Reducing Your Risk of a Spinal Cord Injury - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Monday, 02 October 2017

Reducing Your Risk of a Spinal Cord Injury

#AskZevBergman

No one is immune from suffering a spinal cord injury. There are approximately 33,000 people living in Ontario who suffer from the lasting effects of spinal cord injuries with another 600 people each year becoming victims in the province. There are many ways in which damage can be done to the spinal cord, but the two most common causes in Canada are unintentional falls and motor vehicle crashes. Identifying the causes is the first step toward reducing the risk of suffering an injury that could damage the spinal cord.

How the spinal cord functions

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerve fibers encased in the spinal column extending from the base of the brain to the buttocks. Messages are carried to and from the brain along the nerves that make up the spinal cord. Your senses, movement and respiration are all controlled by signals transmitted through the spinal cord. An injury to the cord can cause anything from minor pain to paralysis and, in extreme cases, even death.

  • Car and truck crashes
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Diving accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Falls
  • Intentional physical assault

Common causes of spinal cord injuries

In addition to motor vehicle accidents and unintentional falls, other common causes of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Assaults
  • Diving accidents
  • Bicycle riding
  • Skateboarding
  • Trampolines

Diving into shallow water in a swimming pool or in a natural body of water, such as rivers and lakes, is a leading cause of sports-related spinal cord injuries according to the Canadian Red Cross.

Reducing risk of spinal injury when diving

The Red Cross study found that more than half of the spinal cord injuries and deaths occurring while diving involved a victim who had consumed drugs or alcohol. The victims of diving accidents were usually males in the 17 to 22 age range.

Recommendations for reducing the risk of suffering a spinal cord injury while diving include the following:

  • If you are unsure of the depth of the water enter by leading with your feet and not with your head.
  • Most swimming pools built for homes or hotels and resorts are not deep enough to safely accommodate diving.
  • Obey signs warning against diving.
  • Do not dive in locations where there is a risk of striking something before you reach the surface of the water, such as a deck, rock ledge or boat dock.
  • Check the water for rocks, tree stumps and other obstacles below the surface that you could strike upon entering the water.

Preventive measures for the most common causes of spinal cord injuries

Motor vehicle accidents and falls are highly preventable causes of spinal cord injuries. Falls, particularly among the elderly, can be prevented through a fall prevention plan that includes the following:

  • Only use rugs with non-skid surfaces
  • Spills should be cleaned up immediately
  • Electrical cords should not extend across walkways
  • Stairs and walkways should be equipped with lights to keep them well lit
  • Remove clutter and debris from floor surfaces

Drivers can help to prevent motor vehicle accidents by remaining alert and engaging in the following activities:

  • Drivers and all occupants should wear seatbelts and shoulder harnesses
  • Make certain air bags are functioning
  • Obey traffic laws, including posted speed limits
  • Refrain from talking on your cellphone or texting while driving

Children should be properly secured in a child’s car seat or in a booster seatas recommended for their age and size.

Spinal cord compensation lawyers

If you or a family member has suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, slip-and-fall or other incident caused by another person or entity, speak to the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond. They are skilled and compassionate professionals dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Don’t delay, contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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