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Spinal cord injury and its management 

Spinal cord injury and its management
Chapter:
Spinal cord injury and its management
Author(s):

Wagih El Masri(y)

, and Michael Barnes

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0602
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date: 27 February 2021

Spinal cord injury most commonly affects young men as a consequence of road traffic accidents, violence, and sports injuries. The incidence is increasing in older people, mainly due to falls. Appropriate management of the individual at the scene of an accident is vital to avoid unnecessary worsening of a spinal cord injury. Those who are unconscious should be assumed to have a cervical spine injury, with the head and neck held firmly in a neutral position using a semi-rigid collar, and transportation on a spinal board with a head immobilizer. With appropriate management, initial mortality from spinal cord injury is less than 5%. Most of those with complete somatosensory loss will recover up to three myotomes below the level of the injury, and with ongoing support are able to lead dignified, healthy, fulfilling, enjoyable, productive, and often competitive lives.

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