Spinal cord injuries are often physically and emotionally challenging. A spinal cord injury can also have a profound affect on the friends and family of the survivor.
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Hi, I am Marcy from the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Center at brainandspinalcord.org. Today, I will be bringing you some basic facts on spinal cord injury. Be sure to check our website for all relevant links and a recap of this article. The time following a spinal cord injury is both physically and emotionally difficult. As the patient and his or her family struggle to make sense of what has happened and think about what the future holds, many questions are raised. It is helpful if the survivor and his family have general information about spinal cord injury. It is not uncommon for survivors of spinal cord injury to feel completely alone, but what many survivors do not realize is that approximately 11,000 Americans sustain a spinal injury each and nearly 200,000 Americans live with the long-term disability resulting from a spinal cord injury. About 52% of spinal cord injury survivors are considered paraplegic while 47% are considered quadriplegic. What is the leading cause of spinal cord injury? Well, that there is the age. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading causes of spinal cord injury among people under the age of 65 while slips and falls caused the most spinal cord injuries among people over the age of 65. An 18% of all spinal cord injuries are the result of sports and recreational activities. Statistically speaking males are more likely than females to experience a spinal cord injury while African Americans post a higher risk of spinal cord injury than whites and according to the Center for Disease Control, more than half of the people who sustains spinal cord injuries are between the ages of 15 and 29. Since only 52% of spinal cord injury survivors are covered by private health insurance at the time of injury, many questions are related to the cause to spinal cord injuries. A person with a spinal cord injury can expect the spend on average about 15 days in acute care unit and about 44 days in a rehabilitation unit. The first year of expenses for a paraplegics, on an average total of $152,000.00, while first year expenses for quadriplegics total $417,000.00. A paraplegic who is injured at the age of 25 can expect to spend $428,000.00 on care throughout the course of his or her lifetime while a quadriplegic, he was injured at the same age can expect to spend $ 1.35 million. More than half of survivors for spinal cord injury are employed at the time of their injury. Statistic shows that 10-years post injury, 32.4% of paraplegics are employed while 24.2% of quadriplegics are employed. The majority of people with spinal cord injury, 88.1% are sent to a private non-institutional resident. Most commonly their on homes following their discharge from rehabilitation. Only 5.4% are sent to nursing homes and the remaining survivors are discharged to destinations such as hospitals and group living situations. Life expectancy of survivors for spinal cord injury continues to increase, but still fall somewhat low-life expectancy to those without spinal cord injury. Mortality rates are highest during the first year following the injury particularly among those with severe injury. Common secondary complications that cause death include renal failure, pneumonia, pulmonary emboli and septicemia. This concludes our segment on basic facts about spinal cord injury. Remember to check our website for the most up-to-dated information including resources and tips regarding brain and spinal cord injuries. Thank you so much for watching. ]

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