Research from a new study found the rate of spinal cord injuries in the United States has increased in recent years. The study, out of a prestigious university, found spinal injuries were most often caused by falls and car accidents.
More on the study
The study, published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, was conducted by a postdoctoral surgical research fellow with Johns Hopkins University. The findings were also recently highlighted by Medline Plus, a service of both the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
In the study, researchers reviewed data from more than 43,000 adults who were treated in hospitals for spinal injuries from 2007 to 2009. The study found the rate of spinal injuries for patients over the age of 65 rose from 79 per million to almost 88 per million during this period. If supported, these findings could highlight a new trend. Previous studies with the National Spinal Cord Injuries Center have found young adults age 16 to 30 were more likely to suffer from the injuries than others in the population. It is important to note that the current study out of Johns Hopkins focused on adults that were at least 18 years of age. The two-year difference in the starting age of the victims used for the studies may help explain the discrepancy in findings. Regardless, it is clear that there is an increase in spinal injuries throughout the population with a noticeable jump in the number of accidents reported for the elderly population.
Researchers with the study also examined causes for these injuries. Based on their findings, victims were most likely to receive the injuries either from falls or motor vehicle accidents.
The financial impact of a spinal injury
Spinal cord injuries can result in more than just physical and emotional trauma; they are financially draining as well. The same study found that emergency-room charges alone for these injuries topped $1.6 billion. This estimated figure does not include the cost of additional treatment and follow-up care.
According to estimates from the National Spinal Cord Injuries Center, lifetime costs of spinal injuries can range from $1 million to $5 million. The final cost depends on a variety of factors including age of the victim at the time of the accident and the severity of the injury.
Remedies available for victims
Those who are injured by the negligent or reckless act of another are likely eligible to receive compensation to help cover these high costs. Contact an experienced neck, back and spinal injury lawyer to discuss your case. This legal professional can better ensure your legal rights and any potential remedies are protected.