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Incidence of SCI and TBI

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  • Incidence of SCI and TBI

    Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Jul;89(7):1350-7.

    Spinal cord injury and co-occurring traumatic brain injury: assessment and incidence.

    Macciocchi S, Seel RT, Thompson N, Byams R, Bowman B.
    Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA.

    OBJECTIVES: To examine prospectively the incidence and severity of co-occurring traumatic brain injury (TBI) in persons with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) and to describe a TBI assessment process for SCI rehabilitation professionals. DESIGN: A prospective, cohort design to collect and analyze clinical variables relevant for diagnosing co-occurring TBI. SETTING: An urban, single-center National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research Model Spinal Cord Injury System in the Southeastern United States. PARTICIPANTS: People (N=198) who met inclusion criteria and provided consent within an 18-month recruitment window. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: FIM cognitive scale. RESULTS: Based on participants' presence and duration of posttraumatic amnesia, initial Glasgow Coma Scale total score, and presence of cerebral lesion documented by neuroimaging, 60% of our traumatic SCI sample also sustained a TBI (n=118). Most co-occurring TBIs were mild (34%). Co-occurring mild complicated (10%), moderate (6%), and severe TBI (10%) were less common but still occurred in a significant percentage (26%) of persons with traumatic SCI. Persons with traumatic SCI who were injured in motor vehicle collisions and falls were more likely to sustain a co-occurring TBI. Cervical level traumatic SCI was associated with greater rates of TBI but not more severe injuries. Tree analyses established a practical algorithm for classifying TBI severity associated with traumatic SCI. Analysis of variance established criterion validity for the algorithm's TBI severity classifications. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from our prospective study provide strong support that TBI is a common co-occurring injury with traumatic SCI. Incomplete acute care medical record documentation of TBI in the traumatic SCI population remains a considerable issue, and there is a significant need to educate emergency department and acute care personnel on the TBI clinical data needs of acute rehabilitation providers. A systematic algorithm for reviewing acute care medical records can yield valid estimates of TBI severity in the traumatic SCI population.
    “As the cast of villains in SCI is vast and collaborative, so too must be the chorus of hero's that rise to meet them” Ramer et al 2005