A person who has been in a car wreck can suffer considerable injuries, including immense damage to the spine. Immediate care is necessary for a patient who has a spinal cord injury. Often, the care will begin at the scene of the accident. A person who may have this type of injury should never be moved unless they are in a location that’s unsafe.
The diagnosis of a spinal cord injury isn’t usually made at the scene of the accident. Instead, the paramedics will come to the scene and stabilize the patient using back and neck support. Once at the hospital, the patient will have a host of medical tests to determine a diagnosis. Even when a spinal cord injury is evident, the location and type of injury must be determined.
The initial assessment if you are taken to the hospital with a suspected spinal cord injury is going to be very fast-paced. You are likely going to be asked to answer questions about what happened and what you’re feeling. The doctor may check your spine for signs of trauma and your reflexes, movements and sensory function to determine the next steps.
Imaging tests and other procedures
You may need to have imaging tests to determine exactly what type of injury you have. X-rays, CT scans and MRIs are the most common imaging tests. These might be done in the emergency department, but they are sometimes necessary after a few days to keep track of how the injury is healing or progressing.
Life with a spinal cord injury
Living with an injury of this nature isn’t easy. You are going to face challenges during the healing process and after. While you are still in the hospital, you will likely have therapy to help you learn how to do things based on your abilities and in an attempt to heal in the best manner possible. You should put forth your best effort to do this even when it is difficult.
One challenge that can be especially overwhelming is the financial impact. If your injury occurred due to the negligence of another driver, you can seek compensation to minimize that impact. You can include a variety of damages in your claim, including those for medical bills and lost wages that are due to the injury.