A spinal cord injury (SCI) often happens as the result of a vehicle crash and can produce life-changing consequences.
What are the prospects for a victim of SCI and who is more at risk for this kind of injury?
A little background
Your spinal cord extends from the base of the brain to the area just above your waist and contains bundles of nerves called tracts. The tracts transfer information between the brain and other parts of your body. Motor tracts control muscle movement while sensory tracts carry signals like pain, heat and cold from various body parts to your brain.
The spinal cord is fragile and, if damaged, cannot repair itself. SCI usually results from a sudden blow that fractures, crushes or dislocates one or more vertebrae. Bleeding, inflammation and the accumulation of fluid may occur days or even weeks after a vehicle crash. With damaged nerve fibers, paralysis may occur below the site of the injury.
The need for medical attention
Numbness or some level of paralysis may not appear at the time of an accident but develop gradually. If there is a suspicion that the injured victim of a car crash has a spinal cord injury, prompt medical attention is essential. Early diagnosis is important so as to initiate treatment and prevent further complications.
Who is at risk
Motor vehicle accidents, the major cause of SCI, account for nearly half of all such injuries annually. Men between the ages of 16 and 30 are most at risk. They take more chances than women when driving and are also more apt to ride motorcycles. With SCI, the victim of a crash may face a lifetime of medical care. However, an advocate can negotiate maximum compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages and more.