Spinal cord injuries most often occur due to trauma, such as in a car accident or a fall from a height. Unfortunately, not every Florida resident who suffers such an injury recovers from it. Receiving a diagnosis of permanent paralysis causes a variety of emotions and life changes, but it also comes with the potential for secondary conditions that require monitoring and care to avoid.
What kinds of secondary conditions could occur?
A variety of secondary conditions accompanies paralysis, and without proper care and prevention can result in severe and life-threatening health issues. These secondary conditions include the following:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Moving your legs circulates the blood through your body. Since paralysis prevents you from walking, during the first months of your paralysis the potential for blood clots rises. Warning signs include discoloration and warmth of the skin, swelling and pain.
- Pressure sores: These sores often develop in bony parts of the body from extended pressure. Your position requires changing around every two hours to allow your skin to recover. Loose clothing helps prevent these sores as well. Even minor cuts and scrapes require monitoring for paralyzed patients.
- Low blood pressure or Spasticity: Moving from lying flat to sitting upright sometimes causes a rapid decrease in blood pressure. If you feel dizzy, lightheaded or faint, move more slowly. Inform your doctor if this happens to you.
- Autonomic dysreflexia (AD): This abrupt and dangerous rise in blood pressure requires immediate medical attention. Painful, uncomfortable or irritating stimuli trigger this condition. If you experience a severe headache, clammy skin or a flushed face, along with other symptoms such as sweating or goosebumps, call for help. Your heart rate could plummet while your blood pressure rises.
- Bladder and Bowel issues: Whether you retain control over your bladder and bowels depends on your injury. Any issues require management and monitoring. Any required medical intervention, while necessary, also comes with an increased risk of infection.
These and other secondary conditions potentially threaten your life if left undiagnosed and untreated. Paralysis affects more than your ability to walk or enjoy activities you participated in prior to your injury. Your body’s systems also suffer.
Due to your condition, you require a substantial amount of medical and other care. If another party caused or contributed to your injury, you retain the right to pursue compensation. Establishing the negligence of one or more parties through the appropriate evidence could result in the court awarding you damages allowed under state law.
An attorney often conducts an investigation into the accident, the nature of your injuries and what care you require now and in the future prior to filing. The receipt of monies from a damages award could cover not only the basic care you need, but also other treatments not previously considered.