In 2021, 31 people died in car accidents in Seattle alone and many more suffered injuries. Among the leading types of structural damage victims suffer in car accidents are spinal cord injuries, which can have serious and long-lasting consequences for the individuals involved.
The spinal cord is a delicate and vital part of the body, carrying messages between the brain and the rest of the body. When it is damaged, the body can lose function in the areas controlled by the injured area of the cord.
Types of spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries can be classified as either complete or incomplete. A complete injury means that there is no function below the level of the injury, while an incomplete injury means that some function is still present.
The severity of a spinal cord injury depends on the location of the injury. An injury to the cervical spine, or neck, can result in quadriplegia, or paralysis of the arms, legs and torso. An injury to the thoracic spine, or mid-back, can result in paraplegia, or paralysis of the legs and lower body.
Spinal cord injury causes and treatment
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, accounting for about 38% of all cases. Other causes of spinal cord injuries include falls, sports injuries, and violence.
Treatment for spinal cord injuries may include medications, surgery, rehabilitation, and assistive devices. The goal of treatment is to minimize the impact of the injury and maximize function and independence.
Prevent spinal cord injuries
Preventing spinal cord injuries is essential in reducing the number of people affected by these devastating injuries. Wearing a seatbelt while driving, using safety equipment while participating in sports and practicing safe behaviors can help reduce the risk of spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord injuries can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, and they can be financially and emotionally draining for the person affected and their loved ones. It is important to be aware of the risks and to take steps to prevent these injuries from occurring.