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Long-Lasting Effects of Childhood Gun Related Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are life-altering irrespective of the cause, with most resulting in paralysis or other types of disabilities. Possible causes of children’s spinal cord injuries include falls, auto accidents, assault, and gunshot wounds.

Surprisingly, gunshot-related spinal cord injuries account for approximately 13 percent of all spinal cord injuries in children. According to recent research, childhood gun-related spinal cord injuries result in future social-economic problems for victims besides lifelong disabilities resulting from the injuries.

What the Statistics Say

When conducting the study, the researchers interviewed 45 adults that had suffered spinal cord injuries as children, with 23 of them having suffered gun injuries and the other 22 having sustained injuries from non-violent accidents. The study’s findings showed that of the 22 non-violent spinal cord injury victims, 99 percent had some form of college education compared to 60 percent of the victims of gun-related spinal cord injuries.

According to the report published in the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 75 percent of gunshot-related injury victims earned less than $25,000 a year, which is below the US poverty line for a four-member family compared to only 26 percent of non-violent spinal cord injury victims. Surprisingly minority communities though fewer in number, had the most cases of gun-related spinal cord injuries at 85 percent and 5.8 percent for non-violent injuries. This points to a disparity in violent crime rates based on race.

Quality Of Life Does Not Change Much

Despite the difference in income for the two groups interviewed in the study, the quality of life for adults with childhood gunshot spinal cord injuries did not vary as much from the non-violent spinal cord injury group. In fact, both groups scored near the national mean for depression, anxiety, and general satisfaction. Researchers believe that the two groups’ near-average quality of life score was influenced mainly by the rehabilitation programs following the injuries. These levels of life satisfaction for victims are a great advantage to caretakers because they don’t have to deal with added costs of treatment for psychological issues.

Injuries Are Not the Cause of Poverty

As evidenced in the study, gunshot injuries are not the cause of the social-economic problems of childhood gunshot spinal cord injuries victims. The study only proved an association between the two. However, lifetime medical intervention for spinal cord injury victims can cause a strain on the already disadvantaged groups resulting in future social-economic problems for the affected.

Spinal cord injuries do not have a cure at the moment. However, scientists are optimistic about the possibility of repairing spinal cord injuries in the near future. In the meantime, spinal cord injury victims have to depend on the available medical interventions to ensure that they achieve the best possible rehabilitation and that their lives are as close to normal as possible. In any injury accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation if a negligent party causes your injury. This is also true for spinal cord injuries, whether caused by a gunshot or not. ” says injury attorney John Yannone.

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