Accidents are an unfortunate reality in Michigan and every other state. Severe injuries require immediate diagnosis and medical attention to prevent long-term harm. Receiving proper treatment for a spinal cord injury is critical for the best possible recovery.
Injuries that cause SCIs
Some incidents are more likely to cause spinal cord injuries than others. Emergency personnel automatically treat the victim as though they have an SCI in these cases. Circumstances that may result in this serious injury include:
Falls from a height
Spinal cord injury diagnosis
The diagnosis of a spinal cord injury begins at the accident site. Emergency workers will note the type of incident involved and ask the patient about symptoms. Several signs point to an SCI:
Back and neck pain
Loss of feeling below the injury
Loss of motor control
The emergency crew will stabilize the victim and bring them to a hospital to receive further testing to confirm the diagnosis. A CT scan provides images of the spine and any damage. X-rays offer a picture of the damage to the vertebrae.
Other tests may include:
Magnetic resonance imagery
The long-term impact of SCIs
Doctors will reassess the patient after swelling around the accident site has decreased. At this point, they will have a better understanding of the extent of the injury.
SCIs may cause permanent numbness and complete or partial paralysis below the injury. Depending on the location, accident patients may lose control of their legs and arms. In severe injuries, patients may need constant assistance with breathing.
If you encounter an incident involving a potential spinal injury, encourage the victim to be still until medical professionals arrive. Minimizing spinal cord damage is the best way to prevent the long-term effects of an SCI.