Spinal cord injuries are on the rise, and slip and falls among seniors now top the list as the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. According to a new study, which was published in the January 23 issue of the Journal of Neurotrauma, falls among seniors have surpassed auto accidents as the leading cause of spinal cord injuries.
The study looked at data from more than 43,000 adults with spinal cord injuries who were treated in hospital emergency rooms between 2007 and 2009 and found that the incidence rate among people aged 18 to 64 dipped from about 52 people per million in 2007 to about 50 per million in 2009, but that the rate of spinal injuries among people age 65 and older rose from about 79 people per million to nearly 88 people million.
Researchers found that slip and fall accidents accounted for 41.5 percent of spinal cord injuries during the study period, followed by traffic crashes at 35.5 percent. Slip and fall-related spinal cord injuries also top the list for injuries among seniors, accounting for 30 percent of all injuries among seniors in 2009, compared to 23.6 percent in 2007.
Not only are seniors more susceptible to spinal cord injuries, but they are also four times more likely than younger patients to die from those injuries in the emergency room, and six times more likely to die after being admitted to the hospital.
The study’s researchers point out that many fall-related spinal cord injuries could be prevented with the appropriate prevention programs. “We have demonstrated how costly traumatic spinal cord injury is and how lethal and disabling it can be among older people,” study co-leader Dr. Shalini Selvarajah, a postdoctoral surgical research fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in the news release. “It’s an area that is ripe for prevention.”
Even non-fatal spinal cord injuries can cause partial or complete paralysis, and the medical costs and other expenses associated with a spinal cord injury can be astronomical. Spinal cord injuries frequently require a lifetime of medical care and rehabilitation, and someone who suffers a spinal cord injury may be unable to work after the accident.
If you or someone you loved has suffered a spinal cord injury because of the conduct of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation and counseling costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For instance, if your loved one suffered a spinal cord injury after a fall in a nursing home, he or she may have a cause of action against the nursing home. If you suffered a spinal cord injury in an auto accident, you may have a cause of action against the negligent motorist.
In order to protect your right to recover financial compensation after a spinal cord injury, you should promptly consult with a personal injury lawyer like the Chicago spinal cord attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC. Our experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys can handle the legal issues involved with your spinal cord injuries so that you can focus on your medical treatment and recovery.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, contact the Chicago spinal cord attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your spinal cord injury.