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Vision Impairment in Older Adults

  • Date Submitted: 05/11/2011 05:46 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.1 
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“B.L. age 17, has a compression fracture at C5 to C6, a result of diving from a bridge into a river and hitting a submerged rock. Fortunately a companion who had first aid training as a lifeguard rescued her and tried to minimize any secondary damage. In the emergency department, B.L. could not move her limbs or sense touch and lacked reflexes in her limbs. […] Surgery was performed to relieve pressure and stabilize the fracture site. […] Several weeks later, routine examination indicated that some spinal cord reflexes were returning in the lower extremities. […] Gradually more reflexes returned. Some muscle tone and movement of the shoulder and upper arm become apparent, but o other function returned. […] One day, B.L. suddenly developed a severe headache and blurred vision. Her blood pressure was 210/120 and her pulse was 62 beats per minute. “
(Gould, Dyer,.2010 p.504)

Trauma to the spinal cord is a life-altering event (referring to the damage to the spinal cord resulting from direct injury to the cord itself or indirectly from damage to surrounding bones, tissues, or blood vessels) that can lead to partial or total paralysis; changing the level of person’s mobility and independence in a matter of seconds. It can affect anyone but statistically effects young and middle age male adults most.
Although circumstances of each spinal cord injury vary, the pathophysiology behind it follows a consistent pattern. Delicate motor and sensory nerves that were protected by the costal surrounding of the spine are damaged in one fashion or another and can no longer transmit signals at and below the site of injury. All injuries to the spinal column and cord are very serious and require immediate attention. Compression injuries are especially dangerous because they can easily lead to secondary damage to the cord and more severe impairment. Compression fractures of the spine happen when great force is applied either on top of the skull or to the feet (falling on the...


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