United Spinal Association thanks Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) for championing the passage of a resolution (S. Res. 393) designating September 2021 as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month.

The resolution recognizes the 296,000 individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the US, including more than 42,000 military veterans.

“Thank you to Senators Rubio and Baldwin for the important opportunity to make Americans aware of our community’s priorities. It is a huge boost to our policy agenda that is aimed at helping people with spinal cord injury achieve inclusion and the maximum possible quality of life.”

— Vincenzo Piscopo, United Spinal Association’s President and CEO

United Spinal advocates also played a role in the passage of S. Res 393, sending almost 600 emails throughout the month of September requesting their US Senators co-sponsor the resolution.

“This resolution helps our community highlight its needs. People with spinal cord injury want to live the American Dream—get a good education, get a job, raise a family, and contribute to the nation’s prosperity. We look forward to working with them to achieve these goals,” Piscopo adds.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the annual incidence of SCI is approximately 54 cases per one million people in the US, or about 17,900 new SCI cases each year.

The average age at injury has increased from 29 years during the 1970s to 43 years recently. About 78% of new SCI cases are male. Vehicle crashes are the most recent leading cause of injury, closely followed by falls. Acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds) and sports/recreation activities are also relatively common causes.

SCI is an injury to the spinal cord that may affect motor, sensory and autonomic function often resulting in paralysis, loss of sensation, and autonomic dysfunction (such as blood pressure instability and disruptions in temperature regulation). People who sustain a spinal cord injury often have permanent and profound neurologic deficits and accompanying disability.

Increased education and investment in research are key factors in improving outcomes and enhancing the quality of life of all individuals with spinal cord injuries.

[Source(s): United Spinal Association, PR Newswire]