Approximately 150,000 people in America have quadriplegia, and most of them are between the ages of 20 and 40.
Causes of spinal cord injuries that result in quadriplegia include a motor vehicle or motorcycle accident, gunshot wounds, falls and sports injuries.
When quadriplegia occurs, it is characterized by a decrease in the normal level of tension that exists in muscles of the arms and legs. There is also a loss of power and sensation below the area of the spinal cord injury. Many people with quadriplegia die of breathing failure because voluntary control over the muscles and organs that are necessary to breathe is dramatically impaired. Thus, it is crucial for health care providers to make sure that someone with quadriplegia can breathe properly. They may need a machine known as a respirator that artificially breathes for them.
A life threatening condition known as autonomic dysreflexia can be caused by interruptions between the connections of the spine to both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system (a system that generally calms the body down by doing things such as decreasing both the heart rate and blood pressure). In autonomic dysreflexia, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems (which generally work in opposition to each other) are activated at the same time, and this causes all sorts of serious problems. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems make up the autonomic nervous system. Interrupted connections between the spinal cord and the autonomic nervous system can lead to other difficulties such as low body temperature and loss of bowel and bladder control.
There is no cure for spinal cord injuries like quadriplegia, and while physically and emotionally devastating, quadriplegia can be financially devastating as well. The cost for ongoing medical treatment due to quadriplegia is extremely costly. A quadriplegia lawyer will help a victim collect compensation for the damages suffered and the damages that will be suffered due to the injury.
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