The spinal cord is a rather fragile part of the body that transmits messages from the brain to the body and back again. Damage to this area during a car wreck can lead to significant changes in a person’s abilities. It might also impair the ability of organs to function properly.
Damage to the spinal cord impacts the area of the body below the level of the injury. This means that injuries to the neck and upper back will affect more functions than damage to the lower back.
What types of organ function might be affected?
Injuries to the C1, C2, C3, and C4 vertebrae are likely going to stop the muscles that control breathing. This means that even if a person survives this devastating injury, they will likely need a ventilator to breathe for them for the rest of their life because of damage to their chest muscles.
Thoracic spinal cord injuries will affect organs at the mid-chest and below, so it’s unlikely that lung function would be impacted by damage there. Injuries at the lumbar level or higher will likely impact the function of the bladder and bowels.
Spinal cord injuries can also affect the digestive system, cause sexual dysfunction, and lead to problems with the ability to regulate blood pressure and heart rate. Proper medical care is imperative to effectively treat these conditions.
Victims of spinal cord injuries in a wreck need prompt medical care — and lots of ongoing treatment. This care is often costly, but it’s critical to give them the proper chance at optimal recovery. If you or your loved one have been victimized by another party’s negligence, you only have four years to pursue a claim for the compensation you need to cover your treatment and your losses. Find out more about your legal options today.