The vertebrae, which refers to the bones that make up one’s spine, is very delicate and can suffer fractures or spinal cord damage as a result of a gunshot wound. You will need to be examined by your healthcare provider to assess the damage and determine the care you need.
Some of the following tests might be required to determine what the next course of action should be:
- X-ray, ultrasound, CT, or MRI: These tests can show any damage that has been done to the structure in your spine and even where the bullet is. To help make the organs and blood vessels appear in the pictures, you will be given contrast liquid.
- A neuro exam: This will show damage that has been done to the spinal cord. Your hand grasp, leg strength, and how well you can feel pressure in your arms and legs will also be evaluated.
- Blood and urine tests: These tests will be used to help determine how well your kidneys are working and if there are any signs of infection.
- Surgery: In many cases, surgery is necessary to not only remove the bullet, but to determine and repair any damage.
Treating a Gunshot Wound
In cases where a gunshot did not go deep into the skin or damage the spine, your healthcare provider might be able to easily remove the bullet and clean the wound and close it with stiches or staples.
However, in more severe cases, the following might be necessary to treat the wound:
- Medication: This can be used to reduce pain and prevent the possibility of infection. Steroids might also be used to decrease swelling around the spinal cord and a tetanus shot might be administered as well.
- Blood transfusion: If you suffer severe bleeding as a result of your gunshot wound, you might need a blood transfusion.
- IV fluids: To prevent dehydration and increase blood flow, you will likely be given IV fluids.
- Cervical collar: This device, which is placed around the neck, can prevent movement, which will help ensure that no further damage is caused to your spine.
- Bed rest: This can also help prevent additional damage to the spinal cord.
- Surgery: To remove the bullet, repair damage, and clean the gunshot wound, you will likely require surgery.
A gunshot wound to the spine can possibly result in partial or total paralysis, which is considered a catastrophic injury under the eyes of the law. Do not hesitate to seek skilled legal counsel as soon as possible if you or a loved one suffered spinal cord damage as a result of a gunshot wound.
Contact an Atlanta Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Today!
If you suffered a gunshot wound that resulted in spinal cord damage, you need an experienced catastrophic injury attorney on your side to help you obtain the compensation you deserve and need during this difficult time. At Pratt Clay, LLC in Atlanta, our catastrophic injury attorneys are committed to fighting on behalf of the wrongfully injured and will do what it takes to ensure the responsible parties are held accountable for their actions.