You hop onto your motorcycle for a leisurely drive to the beach, and you crash.
You hop into your car to go shopping for groceries, and you crash.
You are injured due to a defective product you assumed was safe since you thought the manufacturer was reputable.
You dived into a pool before checking its depth.
You failed to wear a protective helmet when you played football with some buddies.
You are a crime victim and got shot.
That’s the reality of today’s world whereby as a result of these factors as mentioned above, you sustain spinal cord injury with a potentially devastating impact on your bodily health. We have to use the scary word—paralysis—as a potential outcome.
As per the Mayo Clinic, spinal cord injuries result when any segment of the spinal cord is injured by a sudden blow to the spine that fractures, dislocates or crushes vertebrae. The spinal cord is the bodily part that is responsible for a tremendous range of functions.
Its symptoms run the gamut from severe back pain or pressure in your neck, head or back; weakness or paralysis in any segment of your body; numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in in your hands, fingers, feet or toes; loss of bladder or bowel control; difficulty with balance or walking or impaired breathing.
When accidents and incidents happen, the inevitable question on everyone’s mind: when to seek medical attention? The answer is—immediately— the time that elapses between the onset of your injury and treatment is critical in deciding as to its severity and the extent of possible recovery. Before the patient is wheeled into a hospital operating theater, it’s imperative that the injured person be never, never moved. Why such a dire warning? This action can precipitate permanent paralysis. Instead, call 911 ASAP.
Ascertain that the patient lying on the ground outside or the floor inside does not move not even an inch, but there’s something you can do before you hear the ambulance sirens echoing in the street. Place heavy towels on the left and the right side of their neck or if that is not a feasible option, manually hold their head and neck to ensure they won’t make any movement.
It is shocking that as per The National Spinal Cord Injury Association, an astronomical 450,000 men and women live with this condition every day.
Do we have to face such devastating injuries that severely disrupt our daily routine? Not if you are savvy enough to adhere to a preventative lifestyle. If you are in a car, buckle up. Don’t forget the little person in your vehicle—your children—who should also be buckled up and furthermore, should sit in an age and weight appropriate child safety seat, and to avoid the potentiality of airbag injuries, children under the age of 12 should ride in the back seat, not alongside Mommy.
You are an athlete—that‘s wonderful, but make sure that pool you’re jumping into for your lap swimming, measures at least 12 feet or if you are a fan of the metric system, 3.7 meters. To prevent falls in your apartment while trying to reach that box of cereal on a high kitchen cabinet, stand on a step stool with a grab-bar, something you can grab. If you are walking up and down the stairs in your home, attach a handrail, again something you can hold. You have young children living with you, install window guards. You are a recreational sports athlete; a helmet should accompany your uniform. Try, if all possible, not to lead with your head; don’t slide headfirst in that baseball game in your neighborhood park. And don’t tackle using the top of your head in that football game also played in that neighborhood park. Don’t drink and drive. It’s the law, but too many of us who end up statistics choose to ignore these legal provisions— now you know its repercussions.
Here is some good news. Yes, you suffered, but you are eligible for substantial monetary compensation to pay for your costly treatment if your injury was caused by someone’s negligence or carelessness, e.g., by workplace accidents, by vehicular collisions and by medical malpractice. According to Brain and Spine.com, the compensation would be for a loss of earnings since many victims face a future whereby returning to work is just not possible; and for life care costs since most of its victims will be compelled to employ health care professionals.
The cost of spinal cord injuries could be astronomical—a lawyer can fight for you, so you don’t have to exhaust your life savings.