Serious car accidents often result in serious physical injuries. Spinal cord injuries are particularly severe since they affect so many areas of the body. They can also impede mobility or even cause full body paralysis when effects are severe.
According to the Mayo Clinic, spinal cord injuries can cause certain complications, which highlights the importance of immediate medical care after an injury has occurred. The following are a few possible complications and the effects they cause.
Muscles in the chest and abdomen assist the lungs when breathing. If a muscle injury occurs, lung function is also impacted. Certain injuries to the spine also increase the risk of developing pneumonia and other breathing issues. In general, the more serious the injury, the more significant the effects on the lungs.
Bowel and bladder control
The spinal cord carries messages from the brain to other parts of the body, including the bladder and bowel. Injuries to nerves and pathways affect function as a result. This is especially true in injuries that involve paralysis, in which case rehab is often necessary to re-learn basic functions and tasks.
Blood pressure can decrease, usually when a person with a spinal cord injury rises from a sitting or laying position. Additionally, blood pressure can increase to dangerous levels, which requires medical care. Circulation issues can also lead to swelling in the legs and feet.
You can reduce the chance of complications by taking the right actions immediately following the accident. Do not move the accident victim unless their safety is at risk. Contact emergency services immediately while stabilizing the person’s back and neck as much as possible.