World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is commemorated on November 19, with the purpose of raising public awareness on road safety and the importance of maintaining responsible driving behaviors to avoid accidents that can be fatal or leave serious consequences.

The United Nations (UN) highlights that traffic accidents generate 1.35 million deaths worldwide annually on average, and are the leading cause of death among children and young people between 5 and 29 years of age. The most affected are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. In addition, in non-fatal cases, they can leave victims with serious injuries and lifelong consequences such as loss of mobility.

In this context, this day is an effort deployed to reduce road casualties and alert the community and to alert the community to the suffering these crashes generate, along with the economic devastation they cause.

During 2022 in Chile there were 86,050 traffic accidents and 1,745 people lost their lives, an increase of 3.4% over the number of deaths reported in 2021.

When it does not have fatal consequences, a vehicular accident can cause trauma, fractures or spinal cord injuries. spinal cord injuriesThese can have consequences that seriously affect the lives of the victims.


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Spinal cord injury as a consequence of accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are the main triggers of spinal cord injuries. spinal cord injuriesspinal cord injury, which involves damage to any part of the spinal cord or to the nerves at the end of the spinal canal.

Spinal cord injury affects the cells and nerves that carry incoming and outgoing messages between the brain and the rest of the body, thus cutting off their communication. The sequelae include loss of sensation, muscle strength, and intestinal, liver and sexual functions, which may result in paraplegia or quadriplegia. These effects on the body may be temporary or permanent, but require optimal rehabilitation to enhance their improvement.

According to data from the University of Chile, 48% of the cases of spinal cord injuries are due to traffic accidents, which are the main cause of these injuries in the country.

Its incidence is 40 cases in 1 million people per year. Males account for 77-80% of cases, and alcohol is involved in at least 25%.

The Ministry of Health notes that a prevalence of 51,616 cases was reported in Chile, with an incidence of 1,618 cases per year during 2017.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that spinal cord injuries affect between 250,000 and 500,000 people each year, and their annual worldwide incidence ranges between 40 and 80 cases per million inhabitants.

spinal cord injury

What is a spinal cord injury

According to its severity, spinal cord injury is classified in the following ways:

  • Complete: yes all sensation (sensory function) and all the capacity to control movement (motor function) are lost are lost below the spinal cord injury.
  • Incompleteif some motor or sensory some motor or sensory activity below the affected area. There are several degrees of incomplete spinal cord injury.

Spinal cord injury can produce paralysis in the sufferer, which is classified as follows:

  • Tetraplegiais the loss or decrease of sensibility and/or voluntary mobility of the upper and lower extremities and the entire trunk. upper and lower extremities and of the whole trunk, due to a cervicaldue to an injury at the cervical level. This means that the arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs are affected.
  • Paraplegiamanifested by a lack of sensation and/or total or partial paralysis of the lower extremities and part of the trunk. of the lower extremities and of the part of the trunk under the under the lesion, generated by a damage at the thoracic and lumbar level. It affects all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs.

A comprehensive rehabilitation evaluates the treatment indicated for each person according to his or her injury. At TrainFESthe multidisciplinary multidisciplinary team, physiatrists, kinesiologists and occupational therapists, among others, determines the best program for each patient and accompanies him/her.

TrainFES therapy for spinal cord injuries

Training with the technique of functional electrostimulation (FESand daily training at home daily training at home are the foundations of TrainFES therapy. The technology can be easily used thanks to a mobile electrostimulation device, which the patient can control via a smartphone. This makes it easy for the patient to consistently carry out the training, whether in a rehabilitation center or at home, to achieve maximum recovery potential.

There is a greater likelihood of recovery when the paralysis is partial, and in cases where movement and sensation begin to recover the first week after the injury. However, TrainFES has had successful treatments with many patients more than a year after their spinal cord injury, with results ranging from metabolic improvements to return to walking o regaining independence.

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