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Crit Care Resusc. 2012 Mar;14(1):64-73.

Respiratory care of patients with cervical spinal cord injury: a review.

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Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Respiratory complications following cervical spinal cord injury are common and are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality after this type of injury. Impaired mechanics of ventilation, poor cough, increased secretions and bronchospasm predispose to atelectasis, pneumonia and exacerbations of respiratory failure. Prolonged mechanical ventilation and tracheostomy are often required. This review discusses the relevant pathophysiology, various ventilatory strategies and timing of tracheostomy, and examines the evidence surrounding physiotherapeutic and pharmacological treatment options.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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