Spinal injuries

Patients who have suffered a spinal injury often require intensive care or high dependency care. In a simliar way to head injuries, the team’s priority is to prevent secondary damage to the spinal cord and to maximise the potential for recovery. Patients will be nursed, at least initially, with their spine kept straight and may have a collar on to minimise movement of their neck. The protocols for the care of patients with spinal injury have been devised in conjunction with the Spinal Injuries Centre at Odstock in Salisbury. Some patients will require surgical fixation of their injury whilst others can be left to heal naturally. All patients are managed by the intensive care staff in conjunction with one of the spinal surgeons (who may be a neurosurgeon or an orthopaedic surgeon).