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Spinal cord injury research studies outcomes for minorities

Spinal cord injuries can affect people of all ages, walks of life and backgrounds in West Virginia. New research, however, shows that ethnicity and race do have an influence on spinal cord injury patients’ outcomes. The research was published in early August.

Data for more than 1,700 adults was used in the study. The patients represented three groups: whites, blacks and Hispanics. Functional outcomes with regard to mobility and self-care were measured when the patients were admitted for care and discharged, as well as at the time of the one-year follow-up.

The research showed that blacks, in particular, had a greater chance of developing secondary complications. They also had a higher chance of becoming unemployed as well as having a quality of life that was compromised. More investigation into the reasons for these differences is required so that these individuals can transition to functional independent living more successfully, researchers said. Not much research has been completed on functional outcomes and health disparities in those with spinal cord injuries.

People who suffer spinal cord injury may not be able to dress themselves or even use the restroom as they once did prior to their injury. This can be distressing for both the injured individuals and their caretakers. If the injury resulted from an accident for which someone else was at-fault, it is within the injured victim’s rights to sue the other individual. Although awarded damages won’t necessarily reverse the injury, it may help the victim to cover the cost of needed medical treatment as well as address pain and suffering caused by the injury in West Virginia.

Source:, "Researchers examine impact of race and ethnicity in motor complete spinal cord injury", , Aug. 21, 2014

Source:, "Researchers examine impact of race and ethnicity in motor complete spinal cord injury", , Aug. 21, 2014

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