Spinal cord injuries are among the worst that can occur in a car accident. These injuries have the potential to leave victims with chronic pain and paralysis, autonomic dysfunction and other issues.
Spinal cord injuries can happen as a result of a direct impact, whiplash and other circumstances. When these injuries occur, immediate treatment is needed to help reduce the risk of complications caused by bleeding and swelling.
What should happen after a car accident when a spinal injury is suspected?
Either you or another person at the scene should call 911 immediately and let the operator know that a victim has a suspected spinal cord injury. If they are complaining about specific symptoms, like pain or an inability to feel part of their body, then that should be relayed to the emergency team.
Victims who have signs of spinal cord injuries should seek care at the hospital as soon as possible. Early treatment may help reduce swelling or prevent complications that could worsen the injury and lead to more significant, potentially permanent symptoms.
What should victims of spinal cord injuries expect in the long term?
There is no way to be sure about the prognosis right away since every patient is different. It is normal to have at least some recovery with incomplete spinal cord injuries, but in cases where the spinal cord has been severed, it’s possible that the ability to move or feel may never return.
Most people who survive a spinal cord injury have ongoing medical concerns of some kind. Those may include:
- Numbness or tingling of the limbs or body
- Chronic pain
- Bowel and bladder dysfunction
- Heart or respiratory problems
- Autonomic dysfunction
These and other chronic conditions may be managed, but they are often persistent.
You deserve support after a spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injuries can change your life forever. If you are hurt in an automobile collision, it’s important to get the medical care you need as soon as you can. After you are stable, you can look into making a claim against the at-fault driver. This will help you get the compensation you need to cover your medical care and other financial losses.