2023 United States Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
How prevalent are spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the United States? This overview of spinal cord injury statistics in the United States helps demonstrate the scope and impact of SCI in the country.
How Many New Injuries Occur Each Year?
Approximately 18,000 new spinal cord injuries occur each year in the United States.
This is calculated using the annual rate of incidence of spinal cord injury, 54 per 1 million. As of 2022, there are about 330 million residents in the United States.
This estimate does not include those who die from their injury at the scene.
How Many People in the US Have a Spinal Cord Injury?
It's estimated that 302,000 people living in the United States have experienced a traumatic spinal cord injury.
Estimates range from 255,000 to 383,000. These estimates do not account for people born with SCI.
The large population of people with SCI underscores the need for continued efforts toward prevention and effective treatment.
Trends in Spinal Cord Injury Demographics
Researching demographic trends can help us identify possible factors and circumstances that increase the risk of an SCI.
Of people with SCI in the United States, 79% are male. Men are more likely than women to sustain injuries caused by violence and sports.
The average age at the time of injury is 43 years old. Older people are at higher risk of sustaining an injury in an accident or fall.
However, 47% of injuries occur between ages 16 and 30. The most common age at the time of injury is 19.
How Long Are SCI Patients Hospitalized?
After a spinal cord injury, patients stay in the ICU/acute care for 11 days on average and rehabilitation for 31 days.
How long an individual stays in the hospital depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The severity and level of the injury
- The patient's age and overall health
- Availability of rehabilitation services
- Medical complications
- Specialized treatments
Additionally, the support system available to the patient after they leave the hospital can influence the length of their stay.
It's important for healthcare providers to work with patients and their families to create a comprehensive care plan that addresses the individual's needs and helps them achieve the best possible outcomes.
Patients without strong support systems or access to care at home are often encouraged to stay in the hospital longer to ensure they receive the care and support they need.
This helps reduce the risk of rehospitalization and promotes better outcomes for the patient.
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National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. 2023 Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures at a Glance. University of Alabama at Birmingham.
National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. 2021 Annual Statistical Report – Complete Public Version. University of Alabama at Birmingham.
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Spinal Cord Team