Construction workers face a substantial risk for falls on the job, which may lead to serious injuries such as spinal cord injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 34% of all spinal cord injuries result from falls. Depending on factors such as the location and severity of the injuries, such trauma may result in workers losing some or all of their sensory and motor functions.
While no medical treatments currently exist to reverse the damage suffered as a result of spinal cord injuries, with appropriate emergent treatment and long-term care, people who suffer such injuries at work may continue to live functional and productive lives.
The treatment for spinal cord injuries
Immediately after a spinal cord injury, emergency treatment focuses on immobilizing the spine to prevent further damage and maintaining the victims’ ability to breathe. Additionally, emergency and medical professionals may take steps to prevent those who suffer spinal cord injuries from going into shock and experiencing possible complications. Workers who suffer spinal cord injuries often require a hospital stay for treatment such as traction, medications, surgery or experimental interventions.
The prognosis for spinal cord injury sufferers
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, secondary medical complications often affect those who survive suffering spinal cord injuries. This may include an increased risk for heart or respiratory issues, bowel and bladder dysfunctions, and pain. Thus, long-term treatment of spinal cord injuries largely focuses on managing these chronic conditions. Those who suffer spinal cord injuries may also undergo physical and occupational therapy to help with rehabilitation, learning skills to cope with their injuries, and receiving emotional and social support.