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How spinal cord injuries can affect the victim’s immune system

| Jun 23, 2021 | Accident And Injury Law

Individuals who have spinal cord injuries have to deal with considerable challenges throughout life. While it’s easy to focus on things like paralysis and similar obvious symptoms, there are others that also occur. For some, a primary challenge of life after a spinal cord injury is the impact that it has on the immune system. 

Patients who suffer a spinal cord injury are susceptible to infections, including pneumonia. A person who has a spinal cord injury is 37 times more likely to die from pneumonia than a person who doesn’t have that type of injury. This leads some to believe that the immune system can become paralyzed at the time of injury. 

Why does a compromised immune system spell trouble for a spinal cord injury patient?

A person who has a spinal cord injury may not have a full sense of sensation below the level of the injury. This can cause the victim to overlook key symptoms of an infection. For example, a person who has a cervical spine injury may not realize that they’re having chest pains or pleurisy, both of which can point to pneumonia. 

Not having the ability to feel the sensations that come with some infections could cause the victim to forgo necessary medical care. This allows the infection to spread, and eventually, the infection may become fatal through septic shock.

When you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, you need help with long-term medical problems

Anyone who has a spinal cord injury is likely going to need extensive medical care throughout their life. This can become costly and may be especially problematic for those who are unable to work because of the injury. 

Seeking compensation for the damages is possible for those who were injured in a wreck due to the negligence of another person. An experienced advocate can help you learn more.