ISSN 2149-5807 | E-ISSN 2149-6048
Acute Management of Spinal Cord Injury at the Out-of-Hospital and Emergency Department Settings
1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Ankara Training and Research Hospital, Ordu, Turkey  
2 Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA  
3 Public Hospitals Union, İstanbul, Turkey  
4 Department of Emergency Medicine, Atatürk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey  
Eurasian J Emerg Med ; : -
DOI: 10.5152/eajem.2017.98698
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Key Words: Spinal cord injury, hemodynamic management, airway, immobilization

Aim: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating neurologic disorder. It is estimated to affect approximately a 1,000 patients each year in the Republic of Turkey. The purpose of this review was to populate the recent evidence related to the acute management of patients with SCIs in the pre-hospital and emergency care settings.

Materials and Methods: We conducted a literature review of publications in the English language, indexed in Pubmed, ScienceDirect, and Scopus using the following search terms: “spinal cord injury” and “acute management,” “spinal cord injury” and “immobilization,” “spinal cord injury” and “transfer,” “spinal cord injury” and “transport,” “spinal cord injury” and “airway management,” “spinal cord injury” and “hemodynamic management,” “spinal cord injury” and “steroid.” We also reviewed the recent international guidelines.

Results: This review reports the immobilization of patients with SCI and management strategies relevant to the transfer of an SCI patient, airway management in cervical SCI, hemodynamic management of SCI, and methylprednisolone use in SCI.

Conclusion: Patient’s spinal aliment should be maintained using appropriate techniques for sufficient immobilization, safe extrication, and transport. The patient with an acute spinal injury should be rapidly and carefully transported from the site of injury to the nearest specialist SCI facility.

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