Friday, January 15, 2021

Monthly Archives: May 2005

Does everyone who sustains a spinal cord injury use a wheelchair?

Published: May 23, 2005

No. Wheelchairs are tools for mobility. High C-level injuries usually require that the individual use a power wheelchair. Low C-level injuries and below usually allow the person to use a manual chair. Advantages of manual chairs are that they cost less, weigh less, disassemble into smaller pieces, and are more agile.

However, for the person who needs a powerchair, the independence afforded by them is worth the limitations. Some people are able to use braces and crutches for ambulation.

Alternative Stem Cell Bill Added to Debate

Published: May 23, 2005

With a closely divided House poised to vote today on whether to expand federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, opponents are offering fence-sitters what they say is an embryo-friendly alternative: a bill that would foster the use of stem cells from umbilical cords discarded after birth.

The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act — introduced by Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus — would establish a network of blood banks to help make cord blood cells readily available for patients and research.

How disability is determined:

Published: May 22, 2005

Social Security uses a step-by-step process involving five questions: Are you working? If you are and your earnings average more than $700 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled. Is your condition severe?

Your impairments must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered. Is your condition found in the list of disabling impairments?

House to debate stem cell research funds

Published: May 22, 2005

storystemcellWASHINGTON (AP) — A House debate over stem cell research opens with emotional appeals from celebrity supporters as well as parents who “adopted” their children as embryos and are fighting a bill that would ease restrictions on federally funded disease studies some say could lead to cures.

Proponents of embryonic stem cell research, the subject of the House bill sponsored by Reps. Mike Castle, R-Delaware, and Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, say it carries great promise in the fight against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Are You Interested in Wheelchair Research?

Published: May 12, 2005

This is an informational resource and notification of a study does not obligate you to participate. You do not need to be located in nor are you required to travel to Pittsburgh in order to participate in research studies. If you are at least 18 years of age and use a wheelchair or scooter, please contact Rosi or Annmarie for more information at 412-365-4850,,, or VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, 7180 Highland Drive , Pittsburgh , PA 15206 .

Autonomic Dysreflexia

Published: May 2, 2005

Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD), also known as Hyperreflexia, is a potentially dangerous complication of spinal cord injury (SCI). In AD, an individual’s blood pressure may rise to dangerous levels and if not treated can lead to stroke and possibly death. Individuals with SCI at the T-6 level or above are at greater risk. AD usually occurs because of a noxious (irritating) stimulus below the level of the injury. Symptoms include headache, facial flush, perspiration, and a stuffy nose.

Spinal Cord Injury Treatment and Cure Research

Published: May 2, 2005

When someone sustains a spinal cord injury (SCI), one of the most difficult issues to deal with is that there is no “cure” at the present time. One would think that, with the “explosion in scientific knowledge” we hear about almost every day, SOMEONE would be doing SOMETHING to find a cure for people with SCI. If we can achieve the impossible in other areas, like transplanting entire organs and organ systems from one person to another and isolating human genes, why can’t we figure out why the spinal cord does not repair itself and then do something to correct this biological problem?

About Pressure Sores

Published: May 2, 2005

A Pressure Sore (or bed sore) is an injury to the skin and tissue under it. Sitting or lying in the same position will begin to cut off the flow of blood to that area, blocking oxygen and vital nutrients from maintaining healthy tissue. When the tissue becomes starved to too long a period of time it begin to die and an pressure sore starts to form.

Pressure sores will also be referred to as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. Damage from a pressure sore will range from slight discoloration of the skin (stage 1) to open sores that go all the way to the bone (severe).


Published: May 2, 2005

A sixteen year old was the front seat passenger with her young, inexperienced boyfriend John at the wheel. They were on their way home from a friend’s party where John had had a few drinks. Just a few streets from home, he lost control of the car coming round a corner and skidded into a power pole. Alice’s head was whipped back and forth, damaging her spinal cord and leaving her a quadriplegic. She copes, but would give anything not to have accepted that lift.

Another Young Man was just twenty years old when he was driving to work one wet, winters day.

Range Of Motion

Published: May 2, 2005

The body, under normal circumstances, is constantly moving. This movement, often times an unconscious act, will keep the joints loose and prevents pressure sores from occurring by evenly distributing the bodies weight. Individuals that have suffered a Spinal Cord Injury no-longer have the ability to move all the parts of their bodies. What most people take for granted and do, for the most part, unconsciously must now become a conscious effort that may require the assistance of a second person.
Each joint in your body is surrounded by ligaments, tendons, muscles and a joint capsule. If the joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons are not exercised they will stiffen and will affect your body in many ways. The ability to sit, your posture, skin care in the groin area are just of few things that will be affected. Muscle spasms and pressure sores are perhaps the most important side affects of not maintaining a regular regime of exercises.