Spinal Cord Injury Medical Negligence Lawyers – Compensation Claims

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Our medical negligence lawyers have solicitors offices situated in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin.

If you have been injured by a healthcare professional including a doctor, dentist, nurse or technician and would like to speak to a medical negligence lawyer without further obligation, just use the helpline. A medical negligence lawyer who deals exclusively in personal injury claims will speak to you, giving free advice and information on how best to preserve your legal right to receive compensation as a result of injuries caused by medical negligence.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that forms a cord that passes from the brainstem in the upper neck to the sacral area. Damage to the spinal cord can be temporary but is most likely a permanent phenomenon. Nerves just do not repair themselves very well.

The effect of a spinal cord injury depends on the location of the injury. High injuries tend to lead to quadriplegia, while lower injuries tend to lead to paraplegia. Complete injuries affect both sides of the body at once and incomplete injuries affect only a segment of the body.

Signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury include the following:

  • Paralysis of movement
  • Lack of sensation
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Lack of bladder or bowel control
  • Sexual changes
  • Difficulty breathing

When a spinal cord injury has just happened, the following symptoms and signs can be noted:

  • Extreme pain in the back or neck
  • Weakness or paralysis of a body part
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Impaired breathing
  • Oddly positioned back or neck
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty with balance
    • If there is a suspicion of a neck or back injury, you shouldn’t move the individual and should call 911 for assistance. Make sure the person does not try to move themselves and put towels on either side of the neck to keep it still. Use basic first aid measures for other types of injuries.

      Spinal cord injuries are caused by injuries to the ligaments, vertebrae, or discs that secondarily lacerate, crush or penetrate the spinal cord. The spine itself can be compressed, crushed, fractured or dislocated at a single level or at multiple levels. The injury can result from an automobile injury, knife wound, a sports injury or a gunshot wound. Damage can occur right away or can gradually happen over days and weeks because of increased inflammation, swelling and bleeding.

      When there is damage to the spinal cord, it can be traumatic or nontraumatic. It causes injury to the nerve fibers that pass from the brain to the exterior nerve fibers. Cervical injuries can affect the arms, legs and possibly the ability to breathe. Thoracic and lumbar vertebral injuries tend to affect some aspects of the legs, bowel and bladder function. Sexual function can be affected if the injury is anywhere along the spinal cord.

      The most common causes of a spinal cord injury include falls from great heights, motor vehicle crashes, sports and rec injuries, acts of violence with gunshots and knife injury, certain diseases like osteoporosis and cancer, or alcohol. In fact, alcohol is a factor in one out of every four spinal cord injuries.

      Risk factors for spinal cord injury, besides alcohol, include being of male gender, engaging in risky behavior, having a bone or joint condition that can damage the cord or being between the ages of 16 and 30.

      There are some health conditions that will need intervention from a rehabilitation team. These include managing the urine in your bladder, usually by means of a catheter, which is intermittent or continuous, bowel control with a high fiber diet and laxatives, and overcoming a lack of skin sensation. You’ll need to control your circulation so you don’t pass out on arising and develop blood clots in the legs. Breathing can be difficult so you might need a ventilator and need to take care of the possibility of respiratory infections. Braces are used to maintain some strength in otherwise limp and flaccid muscles. If there are any exercises you can do, you should practice these so you are as strong as possible. Fertility can be managed with certain techniques that can cause ejaculation.

      Some patients suffer from joint and muscle pain from overuse of the available muscles used to pick up the slack from unused muscles. Patients can also suffer from depression, which can be situational or chronic.

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