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What is the cost of spinal cord injuries and related services?

Spinal cord injuries, also known as SCIs, can be incredibly expensive, and the impact they have on a person's life can be drastic and permanent. If you thought that these injuries didn't affect too many people, it's important to note that there are more than 86,000 individuals living in Canada right now who have an SCI. So, what types of costs come along with these injuries?

It has been estimated that it costs about $3.6 billion annually for spinal cord injuries. Around half of it--or $1.8 billion--can be attributed to direct health care costs. The other half goes into related costs.

Examples of some costs include the use of wheelchairs. A manual wheelchair costs about $4,000 to $5,000. A powered one is even more expensive, coming in between $10,000 and $15,000, on average.

This does not even take into account the major costs like rehab, pain medications, and the like. Wheelchairs are a small fraction of the overall cost.

Additionally, these costs could climb as more and more people are injured. There are more than 4,300 new cases of spinal cord injuries each year, all across Canada. The reasons for them are split between disease and traumatic injuries, with injuries accounting for 51 percent, a very slight majority.

Every case is different, so all cases are going to come with their own costs, and those who have been injured need to know what rights they may have to seek compensation. This compensation could be for pain and suffering, the cost of medical equipment--like wheelchairs--the cost of surgery, and many other things in this vein.

Source: Spinal Cord Injury Canda, "Spinal Cord Injury Canada Facts," accessed July 23, 2015

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