Spinal cord injury (SCI) and the devastation it brings to individuals and their families is on the rise. An injury or insult to the thick white bundle of tissue that runs through the spinal column from the base of the spine to the tailbone causes SCI. The spinal cord is the neurological highway for chemical and electrical messaging between the brain and the body. Damage anywhere along the cord usually results in lifetime disability below the point of injury.
A recent study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma examines the incidence of spinal cord injury in the United States. The study by researchers from Johns Hopkins University looked at data from approximately 43,000 emergency room admissions between 2007 and 2009. Findings of the study include the following:
- Falling down has replaced automobile accidents as the leading cause of SCI in the United States. Researchers wonder if the decline in SCI from car crashes is a result of improved vehicular safety.
- The incidence of SCI in adult victims aged 18 through 64 declined during the study period. Conversely the incidence of SCI in adult victims age 65 and above increased. Mortality for older SCI patients is significantly higher than younger patients. Patients over 65 are four times more likely to die during emergency treatment and six times more likely to die after hospital admission than younger patients.
- Increased incidence of SCI in older adults could be because of a trend toward maintaining more active lifestyles during senior years.
The study’s authors stressed the importance of prevention of SCI. Spinal injuries are disabling, deadly and expensive. Treatment of SCI over a lifetime can cost millions of dollars and cruelly destroy the quality of life of a patient and the patient’s family.
Accidents cannot always be avoided. If you or a loved one suffer a spinal injury due to the mistake of another in Florida, speak with an established injury law firm.