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Emergency signs of a spinal cord injury

A spinal cord injury must be treated with extreme caution, as one wrong move can cause additional damage.

This is why it's so important to understand the emergency signs of a spinal cord injury. Some of the following may present after an accident:

  • Excruciating back and/or neck pain
  • Paralysis in any part of the body
  • Tingling, numbness or loss of sensation in the toes, fingers, feet or hands
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
  • Impaired breathing

If you have reason to believe that somebody has suffered a back or neck injury, be sure to do the following:

  • Keep the person still until professional help arrives
  • Provide first aid, such as stopping any bleeding
  • Hold the head steady as to prevent additional damage, such as permanent paralysis

Since a spinal cord injury is so serious, it's always important to seek medical treatment. Even if you aren't suffering from many advanced symptoms, you could still be dealing with a spinal cord injury. It's better to be safe than sorry, as paralysis can develop over time.

The time between suffering a spinal cord injury and receiving treatment should be kept as short as possible, as this increases the likelihood of a full recovery.

It's important to understand the emergency signs of a spinal cord injury, as you never know if you or a loved one could come face to face with this major medical problem.

Your health should always come first, but once you are stable you can learn more about the cause of the accident and your legal rights.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Symptoms," accessed Aug. 03, 2017

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