable, aim for the hindquarters. In New Hampshire, where yellow "Brake for Moose" signs dot highways, Sutton estimated that 200 to 250 moose- vehicle collisions occur every year. He put the number at 650 or more in Maine. Vermont doesn't track the number of moose-auto collisions but estimated more than 80 moose died in such accidents last year, up from zero in 1980. In rural northern New England, "the likelihood of hospitals here to be taking care of someone who has hit a moose is greater than someone who's been shot or stabbed," said Sutton, who blames the increase in part on greater human traffic in rural areas. "Everyone seems to have a moose story," said Sutton, who himself nearly hit a moose 20 years ago. "A moose ran out of the woods. We swerved, and the moose ran alongside us for about 20 yards, so it was a near miss." Light Truck Radlals Surefooted Mile After Mile RUGGED. Unique patented, Durashield™ construction UNIROYAL Bcngf Oil $1A Change It Includes 15 point inspection and up to 5 quarts of oil 913-823-6372 Bennett Autoplex, Inc. Service Department 651 S. Ohio Friday Oct. 25,10:30 AM -12:30 PM Call for Free Tlcket(s) 825-6273 Inc. corner of South & Clark, Salina FDA panel turns down new contraceptive The FDA isn't bound by decision but usually follows such advice By The Associated Press ROCKVILLE, Md. — Food and Drug Administration advisers recommended Monday against approval of a new contraceptive device similar to the cervical cap, saying it is unclear how well it prevents pregnancy. Women's advocates had pushed the FDA to approve Lea's Shield quickly, arguing the millions of • unplanned pregnancies every year show how desperate women are for better contraceptive options. "The appropriate response to ' the public health needs of women ' in the '90s is to expedite barrier '. controls," said Lisa Cox of National Women's Health Network. But manufacturer Yama Inc. managed to get only 55 women to complete a six-month study of the "I'm not going to recommend it to my daughter at this point." Dr. Gary Eglinton FDA advisory panel chairman device. The study found a 9 percent pregnancy rate. The company argued that was acceptable quality, indicating that had the women used Lea's Shield for a year, the maximum pregnancy would have been 18 percent, equivalent to most diaphragms. But the FDA's scientific advisers said no other contraceptive has ever been approved on the basis of such a small study. A test involving 55 women was not enough to determine the pregnancy rate reliably. "I'm not going to recommend it to my daughter at this point," said panel chairman Dr. Gary Eglinton of Georgetown University, before the committee voted, 7-1, against the device. The FDA typically requires a study of 200 women before approving contraceptive devices. But Yama had felt so confident with its interim studies of Lea's Shield it demanded the outside review. Company official estimated testing 150 more women would take between three and five years. The FDA is not bound by advisory committee recommendations, but usually follows them. The vast majority of American women who use contraceptives use the pill. Less than 5 percent opt for barrier contraceptives — devices that block the flow of sperm. The most commonly used barriers are the diaphragm and the cervical cap, but they have disadvantages Lea's Shield sought to overcome. Unlike diaphragms or cervical caps, Lea's Shield would be marketed as a one-size-fits-all device that does not require special custom fitting by a doctor. That is a particular problem with the diaphragm because a woman often has to be refitted if she gains or loses weight or has a baby. And some women complain the cervical cap dislodges from the cervix, allowing sperm to travel through to cause pregnancy. Lea's Shield is a bowl-shaped device that a woman would insert until it covers the cervix, adhering via suction. It requires less spermicidal jelly than the bulkier diaphragm, meaning fewer women should get vaginal infections that can plague some diaphragm users, explained Dr. Jay Cooper of Phoenix Baptist Medical Center. Smokers' children need more oxygen after surgery 15 of 17 youths who 'needed more air lived with secondhand smoke By The Associated Press NEW ORLEANS — Children whose parents smoke need extra oxygen after surgery much more often than other youngsters, researchers reported Monday. Researchers at Maimonides Medical Center in New York checked the oxygen levels of 72 children after surgery and later asked parents whether they smoked. Out of 17 youths who needed extra oxygen, 15 lived with secondhand smoke. "That's remarkable," said Dr. Daniel Sessler, an anesthesiologist at University of California at San Francisco. "I would not have expected much of a difference." The study was to be presented at a meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. The children, ages 1 to 10, were in the hospital for routine procedures such as circumcision, hernias or accumulation of fluid in a body cavity. They were checked with a pulse oximeter, which does not puncture the skin to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. Forty-one of the children came from nonsmoking families; 31 had at least one parent who smoked. Fifteen children whose parents smoke needed oxygen therapy, compared with two out of the 41 whose parents are nonsmokers. Studies have linked secondhand smoke to cancer, heart disease and other problems. Secondhand smoke has been estimated to cause 3,000 lung cancer deaths a year among nonsmoking Americans. 25 Year MD Brand White Latex BOSTER LUMBER CO. buy now pay Our exclusive layaway plan makes it easy! NO layaway fees! NO scheduled payments required! Just 10% down holds anything for up to 4 months! Layaway at the current sale price! You can even exchange most items if you change your mind later. 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