Working out or near the water presents is fulfilling, but dangerous work. You could slip and fall just about anywhere, particularly when the weather is bad. Not to mention, the heavy machinery you and coworkers use daily.
Though you passed safety training, training does not protect against all accidents. If you or a coworker has an accident on the job, it is often hard to immediately determine the extent of injuries. Some injuries need to be treated particularly cautiously, like a spinal cord injury. Here is what you need to know about spinal cord injuries.
A blow to a spine can affect it many ways
A spinal cord injury can happen if your disks, ligaments or vertebrae are damaged. Damage to the actual spinal cord will obviously cause injury as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, a spinal injury can happen from a traumatic blow to your spine. This blow can crush, compress, fracture or dislocate parts of your spinal cord.
Bleeding, swelling, inflammation and infection can occur following your injury. That is why it is so crucial to see a doctor immediately after you are involved in an accident.
Signs of a spinal cord injury include:
- An oddly twisted back or neck
- Lack of feeling or a tingling in fingers, hands or feet
- Inability to move parts of your body
- Trouble walking or moving body parts correctly
- Severe back pain or pressure in back, neck or head
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of ability to control bodily functions
If you are experiencing these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. Your spinal cord may be damaged, and the sooner it is treated, the better off you will be.
You can help an injured coworker
You may also witness a coworker sustaining a serious neck or back injury on the job. If you do, here is how you can help him or her:
- Keep your coworker still.
- Don’t move the him or her, unless necessary. You could make a spinal injury worse.
- Contact 911.
- Look for heavy towels to put on either side of your coworker’s neck. This will help keep his or her neck still.
- If you can provide any other first aid without moving the injured person, do so.
How a spinal cord injury affects people depends on where the injury occurred and how severe the spinal cord was injured. A complete spinal cord injury means you have lost all feeling and movement below where the spinal cord injury happened. An incomplete injury is when your sensation and motor function are affected, but you still have some feeling and control of your movement.
Even an incomplete spinal cord injury can severely impact your ability to work. If you suffered a spinal cord injury on the job, you may want to reach out to the experienced maritime attorneys at the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A. They can help get you the compensation you need for care and recovery.