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Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day: 20 May 2011

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The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) is a leading national charity providing help and support for spinal cord injured people.

This year it has joined forces with other charities, including ASPIRE, to promote Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day, on Friday 20 May.

This year’s campaign focuses on the stark statistic that every eight hours someone in the UK finds out that they may never walk again as a result of a spinal cord injury (SCI).

SCI usually refers to any injury to the spinal cord caused by trauma, rather than disease. Spinal cord injuries can have many causes, but are frequently associated with major trauma from road traffic accidents, falls, sports injuries and violent assaults.

Despite significant improvements in vehicle safety the most common cause of spinal cord injuries remains motor vehicle accidents.

According to ASPIRE, approximately 1,200 people are paralysed every year in the UK as a result of spinal cord injury, most of whom become full time wheelchair users. The extent of the impact of a spinal cord injury depends greatly upon where the spinal cord and nerve roots are damaged, and symptoms can range widely from pain to paralysis.

After the spinal cord has been injured, messages no longer flow through the damaged area, interrupting the flow of information between the brain and other parts of the body. Cervical (neck) injuries can often result in the most severe SCI, with full or partial tetraplegia (quadriplegia).

Rehabilitation following a spinal cord injury can be a lifelong process, with organisations such as the Spinal Injuries Association and ASPIRE providing valuable support and assistance to those who’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, and their families, from the time of injury.

The core aims of the SIA are to:

offer support and assistance from the time of injury and for the rest of the paralysed person’s life
provide services to increase an individual’s quality of life
support the families of newly injured people
increase knowledge and awareness of the causes and consequences of spinal cord injury
campaign for the best medical and social care for spinal cord injured people

To mark this year’s Spinal Injury Cord Awareness Day, the SIA has launched a separate website with information about SCI, as well as case studies and video testimonials of SCI people, and an online quiz.

Access Legal from Shoosmiths has a dedicated team of lawyers with a wealth of experience in dealing with cases for individuals who have suffered spinal cord injury as a result of road traffic accidents, accidents at work, falls, sporting accidents, and criminal assaults.

Our offices in Basingstoke, Northampton, Southampton, Reading, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes and London provide nationwide coverage. Claims are dealt with at all of our offices, and of course we regularly travel to visit clients in hospitals, rehabilitation centres and at home to help build close working relationships.

If you’d like to discuss any aspect of spinal cord or back injury generally, with us, please contact us on 03700 868686.

Partner and personal injury specialist Philip Baldwin said: “It’s striking to think that one person every eight hours suffers a life changing spinal cord injury.

“It can happen to anyone at any time, and days like this are vital to raise awareness of the condition and to highlight the services available to those affected, and their families.”

By Philip Baldwin

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