Spinal cord injuries are common in a variety of accidents. These types of injuries can be devastating for the victim and family members. Depending on where the damage occurs on the spinal column, the victim can suffer permanent disabilities. About half a million people in the United States live with spinal cord injuries.
The effects of a spinal cord injury can be traumatic. Possible damage can include:
- Loss of movement (partial or complete paralysis)
- Loss of sensation
- Spasms or exaggerated reflex actions
- Loss of bladder control or loss of bowel control
- Chronic pain
- Intense stinging sensations
- Changes in sexual function
Each spinal cord injury is unique. Your loved one’s recovery and prognosis are based on the severity of the injury. However, in most spinal cord injury cases, the recovery is long and painful. Because the financial, emotional, and physical damages from a spinal cord injury can be substantial, it is important for family members to understand as much as possible about how to provide support and care for their loved one.
Tips for Family Members
As you help your loved one who is recovering from a spinal cord injury, it is helpful to remember the following tips:
- Get plenty of rest. You and your loved one need rest. Limit visitors and get plenty of rest between visits.
- Take turns with family members and friends when sitting with your loved one at the hospital, rehabilitation center, and at home. You need regular breaks to get rest and take care of yourself so you can take care of your loved one.
- Assume your loved one can hear everything said whenever you are in earshot of your loved one. Keep conversations positive. Remind visitors to remain calm, quiet, and positive when visiting your loved one.
- Write down questions for medical professionals as you think of questions to help you when discussing your loved one’s condition, treatment, and prognosis.
- Discuss all treatment options and available therapeutic opportunities.
- Ask medical professionals about support groups for spinal cord injuries.
Questions to Ask About Spinal Cord Injuries
Some of the questions you may want to ask your loved one’s doctors and other medical providers include:
- How severe is the spinal cord injury?
- What treatment options are available? How is the treatment you are providing now designed to help my loved one?
- What are the next steps? How do we know when we are ready for each step?
- How can rehabilitation therapy help?
- What is the level of permanent disability and neurological level of injury?
- How can I learn to take care of my loved one when we get home?
- What is the level of independence my loved one can expect to enjoy after reaching maximum medical improvement?
- What qualities should I look for in a rehabilitation center?
- Are there local resources we can turn to for help?
- What additional medical care or personal care does my love one require in the long-term?
- Is there financial assistance available for spinal cord injury victims?
Get Legal Help from A New Orleans Accident Attorney
In addition to seeking the best possible medical assistance for your loved one, you need to seek experienced legal counsel to protect and maximize your loved one’s recovery in a personal injury case. As experienced New Orleans accident attorneys, we are here to help you and your loved one seek justice from the party or parties responsible for the accident that resulted in the spinal cord injury.
Call Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm for a free consultation. Contact our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 for more information about filing a personal injury claim.