World SCI Day 2022
The International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) ‘Spinal Cord Injury Day’ on September 5th this year is raising awareness about the difficulties faced by SCI individuals in conflict zones. Conditions such as war, natural disasters, climate change, poverty, hunger, drought and pandemic adversely affect all life on earth. However, people living with SCI and other individuals with chronic health problems could be more affected by these conflicts than the healthy population. This year, the ISCoS Prevention Committee wanted to draw attention to the difficulties and problems faced by individuals with spinal cord injuries living in disadvantaged areas and conflict zones. War, conflict, violence and chronic unstable situations affect all SCI persons regardless of their location and nationality.
Q&A with Praxis CEO, Bill Barrable
What do readers need to understand about SCI?
Spinal cord injury is a catastrophic injury that has a life-long impact on an individual, their family and the community. Although paralysis is very visible, people with a SCI are also dealing with many invisible or less well-known secondary health issues, some of which can be seriously debilitating or even fatal.
There are many different causes for SCI, some traumatic and some non-traumatic. Many cases of SCI are accidental or sheer bad luck – wrong place, wrong time and due to negligence on the part of another.
Sadly, many cases are actually preventable. From assessing risk and ensuring safety in sport, road use and other potential traumatic causes, to early recognition of symptoms in non-traumatic SCI, there are steps people can take to reduce likelihood of SCI in daily life.
Where does Praxis stand on preparation and prevention?
Earlier this year I congratulated Parachute, Canada’s National charity dedicated to injury prevention, on its 10th anniversary. Apart from offering support for injury prevention, Praxis is also committed to preparing ahead for managing SCI by the best clinical diagnostics and management strategies. Studies show that using these evidence-based best practices ensure optimal return to full functioning within the community.
We’re gathering examples of these to improve clinical support and helping to push forward the call for a National SCI Care Strategy that will ensure equal access for all Canadians.
How does partnering in innovation help with prep and prevention?
Our name—Praxis—means moving knowledge into action and implementation; here at Praxis, we are driven by the direction and priorities of people with SCI. Partnering in innovation drives our unique model, aiming for a world without paralysis following SCI.
Partnering multiplies; through partnership with our wide network of researchers, innovators and commercialization experts, we get more eyes and brains on a problem to accelerate solutions for the SCI community — solutions that increase quality of life and impact at the individual level. At the information level, data collection through the Praxis SCI Registry gathers insight into SCI and care from over 10,000 people that helps inform research and evidence-based clinical care.
Partnering also empowers; by ensuring engagement with the SCI community, we make the opinions and experience of those living with SCI drive the priorities for research, development, innovation and care that make the most sense in terms of improving quality of life.
Our vision is a world without paralysis following SCI, and we do this by partnering, leading collaboration and providing resources, infrastructure and knowledge, to improve the quality of life for those living with SCI.
Bill Barrable CEO, Praxis Spinal Cord Institute