Infections, sepsis are complications of spinal cord injuries

by Paula A. Wyatt | October 10, 2019 | Blog, Spinal Cord Injuries | 0 comments

Infections, sepsis are complications of spinal cord injuries

Whether someone’s injury resulted from a motor vehicle collision, a Texas workplace accident or a fall due to someone else's negligence, the diagnosis of a spinal cord injury may have seemed like the end of the world. In fact, when they realize the full scope of their injury, they may have wondered how they would ever get through this nightmare.

Difficult as it may be to believe, in the days and weeks immediately following a devastating spinal cord injury, they do have the potential to live a full and rewarding life in spite of their physical limitations. With quality medical care and persistent therapy, they can discover a richness in their life they never imagined. However, it is crucial that they keep their body as healthy as possible, and that includes avoiding infections that can turn septic.

Recognizing a septic infection

As if it weren't enough to be living with the partial or total paralysis that resulted from a spinal cord injury, they must also be aware of those secondary conditions that can place their life in danger. Someone with a spinal cord injury certainly has enough to think about as they work to regain strength, mobility and independence, but they do not want to lose the ground they have gained by allowing an infection to threaten their life.

In some cases, an infection can turn septic. This means the body's automatic defense response goes into overdrive and begins to destroy its own organs. Because of their injuries and paralysis, they may be more susceptible to certain kinds of infection that can quickly turn septic, including:

  • Urinary tract infections from the use of catheters
  • Pressure sores from remaining too long in one position
  • Pneumonia caused by the patient’s reduced ability to expel fluids from their lungs
  • Other wounds

To avoid this potentially deadly progression of infection, it is important that them, their family and their medical team recognize the signs of sepsis and act quickly. This may include a fever, an increased heart rate and rapid breathing, among other symptoms. If their medical team is quick to diagnose the infection, they can work to control the spread and minimize the damage to their organs.

Keep making progress

Infection and sepsis are just two of the potential secondary conditions that often result after a spinal cord injury. Obviously, their compromised physical condition will leave them vulnerable to future illnesses and complications.

Nevertheless, they should not let this prevent them from continuing their hard work of improvement. With the right legal assistance, they may choose to seek financial compensation that will provide them with the resources they need to obtain the best possible medical care and support.


"*" indicates required fields

I have read the disclaimer.**