SCIs, also known as spinal cord injuries, not only cause injury to the spinal cord but also to other bodily systems, including the respiratory and circulatory systems. While we sometimes associate spinal cord injuries with loss of mobility, such as in the case of a quadriplegic or paraplegic, many SCI patients also struggle with breathing difficulties or other involuntary body processes. The long-term effects of this kind of injury might be just as serious as losing mobility or the ability to walk.
Keep reading to learn more. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident or other accident in which someone else was at fault, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 to request a free legal consultation and discover what your legal options are.
SCI effects on the respiratory system
According to a recent study, respiratory impairment following a SCI is rather typical, especially in cases of cervical or neck trauma-related spinal cord injuries. Many SCI sufferers experience respiratory problems, including:
- Low lung volume. Many SCI patients are simply unable to breathe as deeply as they once could, which might cause other medical problems. Any contagious respiratory infection, such as COVID-19 or influenza, makes respiratory muscle weakness more harmful. An SCI sufferer with weak respiratory muscles may be more at risk of serious injury or even death from exposure to these viruses than a person without a SCI.
- Early onset sleep issues. Younger SCI patients may develop sleep difficulties considerably earlier than older persons do, despite the fact that sleep apnea is rather frequent in older adults. Narcolepsy and sleep apnea are frequent side effects of spinal cord injury-induced respiratory disorders.
- Recurring cough. Sometimes the problems associated with a SCI are irritating and have a negative impact on one’s life. Some SCI patients experience a difficult-to-control cough that lasts for a long time. This can cause disturbance for the victims’ families as well as problems with bladder control and sleep loss. Additionally, a persistent sore throat may result.
What respiratory harm management options are available for SCI victims?
The good news is that some respiratory issues may be controlled or even prevented with early management. A tracheostomy and artificial ventilation may be required after acute high cervical SCIs; these procedures should be followed by respiratory treatment that teaches effective coughing skills to help clear the airways.
Respiratory treatment may be sufficient to control or stop future worsening of the airways in cases of less severe SCIs. It is crucial to control symptoms even when eventual deterioration cannot be prevented in order to maintain the highest possible standard of living for the SCI sufferer and his or her family.
Call an expert personal injury lawyer right away if you have suffered a spinal cord injury to make sure you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled. You can reach Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 now to request your free legal consultation.