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Paraplegia. 1988 Jun;26(3):143-50.

Prevention of neurological deterioration before admission to a spinal cord injury unit.

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Department of Surgery, Austin Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.


Thirty-two of 123 patients admitted to the Victorian Spinal Injuries Unit, Austin Hospital, during the period 1st March 1983 to 28th December, 1984 sustained major neurological deterioration from the time of injury to the time the patient was admitted to the Unit. The key to the prevention of major neurological deterioration in patients who have only vertebral column damage and in patients who have partial neurological dysfunction is a theoretical and practical understanding of the spinal column and cord. Suspicion about the possibility of spinal cord injury, followed by appropriate handling and immobilisation of these patients by treating personnel as soon as possible after the injury, could make major neurological deterioration before admission to a specialised spinal injuries unit a rare event.

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