Study Finds High Number of Elderly Car Crash Victims Face Persistent Pain

Study Finds High Number of Elderly Car Crash Victims Face Persistent Pain

Posted By The Maher Law Firm || 6-Jul-2015

Our Orlando car accident attorneys report on a study that found that a high number of elderly car crash victims face persistent pain.

A newly published study finds that one in four elderly people may continue to suffer pain several months after being injured in a car accident, including pain that keeps them from being able to perform their daily living activities.

If you or a loved one is an older person who has been involved in a car accident, resulting in what may have seemed at the time to be only "minor injuries," this study reinforces the need to schedule a follow-up visit - especially if pain is still being felt.

You may be suffering from a serious medical condition. A follow-up visit can allow that condition to be diagnosed and treated by doctors as early as possible. It can also help to protect your right to full compensation if your crash was caused by the negligence of another driver.

Persistent Pain Keeps Many Seniors from Engaging in Daily Life Activities

The Annals of Emergency Medicine published the study in early June. The researchers set out to identify the incidence, risk factors and consequences of persistent pain among those ages 65 and older after they had been in a crash.

The researchers conducted the study by interviewing 161 seniors who had gone to emergency departments after a crash between June 2011 and June 2014. The seniors had not suffered any major injuries requiring hospitalization. The researchers interviewed the patients at four stages: At the emergency department, six weeks later, six months later and one year later.

The seniors were asked to rate their pain, on a scale of 1 to 10, both overall and in 15 body parts. If the senior reported pain at a level of 4 or higher at the six-month mark, the study deemed the pain to be "persistent."

When interviewed at the emergency department, 72 percent of the seniors reported that they had moderate-to-severe pain. When they were interviewed six months later, 26 percent of the seniors reported moderate-to-severe pain, including pain in the head, neck, jaw, lower back or legs.

The researchers discovered that seniors who were still experiencing pain at six months tended to have poor self-rated health, less formal education, pre-crash depressive symptoms and a recovery that was expected to last longer than 30 days. Many of them had also failed to go to the doctor for follow-up treatment in the weeks after the crash.

Additionally, the seniors with persistent pain were more likely than those without pain to experience the following at the six-month mark:

  • A decline in their capacity to physically function
  • New difficulties with performing the activities of daily living
  • Reduction in overall self-rated health
  • Change in their living situation to obtain additional help.

Study Highlights Importance of Medical Attention after a Crash

In an article about the study, a medical expert told Reuters that chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million people in the U.S., especially older adults. The pain can lead to decreased cognitive performance and expose the victim to other health and safety risks such as falls, the expert said.

Getting into a car accident must be treated seriously. Even if one believes that a crash resulted in only minor injuries, a follow-up visit should be scheduled in the weeks after a crash in order to understand the full impact of the accident.

If you would like to learn more about taking legal action after a crash that has been caused by another, contact The Maher Law Firm. We can provide a free review of your case and help you to understand your legal options.

Categories: Car Accidents
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