Spinal Cord Injury: Of the 10,000 new spinal cord injuries, that happen each year in the United States, about half are a result of a motor vehicle accident, with the most likely victim being a man between the ages of 19 and 26. Other causes can be falls, diving, or other sporting related accidents.
A typical patient for all types of spinal cord injuries is a young man 18-35. Spinal cord injuries can happen to anyone, and there is no cure, so it is important to understand how we can practice prevention. One can experience an impaired function causing reduced mobility or feeling, even if the spinal cord is not severed.
How To Avoid Spinal Cord Injury
Considering that short-term medical costs for a patient, who is capable of independent living, are approximately $140,000, and lifetime costs can exceed $1,000,000, it is well to learn what one can do to avoid such an injury. These costs can be even several times higher for those who require long-term institutional care.
Although no one really expects to have an accident, statistics tell us that three out of every 10 drivers will be involved in an alcohol-related accident at some time in their driving life. Obviously, one of the easiest, and most commonsensical methods of avoiding an accident, which may produce a related spinal cord injury, is to not drink and drive. It is equally apparent that one should not get into an automobile that is being driven by someone who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Another simple avoidance procedure, which has the power of law in some states, is to always wear a seatbelt. Studies have shown that people who were not wearing seatbelts during car accidents, were three times more likely to break one or more bones in their necks. Similar studies have shown that speed is frequently a factor in causing catastrophic neck injuries.
Children should always be buckled into safety seats. As simple a thing as getting enough rest can frequently make the difference between having an injury accident and arriving safely.
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Older persons need to be particularly aware that they may be at risk. Persons with osteoporosis have bone tissue that is fragile and can easily be broken. As a prevention against possible spinal cord injury, these persons can obtain medical help to find ways to help build their bone density, and perhaps learn weight-bearing exercises such as strength training.
Please let us know if you have any additional tips as we’d love to hear your feedback.