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Cervical Spine Injury: A State-Of-The-Art Approach To Assessment And Management

October 2001

Abstract

An essential part of early trauma care involves the assessment and management of the patient with potential injury to the spine. This often-devastating injury can have lifelong implications for the patient and, if poorly managed, the treating physician as well. As specialists in emergency medicine, it is not good enough to be "familiar" with the management of these high-risk patientsówe must become experts! This requires a thorough understanding of the biomechanics of trauma, refined clinical examination skills, current knowledge of the indications for spinal radiography, and a sophisticated approach to the interpretation of these x-rays. A zero-tolerance policy for missed spinal injury will protect patient and physician alike
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