Spine and Pelvis Fractures in an Auto Accident
I’m Ed Smith, a Car Accident Lawyer in Sacramento. Fractures of the spine have the potential to be severe, as do fractures of the pelvis. They can impact fertility, lead to long-term consequences, and contribute to high medical costs. Sometimes, these fractures can occur together.
In the world of traumatic injuries, damage to the spine is among the most severe. A spinal cord injury can lead to permanent changes in someone’s motor and sensory function. Particularly severe injuries can even cause paralysis. According to statistics released by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC):
- Car Crashes: Auto accidents and motorcycle accidents contribute to close to half of the overall cases of spinal cord injury. The second most common cause is slip and fall injuries. Sports and violent crimes are further down the list.
- Age: Since 2005, the average age of someone who experiences a spinal cord injury is 40.
- Males: Males account for about 80 percent of all new spinal cord injuries on a yearly basis.
Based on these statistics, auto accidents are a major contributor to spinal cord injuries. However, these are far from the only type of trauma that someone can experience. Sometimes, someone can develop more than one injury at a time.
A Research Study: Concomitant Spine and Pelvis Fractures in an Auto Accident
A group of healthcare professionals recently published a study reviewing individuals who had sustained multiple fractures at once. This is called polytrauma. In this case, patients had sustained fractures of both their spinal cord and their pelvis. In their database, they found that around 300 patients had sustained pelvic fractures, specifically fractures near the hip socket. They noticed that the most common cause was a car accident. Upon further review of their medical records, they also found that around 20 percent of these patients had sustained a fracture of one or more of their vertebrae as well. The medical professionals also found that there was, on average, about a one week delay in the diagnosis of a spine injury.
Lessons Learned from the Study
There are a few important points that this study should serve to highlight. Some of these include:
Delay: There was a delay in these patients having their spinal cord injury diagnosed.
Consequences: A delay in diagnosing an injury of the spine can cause neurologic damage. Sometimes, this damage could have been avoided with a proper diagnosis.
Quality of Life: If this damage leads to losses of a motor or sensory function, this can cause quality of life problems. This could impact people’s ability to work, attend school, or care for their family.
Suspicion is Needed: If someone has been diagnosed with a pelvic fracture in a car crash, it is important for everyone to be aware that a fracture of the spine may also be present. This suspicion can prevent an injury from being missed.
Car Accident Lawyer Sacramento
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