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Whether it’s a sports accident, a car accident, or a slip and fall, the possibility of sustaining a spinal cord injury is always present. In the United States, there has been a steady rise in spinal cord injuries, especially among older adults. From 2007 to 2009, a study by John Hopkins University looked at the incidence rate of a spinal cord injury (SCI). This article looks at their findings and then compares them to the most recent statistics on spinal cord injuries that were published in 2018 by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC).

Why Is Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries Important?

The spinal cord provides support and stability to the body as well as protection for the long bundle of neurological material that runs its length. The spinal cord also acts as the highway for information from the brain to the rest of your body. The brain sends nerve impulses down the nerves that are protected by the spinal cord to the other parts of your body, telling it what to do. Your body also sends signals back to your brain through these same nerves, giving the brain information on touch, feel, and the state of that body part.

Although the spinal cord is protected by bony vertebrae, the spinal column is susceptible to injury from fragments of the backbone that may be shattered during an incident. When the material or the tissue is pressed on or penetrates the spinal cord, there can be a temporary or permanent loss of sensation and mobility, depending on the severity of the damage.

Results of the John Hopkins University 2007-2009 Study on Spinal Cord Injuries:

When John Hopkins University looked into the incident rate of spinal cord injuries, they found the following results:

  • The rate of SCI among adults aged 18 to 64 had fallen. This was partially due to the improved safety measures in vehicles.
  • The rate of SCI among adults over age 65 rose during the study period. The rise in the incidence rate of spinal injury among older adults was partially attributed to the more active lifestyle that was being displayed among older adults.
  • Automobile accidents were second to trip and fall accidents as the leading cause of SCI in the United States.
  • Older adults who suffered from SCIs were more than four times more likely to die during emergency treatments. Patients who were 65 or older were six times more likely to pass due to SCI injuries than younger patients.

NSCISC Spinal Cord Injury Statistics and Facts

The most recent study done by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center in 2018 found the following:

  • In 2018, there were approximately 54 cases of spinal cord injury per one million people in the United States. This equaled out to be 17,700 new spinal cord injuries per year.
  • The number of people with SCIs living in the United States was estimated to be 288,000. However, the range could be as low as 247,000 or as high as 358,000.
  • The average age of individuals who suffered from a SCI was 43 years old.
  • About 78% of the new SCI cases in 2018 were male.
  • Vehicle crashes passed trip and fall accidents as the leading cause of SCI injuries in the United States.
    • Vehicle accidents accounted for 38.3% of SCIs
    • Slip and fall accidents accounted for 31.6%of SCIs
    • Acts of violence (such as gunshot wounds) accounted for 13.8% of SCIs
    • Sports injuries accounted for 8.2% of SCIs
    • Medical and surgical malpractice resulted in 4.6% of SCIs
    • Other incidents, such as animal attacks, resulted in 3.5% of SCIs

Have You Been Involved in an Accident That Resulted in a Spinal Cord Injury?

Whether it was a car accident, work injury, or slip and fall accident that resulted in your spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to compensation for damages and medical expenses. The dedicated personal injury attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. can help you get the compensation you deserve by putting together the evidence and holding the negligent party accountable for their actions. With experienced lawyers such Juan Hernandez, who is one of the 2% of lawyers who is Texas Board Certified in Personal Injury Law, we can get to the bottom of your case. Focus on your recovery while we fight for you. Contact our team today for more information on our services or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.