Spinal Cord Injury

What is Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries are common after falls from buildings, trees, walls, road traffic accidents, horse riding, bullet injuries and ship bunks.

Paraplegia (lower limb paralysis) or quadriplegia (all four limbs paralysed) results due to compression fracture, penetration of the spinal cord by bone.

Immediately following injury, which may be partial or complete, there is hemorrhage that expands. Spinal cord infarction takes place within four hours. Eight hours after injury there is global infarction at the level of injury. Paralysis below this level is now irreversible. Depending on the level of injury, paraplegia or quadriplegia takes place.

Management scene of the accident

1. Stabilise the vertebral column by immobilisation to prevent further spinal cord damage.
2. Avoid neck extension in case of neck injury.
3. Blood pressure, respiratory status and systemic injuries to be attended to rapidly.
4. Evacuate to a hospital at the earliest.