Watching someone you love recover from a car crash or slip-and-fall accident can be difficult. Their injuries may not have seemed serious, but you keep a watchful eye on them as they rest. If something doesn't seem quite right or they're not healing like you think, it's good to know the signs of latent post-accident conditions like spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord injuries are serious and potentially life altering. Forceful impacts like those in accidents or crashes can damage the spine anywhere from the neck through the back. Your loved one may not experience the effects of a spinal cord injury right away as damaging fluid and swelling on the spine can take time to build up.
Know when to get help
No one experiences spinal cord injury symptoms identically, which makes knowing the red flags important. Signs can appear subtly or overtly, but they are serious either way. You should consider medical attention after an accident if they experience:
- Loss of movement or feeling in their arms or legs.
- Labored breathing or unusual coughing.
- Lack of control over bodily functions.
- Severe pain near the spinal cord.
If you think the injury is serious, moving the individual may risk their health further. It's wise to call emergency services if you're uncomfortable transporting them to the hospital yourself. Spinal cord injuries aren't something that you want to take chances with.
Spinal cord injuries seldom affect just the individual. They are often a life adjustment for the family who may lose one source of income, make modifications to their home, or wonder how they'll pay for medical bills from recurring doctor's visits.
Your loved one may be able to receive restitution for their missed work, medical bills, and even emotional duress if someone's negligence caused their spinal cord injury.