Author Affiliation: Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa.
One of the most challenging clinical issues for physicians who care
for trauma patients involves the evaluation of possible cervical spine (C-spine)
injury. Emergency physicians, trauma surgeons, and radiologists face the dilemma
of having to evaluate low-risk patients while dealing with attempts at cost
containment on the part of hospital administrators and third-party payers.
In addition, the threat of a lawsuit for missed spinal injury has led many
physicians to practice "defensive medicine," and consequently routinely obtain
C-spine radiography for most trauma patients.
Daffner RH. Identifying Patients at Low Risk for Cervical Spine InjuryThe Canadian C-Spine Rule for Radiography. JAMA. 2001;286(15):1893-1894. doi:10.1001/jama.286.15.1893