The specialists of the Spinal Cord Injury Unit of the Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine Service of the Insular-Maternal-Infant University Hospital Complex warn that falls are still the leading cause of spinal cord injury in the Canary Islands, while traffic accidents -both car and motorcycle- are the second cause, and the dives the third.
It should be noted that, last year, the reference Unit at the regional level, treated 71 people who suffered an injury of these characteristics during the past year. Likewise, in recent years there has been an increase in traumatic injuries due to falls in people over 60 years of age.
Following this line, in order to prevent these accidents, the professionals emphasize that it is convenient to pay close attention to improving the physical condition of the individual (focused on strength, balance and gait coordination), and to safety at home, focused on the adaptation of night lighting and the elimination of architectural barriers, as well as avoiding slippery or mobile surfaces such as carpets.
Also, they warn of the importance of attending medical check-ups on a regular basis, with special emphasis on controlling blood pressure, vision, hearing and balance, as well as carrying out a balanced diet, with moderate alcohol consumption. Finally, they recommend wearing suitable footwear and resorting to orthopedic aids if necessary.
In addition to these recommendations, José Luis Méndez, Section Chief of the Spinal Injury Unit of the Hospital Complex, assures that “we must not lower our guard on road safety and follow the advice of the traffic campaigns to continue reducing the number of injuries per accident “. To later emphasize that “it is very important to be cautious when diving.”