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Beware of spinal cord injuries after a car crash

Many types of injuries are possible when you are involved in a car crash. Some, such as spinal cord injuries, are potentially life-long conditions. It is imperative that you understand these points if your loved one has an injured spinal cord.

Not all spinal cord injuries have the same impacts on a person's life. In fact, two injuries in the exact same location can have very different outcomes. Here are some facts you should be aware of.

The type of injury matters

Not all spinal cord injuries involve a severed spinal cord. When the spinal cord is severed, it is unlikely that there will be any feeling or movement below the level of the injury. This is considered a complete injury. If the spinal cord isn't severed, the person might have movement and feeling below the injury. This would be considered an incomplete injury. Typically, people respond better to treatments when the spinal cord injury is incomplete.

The location of the injury impacts the effects

The higher the injury is on the spinal cord, the more the injury is likely going to affect the person. This is because spinal cord injuries impact the area that is below the level of injury. For example, an injury in the cervical spine, or neck area, will impact the arms, torso and legs. An injury in the lumbar area of the spine, or lower back, wouldn't impact the arms or the upper torso, but it would impact the legs.

Prompt treatment is important

The spinal cord can go into shock after the injury. This is a defensive mechanism in which the body tries to protect the spine. However, it can lead to the symptoms of the injury seeming worse than what they will ultimately be. Getting proper treatment after the car crash for the spinal cord injury is essential to endeavor to keep the effects of the injury to a minimum. In some cases, life-saving treatment, such as placing the person on a ventilator, might be necessary if the spinal cord injury is impacting essential life functions.

The treatments that are necessary after a spinal cord injury are often costly. If the injury requires a person to rely on a wheelchair, the financial impact will likely include modifications to the home and vehicle. This is often very expensive. Seeking compensation from the person who caused the car crash might help to reduce the financial impact of the accident.

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