Case of the Month #38 Spinal Cord Injury

Published 27/04/2023


Theme: Neuro 

A pre-alert has been received for a 25-year-old man who has fallen from a high wall while intoxicated. He is being transferred to your hospital with full spinal immobilisation in place. 

On arrival in the Emergency Department, he is on a spinal board, has a cervical spine collar in situ with three-point immobilisation of the head, and is conversant but agitated. He is complaining of neck pain with paraesthesia and weakness of all four limbs.  

His initial observations are heart rate of 130 bpm, blood pressure 145/75 mmHg, respiratory rate 30/min, SpO2 97% on room air, and GCS 15/15 although the patient is distressed.