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An overview of spinal cord injury statistics

There are many types of accidents that can cause health problems for New York residents, and one of the most serious types of injuries in such incidents is damage to the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries can occur in accidents involving automobiles, surgery, violence, falls and other traumatic situations, and the damage can range in severity. A complete SCI may cause permanent neurological deficits, while an incomplete SCI might resolve in part or in full.

The National SCI Statistical Center has been monitoring data related to this area since the early 1970s, and the database maintained by the organization provides helpful insight about trends for those affected by such injuries. The average age for the occurrence of SCI has increased by 13 years since 1973. The number of men affected in new cases is approximately four times the number of women suffering such injuries. The time required in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities has significantly decreased over the period in which these statistics have been monitored. However, life expectancy for these individuals has not changed much.

Employment is a significant challenge for those affected by SCI. In the first year following injury, just over 10 percent of patients are able to return to some type of work. Only 33 percent of this demographic group is employed at the 20-year mark following injury. A serious injury causing spinal cord problems can lead to lifelong medical difficulties as well as permanent changes in lifestyle.

Statistics show that the costs involved with an individual suffering SCI are substantial during the first year. Ongoing care also involves great expenses. An individual whose injury is related to the negligent act of another might be faced with a need to fill in financial gaps where medical insurance and other resources fall short. In such a case, personal injury litigation might be considered.

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