2016 Spinal Cord Injury Facts

Posted by: Oct 28, 2016By Steve Roberts

spinal-cord-injury-factsThe National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) has released its annual Spinal Cord Injury Data Sheet for 2016. This resource provides the latest information and national statistics regarding spinal cord injuries (SCI) from the National SCI Database. The latest statistics cover the data on demographics and conditions for more than 31,000 SCI patients through the year 2015.

Spinal Cord Injury Facts

Based on the current U.S. population of roughly 314 million people, the NSCISC’s most recent estimate shows an annual occurrence of about 17,000 new SCI cases each year, or about 54 cases per 1 million people nationally. Numbers of new reported cases do not include fatalities at the scenes of the accidents. Rough estimates – obtained from a number of different studies – show that between 243,000 and 347,000 people are alive and dealing with spinal cord injuries in 2016, with the best estimate being about 282,000 individuals living with SCI.

Demographic data shows that the average age at the time of a spinal cord injury has gone up in recent years, from 29 years old on average in the 1970s to 42 years old in 2016. Approximately 80% of all new spinal cord injury cases occur in males, and approximately 63.5% of SCI cases since 2010 have occurred in non-Hispanic whites. However, it is worth noting that 22% of injuries since 2010 have happened among non-Hispanic blacks – although the general population is composed of only 12% non-Hispanic blacks.

The leading causes of spinal cord injury since 2010 are vehicle crashes, which account for 38% of SCI cases, and falls, at 30.5% of reported cases. Other causes of spinal cord injuries include violence (primarily gun-related violence) at 13.5% of cases, sports injuries at 9% of cases, and medical/surgery complications at 5% of cases.

Due to a combination of medical advances and health insurance restrictions, length of stay in the hospital following a spinal cord injury has declined significantly, from an average of 24 days in the 1970s to an average of 11 days in 2016. Lengths of stay for rehabilitation after an injury have also declined since the 1970s, from 98 days to 35 days.

Finally, the NSCISC’s data shows less than 1% of individuals with SCI showed complete neurological recovery by the time the hospital discharges them.

Learn more about Spinal Cord Injury Facts. If you or a loved one is dealing with injuries due to a spinal cord injury, you may have a good cause to take legal action. Contact the experienced spinal cord injury team at Colorado Roberts Law today by calling 720-515-7058.

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