This book discussed the causes of death in 220 patients from the National Spinal Injury Center at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, England. The patients were divided into those dying of acute paraplegia (death occurring within three months of paralysis) and of chronic paraplegia (death more than three months after the onset of disease). A second subdivision was made into those deaths directly related to spinal cord injury and those from other causes.
Prior to World War I, paraplegia resulted in death within a few days to weeks. Since then, improved care has resulted in longer life, and as a result of the knowledge gained during World War II, most paraplegics live for many years. However, as the survival of individuals with spinal cord injuries has lengthened, they face the hazards so clearly outlined in this treatise. The experience gained by managing many thousands of paraplegic veterans has led to improved understanding