Tucson Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
In a world where medical advances make many previously life-threatening injuries little more than inconveniences, the spinal cord injury remains a major challenge to medical professionals. The spinal cord has no ability to heal itself and any spinal cord injury (SCI) can result in major medical difficulties. These complications range from paralysis to numerous secondary problems. There are currently over 250,000 individuals that live as SCI victims. Over half of these patients live as quadriplegics, which means they have no use of their arms or legs. Most of the remainder are paraplegics, with loss of mobility of the lower body. More than 11,000 people suffer from SCI each year.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
Any blunt or traumatic impact on the spine can result in a SCI. Such impact often causes damage at the cellular level. An impact may also bruise or sever nerves connected to the spinal cord. Any event that damages the vertebrae, ligaments, or disks of the spine can cause spinal cord injuries. The most common causes are:
Another major source of SCI is secondary injury from mishandling of victims. Emergency personnel are carefully trained in the handling of suspected SCI victims. Injuries at the initial scene, during transport to medical facilities, and at the facilities themselves often compound problems with the spine.
The spinal cord is actually encased in a series of hollow vertebrae made of bone. In an accident involving the spine, this bone often breaks or shatters. In these situations, shards of bone will penetrate the spinal cord and sever nerves. In most cases of SCI, the spinal cord itself is not initially severed. However, without the support and protection of the vertebrae, the spinal cord is easily severed if the victim is incorrectly handled.
Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury
If injury to the spine is suspected, utmost care is called for in initially dealing with the victim. Unless life is threatened by fire or other dangers, care should be left to trained first responders. Once at a medical facility, doctors will wait the first day or two for a diagnosis due to the swelling that occurs in a spinal injury. They use this time to deal with other injuries and early secondary effects of SCI, such as respiratory problems.
Once a patient is stabilized and swelling is controlled, use of multiple imaging processes will allow an initial diagnosis of the extent of injury. The American Spinal Institute Assessment Scale is the primary diagnostic tool used by doctors. There is actually little that doctors can do for repairing the cord, although surgery might be used for relieving pressure or alleviating some pain. The medical focus most often turns to rehabilitation and therapy.
Legal and Financial Issues of Spinal Cord Injury
The lifetime cost for SCI victims can be in the millions of dollars. For this reason, it is important to pursue all legal options for financial recovery. A qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer understands the often complicated issues involved with SCI litigation. Reviewing the facts around the circumstances resulting in SCI is a meticulous and essential process. If you or a loved one is involved with a SCI situation, contact the qualified attorneys at Zinda Law Group.