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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spinal Cord Injury and Diving: Not always Obvious

Swimming is a fun recreational activity that many children see as a great way to pass their summer break. However, swimming is also a source of many dangers for children. Of course, there is always the risk of drowning, and all pools must be closely monitored and children supervised to reduce this risk. It is also important to ensure that pools have safe drains and not defective drain covers that can lead to entrapment.

But there is another danger, the risk of spinal cord injury or brain injury while diving. Thousands of children every year suffer these types of injuries. And for young children, there is a significant risk that they may suffer an injury and it will pass unnoticed for up to several days after the injury.

The phenomenon is known as spinal cord injury without radiographic anomaly(SCIWORA). It occurs when a child strikes an object, and, instead of suffering a break or deformity in the spinal column, they suffer lesions on the spinal cord, lesions that can lead to paralysis and worse. They may seem fine at first, suffering only transient loss of sensation or pain, but over the next few days paralysis may set in. Once this paralysis develops, few children recover.

Children under the age of 8 are most at risk for this type of injury. If you take your young child to the emergency room for a head and neck trauma, they should not simply examine x-rays, but should check for this type of injury. If your doctor fails to consider this type of injury, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.

To learn more about what to do after your child has suffered this type of injury, whether you can pursue legal action against pool owners, doctors, or others, please contact The Cochran Firm today for a free initial consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:46 AM

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