The primary objectives were to characterize the accuracy and reliability of CT for identifying clinically significant cervical spine injuries in intoxicated patients, to evaluate cervical spine clearance practices and immobilization times in this cohort, and to perform a multi- institution survey of practices and opinions regarding spine clearance in the intoxicated patient.
There is currently little prospective data on optimal cervical spine clearance practices for intoxicated trauma patients, a lack of consensus definition of "obtunded", and conflicting reports of the accuracy and safety of spine clearance based on CT scan results. This article provides prospective data from a large multi-center sample of trauma patients undergoing CT scan of the cervical spine, as well as survey results regarding expert opinions, definitions, and preferred management strategies for intoxicated patients requiring cervical spine clearance.
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