Spinal cord injuries are one of the most dangerous injuries that can be sustained in an accident. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may suffer paralysis or even a life threatening complication. Injuries to the cervical spine are the most severe and may lead to tetraplegia. Tetraplegia is complete loss of all use of your four limbs.
In most instances, there is very little you could have done to prevent the injury. While there is no way to guarantee that your spine remains intact in the event of an accident, there are measures you can take to reduce the amount of accidents that do happen.
Prevention of Spinal Cord Injuries
Make sure that your floor is free from clutter to reduce the risk of tripping and falling. You should also ensure the floor is always clean to prevent slip and fall accidents. You should consider installing handrails on the staircase especially if you have small kids or a senior living in your home.
Drive without Distractions
Don’t text and drive or talk on the phone while driving.
Don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving under the influence reduces your reaction time and interferes with your driving skills. You shouldn’t also over speed or engage in other types of dangerous driving. Don’t forget to wear your seat belt every time you drive. If you are riding with small kids, you should ensure you have child safety restraints installed.
Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries
The sad news about spinal cord injuries is that the damage cannot be reversed. The good news is that researchers are constantly working to find new ways to promote nerve cell regeneration after a spinal cord injury.
The sole purpose of spinal cord injury treatment is to prevent further injury to the spine and to help victims return to an active and productive life.
Treatment for a spinal cord injury takes place at the scene of the accident to minimize the effects of the injury. Medical experts will immobilize your spine as quickly and as gently as possible using a specialized neck collar and a rigid carrying board to transport you to the hospital.
While in the emergency room, the doctors will focus on:
- Immobilizing your neck to prevent further damage
- Preventing shock
- Maintaining your ability to breathe
- Prevent possible complications such as urine or stool retention.
The doctors might need to sedate you so that you don’t move and cause more damage while undergoing a test to see if you have an injured spinal cord. If the tests show that you have sustained a spinal cord injury, the doctors will move you to the ICU for further treatment.
The doctor might administer intravenous medication that will help to decrease inflammation near the site of injury and reduce damage to the nerve cells.
The doctors will try to stabilize your spine by using traction to align or stabilize it.
You may require surgery to help remove foreign objects, fractured vertebrae, or bone fragments that look like they are compressing your spine.
Scientists are constantly trying to figure out ways to promote never regeneration, control inflammation and ways to stop cell death. You can ask your doctor if such treatments are available.
On Going Care
Once you have been stabilized, the doctors will look for ways to prevent secondary problems such as respiratory infections, blood clots, bowel and bladder issues, etc. The amount of time you will spend in the hospital will depend on how severe your injuries were. Once your condition has improved, you may be transferred to a rehabilitation facility.
During rehabilitation, you will work with a team of experts who will help you rebuild and increase your quality of life. You’ll be given new technology and equipment and you will be taught new skills that will help you live independently as much as possible.
Getting Legal Help
It does not matter if your spinal cord injury was as a result of medical malpractice, a car accident or a slip and fall accident. Spinal cord injuries can result in permanent damage and the cost of treating them can be very expensive. At Kevin P Landry Law Offices, our Hyannis spinal cord injury attorney knows how to deal with the people responsible for your accident, hospitals and the insurance company. You don’t need to suffer alone. Contact us at 508-775-1660 or visit our Hyannis offices for a free initial consultation today.