News Aug 27, 2020

Spinal cord injury patients rehabilitate virtually amid global pandemic

According to a special ABC News feature, individuals living with spinal cord injuries are facing urgent and undiscussed needs amid the global pandemic.

"This is a tough time. Isolation is hard for people and it is certainly harder for those with disabilities and spinal cord injuries," said Dr. Steven Kirshblum, Senior Medical Officer and Director of the Spinal Cord Program at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.

The complex needs of these patients, the challenges of maintaining social distancing when close, personalized is often required and the increased risk of contracting the virus are among the dangers that individuals with spinal cord injuries face. To continue to provide the support and education patients seek, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation leveraged technology. Working with the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, Kessler adapted its programs to a virtual platform and was able to provide patients with virtual educational classes as part of the individualized care and comprehensive treatment the hospital offers.

Spinal cord injury patient Anthony Bosi said that early on when visitation was limited, it was a bit lonely, “but as time went on I don't think COVID affected my treatment and therapy here at Kessler."

As far as meeting patient’ needs, Dr. Kirshblum said, "At Kessler, we strive to find the best ways to be able to help [our patients]. We did it in the past, we did it in the present and will continue to do it in the future.

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