You or someone near and dear to you has been in an accident. There seems to be some damage to the neck and/or back and you know this is serious. But do you know exactly what to do and how to deal with it? As Boston area disability specialists, we offer the following information and advice for dealing with a possible spinal cord injury.
A spinal cord injury can happen anywhere, at any time.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common causes include:
- Vehicle accidents: More than 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries in the U.S. each year are caused by car and motorcycle accidents.
- Falling: Among Americans over the age of 65, this type of injury is most often caused by a fall. And among the population in general, more than 25 percent of spinal cord injuries result from a fall.
- Athletic injuries: About 8 percent of all spinal cord injuries happen in places such as swimming pools or on the playing field.
- Alcohol overuse contributes to about 25 percent of spinal cord injuries.
- Violent acts such as shootings and knifings are to blame for up to 15 percent of spinal cord injuries.
- Diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis can lead to spinal cord damage.
Never wait to get emergency medical attention.
No matter what the immediate symptoms are, a doctor should see anyone who suffers trauma to the head or neck immediately. No if’s, and’s or but’s. Here are the reasons:
- Sometimes a serious spinal cord injury is not obvious right away. The symptoms may take some time to appear; meanwhile, additional damage can be occurring.
- Bleeding and swelling can take time to occur. For this reason, paralysis may take time to become apparent.
- The sooner a spinal cord injury is treated, the better the chances that complications and recovery time can be reduced.
What you should do until help comes.
- DO NOT MOVE THE PERSON. By doing so, you could actually cause paralysis and other problems.
- Keep the person still and calm as well as you can.
- Use heavy towels or your hands to keep the head and neck completely immobile until the EMTs arrive.
- Provide any first aid you can to help with bleeding, as long as the victim remains still.
If you or a loved one has suffered a disabling spinal cord injury and need to apply for SSA disability benefits, consider getting some legal advice. Call the Boston area disability specialists at Keefe Disability Law today toll free at 888-904-6847 to explore your options.