Since 2014, September has been officially designated by the U.S. Government as Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. The main purpose, of course, is to build awareness of spinal cord injury (SCI) victims. However, it’s also designed to increase support for organizations that are looking for a cure for SCI, as well as other groups that offer assistance to people who have suffered this devastating type of injury.
A spinal cord and brain injury lawyer with Langdon & Emison may be able to help if you’ve suffered an SCI due to someone else’s negligence. We can work to obtain compensation on your behalf, helping to relieve the financial burdens you’ve experienced. Please give us a call at (866) 931-2115 or contact us online for a free consultation.
A Few Sobering Statistics
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), nearly 18,000 people suffer an SCI every year. The NSCISC estimates that there are about 288,000 people with an SCI living in the U.S., but the number could be as high as 358,000. Accidents involving a vehicle are the leading cause of SCIs, with falls a close second.
Most People Don’t Know These Things About Spinal Cord Injury
Research into SCIs is constantly evolving, and continues to make advances. This research has uncovered some interesting facts about SCIs that you might not be aware of. Here are just a few.
1. People with Spinal Cord Injuries May Be Unable to Sweat
You might not know that the spinal cord plays a significant role in a person being able to sweat. But when an SCI occurs, that cuts off the brain’s ability to communicate with the sweat glands located below the area where the SCI took place. People with this injury can’t cool themselves, and will be at a greater risk for overheating – or even suffering a heat stroke – as a result.
2. Shock Looks A Lot Like Paralysis
Most people probably think that an SCI will immediately result in permanent paralysis. But there is a type of injury known as spinal shock. It can cause either a significant reduction in reflexes, or even a complete loss. However, this is a temporary issue. Many people will regain movement in a few days as the shock subsides. In some cases, though, recovery can take weeks, months or even years.
3. It’s Possible to Have Children After an SCI
Another thing people assume is that an SCI victim with permanent paralysis will no longer be able to have children. Actually, though, SCIs will typically not have an effect on fertility. Many women can not only become pregnant, they can also carry a child to term. Men have several methods available to inseminate their partners, including in vitro fertilization and others.
Ways to Recognize Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month
If you would like to show your support during SCI Awareness Month, there are many ways you can do just that, including the following.
1. Wear a Ribbon in Support of Patients
Whether you wear an SCI awareness ribbon (which is lime green in color) on your clothing, or you simply display it in your office or your home, it will likely make people seeing it curious. This will be your chance to tell them about SCIs, and possibly spur them to tell others.
2. Raise Funds for Research and Educational Efforts
There are several worthwhile organizations that help support SCI research, and also help victims live full, productive and happy lives. These are just a few you may want to contribute to.
One of the co-founders of Wings for Life is Dietrich Mateschitz, the founder of Red Bull. The other is Heinz Kinigadner, a two-time world champion in motocross whose son suffered a devastating SCI in 2003. The two are working to increase funding for spinal cord research in order to find a cure.
- American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) (National)
The mission of this organization is to educate the public, healthcare professionals and others on all facets of SCI, and to help improve care. ASIA is also committed to helping foster research to not only find a cure for SCI, but to help prevent these injuries as well.
- Greater Kansas City Spinal Cord Injury Association (Kansas City, Missouri)
This organization is devoted to helping boost local resources to provide added support to SCI patients in the Kansas City area. The GKCSCIA helps those suffering from SCIs get access to information as well as assistance.
- Delta Center Independent Living (St. Peters, Missouri)
Delta Center helps connect SCI victims with critical resources, such as assistance with utilities, rent, food, transportation, assistive devices and more.
- Paraquad Independent Living (St. Louis, Missouri)
Paraquad is a nonprofit organization with a mission similar to Delta Center, yet focused on those living in the St. Louis area. It offers several different services and programs that help SCI victims obtain the skills they need to be able to live as independently as possible.
3. Host a Community Awareness Event
There are also several different things you can do to raise awareness within your community. These include holding fundraisers to help make life easier for SCI victims, as well as their families. You could start a golf tournament, for example, or you could host an event at a popular local restaurant.
If you own a company, you could host a lunch for your employees and bring in experts to talk not only about the challenges of living with an SCI, but also ways to help reduce the financial burdens injury victims often face.
Langdon & Emison is Proud to Support Victims of Spinal Cord Injury
The personal injury attorneys with Langdon & Emison have represented several SCI victims over the last 30-plus years. We continue to be amazed at the resilience these incredible people show as they learn how to adjust to their new reality.
With offices in Chicago, St. Louis, Lexington, and Kansas City, our firm has also recovered several million dollars on behalf of clients who suffered SCIs due to no fault of their own. To learn more about how we may be of assistance to you, please give us a call at (866) 931-2115 or use our online contact form for a free case evaluation.