Few drivers on northern Louisiana roads expect it to happen, but unfortunately, sometimes a devastating car wreck can result in a spinal cord injury with serious complications, such as paralysis. Not all spinal cord injuries happen instantly, though. In fact, seeking treatment early enough may prevent a SCI from exacting a terrible health toll.
A certain degree of recovery from a SCI is possible, though it tends to depend on the severity of the injury. A lot of recovery happens within the first few days or weeks of the injury. However, if some crash victims receive a medical examination and treatment early enough, they might stop a SCI from progressing into something serious.
Staying still may prevent paralysis
Sometimes a major car accident that totals a car may leave the driver or passengers immobile in the vehicle. As the Mayo Clinic points out, if someone has suffered a serious head or neck injury, it should be up to emergency personnel to move them. Trying to move an injury victim without the proper medical training or equipment could risk paralysis or other dangerous complications.
Delays in spinal cord injuries
Sometimes a car accident inflicts a serious injury but not one that damages the spinal cord in a significant way. However, this does not mean the initial injury cannot lead to a SCI later on. For example, a spinal cord may swell with the passage of time. Internal bleeding may also pool blood around or in the spinal cord. These developments might lead to gradual numbness or paralysis.
Early treatment is important
Even if a car accident does not inflict any obvious injuries, an injury victim should still be careful. Some injuries do not show themselves until later, or they start off small and get worse without attention. A medical examination shortly after an accident may catch early signs of a SCI and stop the progression before paralysis results. Receiving timely medical attention might also result in a shorter time span for recovery.