Sumary of Tighter blood pressure management may lead to better spinal cord injury recovery:
- Patients with new spinal cord injuries whose blood pressure is maintained within a newly defined range during surgery may stand a better chance of regaining some mobility and functionality – even in patients with the most devastating injuries – according to a new study by researchers at UC San Francisco.
- The study also may have ramifications for patients undergoing spinal surgeries for more common conditions, the researchers said, although further investigation is needed.
- Car accidents, falls the most common causes of spinal cord injuries Spinal cord injury affects approximately 18,000 people in the United States each year, with a total prevalence of around 300,000 cases, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
- Car accidents and falls are the most common causes with more than 50 percent of injuries affecting the cervical spine, the neck region, which is associated with greater impairment and more serious complications.
- In the current study, the researchers tracked data from 118 patients at two hospitals with Level 1 trauma centers: Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG) and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
- They compared the estimated grade of injury on admission with the estimated grade of injury at discharge.
- Grades followed the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale and ranged from A, denoting complete motor and sensory function loss below the level of injury, to E for normal sensation and full motor function.
- Of the 42 patients whose injuries had improved by at least one grade from admission to discharge, 18 had had a grade A injury, eight grade B, 11 grade C and five grade D.