We hear from our clients of the importance of receiving specialist care from a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Centre both in the acute phase following injury and throughout their lives as they remain a patient of the Centre for life. In the early days following injury or later in their lives when they need to be readmitted to hospital those with a Spinal Cord Injury may not have access to a specialist Centre and this study highlights the importance of non- specialist units collaborating with SCI centres to improve the care they receive.
The subject of specialist care for those who have suffered a Spinal Cord Injury has been the focus of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Spinal Cord Injury and the Spinal Injury Association's "Strike a Cord" campaign which is raising awareness of cut backs on funding for SCI centres which is having a detrimental impact on the care received. For more information please see my blog www.brethertons.co.uk/site/blog/spinal-blog/all-party-parliamentary-group-on-spinal-cord-injury and www.spinal.co.uk/news/strike-a-cord-launches
Patients with spinal cord injuries have individualised care routines to help prevent complications. Disruption to these routines following admission to non-specialist settings can have long-term consequences. This article focuses on the key long-term problems of pressure ulcers, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and autonomic dysreflexia. Nurses working on general wards need to consider how to manage these problems when caring for patients with spinal cord injury.