From chronic debilitating pain to lifetime round-the-clock care, spinal cord injuries can be life-altering for the victims and their families.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 12,500 people suffer a spinal cord injury each year in the United States. The same organization estimates that the life-long health care for someone who experiences a spinal cord injury at age 25 ranges from $1.5 million to $4.6 million, depending upon the severity of the injury.
But there has been some good news recently for those with a severe injury to their spine.
In December 2014, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health announced a new drug that someday may dramatically improve the lives of those paralyzed by a spinal cord injury.
Paralysis from spinal cord injuries is a result of nerve cells being crushed, halting communication with the brain. Researchers designed a new drug to regenerate damaged nerve cells and tested it on rats with spinal cord injuries. The paralyzed rats, in just a few weeks, showed signs of mobility. Researchers say the drug won’t be tested on humans for at least 10 more years, but they are excited about its potential.
Also in December 2014, an online medical news center reported that spinal cord stimulation may significantly help those with severe spinal cord injuries. Researchers implanted electrodes for the stimulation into two patients paralyzed from spinal cord injuries. These patients were able to move lower extremities following the implants. Even with this small sample size and limited testing, researchers are encouraged.
So there are promising short-term and long-term remedies for those with spinal cord injuries.
Severe spinal cord injuries can be caused by a medical error, a car accident or other preventable circumstances, and their cost can be catastrophic in both quality of life and economic measure. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone’s negligence, you may want to consult an attorney who handles catastrophic injury cases to pursue just compensation from those responsible.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.