The month of September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month in the United States. Poiesis Medical is a proud supporter of Spinal Cord Injury patients everywhere. Lets work together to raise awareness about this important issue! Post the following image on your website, on facebook, or on twitter!
Why Should I Be Concerned About Spinal Cord Injuries?
Consider the following. A spinal cord injury can happen to anyone at any time. These injuries can happen in an instant as a result of an accident or gradually due to illness. They often give you no time to prepare for a life of paralysis. If the injury results in damage to the spinal cord in the neck region, then not only would your legs be affected, but your arms and hands would have varying degrees of paralysis depending on the level of injury. If the injury is high, it could lead to a life of being ventilated, requiring a machine to help you breathe. The majority of people with spinal cord injuries have to deal with bladder and bowel dysfunction, low blood pressure, constant awareness of potential pressure sores and chronic nerve pain.
What would you do if you were suddenly paralyzed? What would you do if someone you knew or loved became paralyzed?
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics for North America
In the United States it is estimated that there are approximately 265,000 people living with a spinal cord injury. On average 12,000 people are paralyzed each year. Motor vehicle crashes account for 40% of reported spinal cord injuries. Falls, followed by acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds) account for 27% and 15% of spinal cord injuries respectively. At the point of discharge from hospital, the neurological category of someone with a spinal cord injury were incomplete tetraplegia (39.5%), complete paraplegia (22.1%), incomplete paraplegia (21.7%) and complete tetraplegia (16.3%). As with the UK statistics above less than 1% of persons experienced complete neurological recovery by hospital discharge.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics for the UK
It is estimated that in the UK there are 40,000 people living with a spinal cord injury. On average 1,200 people are paralyzed every year, that means one person is paralyzed every 8 hours. Road traffic accidents are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries. Diving, horse riding and rugby sporting activities in the UK represent almost 15% of all spinal cord injuries. Only 1% of people with spinal cord injuries fully recover.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics for Canada
In Canada it is estimated there are 86,000 people living with paralysis from a spinal cord injury. Approximately 4,300 people are paralyzed every year from a spinal cord injury. In Canada, the annual economic cost due to spinal cord injuries is estimated at $3.6 billion. Statistics show the summer as being the worst time for spinal cord injuries, with July having the highest incidence.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics for Australia
In Australia it is estimated that 9,000 people have a spinal cord injury. Each year in Australia, there are 350-400 new cases of spinal cord injuries reported. On average 42% of all people who sustain a spinal cord injury are between the ages of 15 and 30. Throughout Australia in 2005-2006, vehicle related injuries represented 46% of all traumatic spinal cord injuries. The majority of spinal cord injuries occur in the 15 – 34 year age group (80% male 20% female).
How Will Raising Awareness about Spinal Cord Injuries Help?
With governments around the world reducing spending on care, disability equipment and housing per head of population, it is becoming ever more vital for charities to provide essential equipment and services for those in need. By raising awareness of this devastating condition, and getting involved with organizations which can make a difference to someone’s quality of life, you are helping to not only improve others lives, but break down social barriers by talking with your friends about the potential issues that in your lifetime could affect someone you know.
For those who have already been affected by a spinal cord injury, spinal cord injury awareness days offer an opportunity for charities and non profit organizations to show the services they offer. By showcasing services, more injured individuals can be helped, thereby increasing the quality of life for thousands of people around the world.
Remember, spinal cord injuries do not discriminate by race, class or religion. They can happen to anyone, at any time.