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3 possible long-term complications of spinal cord injury

On Behalf of | May 27, 2024 | Car Accidents

Spinal cord injuries are a common result of motor vehicle accidents and victims and their loved ones may be forced to adjust to significant lifestyle changes as a result of this type of harm. For example, these life-altering injuries can lead to long-term complications which may be both physically challenging and financially burdensome due to ongoing medical expenses.

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation to help cover these costs and support your recovery. Long-term complications from your injuries may include the following.

Autonomic dysreflexia

After a traumatic spinal cord injury, autonomic dysreflexia can occur when there is an overreaction of the autonomic nervous system to stimuli below the level of the injury. This condition can cause a sudden and severe increase in blood pressure, which may lead to life-threatening issues such as stroke, seizures or heart attack. It often requires immediate medical attention and ongoing management to prevent serious health complications.


Another common complication is pneumonia, which can result from the reduced ability to cough and clear secretions from the lungs due to weakened respiratory muscles. This makes individuals with spinal cord injuries more susceptible to respiratory infections, which can be severe and require frequent medical intervention.

Pressure ulcers

Due to decreased mobility and sensation, individuals with spinal cord injuries are at high risk of developing pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores. Pressure ulcers occur when prolonged pressure on the skin leads to tissue damage. They often develop over bony prominences such as the tailbone, heels and hips. Preventive measures such as frequent position changes, specialized mattresses and diligent skin care are essential to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers. If left untreated, pressure ulcers can become severe, leading to infections, tissue necrosis and even sepsis.

Getting legal guidance can help determine the best approach to seek compensation through a personal injury claim, especially if the spinal cord injury occurred as a result of negligence on the part of another party involved in the motor vehicle accident.