One of the most distressing and life changing injuries a person could suffer in a workplace is paralysis. There are various types of workplace accidents that can lead to paralysis. It can completely change the worker’s life and make him unable to return to work.
The worker may even need lifelong assistance with his daily activities. Fortunately, paralyzed workers can claim workers compensation benefits to cover their medical treatment, lost wages and even the assistance tools they need to maintain a decent lifestyle. In this post, St. Louis worker injury lawyer will discuss the various treatment options available for work related paralysis.
Types of paralysis
Paralysis refers to the loss of function of a muscle or group of muscles that enables movement of limbs, fingers, hands, toes or feet. Paralysis can be categorized into the following:
- Monoplegia: Paralysis of one limb
- Hemiplegia: Paralysis of arm and leg one side
- Paraplegia: Paralysis of both legs, possible the lower legs and even the pelvic area
- Quadriplegia: Paralysis of both legs and arms
Paralysis results when the spinal cord or nerves transmitting signals to and from the brain are injured. The severity of the paralysis depends on where the injury is located in the spinal cord.
Work related causes of paralysis
There are variety of workplace accidents that can cause paralysis. Some of them include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Machinery accidents
- Slips and falls
- Being struck or caught between heavy machinery and objects
- Burns caused in fires and explosions
- Workplace violence
Common treatment options for work related paralysis
Unfortunately, there is no cure for paralysis, however, treatment can help the patient maintain a level of independence, manage the various complications associated with paralysis, and improve their overall quality of life. Some treatment options available are:
Surgery: Patients may require surgery immediately after the workplace accident to remove bone fragments, foreign objects and broken vertebrae. Reconstructive surgery may be required to repair nerve damage.
Pain management: Paralysis, even with the nerve damage can cause significant pain. Patients often require pain medication and other treatments to manage pain.
Assistive aids: Patients can utilize some assistive tools to maintain their independence. For example, voice operated environmental control units can help a person control the temperature and lighting in his house. Some laser beam and voice operated computers are also available that can help a patient use a computer or work.
Mobility aids: Orthoses or wheelchairs can improve the function of a limb and help the patient with mobility.
Managing associated complications: The patient can suffer various complications from paralysis such as pressure sores, bladder and bowel control, muscle spasms and respiratory problems. These complications require lifelong treatment.
Workers compensation benefits for paralysis
Paralysis is one of the most expensive injuries and the lifetime costs can run into the millions. If you have suffered paralysis in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits. Contact a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer to know more about your rights.