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General Calculator

This is a tool to help you understand the risk of: 1) having to visit the emergency department (ED), 2) ED related hospitalization in the next 12 months, 3) life expectancy, 4) fall related injuries, and 5) all injuries among people with spinal cord injury (SCI).

This tool is based on our cross-sectional study of 4,670 people with SCI. Since those with SCI have a higher rate of ED visits and hospitalizations, lower life expectancy, and higher rates of unintentional and all injuries, our purpose was to identify the various predictors of ED visits and hospitalizations, estimate life expectancy, and show the probability of having a fall or non-fall related injury in a 12-month time frame among individuals with SCI. Because the data were collected at a single point in time, we cannot determine cause and effect.

The estimates are based on our research and give a general idea of life expectancy, what places people with SCI at risk for ED visits, and what places people with SCI at risk for unintentional injuries. Because findings vary from study to study, the estimates are only to give a general idea of an individual’s risk compared to that of others with similar characteristics. It also will help people to see how they can reduce their risk of ED visits, increase life expectancy, and reduce risks of unintentional injuries. If you have concerns about your ED visits or hospitalizations, life expectancy, or unintentional injuries and what you can do to improve your health, quality of life, or longevity, you should talk to your healthcare provider.

Our Emergency Department Calculator used the following factors:
1. Sex (Male, Female)
2. Current age
3. Years post-injury
4. Walking status
5. SCI neurological level
6. Race/ethnicity, we use a combination of race-ethnicity and because of limitations in our data, it is analyzed in three groups: non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Other, which includes Hispanic, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, Alaskan Native. We use the “other” category because there were not enough participants in any group, other than non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black, to form individual categories.
7. Household income
8. Weight status
9. Diet
10. Alcohol misuse
11. Non-medical substance misuse
12. Frequency of prescription medication usage
13. Prescription medication misuse
14. Cigarette smoking
15. Exercise

Source of data: The data upon which the calculations are based are taken from studies of emergency department visits (Cao, DiPiro, & Krause, 2021), socioeconomic factors and life-expectancy (Krause, Saunders, & Acuna, 2012), and behavioral factors and unintentional injuries (Cao, DiPiro, Li, Roesler, & Krause, 2019).

Calculator limitations:
There are factors that relate to risk of ED visits and ED related hospitalizations, life expectancy, and unintentional injuries that are not accounted for within this formula. We are unable to include other factors because we have used findings from a single study.

DISCLAIMER: You should NEVER base healthcare or other important decisions solely on individualized calculators or other types of printer online materials. This calculator is only intended to be one tool to help you understand how certain factors relate to important outcomes – risk of ED visits or hospitalizations, life expectancy, and unintentional injuries. You should ALWAYS consult your physician or other healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns regarding your health, quality of life, or longevity. Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider before making any changes to your use of medications.

Cao, Y., DiPiro, N.D., & Krause, J.S. (2021). Emergency department visits and related hospitalizations after traumatic spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2021.02.030

Krause, J. S., Saunders, L. L., & Acuna, J. (2012). Gainful employment and risk of mortality after spinal cord injury: effects beyond that of demographic, injury and socioeconomic factors. Spinal Cord, 50, 784-788. doi: 10.1038/sc.2012.49

Cao, Y., DiPiro, N.D., Li, C., Roesler, J., & Krause, J.S. (2020). Behavioral factors and unintentional injuries after spinal cord injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, (101):412-7