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BC responds to spinal cord injuries

British Columbia has a busy economy and many citizens pursue an active lifestyle, which includes travel and recreation. Some every-day activities may put people at risk of spinal cord injuries. These injuries threaten both life and life-quality. The spinal cord acts as a communication vehicle between the brain and the rest of the body, and a seemingly simple injury to the cord can result in loss of feeling, movement and functioning of vital organs.

Of course, the degree of the harm done to a person is dependent on the severity and location of the injury. Muscle movement, the sensation of touch, blood circulation, breathing ability and the effectiveness of waste elimination may all be hindered.

Sometimes, spinal cord damage can occur before birth, at birth or through diseases. Physical trauma from motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries or falls can compromise the functions of the spinal cord, and the injured person may experience any or all of the symptoms described. No cure exists for spinal cord injuries, but researchers continue to study it.

In British Columbia, the main reason for spinal injuries, accounting for 35 percent in the province, is motor vehicle accidents. The second most frequent cause is falls at 17 percent of all injuries. Furthermore, the estimated cost of living with a spinal cord injury is $1.6 million to $3 million over a person's lifetime. In order to pay these costs, a person suffering from a spinal cord injury may seek input from a lawyer. Action can be initiated against the person or persons responsible for the fall or car accident that resulted in the debilitating injury.

Source: Spinal Cord Injury BC, "About Spinal Cord Injury", September 15, 2014

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