About Congress


Until World War II, a serious spinal cord injury (SCI) usually meant certain death. Anyone who survived such injury relied on a wheelchair for mobility in a world with few accommodations and faced an ongoing struggle to survive secondary complications such as breathing problems, blood clots, kidney failure, and pressure sores. By the middle of the twentieth century, new antibiotics and novel approaches to preventing and treating bed sores and urinary tract infections revolutionized care after spinal cord injury. This greatly expanded life expectancy and required new strategies to maintain the health of people living with chronic paralysis. New standards of care for treating spinal cord injuries were established: reposition the spine, fix the bones in place to prevent further damage, and rehabilitate disabilities with exercise.


Today, improved emergency care for people with spinal cord injuries, antibiotics to treat infections, and aggressive rehabilitation can minimize damage to the nervous system and restore function to varying degrees. Advances in research are giving doctors and people living with SCI hope that spinal cord injuries will eventually be repairable. With new surgical techniques and developments in spinal nerve regeneration, cell replacement, neuroprotection, and neurorehabilitation, the future for spinal cord injury survivors looks brighter than ever.

In Curacao we see an increase of the population with spinal cord injury. The following figures from the Curacao Rehabilitation Centre show the growth in population: year 2011 – 13; year 2012 – 31; year 2013 – 34 and 66 for the year 2014.



Based on the possibilities for developments and the facts in growth of the population with spinal cord injury ‘Fundashon Alton Paas’ and the Curacao Rehabilitation Centre have partner together to organize the next congress about Understanding Spinal Cord Injury and the Life After with subtitle Aftercare, a lifelong commitment. Since life expectancy in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is increasing, patients who have been living with SCI for 20 to 50 years are more common in the last years. The risk of Secondary health problems occurring is higher for patients with longstanding SCI. With this conference we want to focus on the aftercare for a better quality of life for people with spinal cord injury.