What to watch out for: Spinal cord injury complications

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2022 | Personal Injury

Spinal cord injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, and other such incidents have the potential to cause serious complications. Depending on the level of their injuries, the severity of the trauma and other such factors, SCIs often result in partial or total paralysis. Focusing on the loss of sensation and mobility, many overlook the possibility of these secondary issues, which sometimes lead to serious illness or death.

Understanding the possible complications associated with SCIs may help people know what to watch out for as they move forward with life after their injuries.

Circulatory problems

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, people with SCIs have an increased risk of blood clots and other circulatory problems. Stagnated blood flow, pooled blood in the small arteries and other such issues often occur due to changes in the brain’s control of the body’s blood vessels caused by spinal cord injuries. Consequently, people who suffer spinal trauma sometimes experience secondary blood pressure instability, clots and arrhythmias.

Respiratory problems

According to MayoClinic.org, spinal cord injuries also commonly cause serious respiratory issues. Particularly for those who suffer SCIs at the cervical and thoracic levels, the effect of such trauma sometimes impairs people’s ability to breathe. Consequently, they may develop lung problems such as pneumonia which, untreated has the potential to result in death.

Bladder and bowel problems

Changes in their ability to control their bladders and bowels following spinal cord injuries contribute to an increased risk of urinary tract issues. For instance, those with SCIs commonly develop kidney stones and infections, bladder stones and urinary tract infections.

Spinal cord injuries often have life-changing effects for those with them, as well as for their families. Although no amount of money will undo the damage caused by an accident resulting in an SCI, those injured may consider pursuing options to recover compensation for their associated losses.