Spinal cord injuries happen for numerous reasons. A car accident, a fall on someone’s property, or an act of medical negligence can all cause damage to the spine. In catastrophic cases, a victim may become partially or fully paralyzed. Many spinal cord injury victims require a lifetime of medical care from many different types of health care providers. Our Hartford spinal cord injury lawyers work with your medical team to fully assess your medical needs and your past and future expenses.
The Department of Health and Human Services states that there are no known ways to reverse spinal cord damage – though researchers are constantly working on medications, medical devices, and new treatment methods. The DHHS does understand that accident victims need different types of medical help at different stages of their treatment. Most medical care involves preventing the injuries from getting worse and helping patients adapt the best way possible so they can lead functional and productive lives.
Medical help at the accident site
When a person suffers a spinal cord injury, emergency personnel work to minimize the damage to the neck, head, and back. The DHHS recommends emergency medical technicians “immobilize the spine as gently and quickly as possible using a rigid neck collar and a rigid carrying board.” They then use the board to transport the patient to their local hospital.
Emergency room help and initial hospital care
The ER staff will make sure the accident victim can breathe and will again focus on preventing further spinal cord damage.
Neurosurgeons and other doctors are often called in to conduct spinal surgeries. The aim of the surgeries is “to remove fluid or tissue that presses on the spinal cord (decompression laminectomy); remove bone fragments, disk fragments, or foreign objects; fuse broken spinal bones; or place spinal braces.” Patients may be placed in traction, with steroid medications administered. Nurses will attend to the daily needs of the patient after surgery.
Medical care after surgery and on release from the hospital
Spinal cord injury victims will usually work with pain management doctors to help manage their spinal cord pain. Additionally, patients often work with some or all of the following health providers:
- Physical therapists, who help strengthen muscles, help the accident victim communicate, and help with mobility
- Occupational therapists, who help with fine motor skills
- Vocational therapists, who help patients return to their jobs – often with the help of assistive devices
- Psychologists and psychiatrists, who help the patient adjust to various emotional issues such as adjusting to life with the aid of a wheelchair
Patients often work with professionals who can assist with medical devices to improve their physical mobility and ability to communicate. More and more electronic stimulation devices are being invented everyday to help spinal cord injury patients.
Some patients may need to work with medical providers and counselors who can help with bladder and bowel management, exercise, diet and nutrition, and recreation activities.
At Barry, Barall, & Spinella, LLC, we understand how traumatic a spinal cord injury can be for both the victim and for the family members. Our experienced trial lawyers work with investigators and professionals, when necessary, to determine who caused your injuries and to hold them accountable. We work with your medical team and independent doctors to understand the full scope of your pain, your inability to work, and your medical needs. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 860-649-4400 or complete our contact form. Our offices are located in Hartford and Manchester. We also see injury victims at their home or other locations when necessary.