Spinal Cord Injuries In Slip & Fall Accidents
Traumatic Brain Injury is one of the most devastating injuries caused by car crashes. However, there’s another kind of injury that has become more and more common -- spinal cord injuries.
What Factors Are Driving This Increase?
Usually, spinal cord injuries are caused by car crashes resulting in a crushing blow to the back or spine, resulting in paralysis. However, the disturbing thing is that there is a recent trend of more and more people suffering SCI in slip-and-fall accidents.
The Johns Hopkins University conducted a study that found falls, especially among seniors, are now the leading cause of traumatic SCI in the United States. The study used data from 43,000 adults who suffered SCI and were treated from 2007 to 2009. The study found that falls accounted for nearly 41.5 percent of SCI cases, while car crashes came in only at 35.5 percent of SCI cases. Also, SCI among those 65 and older increased sharply, from 79.4 per million 2007 -- accounting for 23.6 percent of all injuries -- to 87.7 per million in 2019 -- accounting for 30 percent. The injuries reported included temporary bruising, temporary numbness, difficulty breathing, paralysis, and other forms of motor disabilities.
The hypothesis formed by researches was that increased safety measures in vehicles in recent years -- such as airbags -- could have contributed to this reduction in SCI cases, but researchers are still unable to determine why SCI cases related to falls have increased. Many speculate that an aging population, along with more active senior lifestyles and maybe even more passive youth lifestyles could both be factors.
Luckily, the National Institutes of Health have funded efforts to prevent falls leading to TBI in seniors, and those efforts can also help reduce falls leading to SCI. So, how we can help older adults prevent being injured in falls? The CDC offers these preventive measures:
- Exercise often. It can help develop your leg strength and improve your balance and stamina.
- If you’ve experienced dizziness or drowsiness recently, discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist and review your complete prescription record.
- Have your eyes checked by a professional at least once a year?
- Make your home safer by reducing tripping hazards, like throw rugs. Add grab bars if needed in your tub or shower and handrails around your toilet. Improving the lighting in and around your home can increase visibility.
- Take precautions during the winter season. Maintain driveways and walkways free of ice. When walking on ice, keep your knees bent and take sidesteps and shuffle to maintain balance.
Slip & Fall Accidents in Albuquerque
Each year, slip and falls are responsible for more than 8 million emergency room visits. Falls may not seem to be severe initially, but they are known to result in serious injuries that can have long-lasting impacts on their victims. The team of New Mexico slip and fall lawyers at Will Ferguson & Associates are here to help you pursue your deserved compensation after a fall. Contact our law offices at (505) 243-5566 to see how we can help.