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Spinal cord injuries can cause much more than paralysis

Some car accident injuries lead to long-term -- or even life-long -- medical problems. Spinal cord injuries are some of those, and victims can face multiple serious medical conditions along with paralysis. Although falls, violence and sports cause many such injuries, studies have shown that car accidents in British Columbia and other provinces and territories play by far the primary role, and to make this statistic even worse, one in four spinal cord injuries involves alcohol impairment.

Additional health risks for patients with spinal cord injuries include pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, deadly blood clots and pressure ulcers. Furthermore, there could be bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction along with more gastrointestinal problems, like constipation -- all of which can cause chronic pain. Of these systemic complications, the most common are pneumonia and blood clots -- pulmonary embolisms in the lungs and deep vein thrombosis that typically develop in the legs.

Deaths in spinal cord injury victims are mostly the result of cardiovascular disease. Other conditions that might be fatal include sepsis and blood clots due to pneumonia, pressure sores and urinary infections. Although studies are ongoing to find ways, such as gene therapy, electrical stimulation and stem cells, to improve the lives of spinal injury patients, victims typically live with chronic pain.

The cost of treatment for spinal cord injuries is very high in the first years and for the rest of the victim's lifetime. For that reason, when negligence is proved, many victims of such accidents seek recovery by pursuing financial relief through the civil justice system of British Columbia. This process can be made easier with the support and guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Source: sciencedaily.com, "Spinal cord injury patients face many serious health problems besides paralysis", Accessed on June 9, 2017

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