Serious motor vehicle accidents have the potential to leave Texas motorists and passengers with spinal cord injuries (SCI). Among the non-elderly population, motor vehicle accidents are the leading source of SCI. Bruising, compression or penetration of the spinal cord due to external trauma interferes with the connection between the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Victims can be left paralyzed, partially paralyzed or with compromised physical functions.
Immediate medical response to SCI
When emergency medical technicians respond to a bad car accident, they assess victims for neck and spine injuries. The workers use equipment to stabilize the spinal column and evaluate other wounds before transport to a hospital emergency department.
In the emergency department, workers will treat wounds and decide if emergency surgery is necessary. Health care workers will look for:
-Internal organ damage
An SCI victim is then admitted to intensive care where breathing and feeding support can be provided if necessary. The patient may be put in traction to restore the vertebrae to proper alignment. Physicians may choose to perform surgery if vertebra are compressing the spinal column. In severe cases, they will be watchful for secondary problems like pneumonia or blood clots. This long period of hospitalization is only the beginning of the person’s accident expenses.
Depending on the extent and location of the spinal damage, you may recover some function or face serious disability. The period following hospitalization will likely include:
-Mental health counseling
Your family members may receive training about how to care for you at home and where to hire home health aides. Your home will likely need adjustments to accommodate a wheelchair.