Spinal Cord Injury
Caring for a patient with a spinal cord injury (SCI) presents unique challenges in the perioperative period. Chronic complications of SCI and dysfunction often result in need for urologic, orthopedic, and plastic surgical interventions. Moreover, atypical presentations of acute conditions below the level of lesion may lead to need for urgent or emergency surgery requiring perioperative management (Petsas et al., BJA Education, 2015). In addition, SCI causes changes in physiology that can predispose to perioperative complications. In addition, the increasing percentage of SCI in the elderly (age over 60) has resulted in a population of SCI patients with several preexisting comorbid major medical conditions that require management in the perioperative period.
KeywordsSpinal cord injury Perioperative Preoperative
Margaret Jones MD MPH, Acting Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington.
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