Motor vehicle accidents can have devastating consequences, and one of these is a spinal cord injury. This is a life-altering and complex injury, requiring immediate and specialized care.
Spinal cord injuries are particularly concerning due to their potential to cause permanent changes. Understanding a bit about this type of injury is beneficial for victims and their family members.
Immediate medical care is necessary
Prompt medical care can significantly impact the outcome. Emergency medical teams are trained to immobilize the spine to prevent further damage. Once at the hospital, doctors focus on the person’s ability to breathe, preventing shock and avoiding further damage to the spinal cord. The timing and quality of care play a pivotal role in reducing the long-term impacts of the injury.
Location of the injury determines the effects
The effects of a spinal cord injury largely depend on the location of the injury. For instance, an injury to the cervical section can affect the arms, hands, trunk and legs, potentially leading to quadriplegia. In contrast, an injury to the lumbar or sacral regions might affect the hips, legs and bladder and bowel control functions. Understanding where the injury has occurred is vital in anticipating the possible range of physical challenges and rehabilitation needs.
Type of injury matters
Injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury results in a total loss of sensation and motor function below the injury level. An incomplete spinal cord injury involves some degree of sensation and movement below the injury. People with incomplete injuries may retain some motor or sensory function and have a better chance of regaining some abilities with rehabilitation.
Victims of motor vehicle crashes who suffer spinal cord injuries may opt to pursue a compensation claim. Personal injury claims have a time limit set by Texas law, so swift action is necessary.