Construction workers face numerous hazards on the job, including the risk of suffering spinal cord or other such serious injuries due to falls. Potentially resulting in total or partial paralysis, suffering spinal cord injuries may profoundly affect the lives of those who experience them, as well as their loved ones.
Although workers’ compensation benefits may provide for their medical needs, many face uncertainties over what their futures hold after suffering spinal cord injuries. Thus, they and their families may benefit by understanding what to expect immediately after their injuries and in the days, months and years to follow.
Emergent care for spinal cord injuries
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the immediate concern following spinal trauma involves ensuring the affected person has a pulse and a working airway to breathe. The treatments they may receive include immobilization, traction, standard critical care, surgery and the administration of certain medications. Often, those who suffer spinal cord injuries require hospitalization.
Long-term care for spinal cord injuries
According to the Mayo Clinic, current medical interventions cannot reverse damage sustained to the spinal cord. Therefore, after stabilizing the injury, treatment focuses on addressing secondary issues that may occur as a result of the spinal cord trauma. This may include injury victims undergoing rehabilitation to maintain and strengthen their muscle function and learn adaptive techniques, taking medications to stem off the adverse effects of their injuries or to help improve secondary complications such as bowel or bladder control problems. People’s prognosis following a spinal cord injury depends on various factors, but they may anticipate starting the recovery process between one week and six months after the trauma.