Spinal Cord Injuries Seen as New Summer Scourge ({{commentsTotal}})


While death by drunken misadventure has been a tragic feature of summers on the water in Estonia, this summer has been especially bad in terms of spinal cord injuries caused by diving before checking depth.

Seven young men - most healthy and in their prime - have already ended up in the neurological rehabilitation hospital in Haapsalu since the season began, compared to 10 last year. Other than a few cases in which the victim was pulled from the water too late, their cases are the worst of the lot. The path to recovery is slow, with basic movements having to be relearned. Few will walk again.

Alcohol, of course, also figures partly as a factor. So does lack of public awareness, according to administrators at the hospital. Kadri Englas, the development director at the Rehabilitation Center in Haapsalu, said she was shocked at seeing a clip on commercial TV station Kanal 2, which showed a St. John's Day celebration, with young men jumping over a bonfire (a tradition) directly into a shallow body of water (not a tradition). "I was waiting for some warning message, but no. It just showed it from the angle of how fun it was."

Priit Eelmäe, the director, says the number of spinal cord traumas has decreased with each year, as the number of diving-related cases stays constant.

The number of all wheelchair bound patients, regardless of underlying condition, on the waiting list for inpatient care at the Rehabilitation Center is 230. The line for outpatient services is 1,281. Each new patient with a spinal cord injury costs the state 18,000 euros on average over the first six months.

+{{cc.replyToName}} {{cc.body}}
No comments yet.
Logged in as {{user.alias}}. Log out
Login failed

Register user/reset password

Name needs to be fewer than 32 characters long
Comment needs to be fewer than 600 characters long


Independence Day: Estonia’s way into the future isn’t a race

There is a lack of connection between the Estonian state, and the people who live here. While it expects a lot of the state, Estonian society doesn’t seem ready to contribute, writes Viktor Trasberg.

Lotman: Security academy would be crucial Estonian identity point in Narva

In an opinion piece published by Eesti Päevaleht, Tallinn University professor Mihhail Lotman found it important to overcome the mental barrier separating Ida-Viru County from the rest of Estonia.

About us

Staff & contacts | Comments rules

Would you like to contribute an article, a feature, or an opinion piece?

Let us know: news@err.ee