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Do spinal cord injuries cut individuals' lives short?

There are an estimated 285,000 individuals who live here in California and throughout the United States that have suffered spinal cord injuries (SCIs). There are a staggering 17,500 new diagnoses in this country every year. At least 38.4% of the injuries result from motor vehicle accidents.

One common question family members ask when their loved one has been diagnosed with an SCI is what their prognosis is. The care that a patient receives during the first 24 hours after their injury is critical.

Data compiled by the Shepherd Center (SC) shows that at least 85% of those individuals who suffer SCIs and remain alive 24 hours post-injury generally can be found alive 10 years down the road.

The biggest threat to the lives of SCI victims during the first 15 years after they suffer their injury is pneumonia. Individuals who use ventilators are most vulnerable to develop this respiratory disease.

Urinary tract infections, parasitic diseases such as decubitusubitus ulcers and infectious ones like septicemia and pressure sores are collectively the second largest deadly threat to individuals who have suffered SCIs.

Heart disease and cancer rank third highest as the leading causes of death of individuals with SCIs.

At least 60% of individuals with SCIs make it to 25 years post-injury.

Survivability, as well as a patient's ability to thrive post-injury, is contingent upon two primary factors. The level at which the severing of an individual's spinal cord occurred is key. Most important though is the quality of rehabilitative care that a patient receives.

Individuals who suffer SCIs generally experience significant swelling around their spinal cord in the immediate aftermath of their injury. This subsides after a few weeks. It's not uncommon for individuals with SCIs to experience some improvements in their condition as this occurs.

Patients diagnosed with incomplete SCIs sometimes make improvements during the first 18 months and even years post-injury.

Most individuals who suffer SCIs need specialized and prolonged medical care following their injuries. Many of these patients need additional treatment in the long term though.

If you have been involved in an accident that has left you either as a quadriplegic or paraplegic, then an attorney here in Manhattan Beach can help. Your lawyer can let you know how California law affords you the right to seek compensation for your injuries or a loved one's wrongful death.

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