What are Lifetime Health Problems?
If you suffer a spinal cord injury, you likely face a lifetime of adjustment. Things that you used to take for granted have become difficult feats, sometimes impossible without help. Unfortunately, you may also face a lifetime of additional health problems that are secondary to your spinal cord injury. These conditions may threaten your life at some point in the future and may be expensive to treat.
As you struggle with recovery from your spinal cord injury in Indiana, you need a lawyer who understands the full scope of your injury. Pursuing legal action is important and you need to make sure it is the right legal action. spinal injury lawyer Richard Truitt understands your spinal cord injury and the legal steps that need to be taken. His goal is to ensure that you, and those who depend on you, are taken care of today, tomorrow, and all the tomorrows to come. Schedule a free initial consultation with him today to learn how he can help.
Levels of Spinal Injury
Of course, your level of spinal cord injury is related to your risk of additional complications. If you maintain partial function of your limbs and some degree of conscious control of your body, you are less likely to suffer serious additional complications. A person with paraplegia is likely to suffer fewer complications than a person with quadriplegia. The specific location of your injury may put you at risk for some complications. You should discuss the location of your injury and risks of other complications with your doctor.
Autonomic Dysreflexia (Hyperreflexia)
Autonomic dysreflexia is one of the most serious complications faced by persons with spinal cord injury. It typically affects persons with spinal cord injury at or above T6.
Hyperreflexia is the result of an irritating stimulus occurs below the level of your spinal injury. It can be something as simple as a painful bed sore or full bladder, but it sends constant impulses toward the brain. They are unable to reach the brain because of the spinal injury, so the reflex nervous system responds with spasms and a narrowing of blood vessels. Narrow blood vessels lead to an increase in blood pressure, which is detected by the heart and blood vessels, communicating with the brain, which causes the heart to slow down to try to reduce blood pressure. But the brain cannot control blood vessels below the level of injury, so blood pressure remains high. If the condition persists, it can lead to stroke or other serious complications.
Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are the result of persistent pressure against the skin and soft tissue. People with spinal cord injuries can remain in the same position for long periods of time, and the pressure of bones against the flesh can lead to bedsores. Bedsores can become painful, dangerous injuries. They can lead to dangerous infections and trigger autonomic dysreflexia.
When you use your limbs less due to your paralysis, your body often allows your bones to degrade, leading to osteoporosis and making them more susceptible to fracture. These fractures can cause additional pain and medical expenses.
For many persons with spinal cord injury, catheters are a fact of life. Appropriate care must be taken to ensure that the catheter does not contribute to irritation and infection of the urinary tract.
Pneumonia, Aspiration, and Collapsed Lung
Patients with a spinal injury above T4 are at risk for developing restrictive lung disease. This progressive disease often sets in five to 10 years after spinal cord injury. It may require artificial ventilation. It may also be life-threatening.
If you are considering legal action after your spinal cord injury, work with a lawyer who looks ahead to your future. Indiana personal injury lawyer Richard Truitt will fight to ensure that all your future care is factored into any settlement or verdict. Schedule a free initial consultation with Truitt Law Offices today.