UK Spinal Cord Injury Cases Almost Twice as High as Earlier Estimates

In the United Kingdom, recent comprehensive data analysis has revealed a significant underestimation in the annual incidence of spinal cord injuries. New findings show that each year there are around 4,400 new cases of spinal cord injuries in the UK, rather than the 2,500 previously believed, implying that someone becomes paralysed every two hours across the nation.

A collaborative effort involving Andrew Coxon, the National Spinal Cord Injury Database Manager at the NHS, Abigail Lock, the CEO of Back Up, and Shajia Shahid, Clinical Research Network Manager at Spinal Research, has led to the estimation that now roughly 105,000 people live with spinal cord injuries in the UK, more than double the earlier estimates of 50,000.

This striking increase has emerged from an inclusive analysis of various NHS data sources, highlighting the need for improved data collection and continued analysis efforts. The revised estimates consider a wider spectrum of injuries. Both traumatic spinal cord injuries, which occur from direct physical trauma, and non-traumatic causes such as cord compression, tumours, inflammation, and infections are incorporated into the new figures.

The consequences of spinal cord injuries are profound and multifaceted, impacting not just an individual’s mobility and sensation but also essential body functions including bladder, bowel, skin, breathing, and sexual health. This not only affects the injured but also places an extended strain on the healthcare system and associated support services.

Source: The Canary

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