Clearing the cervical spine



  • Victims of blunt trauma who are fully alert and show no signs of intoxication can safely forego cervical spine radiography if they have no midline neck tenderness, no neurological deficit and no distracting injury [BestBets]
  • These rules are applicable to patients over the age of nine. [Bestbets]
  • In children under the age of nine, Cx spine imaging should include good quality peg views [BestBets]
  • All patients being admitted to ITU (altered level of consciousness, distracting injury or unconscious) will have spinal precautions maintained until cleared by the relevant in-patient team
  • All patients with blunt trunk trauma whose neck has not been cleared should have imaging of dorsal and lumbosacral spine. Maintain spinal precautions until imaging completed at a later time - not necessarily before transfer to ITU - unless early high suspicion of spinal injury.

Approach



Content by Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan 23/06/2001.   Reviewed by Dr ÍOS 20/08/2003, 18/05/2005 18/07/2005, 08/02/2007.Last review Dr. ÍOS 16/09/16.