The emergency medical care system is the patient’s point of entry into the medical care system. The goal during this period is for the SCI patient is to immobilize the spine to prevent further damage to the spinal cord prior to reaching the emergency room. Maintenance of an adequate airway, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and fluid management are required to ensure survival and limit secondary damage.
The acute management of traumatic spinal cord injury is unique and requires specialized medical training.
A teenager who was paralysed from the neck down in a car accident has taken her first steps – despite being told she would never walk again.
Gemma Quinn, 19, from Woolton, Merseyside, suffered severe spinal injuries in a car accident 11 years ago.
She was told she would always be reliant on a Ventilator and a wheelchair.
Gemma said it felt “amazing” to be able to walk again.
Recovery of some upper limb function is common following a Cervical spinal cord injury. Patients with initial C4-level Tetraplegia often regain C5 muscle function, enabling them to eat and use a joystick hand control independently, while those with C5-level tetraplegia often regain C6 strength, making possible some independent grasp and pinch by using wrist extensor muscles and a splint.
Two factors that help predict this type of upper limb recovery have been identified. One is initial strength.
Your skin is much more than an outer surface for the world to see. It protects you from bacteria, dirt and other foreign objects and the ultraviolet rays of the sun, and contains the nerve endings that let you know if something is hot or cold, soft or hard, sharp or dull. Your skin also plays an important role in regulating your body’s fluids and temperature.
Below the smooth, hairy outer skin, or epidermis, that we see every day is a thick, strong and elastic layer of tissue known as the dermis. The dermis is richly supplied with blood vessels, sweat and oil glands, and nerve endings.
The bladder muscle, “detruser” and external sphincter are similarly affected. Early drainage occurs with indwelling (“foley”) Catheter. When urine volumes are equal to or less than 400 cc per 4 hr., the patient is converted to an Intermittent Catheterization program (ICP). Control fluid intake is closely monitored, especially at night (due to remobilization of fluid from the legs). Early catheter removal reduces the risk of infection (UTI) and allows for better fluid regulation and restriction if necessary. Early ICP reduces Foley Catheter related complications (erosion, stones, recurrent infections, colonization, resistant organisms).
If the joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons are not exercised they will contract/stiffen which will affect your body in many ways. To keep these parts loose Range of Motion exercises are used. These exercises should be performed in a smooth motion as quick motions may damage the joints. As the top of each range is reached the position should be held for a count of 10. Consult your Physical Therapist for range of motion exercises that will best meet your needs.