As a construction worker, you know that your job comes with many hazards. If something goes wrong, each of those hazards poses a health risks to you. For instance, some of the most serious, life-threatening, and permanent injuries to construction workers Texas come from falls. In addition to a traumatic brain injury, broken bones and internal injuries, you run the risk of suffering a debilitating spinal cord injury.
Emergency medical and hospital personnel need to work quickly to determine how severe your injury is to construct a treatment program that provides the best chances of a full recovery, if that’s possible.
The first hours after a spinal cord injury
The first priority of emergency medical personnel at the scene includes stabilizing your spinal column with a cervical collar and backboard, along with stabilizing your blood pressure and breathing. Only after making sure that you are stable will emergency medical personnel transport you to a trauma center.
At the hospital, doctors may need to put you in traction or sedate you to keep you from moving and causing more damage to your spinal cord. Doctors will give you medications designed to halt any further trauma, fight infections, and alleviate your pain. They will also treat any other injuries you suffered.
Common therapies and medications for spinal cord injury patients
Doctors may give you one or more of the following medications or therapies in the first days of your hospitalization:
- Therapeutic hypothermia to drop your body temperature
- Neuroprotective therapies to prevent the body’s natural responses, such as swelling
- Steroids to reduce inflammation and aid in recovery
You may also need respiratory assistance at least for a short time in the first days after a spinal cord injury. The doctors attending to you will determine what combination of medications and therapies will work best in your circumstances.
Assessing your injury
Conducting numerous tests allows doctors to assess the location and severity of your injury. These could include one or more of the following tests:
- CT scan
Neurological tests check for mobility, sensation, and reflex. The combination of test results helps classify your injury, which in turn, helps doctors and surgeons determine the best course of treatment.
Once you are stable, doctors may decide that you require surgery to give you the best chance of recovery. You may require surgery in order to remove blood clots, foreign debris, or bone fragments that could threaten your life and interfere with your recovery. Surgeons may also fuse one or more of your vertebrae if necessary to ensure that your spine remains stable, which could help in healing your spinal cord.
How am I going to pay for all of this?
Since your injury occurred on the job, you may receive workers’ compensation benefits. But if your accident was caused by the negligence of someone other than a fellow employee or a safety violation, you may be eligible for additional compensation. In many of such cases, this additional compensation can far exceed the value of the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.
You have a long road ahead and you should spend your time focusing on your recovery rather than worrying about how you will support your family. An attorney experienced in cases involving spinal cord injuries can take on this burden and seek all of the compensation you deserve.