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Commentary in Neurology
September 2010

A Multidisciplinary Consultation Team to Address the Unmet Needs of Hospitalized Patients With Spinal Cord Injury

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Spinal Rehabilitation Unit, Caulfield Hospital, Caulfield, Alfred Health, Caulfield; and Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.

Arch Neurol. 2010;67(9):1074-1076. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.204

Spinal cord injury (SCI), or damage from any cause, requires optimal care from onset to prevent secondary complications that can have a detrimental influence on long-term outcomes. Because of the “poorer results obtained when SCI patients were managed sporadically in small numbers in non-specialized departments,”1 it is accepted best practice nowadays to treat patients with acute traumatic SCI in specialist spinal injury units.2,3 These provide acute medical and surgical management and subsequent rehabilitation when patients are ready. In some regions, there are specialist spinal rehabilitation units that focus on the rehabilitation of patients with an SCI after acute hospital care elsewhere. The importance of SCI specialization is exemplified by the United States having fellowships in SCI medicine and board certification in this field offered by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

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