Spinal cord injury (SCI) is an insult to the spinal cord resulting in a change, either temporary or permanent, in the cord’s normal motor, sensory, or autonomic function. The aetiology of SCI’s are traumatic or non-traumatic. Patients with spinal cord injury usually have a multisystem impairment which are often permanent and threaten health, function and social participation. When caring for a person with a spinal cord injury it is important to look at them holistically.
Aetiology of SCI: Traumatic vs Non-Traumatic definitions.
Key terms (key term definitions) - Tetraplegia ,Paraplegia, Cauda Equina Injury, Level of Injury, Complete Injury, Incomplete Injury, Reflex Injury, Areflexic Injury
Spinal Cord Injury Centres (SCIC)
There are 12 Spinal Cord Injury Centres (SCIC) in the UK and Ireland (see below). It is expected that all UK acute healthcare providers refer any patient with actual or potential SCI to a specialist centre. The role of SCI centres is to provide and enable the lifetime care and empowerment of patients with SCI.
- Initial Admission - SCIC will address all aspects of a patient’s life as part of rehabilitation and reintegration/resettlement planning process.
- Community Liaison - SCIC provide comprehensive community liaison services, a useful resource for specialist guidance once patient left hospital both for patients and healthcare professionals.
- Outpatient - Review patients and provide management advice on planned regular basis or as requested and provide referrals to specialist PT, OT, nurses, psych (SCIC dependant).
- Readmission- Further assessment and/or treatment of particular problem or planned specialist additional rehabilitation.
Areas of concern:
- Neurogenic Bladder
- Neurogenic Bowel
- Pressure Ulcer and Skin Care
- Respiratory Complications
- Autonomic Dysreflexia
- Acutely Unwell