What happens immediately after a spinal cord injury?

Caring for a patient who suffered a spinal cord injury is the top priority after the accident. There are many things that might need to happen from the time the emergency medical responders reach the patient through the person's time in the emergency room. The medical staff will evaluate the patient to determine what course of action is necessary to produce the best outcome possible.

At first, the care team will focus on making sure that the patient is stabilized. Unfortunately, this often has to be handled before the patient can receive any type of pain management. This is because some factors that need to be addressed might be impacted by pain medications.

What is stabilizing care?

Medical care teams start off with the ABCs of patient stabilization when they encounter spinal cord injuries. This means they ensure the patient has a stable airway, is breathing and has circulation. They also ensure that the spine is immobilized through the use of a backboard and cervical collar. Checking the pulse in the limbs, the respiration rate and the blood pressure are all ways that they can review how the patient is faring.

How is the spinal cord injury treated?

After the patient's vital signs are stabilized, the team can start to look at treatment options for the spinal cord injury. This usually includes taking steps for neuroprotection, which means that they may cool your body and use steroids to help prevent the body from attacking itself in response to the injury. Steroids control swelling that can cause problems. Anti-inflammatories, surgical options and traction might all be used to address the injury. In some cases, antibiotics may be given in an attempt to stave off an infection. Rehabilitation can be started soon after the accident.

What does the future look like?

The future after a spinal cord injury can be bright, but it might look markedly different from what you were expecting before the accident. While the type and location of the injury does have an impact on how you can recover, your attitude toward the injury can also play a part. People who are willing to push themselves during rehabilitation will likely be able to enjoy an improved outcome. This has to be balanced with the need to allow the spinal cord to heal.

One thing that can impact the treatment options after an injury is the budget. People who suffer spinal cord injuries because of the negligence of another person might opt to seek compensation in North Carolina for the damages.

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