June 16, 2009 (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)
A recent study published by the Wall Street Journal indicated that the number of people in the U.S. that suffer from some type of paralysis (from all causes) is significantly higher than previously thought, especially those that have had spinal cord injuries.
Paralysis is one of the primary causes of urinary (and fecal) incontinence and is among the most severe and more difficult of the incontinent cases to treat as the patients many times also suffer from urine retention and a significant degradation of their entire lower urinary tract system. Consequently, a substantive percentage of paralysis cases are also subject to the trials and tribulations associated with also have severe incontinence, with there being very few current treatment options showing any significant efficacy over any length of time.
The day-to-day lives of these unfortunate sufferers, which also causes substantial problems for the lives of their caretakers, as well, is only made more difficult by the incontinence and those associated problems.
There have been many surveys done that have asked spinal cord injury patients, the question “if you could do something to fix any of the associated problems with your injury, other than regaining your total movement, what would you fix first?”, and the answer has almost universally been, “fix my incontinence!”.
In fact, the current most utilized method of dealing with spinal cord injury-caused urinary incontinence has been the use of indwelling, or self, catheterization, which heightens the risk of causing bladder cancer by three-fold. It is expected that PMD’s new bionic, telemetrically-controlled urethral valve will virtually eliminate the problems experienced by anyone currently suffering from severe urinary incontinence, and there is even the promise that the same technology will be able to treat severe fecal incontinence, as well.