What Are the Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury?
Our Honolulu Personal Injury Lawyers Explain
For spinal cord injury victims, the time that elapses between injury and
treatment can be critical to the outcome for the patient. Prompt medical
treatment in some cases can reduce the severity of an injury if received
soon enough after trauma occurs. For these reasons, it is important to
recognize the symptoms of spinal cord injury and to act promptly.
Call (808) 518-2120 to request an initial consultation, free of charge.
Emergency Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
spinal cord injury is not always immediately obvious. Paralysis or numbness can develop gradually
from swelling or bleeding in or around the spinal cord. Anyone receiving
significant trauma to the head, neck, or back should be medically evaluated
at once for damage to the spinal cord.
If you suspect that someone has suffered an injury to the spine, it is
extremely important not to lift or move the injured person. It could cause
permanent paralysis and other serious complications.
Permanent Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury
The nature and level of impairment from spinal cord injury depends on the
location and severity of the injury. Paralysis of the body occurs below
the level of the injury.
The severity of the spinal injury may be classified as "complete"
or "incomplete." With complete injuries, all or almost all sensation
and motor control are lost below the level of the injury. An injury is
classified as incomplete, in varying degrees, if there is some remaining
sensation and motor function below the level of the injury.
Any of the following symptoms may result from a spinal cord injury:
- Loss of ability to move parts of the body
- Loss of sensation, including heat, cold, and touch
- Changes in fertility and sexual sensitivity and function
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Intense stinging or pain from damage to spinal cord nerve fibers
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing out the lungs
Diagnosing Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal injury victim must be kept immobile and carefully moved to an
emergency treatment center. The medical staff will question the patient
about the accident and test the patient for mobility and sensory function.
If a doctor determines that it is necessary, further tests using various
types of imaging will be performed.
Imaging options for spinal injuries include:
- CT scan
- Myelogram, in which the spine is X-rayed after dye is injected
- Somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP)
- Magnetic stimulation
- Spinal X-rays
A doctor will perform a complete neurological exam, usually about the third
day after the injury to diagnose how severe the injury may be, and to
what extent the patient is likely to recover. The patient will be rated
according to the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) scale, which
has 5 classifications, A through E, with A being complete impairment and
E being all functions normal.
Leavitt Yamane & Soldner Offers Legal Help for Victims of Spinal Cord Injury
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the
estimated lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury ranges from $500,000 to
more than $3,000,000. At Leavitt Yamane & Soldner, we help people
who have suffered spinal cord injury recover the compensation they need
to move forward with their lives.
There are many causes of spinal cord injury, but the number one cause is
automobile accidents. If you have suffered spinal cord injury in an accident
caused by someone else's carelessness or negligence, you will undoubtedly
have questions about car accident insurance and need legal assistance
in dealing with insurance companies.
Contact our law firm
for a free consultation. If we believe you have a claim, our
spinal cord injury lawyers
will be a dedicated advocate for you, and will pursue the maximum compensation
you are entitled to receive.