There are injuries serious enough to result in irreversible damage. A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a type of catastrophic injury causing a life-altering impact. Here we will examine the latest SCI statistics and how these may equip you to protect your legal rights as a victim.
Facts and figures
The latest annual report of the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center outlines different factors at play surrounding spinal cord injuries.
- Prevalence: About 296,000 individuals in the United States live with an SCI comprising of 78% males and 22% females.
- Leading causes: The top five SCI causes are vehicular crashes, falls, violence like gunshot wounds, sports and medical or surgical malpractice. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons adds that motor vehicle accidents usually occur in younger adults, while falls mostly happen among the elderly.
- Severity: SCI can either be complete or incomplete. Complete SCI means total loss of sensory and motor functions below the injury level. On the other hand, incomplete SCI maintains partial functions that indicate the spinal cord is still capable of sending messages between your brain and the rest of your body. An incomplete tetraplegia accounts for almost half of the cases in the report. This specific type of SCI refers to damage in the cervical area of the spinal cord, which then results in varying degrees of paralysis in the arms and hands.
- Return to work: The rate of recovery varies for everyone. Almost 21% of individuals could go back to work after five years of recovering from their initial injury.
In tragic cases, complications lead to death. Pneumonia and bacterial infection in the blood are the most common kind. Additionally, others also suffer from breathing, circulatory, bladder and sexual function problems.
Facing a fragile future
Reclaiming the life you once had through rehabilitative care takes time. Seeking legal counsel to help you in holding someone responsible for damages is a step toward your own kind of healing.