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Car accident: Spinal cord injuries cause other health problems

British Columbia residents might be interested in information recently published by Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports about the prevalence of spinal cord injuries. The report indicates that 46 percent of all spinal cord injuries result from vehicle accidents, and four in ten incidents that caused spinal cord injuries involved alcohol. When a car accident victim suffers an injury that causes paralysis, he or she will be susceptible to many other health problems.

Along with chronic pain that can lead to emotional interference with daily activities, these patients are at a significant risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, deadly blood clots and pneumonia. Other conditions include bowel, sexual and bladder dysfunctions, pressure ulcers and gastrointestinal problems. The mortality rate and life expectancy of victims of severe spinal cord injuries have remained unchanged over the past 30 years.

Further information revealed by the report shows males between 15 and 35 years old are the victims of 80 percent of spinal cord injuries. Of those patients, 53 percent suffer paralysis of their torso, legs and arms (tetraplegia) and 42 percent suffer partial or total leg paralysis (paraplegia). The costs of the first year's medical treatment of a patient with spinal cord injuries could be from $320,000 to $985,000, and it could be as high as $5 million during a victim's lifetime.

Any car accident victim who has suffered traumatic injuries with life-changing consequences may be overwhelmed by the financial impact. Although financial relief can be pursued through the judicial system of British Columbia, the legal proceedings can be overwhelming. For that reason, many victims choose to use the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer who can navigate the entire process and protect the victim's rights and work to obtain full recovery of past and future losses.

Source: medicalxpress.com, "Spinal cord injury patients face many serious health problems besides paralysis", Feb. 16, 2017

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