Emergency Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury

Accident Attorneys Fighting on Behalf of Spinal Cord Injury Victims


Skeletal system and the spinal cordTreating a spinal cord injury immediately is the key to being able to move properly and preventing any further damage. If you saw an accident that may result in a spinal cord injury, you should immediately call 911 and report what you saw. You should not try to move the accident victim because that may cause further spinal cord damage. Make sure that the victim is breathing. Determine what caused the spinal cord injury. Then try to keep the victim still while you wait for emergency personnel to arrive.

Immediate Treatment by Emergency Response Personnel

Usually, an emergency response team will arrive and treat any spinal cord injuries. Emergency personnel should focus on:

  • Making sure the victim can breathe
  • Immobilizing the neck to prevent any further damage to the spinal cord
  • Making sure that the victim does not go into shock

Because the most common cause of death following a spinal cord injury is the inability to breathe, making sure that the victim is able to breathe is the first priority when responding to an emergency spinal cord injury situation.

The second goal of rescuing a person with a spinal cord injury is preventing any long-term damage by immobilizing the spine. To do this, emergency personnel typically use a rigid neck collar and carrying the board to transport the patient to the hospital. This allows the victim to be moved without jolting the spinal cord, head, or neck.

Emergency Treatment in the Emergency Room and Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital

Once the victim is admitted to the hospital, medical personnel will continue to immobilize the spinal column while any life-threatening problems are addressed. During this time, physicians will focus on making sure the victim can breathe and monitoring blood pressure while identifying any other problems. The victim will usually be sedated so that he does not move or cause any other damage. If emergency surgery is required, the spine will continue to be immobilized during the operation.

If a doctor determines that the victim has a spinal cord injury, he will be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital for treatment. While in the ICU, doctors and nurses will make sure that the patient maintains stable blood pressure, adequate breathing, and proper heart function. Doctors will also continue to prevent any other complications, including infection, blood clotting, and further spinal cord damage.

If You Have Sustained Spinal Cord Injuries +Contact a DC Injury Lawyer

Paying for the emergency care associated with a spinal cord injury can be expensive. If your accident was someone else’s fault, you should contact a Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia injury lawyer to help you in recovering medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages from that person. If you would like to bring an action against the person responsible for your injuries, contact an injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. to help you during this difficult time.