Journal article

Optimal assessment of cervical spine trauma in critically ill patients: a prospective evaluation.

AE Ajani, DJ Cooper, CD Scheinkestel, J Laidlaw, DV Tuxen

Anaesth Intensive Care | Published : 1998


There is no uniformly accepted protocol for the radiological assessment of the cervical spine in critically ill trauma patients. The Alfred Trauma Centre receives about 40% of Victorian patients with major trauma. A protocol was developed for cervical spine evaluation, comprising three plain X-rays and a swimmer's view added when necessary to visualize C7-T1, CT and/or MRI for abnormal regions, and functional (flexion/extension) X-rays to exclude cervical spine instability due to soft tissue trauma. Functional X-rays were performed "actively" in conscious patients and "passively" in unconscious patients. One hundred consecutive patients were prospectively evaluated and 91 survived to complet..

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