September Is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month
Thousands of Americans experience a spinal cord injury each year. These injuries are devastating and can result in lifelong care causing significant physical challenges and emotional stress. Living with a spinal cord injury is extremely costly and can result in longstanding medical bills, loss of income, lengthy hospital stays, rehabilitation services and more.
Below are recent statistics on spinal cord injuries:
- There are approximately 17,000 new spinal cord injuries annually.
- About 282,000 people are currently living with a SCI.
- The average age of injury is 42 years.
- Males account for about 80% of all spinal cord injuries.
Causes of SCI:
A spinal cord injury can be sudden and happen at any given time from playing your favorite sport, a motor vehicle accident, a serious fall, or any high-risk activity. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) released a 2018 report on Spinal Cord Injuries. The organization—funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)—operates from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. According to NSCISC, spinal cord injuries typically result from one of the following causes:
- 4% from Unspecified Causes
- 5% from Surgical Malpractice
- 8% from Sports-Related Injuries
- 14% from Acts of Violence
- 32% from Slip-and-Fall Injuries
- 38% from Vehicular Accidents
The current U.S. population is estimated at 327 million. The NSCISC states the annual occurrence of SCI in the United States is approximately 54 cases per million—or nearly 17,700 new cases of SCI annually. This indicates that roughly 288,000 people in the U.S. are survivors of SCI in some form. The effects include both Tetraplegia—paralysis of all four limbs—and Paraplegia—paralysis of the legs and lower body.
Know the Symptoms:
Every injury is different and not all spinal cord injuries present immediate symptoms. Depending on the severity and location of an injury, symptoms may be delayed due to swelling and bleeding around the spinal cord. Therefore, it is important to know the symptoms and seek immediate medical attention after an accident. The most common symptoms include:
- Pain, numbness, or a burning sensation
- Inability to move or walk
- Inability to feel pressure, heat, or cold
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Difficulty breathing
For those who have suffered SCIs, the trends for long-term recovery are as follows:
- 1% make a Full Recovery
- 12% suffer from Complete Tetraplegia
- 20% suffer from Complete Paraplegia
- 20% suffer from Incomplete Paraplegia
- 47% suffer from Incomplete Tetraplegia
We Can Help
As we enter into Spinal Cord Injury Awareness month in September, it is important to know the facts, be aware of the symptoms, and show your support by wearing green in the month of September.
If you or a loved one suffers a spinal cord injury in any type of accident due to negligence, call Graves McLain right away at 918-359-6600. When you call one of our experienced Tulsa Spinal Cord Injury attorneys, we will speak with you for FREE and determine the best course of action.
We will review every detail of your situation at no cost to you and fight hard to protect your rights. Trust our team, we are here to help.