October 13, 2016
Time Is Critical for Addressing Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can happen when an individual is involved in an automobile accident or slips on a wet surface. Some people have accidents that were not their fault, and are eligible for compensation. An accident that involves the spinal cord can affect a person’s ability to work or support themselves and their families for the rest of their lives. Damage to the spinal cord can be incomplete or complete. A complete injury will involve a total loss of feeling to the extremities. The loss can be severe enough to involve the entire body from the chest down or legs only. The spinal cord controls a large part of movement and sensations in the body. It also controls a person’s ability to breathe. Injuries to the spine are serious and must be taken seriously. It is critical that a person seek help immediately if they suspect they’ve suffered injury to the spine.
Spinal Injuries Can Affect:
● Bladder: An injury to the spine can cause a person to become incontinent because they have no sensation or feeling in the lower part of their body.
● Lungs and heart: A complete injury can cause a person to have difficulty breathing and develop a slight cough. The diaphragm (in the abdominal area) may be affected because the person has no feeling in that area.
● Arms and legs: A complete loss of all or most feeling is possible if a person is injured in specific areas of the spine. An incomplete loss of mobility can mean a person loses some of the motor or sensory feelings below the waist.
Emergency First Response:
It is critical to seek immediate medical attention if someone experiences any type of back or spine injury. The quicker the response, the better chance they will not suffer permanent damage. Immediately call 911 and immobilize the individual. According to the Mayo Clinic, place heavy towels or clothing on both sides of the neck or hold the head and neck until EMS arrives. Encourage the injured person to remain calm and still.
Tests and Treatments:
An emergency physician will order X-rays, CT scans and/or MRIs. These tests can reveal bleeding, pockets of blood, compression fractures, bulging disks, or any pinches to the spinal cord. The doctor will treat with pain medication, surgery, and rehabilitation if possible.
In the unfortunate event of a catastrophic injury to the spine, it is important to contact an experienced injury lawyer to handle your case. Your future may depend on the steps you take after the injury. Michelle Linka Law Professional Corporation has the knowledge and staff to handle your delicate case.