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
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