Quadriplegics: Do They Have a Normal Life Span?

Sunday, 30 Mar 2014 02:10 AM

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Quadriplegics suffer from a loss of sensation in the affected areas of the body or a loss of control. Any injury in the brain or spinal cord can lead to paralysis, known as quadriplegia or tetraplegia. This may cause a reduction in the normal life expectancy. Patient suffering from this condition are called quadriplegics. An injury in the spinal cord can make life difficult and very different from the normal life expectancy, which may lead to many complications due to paralysis and cause sensory, motor, sexual/genital, respiratory, as well as ANS disorders. Let us discuss life expectancy of quadriplegics and see if this condition leads to a change in the normal life span. We will examine risk factors to the life span of quadriplegics or people who have a spinal cord injury.

 
Brief Facts About the Condition

Quadriplegia is a paralysis caused by spinal cord injury, quadriplegics suffer from a loss of sensation and control in the upper as well as lower limbs, usually starting from the shoulder region. The condition is also called tetraplegia as both the upper limbs and the lower limbs are affected in quadriplegics. There is motor (control) as well as sensory (sensation) damage in the spine of the quadriplegics. Apart from this, the quadriplegics may also suffer from loss of motor control on the bowel and bladder movements, impaired digestion, difficulty in breathing, as well as depression. Along with all these problems, life expectancy is seen to be low after the injury or paralysis. All these factors create a risk that may decrease normal life span of quadriplegics.

 
Complications and Life Span of Quadriplegics: What Risk Factors Affect the Life Expectancy of Quadriplegics?

Any serious injury to the spinal cord can lead to dangers on normal life expectancy, with the victim’s life span becoming comparatively lower than the normal biological life span. It is also reported that patients who develop quadriplegia or paraplegia in the first few hours of the traumatic spinal cord injury, there is serious danger to life expectancy with numerous complications affecting the normal life span.
  • Quadriplegics may develop immediate bronchitis obstruction due to an inability to cough or a paralysis of abdominal muscles. This is strong threat to the normal life span and can affect the life expectancy of any patient.
  • The danger of pulmonary infection exists with portions of lungs not being ventilated. This is another risk factor to the normal life span of quadriplegics.
  • The danger to normal life span in the victim is also there in terms of various other complications including genital disorders and risk of osteomas or abnormal bony outgrowth in quadriplegics.
     
Any injury to the spinal cord must be provided immediate treatment, especially quadriplegics and patients with paraplegia. An injury to the spine requires care and advanced treatment to prevent greater risk to the normal life expectancy. Robotic tech treatments can help quadriplegics live a life similar to a normal one using robotic arms and legs. However, the danger to normal life expectancy cannot be denied for patients suffering from any spinal cord injury, including tetraplegia.

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