Study finds spinal cord injuries are increasing nationwide

The spinal cord plays one of the most important roles in the body. It is responsible for relaying messages between the brain and the muscular, urinary, gastrointestinal and other vital systems in the body. Needless to say, spinal cord injuries can cause symptoms that are life-long. Unfortunately, according to a recent study from Johns Hopkins, the number of traumatic spinal cord injuries is increasing in the United States.

During the study, researchers analyzed a sample of 43,137 adults treated in emergency rooms across the nation for spinal cord injuries. The study focused on a three-year period from 2007 to 2009. During the study, the researchers observed that the number people seeking treatment for spinal cord injuries during this time increased, especially among older adults. More than one-third of such injuries were caused by car accidents, the researchers discovered.

Aftermath of spinal cord injuries

As a functioning spinal cord is necessary for important bodily functions such as breathing, movement, digestion and excretion, any damage to the spinal cord can result in serious symptoms such as:

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of sensation or tingling sensation in the extremities
  • Severe pain

The type of symptom experienced depends heavily on which part of the spinal cord was damaged.

Depending on the age of the person injured and the severity of the injury, spinal cord injuries can be expensive to treat. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, treatment for spinal cord injuries can range from $1 million to $5 million over a person's lifetime. Since modern medicine has not yet found a way to reverse damage to the spinal cord, sufferers often require multiple surgeries and a lifetime of medication and rehabilitation therapy.

An attorney can help

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most spinal cord injuries are caused by car accidents, falls, sports injuries and assault. Unfortunately, many of such events occur because of someone else's negligence or carelessness. If the spinal cord is damaged as a result, the cost of treatment can be financially crushing for the victim.

Fortunately, under Missouri law, if you were injured due to negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for the past and future medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering that accompany your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your claim and ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for his or her role in causing your injury.