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Older patients have more complications from spinal cord injuries

According to a new study, older patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries suffer more complications and have a higher risk of in-hospital mortality than younger patients with more severe ones. The research could lead to better surgical treatments for patients in Ohio and nationwide.

In an attempt to determine the rate at which acute surgical treatment is applied, researchers identified 1,440 patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries, 167 of whom were at least 70 years of age at the time of their initial injury. The results of the study showed that older patients were much more likely to be injured in falls than younger patients, with 83.1 percent of older patients suffering fall injuries compared to 37.4 percent of younger patients. Older patients were also more likely to suffer a cervical injury than younger patients. Further, older patients spent an average of 35 days in the hospital recovering from their injury, while younger patients averaged only 28 days in the hospital.

Overall, researchers found that older patients were less prone to severe spinal cord injuries than younger patients. However, they also discovered that older patients waited longer to go to the hospital and waited longer to have surgery than younger patients. The authors of the study concluded that more research is needed before guideline changes for older spinal cord injury patients can be recommended.

Regardless of their age, any Ohio resident who suffers a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another party may benefit by speaking with an attorney. It may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties seeking compensation for damages that could include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other amounts.

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