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People With Spinal Cord Injuries Might Have Sleep Apnea

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

California residents who have incurred a spinal cord injury might also be at greater risk for sleep apnea. A study that examined 26 spinal cord injury patients found that 92 percent of them suffered from poor sleep and 77 percent of them suffered from breathing problems while sleeping.

Researchers that worked on the study recommended that all people with spinal cord injuries should have a sleep study done. Breathing problems and sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems.

Sleep apnea causes a person's breathing to pause while they are sleeping. Symptoms include loud snoring, waking up fatigued and difficulty sleeping at night. Both high blood pressure and neurological problems can result from sleep apnea although it is usually easily treated with a CPAP device that a person wears while sleeping.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 200,000 people in the United States have a spinal injury. However, this is the first study that has been done on people with this type of injury that examines their sleep.

Sleep apnea is only one of the types of health problems a person may develop following a spinal cord injury. This type of accident is life-changing, and a person who suffers a permanent disability as the result of an accident might want to discuss the situation with an attorney. It may be advisable to file a lawsuit against the party that is responsible, such as a negligent driver who caused a collision or a property owner who failed to remove a dangerous condition from the premises that led to a trip and fall. Compensation from a lawsuit might help cover the costs of a person's medical expenses.