Car Accidents And Spinal Cord Injuries
Car accidents can often result in spinal cord injuries, which can have devastating physical and mental effects. These types of injuries often require extensive treatment which could last for months or even several years. The following article will prove an in-depth analysis of spinal cord injuries, as well as some ways to prevent these injuries while driving.
How are spinal cord injuries classified?
The severity of a spinal cord injury is classified as either “complete” or “incomplete.”
- Complete spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury is classified as “complete” in situations where a person loses all feeling (sensory) and all ability to control movement (motor function) below the spinal cord injury.
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury is classified as “incomplete” in situations where a person still has some motor or sensory function below the affected area.
Additionally, there are two types of paralysis that can result from a spinal cord injury, which includes:
- Tetraplegia (aka “quadriplegia”): This type of paralysis affects your arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs.
- Paraplegia: This type of paralysis affects all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.
What are some potential symptoms of spinal cord injuries?
There is a wide range of symptoms that indicate a spinal cord injury, but the most common symptoms typically include the following:
- Loss of movement
- Loss or altered sensation (including the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch)
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
- Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity, and fertility
- Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing secretions from your lungs
In addition to these common symptoms, there are also more severe symptoms which indicate that you should seek medical attention immediately, which include the following:
- Extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head, or back
- Weakness, incoordination, or paralysis in any part of your body
- Numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet, or toes
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Difficulty with balance and walking
- Impaired breathing after injury
- An oddly positioned or twisted neck or back
Are there any ways to prevent spinal cord injuries while driving?
Of course, not all spinal cord injuries can be prevented. However, there are a few practical tips that may prevent some of these injuries from occurring, which include:
- Because car crashes are one of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries, you should always ensure that you and any passengers are always wearing seat belts. Additionally, you should ensure that any children are using an age-and weight-appropriate child safety seat and that children under the age of 12 ride in the back seat.
- Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Always wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. This is very important for children. Make sure to properly install child safety restraints in the vehicle.
- Avoid distractions while driving and make sure that you pay close attention to the road.
- Note that you should never try to move someone who has a suspected spinal cord injury; moving someone with a spinal cord injury could further damage the spinal cord. If you or a passenger experiences a spinal cord injury after an accident, you should let emergency professionals know immediately.
Have You Recently Been Injured in a Car Accident? Speak to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you were recently injured in a car accident, please contact Pita Weber Del Prado. Our experienced Miami personal injury attorneys can help you hold the liable parties responsible for your injuries and will ensure that you are fairly compensated for any damages you suffered.