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Secondary conditions complicate spinal cord injuries

The injuries suffered in slip-and-falls, motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents or other workplace accidents are often unpredictable. One person may walk away with only bruises and aching muscles, but others could suffer serious injuries.

Perhaps you were involved in an accident and you suffered a spinal cord injury as a result. Even if doctors think you may eventually fully recover, you have a long road ahead of you before you can say you no longer suffer any adverse effects from the ordeal. In the meantime, you will also need to watch for secondary conditions that can further complicate your condition.

What are secondary conditions?

Secondary conditions occur in response to the primary injury, which, in your case, is a spinal cord injury. Some of the common complications you could suffer that put your life in jeopardy include those listed below:

  • Autonomic dysreflexia involves a significant increase in your blood pressure that could easily threaten your life. If you experience profuse sweating, goose bumps, a pounding headache, blurry vision or a slowed heart rate, you should seek medical attention right away.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis, which is a painful blood clot in the leg, can lead to a pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in your lung. If your leg swells and turns red, you may want to seek medical attention right away, since this condition can also threaten your life.
  • Orthostatic hypotension is a sudden and dangerous drop in blood pressure when you change positions. If you experience rapid heart rate, profuse sweating or fainting, you need immediate medical attention. 
  • Septicemia is a dangerous infection in the blood that causes increased heart rate, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting and chills. This condition requires quick medical attention as well.

These are not the only secondary conditions you could experience, but they are some of the most dangerous. However, as you can see, they tend to share some of the same symptoms, which means that the only way to know what is wrong is to see your doctor. You don't have the luxury of waiting since your condition could be worse than you think, as your brain may not be receiving all of the necessary signals from your body.

Spinal cord injuries require a great deal of medical care, treatment and intervention in order to keep you healthy. Even when your prognosis is good, you will still incur a significant amount of medical bills, lose time from work and incur other damages as well. If the negligence or recklessness of someone else caused your injury, you may pursue compensation that could help with your financial and other losses.

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