Most Common Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Jan 6, 2017 by

The spinal cord is one of the most essential parts of the body, so damaging any part of it can have devastating effects like disability. Spinal cord injuries can be sustained from a variety of incidents, like car accidents, illnesses, and sports injuries.

The worst incidents are those that happen because of someone else. Because of the recklessness and negligence of another party, the victim is the one who has to suffer. According to the spinal cord injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates, PC, such incidents may be subject to legal action.

But what are the most common types of spinal cord injuries? There are many types, but all of them result into some kind of impairment.

Tetraplegia

Tetraplegia is the partial or total loss of functionality in all limbs, meaning the arms and legs. Tetraplegia is often associated with brain damage and spinal cord damage, particularly in the C1 to C7 level, or the upper part of the spinal cord.

The higher the injury on the spinal cord, the more severe the consequences. Since tetraplegia happens because of upper spinal cord issues, it is the most serious kind of spinal cord injuries.

Tetraplegia also affects the torso, and that can cause additional problems such as bladder and bowel issues, digestion issues, and respiratory problems.

Paraplegia

Paraplegia refers to the impairment of the lower extremities, particularly in motor and sensory functions. This occurs because of spinal cord damage in the T1 level and below, or the middle part of the spinal cord.

The severity of paraplegia also depends on what part of the middle spinal cord is damaged. As mentioned earlier, the higher the injury in the spinal cord, the more serious it is. If the T1 to T8 parts are affected, the trunk may also have complications because of the lack of abdominal muscle control. But in the T9 and below parts, abdominal muscle control is still good.

Triplegia

Triplegia is the paralysis of three limbs. Often, it is the paralysis of one arm and both legs, but paralysis on one leg and both arms is also possible. This often occurs because of an incomplete spinal cord injury.

Incomplete spinal cord injury refers to the partially compromised functions of the spinal cord. Depending on the damage, the victim may experience different syndromes such as anterior cord syndrome, central cord syndrome, and Brown-Sequard syndrome. All of which may preserve movement and sensation.

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Burn Injuries: Causes and Classification

Jul 14, 2015 by

Burns are a kind of injury that can be excruciatingly painful. It can damage layers of the skin, tissues and nerves and, if severe enough, can cause scarring, infection, loss of mobility, disfigurement, or even loss of extremities. Burns that affect the layer underneath the skin or the dermis are the most painful kinds of burn injuries because these directly affect the raw nerve cells of the dermis. The most serious, though, are those that affect the nerves, muscles and bones; these kinds of burns actually no longer cause any feeling of pain because the nerves have already been damaged.

A burn can be caused by electricity, the sun, friction, radiation, chemicals and, thermal or heat (which is the most common cause of burn and which include fire, hot liquids and steam). Burns also have different classifications, each based on how serious the injury is. These classifications include:

  • Third degree burn – damages the entire dermis and the nerves (the reason why third degree burn victims no longer feel pain). Due to the severity of this type of burn, it is necessary that the victims be given immediate medical attention.
  • Second degree burn – affects the dermis or the layer underneath the skin and causes swelling and blisters. This is also the kind of burn injury that is most painful. It is recommended that second degree burns be soaked in cool water, rubbed with antibiotic cream and covered with a dry, non-stick bandage. The blister that may form should never be punctured.
  • First degree burn – though this affects only the epidermis or the skin’s outer layer (thus, considered minor), this burn injury still causes painful. Swelling can occur during the healing period, which takes about six days. Antibiotic ointment or aloe vera cream may be applied on the burned area.

Though most burn classification systems list down only three, some medical institutions include a fourth one or a “fourth degree burn.” This degree of burn injury is the most serious as the damage extends to the muscle and bones, thus, often requiring removal or amputation of the area affected.

There are times when people get burned due to the carelessness or negligence of some individuals. Many have already suffered this type of accident, especially in working environments where flammable substances are handled or stored.

It is always important for burn injury victims to know and understand their legal rights and options for the possibility of seeking compensation that should cover all the damages they are facing and will still be made to face due to the injury.

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Scaffolding Safety Requirements

Feb 2, 2015 by

The United States Department of Labor has set standards regarding scaffolding. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) guidelines for scaffolding aims to protect workers. When these conditions aren’t met, they are in harms way. If an injury is suffered as a result of a defected scaffold, the worker can take legal action.

The website of Hach & Rose describes how scaffolding problems can affect a worker. They can cause minimal injury, work-preventing injury, or even death. OSHA’s standards are nation wide for all scaffolds. Every construction site should follow them, although might have individual procedures to do so.

While there are countless requirements, some are “Scaffolds and their components shall be capable of supporting without failure at least four times the maximum intended load… The poles, legs, or uprights of scaffolds shall be plumb, and securely and rigidly braced to prevent swaying and displacement…. An access ladder or equivalent safe access shall be provided.” These three examples give an encompassing idea of the guidelines on setting up scaffolding.

Many workers walk across a scaffold at any point during the day, and the it needs to be strong enough to support all of them. The safety code says it needs to be designed to hold four times the “maximum intended load,” so overestimating this weight is a wise decision.

The second requirement mentioned regards the stability of the scaffold. They should be strong and sturdy as to not move when workers walk across them. The legs that support scaffolds need to be secured to the ground to prevent collapsing, so that workers don’t fall to the ground.

Lastly, there should be a safe way to access and exit the scaffold at all times. Whether this is a ladder, slide, or something else, workers need to have the ability to safely and quickly exit the scaffold in case of an emergency.

Scaffolds need to be secure at all times. Workers constantly rely on them to perform their job, and need to feel safe while doing so. If these guidelines are not followed and scaffolds are not properly maintained, issues can arise.

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