There are many different treatment options for spinal cord injuries. The specific options vary substantially depending on the stage of treatment. For example, the treatment options available immediately after an injury are very different from the common care during rehabilitation.
Emergency Medical Care
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the most vital medical care for a spinal cord injury occurs immediately after the injury occurs. This includes emergency first aid at the scene of the injury and immediate treatment in an emergency room.
It is important to remember that spinal cord injuries should only be attended to by medical professionals. In some cases, the attempt to move or stabilize a person with a neck injury could worsen the spinal cord’s damage.
Immediate medical attention at the scene of the injury should involve the immobilization of the spine. Ideally, this will involve the use of a neck collar and carrying board. Mobilizing the spine could help ensure the injury does not worsen, and it can allow for safe transport to a nearby medical facility.
Once at the emergency room, there are a variety of treatment options. The priorities for these procedures are typical to avoid permanent damage when possible and ensure the patient can breathe. Once stabilized, the medical professionals within the emergency room can focus on the early stages of treatment.
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Early Stages of Spinal Cord Injury Treatment
In the immediate aftermath, it will be the medical professionals’ goal in the emergency room to avoid further damage and protect against secondary health complications. This often involves intensive surgery. These surgical procedures could involve removing broken or chipped bone from around the spinal cord. It could also involve the removal of other foreign objects found in the neck due to the accident. Surgeries might also be needed to stabilize the neck or address herniated disks.
Mayo Clinic reports that some medications have proven to help treat acute spinal cord injuries. Certain intravenous drugs are often used to combat inflammation, although they are known to carry significant side effects.
Finally, there is the possibility of experimental treatments involving nerve regeneration through the use of stem cells. These options are in the early days, but there have been some successes using treatments like intentional hypothermia that prevent inflammation and even allow the cord to heal to some degree.
Ongoing Care and Rehabilitation
In many cases, the treatment of a spinal cord injury is focused on limiting the harm that has been done. With that in mind, the ongoing care following the initial treatment is vital for a patient in their attempt to regain their quality of life.
According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, ongoing medical care is particularly useful in addressing secondary issues like bladder problems, respiratory infections, and blood clots. Spinal cord damage can be the catalyst for serious secondary health concerns, but these conditions are often avoidable.
Rehabilitation is also a vital form of treatment for anyone living with a spinal cord injury. These efforts begin early in the recovery process. The most common form of therapy used in these situations is physical therapy. A physical therapist could work with a newly disabled person to help them adjust to their new lifestyle.
This process could also require the help of an occupational therapist. Many people suffering from spinal cord injuries cannot return to the job they held prior to their injury. An occupational therapist could assist them in obtaining the skills needed to take on a new career. Other important work during rehabilitation could involve psychologists, dieticians, social workers, and recreational therapists.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Spinal Cord Injury Claim
While medical treatments exist for a spinal cord injury, this care can be costly. If you are unsure how to pay for the treatment options for spinal cord injuries, our attorneys might be able to help. If you suffered a spinal cord injury, you could be entitled to pursue a civil lawsuit against the person that caused your injury.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), more than 450,000 Americans are living with some form of spinal cord injury. The unfortunate reality for many of these individuals is that a full recovery might never be possible. However, adequate medical care could greatly improve the quality of life for many of these patients.
Call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Today
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers understands the long road to recovery that many spinal cord injury victims face. To learn how we could help you pursue a claim for your injuries, call (404) 888-8888 for your free consultation.