No one thinks it will happen to him or her. Then, that worst-case scenario that you don't want to think about happens. You end up in an accident and suffer severe injuries. In the immediate aftermath, you may not realize just how injured you are.
When your doctor conducted an examination at the hospital, it became obvious that you suffered a spinal cord injury. At this point, you may have a million and one questions regarding your future.
Paralysis is only one issue you face
The first year after a spinal cord injury is crucial. During this time, mortality appears to be highest among people who suffer this type of injury. Of course, the severity of the injury itself plays a large role in those statistics. Outside of that, there are a number of other health issues you could develop that make an impact on your health, such as the following:
- Pneumonia and other pulmonary issues
- Life-threatening blood clots
- Constipation and other gastrointestinal issues
- Bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction
- Cardiovascular dysfunction
- Pressure ulcers, also called bed sores
It may seem counterintuitive, but chronic pain also plagues a large percentage of spinal cord injury victims -- around 94 percent. This ordinarily diminishes within the first year. If your paralysis is not complete, your chances of standing and/or walking within 12 months are high. The data indicates that approximately 50 percent of these patients walk out of the hospital at 12 months, and 80 percent stand within that same time period. They then continue to improve through the two-year mark.
Some data regarding spinal cord injuries
It might surprise you to know that around 80 percent of spinal cord injury victims are men who range in age between 15 and 35. You may surmise that motor vehicle accidents and falls cause the majority of spinal cord injuries. The other top two reasons are violence and sports injuries.
Depending on the severity of your injury, the first year after your accident could cost anywhere from $320,000 to $985,000. Over the course of the rest of your life, your injury alone could cost $5 million. You may already have some anxiety regarding how you will pay your bills and support you and your family during this time. If another party's negligence caused or contributed to your spinal cord injury, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries that could help with your current and future medical and other needs.