Emergency department evaluation and treatment of cervical spine injuries

Rajdeep Kanwar, Bronson E Delasobera, Korin Hudson, William Frohna
Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America 2015, 33 (2): 241-82
Most spinal cord injuries involve the cervical spine, highlighting the importance of recognition and proper management by emergency physicians. Initial cervical spine injury management should follow the ABCDE (airway, breathing, circulation, disability, exposure) procedure detailed by Advanced Trauma Life Support. NEXUS (National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study) criteria and Canadian C-spine Rule are clinical decision-making tools providing guidelines of when to obtain imaging. Computed tomography scans are the preferred initial imaging modality. Consider administering intravenous methylprednisolone after discussion with the neurosurgical consultant in patients who present with spinal cord injuries within 8 hours.

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