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Spinal cord injury victims may benefit from new device

People often drive their cars to work, take a walk in the park or work out, not realizing how fortunate they are to be able to operate their legs. For a person with a spinal cord injury, this natural ability may have been taken away as the result of an automobile crash or other type of accident. The situation can cause hopelessness for injured individuals who prefer to be self-sufficient in West Virginia. However, a new medical device may renew their hope.

This new implantable medical device essentially stimulates the spinal cord and can allow a paralyzed person to sit on his own. Without the stimulator, it would be impossible for the individual to move even the slightest. Four different patients were involved in a study where they could voluntarily move parts of their bodies after having been paralyzed for years.

The patients cannot use the device to actually walk yet. However, they are improving the functions they can perform with continued training and stimulation. In fact, in their daily lives, they have been able to use some of the abilities they have reclaimed.

A spinal cord injury can alter an individual's entire life, barring victims from being able to tie their shoes and even leading to incontinence. For this reason, it is within the injured person's rights to sue the party who is believed to have negligently caused the spinal injury. If the available evidence reveals that the other party indeed was negligent and therefore is at fault in the situation, this might form the basis for a finding of financial responsibility in a civil courtroom in West Virginia.

Source: wivb.com, "New device may make recovery from spinal cord injuries possible", Peter Ostrow, April 8, 2014

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