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Auto accidents, falls, leading causes of spinal cord injury


New Haven, Connecticut, residents should carefully consider the recent findings of the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. According to the NSCISC, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Falls come in second.

The NSCISC estimated that approximately 238,000 to 332,000 people in the U.S. have a spinal cord injury. The center also stated that each year, around 12,000 new cases occur. A spinal cord injury refers to a damaged spinal cord, vertebrae, ligaments or any part of the spinal column. It is one of the most debilitating injuries a person can sustain as it can lead to paralysis.

Besides auto accidents and falls, which comprise 36.6 percent and 28.5 percent of spinal cord injury cases, respectively, violence-related causes comes in third at 14.3 percent. Spinal cord injuries in sports incurred 9.2 percent and 11.4 percent are caused by unknown origins.

In terms of treatment, if an injured person takes methylprednisolone within eight hours of being injured, there is a slight improvement in the person's condition. However, treatment options are limited. An injured person will also need rehabilitation. The treatment is performed to strengthen muscles that can still function.

Ultimately, having a spinal cord injury alters a person's life. Often, a person is left bedridden or wheelchair-bound. He or she will also have to deal with medical expenses from rehabilitation and long-term medical care. That can be difficult if the person can no longer work because of the injury.

For this reason, it is important for New Haven residents who have sustained a spinal cord injury because of another person's negligence to consider their future. Doing so may mean filing a lawsuit against the negligent party. A legal action can result in compensation that may help an injured resident with medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Source: Live Science, "Spinal Cord Injury: Levels Symptoms & Treatment," Tanya Lewis, Nov. 8, 2013

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