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Spinal Cord Injury


Basic Information

Living with Spinal Cord Injury

 Caring for Someone with SCI

Resources

Overview

What is Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)?

An injury that stems from a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that fractures, dislocates, crushes, or compresses one or more vertebrae.  Additional damage can occur over the following days or weeks due to bleeding, swelling, inflammation and fluid accumulation in or around the spinal cord.

A non-traumatic spinal cord injury may be caused by arthritis, cancer, inflammation, infections or disk degeneration of the spine.


In Hawai’i from 2009-2013 the common causes of spinal cord injury to residents and non-residents include:

  • Ocean activities = 208 (33%)
  • Falls = 161 (25%)
  • Motor vehicle crashes = 137 (22%)
  • Striking = 33 (5%)
  • Sports injuries (non-aquatic) = 15 (5%)
  • Water dives (non ocean) = 13 (2%)
  • Assault = 13 (2%)
  • Bicycle crashes (no mvc) = 11 (2%)
  • Sky dive = 5 (1%)
  • Other injuries = 36 (5%)

For Hawai’i ocean related activities are the leading cause of spinal cord injury.  From 2009 – 2013 there were 208 spinal cord injuries (70% were non-residents) that were caused by ocean related activities including:

  • Body surfing = 53
  • Body boarding = 46
  • “Tossed by wave” = 63
  • Diving into ocean = 31

*Hawai’i data on ocean related injuries is taken from, Drowning and Aquatic Injury Trends in Hawaii, a presentation by Dan Galanis, Department of Health EMS & Injury Prevention Branch Epidemiologist.