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What secondary conditions can result from spinal cord injury?

| Sep 3, 2019 | workers' compensation

An injury to your spinal cord occurring at your workplace in Arizona can cause permanent paralysis. However, there are other serious and often chronic complications that can also arise from spinal cord injury. 

A spinal cord injury can disrupt the neural signals between the brain and the muscles, including the involuntary muscles that control vital functions like heart rate. The disruption can affect the way the muscles perform. According to the Loyola University Medical Center, the most common cause of death after a spinal cord injury is cardiovascular disease, with respiratory conditions like pneumonia being among the most common complications to occur. 

After a spinal cord injury, you may spend a great deal of your time lying in bed or sitting in a wheelchair without a change of position. The skin on certain areas of your body can become fragile due to decreased blood flow from the prolonged pressure. This can result in pressure ulcers or bedsores. These are tears in the skin that can vary in depth. Bacteria sometimes enter the body through a pressure ulcer, and the resulting infection can sometimes be life-threatening. 

If you become paralyzed from a spinal cord injury, you will likely spend a lot of time with your legs immobile. This can cause blood clots to form in your legs. The medical term for one or more blood clots in your legs is deep vein thrombosis. It affects 47% to 90% of spinal cord patients. 

A blood clot can break away and travel through your veins into your lungs. The term for this is a pulmonary embolism. It is an extremely serious complication that restricts breathing and can cause death if not treated promptly. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.


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