Respiratory Care in Spinal Cord Injury with Associated Traumatic Brain Injury: Bridging the Gap in Critical Care Nursing Interventions

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Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating and challenging condition. The events that lead to SCI, such as road traffic accidents, falls, sports and violence [Top. Spinal Cord Inj. Rehabil. 5 (1999) 83], are also the common aetiologies of traumatic brain injury (TBI). It's not surprising then, that 20-50% of those with cervical SCI have TBI [J. Trauma 46 (1999) 450]. The literature pertaining to the management of either injury in isolation is vast, but lacking where the two conditions are experienced together and require distinct adaptations to interventions. Consequently, a gap in the literature exists. This paper focuses on those patients with SCI of the cervical spine with associated head injury, and pay particular attention to respiratory difficulties, and presents interventions required to minimise and treat the effects of such pulmonary compromise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-153
JournalIntensive and Critical Care Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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