Caregiver.com

For About and By Caregivers


Subscribe to our bi-monthly publication Today's Caregiver magazine

  + Larger Font | - Smaller Font



ARTICLES / Spinal Injury / Spinal Cord Injury

Share This Article

Spinal Cord Injury

By Marian M. Inguanzo, MSW, ACSW and
Mitchell A. Kaplan PhD, CPSP

(Page 2 of 3)  

Each year as many as 10 to 12 thousand Americans are involved in motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall traumas or violent criminal acts such as a shooting incident that can potentially result in severe life changing physical injuries to the spinal cord. The American Spinal Cord Injury Association defines spinal cord injury as any traumatic damage to the spine that results in loss of sensory or motor function in the upper or lower extremities of the human body. Depending upon the site and severity of the damage, a traumatic injury to the spinal cord can leave an individual with varying degrees of physical disability that can have a profound impact on an individualís overall quality of life and sense of well-being.  Findings from a number of federally funded epidemiological studies indicate that spinal cord injury is one of the most prevalent neurological disabilities in the nation. According to scientific data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are between 200 and 250 thousand Americans of all ages living with a mobility impairment resulting from a spinal cord injury in the United States today.

Epidemiological data from the CDC further indicates there are between 200 and 250 thousand Americans of all ages living with a mobility impairment resulting from a spinal cord injury in the United States today. Epidemiological data from the CDC further indicates that over half the patients that sustain a spinal cord in our country are male adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29 years old. A large percentage of these men reside in low income impoverished urban areas which have mainly African American and other minority populations. CDC data indicates that violent crime rates and drug and alcohol related motor vehicle accidents usually run higher than average in these neighborhoods; this significantly increases the risk of an individual sustaining a serious physical injury that can lead to spinal cord damage and its accompanying disabilities. Spinal cord injuries exact a serious social and economic burden on both individual and society. Data from CDC funded studies reveals that the United States government currently spends an estimated 4 billion dollars each year on the medical care and disability management of persons with spinal cord injury. Most of the money that pays for the financial cost of the medical care and other services these individuals require to survive comes from the American taxpayers which places a tremendous social and economic responsibility on patients, their families and society as a whole. (CDC unpublished data.)

 

  1 2 3


Printable Version Printable Version

 

 

Related Articles

Caring for the Paralyzed

Practical Safety Tips for Avoiding Spinal Cord Injuries

Carenotes 1/6/10