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It not only affects the patient’s functioning, participation in work, health and quality of life, but also places a financial burden on the patient’s family, the community and the health care system (Pickett et al. Pre-hospital care providers are often the first healthcare professional to assess and manage patients who have traumatic injuries.
As they do not have the tools to definitively diagnose TSCI patients, including x-ray, CT or MRI scan machines, they rely on available pre-hospital spinal immobilisation guidelines, as well as their judgment to identify patients who are at risk or most likely to have a TSCI; known as potential TSCI patients.
This categorisation, is not mutually exclusive, was used to maximise the capture all potential SCI.
Patients at risk of TSCI, according to AV Clinical Practice Guideline (CPGs), are trauma patients who meet the Pre-hospital Potential Major Trauma Criteria (Ambulance Victoria ).
For the purpose of this study, trauma patients met the spinal immobilisation criteria if they met any of the following criteria (Ambulance Victoria Furthermore, the second group of patients that were included in the study were suspected TSCI patients.
This group included patients who were explicitly reported as “suspected SCI” or SCI in the electronic patient care reports (e PCR) or implicitly suspected to have a TSCI if the paramedics applied spinal immobilisation or transported the patients directly to the SCI unit due to the patient’s condition.
It provides background knowledge and a baseline for future research, as well as a reference point for future in policy.
A total of 106,059cases were included in the study, representing 2.3 % of all emergency transports by AV.
A proportion of 48.8 % of the study population met the Pre-hospital Major Trauma criteria.
This is the first study to describe the epidemiology of potential TSCI in Australia and is based on a large, state-wide sample.
MICA paramedics can perform intubation and administer a wider range of medications than ALS paramedics (Cox et al. In the 2013-14 financial year, AV responded to 844,061 ambulance requests, including emergency (552,268; 65.4 %) and non-emergency (291,793; 34.6 %) cases via both road and air ambulances (Ambulance Victoria ), were reported by paramedics as having a suspected TSCI or received spinal immobilisation and were transported to the hospital.
This study included two major groups of patients; patients at risk of having a TSCI based on pre-specified criteria and/or patients with suspected TSCI as reported by paramedics.
Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury (TSCI) is relatively uncommon, yet a devastating and costly condition.