Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) awareness ribbon color is lime green, and the month of September is U.S. National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. U.S. Congress recently acted to bring attention to spinal cord injury (SCI), passing a resolution making September National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month.
Statistics: Paraplegia & Quadriplegia (SCI)
- Since 2005, motor vehicle crashes account for 42.1% of reported SCI cases. The next most common cause of SCI is falls, followed by acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds), and recreational sporting activities.
- It is estimated that the annual incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI), not including those who die at the scene of the accident, is approximately 40 cases per million population in the U. S. or approximately 12,000 new cases each year.
- People with a spinal cord injury are two to five times more likely to die prematurely than people without a spinal cord injury, with worse survival rates in low- and middle-income countries.
- Mortality rates are significantly higher during the first year after injury than during subsequent years, particularly for severely injured persons.
- The number of people in the United States who are alive in 2008 who have SCI has been estimated to be approximately 259,000 persons, with a range of 229,000 to 306,000 persons.
- Over the last 15 years, the percentage of persons with incomplete tetraplegia has increased slightly while complete paraplegia has decreased slightly.
- From 1973 to 1979, the average age at injury was 28.7 years, and most injuries occurred between the ages of 16 and 30. However, as the median age of the general population of the United States has increased by approximately 8 years since the mid-1970's, the average age at injury has also steadily increased over time. Since 2005, the average age at injury is 40.2 years.
- Currently, 80.9% of spinal cord injuries reported to the national database have occurred among males.
- Violence caused 13.3% of spinal cord injuries prior to 1980, and peaked between 1990 and 1999 at 24.8% before declining to only 15.1% since 2005.
- The most frequent neurologic category at discharge of persons reported to the database is incomplete tetraplegia (30.1%), followed by complete paraplegia (25.6%), complete tetraplegia (20.4%), and incomplete paraplegia (18.5%).
- Spinal cord injury is associated with lower rates of school enrollment and economic participation, and it carries substantial individual and societal costs.
- Life expectancies for persons with SCI continue to increase, but are still somewhat below life expectancies for those with no spinal cord injury.
Source: National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC)
- Breakthrough as Nerve Connections Regenerated After Spinal Cord Injury - University of California - Irvine - (2010-08-08)
- Healing the Spinal Cord - University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences - (2012-06-27)
- Quadriplegia and Paraplegia Information and Infographic - Back Pain Relief - (2013-05-17)