Prevention Committee Resources


Facts on SCI Prevention

  1. Approximately 12,000 new spinal cord injuries occur each year in the USA
  2. Every 44 minutes a person in the USA sustains a spinal cord injury (SCI)
  3. The total number of people in the United States living with SCI today is estimated to be approximately 265,000
  4. 1 in 50 people live with paralysis
  5. The number one cause of SCI is motor vehicle crashes
  6. People who text while driving are 23% more likely to get into a motor vehicle crash
  7. 7.2% of spinal cord injuries are caused by sport related activities
  8. Football and wrestling have the highest incidence of all types of injury: Football is 4.36 injuries per 1000 exposures, wrestling is 2.5 injuries per 1000 exposures 92% of SCI-related sports injuries result in tetraplegia
  9. In 2005 136,700 people went to the ER due to ATV accidents
  10. 6 out of every 10 skateboard injuries involve teenagers 16 and under. 43 people/year are seriously injured skiing.
  11. 1,000 recreational diving injuries occur each year with 90% resulting in tetraplegia and 90% occurring in six feet of water or less
  12. Lifetime Costs of living with SCI (injured at 25):
      High Tetraplegia (C1-C4) = $2,711,708
      Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8) = $1,847,631
      Paraplegia = $1,108,930
      Functional Motor Incomplete at any level = $798,391
  13. The average age at injury is 40.7 years
  14. Acts of violence account for 24.5% of spinal cord injuries
  15. Falls account for 21.8% of spinal cord injuries
  16. After the age of 45, falls are the leading cause of SCI
  17. Alcohol is a factor in 25% of all spinal cord injuries
  18. By 2015 road crashes are predicted by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be the leading cause of premature death and disability for children age 5 and up
  19. Decade of Action for Road Safety launched by the United Nations (UN) has a goal of reducing the level of road deaths and injuries by 50%
  20. Driving while talking on a cell phone – handheld or hands-free – increases the risk of injury and property damage crashes fourfold
  21. The US (40 new SCIs per million per year) has more than twice the incidence of Australia (15 per million) and Western Europe (16 per million)
  22. Acts of violence accounts for more SCIs in US (15%) than either Western Europe (6%) or Australia (2%)
  23. Life expectancies for persons with SCI continue to increase, but are still below life expectancies in the general population
  24. The leading causes of death among persons with SCI are pneumonia and septicemia

Prevention Tips

  1. Always wear a seatbelt
  2. All children age 12 years and under should ride properly restrained in the backseat
  3. Children who have outgrown child safety seats should be properly restrained in a booster seat until they are at least 8 years of age or 4’9” tall
  4. Obey the speed limits and follow the rules of the road
  5. Wear proper safety gear when playing sports
  6. Before diving into a pool, always check the depth of water to be sure you have 9 feet of clearance and check the slope of the pool bottom to be sure you can clear the walls and floor
  7. Never dive into water that is not clear, such as a lake or ocean, where sand bars or objects below the surface may not be seen
  8. Always keep your gun unloaded and locked up. Lock and store bullets in a separate location
  9. Avoid distractions while driving! Distractions include talking on the phone (including headset, earpiece, or speaker phones), texting, emailing, reading, eating, arguing with passengers, loud music, loose pets…….
  10. Never drive or use motorized equipment under the influence of alcohol

Additional ASIA Links

Prevention Committee Info

Prevention References

Spinal Cord Injuries from Falls Worlwide: Regional Incidences and Prevention