Spinal cord injuries that happen to the higher region of the spinal cord surrounding the neck can lead to full or partial paralysis of the arms, hands, torso and legs. When all four limbs and extremities are affected, this is called quadriplegia or tetraplegia.
What Is Quadriplegia?
When an injury to the spinal cord takes place in the cervical section of the spinal column, usually above the C-8 vertebrae. The higher the injury, often the more the arm and hands may be affected. C1-C4 injuries will generally have more arm and hand paralysis and loss of function from the neck down. C5-C8 may have more sensation or movement in the arms and not require a ventilator for breathing. However, all quadriplegics have some loss of function in their fingers or hands. (See more here)
Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
As with most spinal injuries, quadriplegia is most commonly caused by a traumatic injury or accident. Auto accidents (view our work here) are the biggest contributor for spinal injuries, responsible for 41% of all. Falls attribute to 26.7% and violence such as gunshot wounds account for over 15%. Sports are fourth on the list of specific causes and “other” is a small 8.6% of all causes.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Accident Victims
Unfortunately, very rarely is quadriplegia ever reversed. Although there have been strides made in the areas of stem cell research, which made mainstream news continuously after Christopher Reed’s accident, there still is not a cure for a severe spinal injury that leads to quadriplegia. The treatments associated the condition are mostly to help the many other complications that are often associated with the disability.
- Blood clots
- Spastic muscles
- Respiratory problems
- Autonomic dysreflexia
- Infections and viruses
- Pressure sores
Treatment for quadriplegia is costly and will most likely be an ongoing financial burden for the victim and family for the rest of their lives. Depending on the level of their paralysis, they made need a ventilator to breath and of course will need many changes made in their family’s home and vehicles to accommodate them. It is estimated the first year medical costs alone are close to $1 million. Subsequent care per year can be well over $100,000 plus loss of income and other expenses.
Prognosis for Quadriplegics
For survivors of a high level spinal injury that causes quadriplegia, their life expectancy is greatly diminished, as is their quality of life. If they survive past the first 24 hours, their life span is generally between 2-20 years, depending on age of the patient, the degree of injury and whether they require a ventilator.Legal Representation for Those Who Have Suffered A Spinal Cord Injury In An Accident
The significance of an accident case involving injury to a spinal cord demands the experience of attorneys with experience litigating cases on behalf of paraplegics and tretrapligics. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to securing the best possible outcome for those with disabling injuries. We recognize the impact of the accident both on the individual — and their family. We will invest whatever resources necessary to secure the best possible outcome for you. Call us anytime to discuss your legal options. (888) 424-5757