Spinal cord injuries and mortality rates

Pennsylvania residents may be interested to learn that approximately 282,000 individuals in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury. Depending on where the injury occurred and the severity of the injury, those who suffered a spinal cord injury could become paralyzed in their arms or even become paraplegics.

Approximately 80 percent of new spinal cord injury cases are males while the average age of injury is 42. About 30 percent of those who were initially hospitalized were re-hospitalized one or more times. The average hospital stay for those who were re-hospitalized was about 22 days. Ultimately, the average costs for the first year of the injuries ranged between about $350,000 to $1,065,000 depending on the severity. For the following years, the average costs ranged between $42,000 to $185,000 depending on the severity of the injury.

The estimated life expectancy for those who suffered a spinal cord injury has remained significantly lower than those who did not suffer a spinal cord injury since the 1980s. The mortality rates are the highest for the first year following the injury, particularly for those who suffered severe neurological impairments. The most common causes of death appear to be pneumonia and septicemia based on the data from the National SCI Database. Additionally, the mortality rates for nervous system diseases, mental disorders and nutritional diseases, among others, are increasing.

Spinal cord injuries can be caused by car accidents, workplace accidents and even falls. Because these injuries can cause a person to suffer life-long complications and negative health impacts, an attorney may assist with seeking compensation from the person who was responsible for causing the accident. Additionally, an attorney may work to recover the cost of medical bills and any future treatment that may be needed, including rehabilitation.