In the blink of an eye, an innocent motorist can be rocked by a collision caused by a negligent driver. Those who are lucky can walk away with these accidents with nothing more than jittery nerves. In some instances, though, individuals are left with catastrophic injuries such as those that affect their brain and spinal cord. The ramifications of these types of injuries can be devastating, often leaving victims with permanent disability, which may include paralysis.
When an individual suffers a suspected spinal cord injury, emergency medical personal will work quickly to try to reduce damage and protect a victim’s well-being. This begins with stabilization, where medical professionals try to ensure that a victim’s breathing, blood pressure and spinal integrity are kept as fully intact as is possible. This may involve the use of braces and harnesses that prevent movement, as well as medications that seek to slow spinal damage by reducing inflammation and reduces body temperature.
Once a patient is stabilized, the medical professionals can conduct imaging and other tests to classify the injury and prescribe a course of treatment. Surgical intervention is often needed to remove bone fragments, blood clots, foreign objects and other items that may press on the spinal cord. From there, doctors can fuse vertebrae with metal plates and screws if they are unsteady, and respirators can be utilized if any resulting paralysis has had an effect on an individual’s ability to breath.
These are just the first steps in treating a spinal cord injury. Tragically, many of these victims require extensive long-term care, and what was once their normal day-to-day life is never recoverable. These individuals often become depressed and angry with those who caused them harm, which is completely understandable. Although it can be difficult to quell those feelings, car accident victims who suffer catastrophic injuries should know that they may be able to find accountability and recoup compensation for their damages by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.