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The dangers of spinal cord injury and its ramifications

Motorcyclists in Tampa likely know the risks they face when they go out onto the road. The prospects of a motorcycle collision might not be the foremost thing in their minds, but given their vulnerability and limited ways in which they can protect themselves, there is a significant chance that a crash can lead to injuries severe enough that they will be confronted with permanent disability. A spinal cord injury is one such danger. Understanding the facts about spinal trauma can help a motorcycle accident victim know what the motorcyclist is up against in the present and future.

If there is a full tear, a partial tear or a bruise to the spinal cord, it is known as spinal trauma. Since the spinal cord is the link between the brain and the rest of the body, any damage to it can cause major issues. Depending on the seriousness of the damage and where it is located, the injuries can cause partial or full paralysis. In the best case scenario, the person who was hurt will be able to recover. That, however, is not always the case. A large percentage -- 44 percent -- of spinal cord injuries are the result of a motor vehicle accident.

Those who have a spinal cord injury will experience a loss of feeling below where the injury occurred. Known as spinal shock, it might subside with the passage of time. There could be trouble breathing, issues with the heart rate and blood pressure and the loss of control of bowels and bladder. Medical professionals will use various kinds of diagnostic equipment to determine the scope and severity of the damage. They will also use this information to come up with a plan to treat it.

Even those who are not paralyzed might need different kinds of treatment such as occupational, physical, speech and psychological therapies. These treatments can cost a significant amount of money. In addition, those who have suffered a spinal cord injury might not be able to return to work quickly or work at all.

When a motorcycle collision has happened and it results in a spinal cord injury, the injured person and the family need to know what to do to recover compensation. Discussing the matter with a legal professional experienced in motorcycle crashes and the long-term effects from them is a wise decision.

Source: Columbia University Medical Center, "Spinal Trauma," accessed on June 23, 2015

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