Victims of severe spinal injury can be saved by timely action, says Apollo Hospitals Expert
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals organized a press conference today in a move to spread awareness about how recognition of spinal injury by the first responders and then timely and safe transfer by ambulance to a tertiary hospital, can save lives and reduce the extent of disability.
Dr Rajendra Prasad, Senior Consultant, Spine Surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals discussed three major spinal injury cases in young patients, where timely surgery saved their lives and subsequent neuro-rehabilitation have helped them regain most of their lost neurological function and allowed them to walk rather then be permanently confined to a wheel chair.
Dr Prasad said “Priyanka, 21, suffered a fall from 1st floor because of which she had severe pain in the back followed by retention of urine and weakness of lower limbs. MRI revealed that she had lumbar fracture of L1 and spinal cord compression by the fractured bone. As a part of her treatment, she had to undergo two surgeries to decompress and stabilize the spine. She took three months to recover and is now fully mobile. The key to success in this case was the quick action of her family members who safely took her to the hospital without any delay. When she came to hospital after her injury she had paralysis of legs and lost her bladder function. Priyanka said “I am thankful to the medical team of Dr Tarun Sahni and Dr Rajendra Prasad because of whom I am now normal and looking forward to my wedding shortly.”
Akhilesh Kumar, a 23 year- old fell from a great height at his workplace, “His case was very critical requiring complex management procedures. He was brought to the hospital with head and spine injury, and multiple leg and pelvic fractures resulting in weakness of his lower limbs and loss of bladder and bowel functions. Akhilesh underwent surgery for fracture of left patella and calcaneus (heel bone) plus spine surgery to remove pressure on spinal cord nerves, and spine stabilization.
Though Akhilesh has shown significant improvement since his surgery but still he has some persistent weakness in his foot. He will require further rehabilitation in the future.” This case also highlights the importance of taking serious poly-trauma patients to a hospital where multiple trauma specialists can work as a team and co-ordinate care.
After the surgery, Akhilesh said, “It was like any other day for me at the construction site when I was doing my regular work and suddenly fell from height and got unconscious. It was after seven days of the surgery that I regained consciousness and got to know what tragic incident happened to me. I am really thankful to my co- workers who brought me immediately to the hospital for treatment and Dr Rajendra Prasad and his team, whose tireless efforts and expertise saved my life. I am recovering now and can walk with a support or walker. Dr Prasad told me that I need to undergo further treatment soon to recover fully.”
The third case is of Kashyap Rawat who suffered major injuries following the terrorist attack and blast injury in Connaught Place in 2008. He suffered a severe cervical spinal and injury with chest and limb injuries. From being quadriplegic (paralysis of all 4 limbs) and needing a tracheostomy, and a catheter he is now independent, employed and ambulates with support.
Dr Prasad concluded the conference by highlighting the importance of management of spinal injuries at the site of accident, “It is very important trauma victims get immediate attention to ABC (airway, breathing, circulation) at the site of injury by trained first responders (by standers, policemen etc.) then transported safely by trained paramedic and ambulance men to a hospital, on a spine board without making the injury worse, in the” Golden hour”. Serious polytrauma patients should be transported directly to a tertiary hospital where head, spine, chest, limbs and abdominal injuries can all be dealt with by the trauma team. Many lives can be saved and long term disability reduced by proper care. It is important that patients get neuro rehabilitation after acute care so that they are made independent at home and at work”.