Admissions of non-traumatic spinal cord injuries in Spinal Centres.

Posted on 22nd Apr 2016

Spinal cord injury centres used to regularly admit people who sustained a ‘non-traumatic’ spinal cord injury (as a result of a vascular insult -like a bleed-, non-progressive tumour or transverse myelitis) in addition to those who had a traumatic injury (e.g. fall or road traffic accident).

However, with the emergence of the Major Trauma Centres (MTC), this trend appears to be lost. With the emergence of Major Trauma Centres, pressure is exerted on Spinal centres to admit ‘trauma’ patients as a priority. The purpose is to provide early access to rehabilitation to the ‘newly-injured’ and avoid ‘bed-blocking’ beds on the trauma centres.

Patients who have sustained traumatic injuries deserve excellent rehabilitation. So do those with non-traumatic injuries. How do we reconcile these conflicting interests when only a limited number of beds are available on spinal units?

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